Three scratchings have left eight runners in today’s Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong.
The Chris Waller trained topweight Who Shot TheBarman was withdrawn on Monday shortly after acceptances and will run at Moonee Valley on Saturday in the Group 2 $300,000 Antler Luggage Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), Arab Dawn from the John O’Shea stable was pulled out on Tuesday while the Darren Weir trained Black Tomahawk was declared a late scratching this morning on vet’s advice due to a hind hoof abscess.
The Geelong Cup meeting will be run on a good 4 track with the rail in the true position for the entire course.
The Geelong Cup has proved in the past to be a handy guide heading towards the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November with Media Puzzle (2002), Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) all going on to win the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup in the same year.
This year’s Geelong Cup field has three runners still in contention of gaining a start in the Melbourne Cup, imported stayer Grey Lion and two from the strong English Godolphin Team, Qewy and Oceanographer.
The Charlie Appleby trained Oceanographer and Qewy must run in the top three to pass the first ballot clause for the Melbourne Cup while Matt Cumani’s Grey Lion is 30th in the order of entry.
“Oceanographer has done as well as any in our team since arriving and has continued to thrive,” Appleby told AAP.
“He is less exposed than Qewy, but he has great staying potential and is on the upgrade.
“Qewy is a grand, old campaigner who ran extraordinarily well at Royal Ascot and Goodwood at his last two (starts).
“He should be staying on well. I expect them both to be very competitive.”
Oceanographer at $3.40 and Grey Lion at $3.50 are fighting it out for favouritism for the Geelong Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au and Cumani is happy with the way Grey Lion has settled into his new surroundings.
“He couldn’t be going any better, he has travelled really well, he is putting on weight, he is fit, he is happy,” Cumani told racing.com.
“Katelyn (Mallyon) thought he was in great form, there is nothing more we can do. I think he is in great shape.
“What we don’t know is if this is what he was like going in to his last race in France, where he didn’t finish his race off, or whether he has grown a leg here in Australia.”
The Chris Waller trained English import Kinema is on the third line of betting at $4.50 just ahead of Qewy at $5 and the Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Lucques at $8.
Market order for the Geelong Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Oceanographer, $3.50 Grey Lion, $4.50 Kinema, $5 Qewy, $8 Lucques, $21 All I Survey, $26 Swacadelic, $34 Wells.