Sonntag has been dramatically backed into 2015 Ballarat Cup odds of $15 and trainer Henry Dwyer is confident that the Group 1 winner is a genuine winning chance in the Listed event at Saturday tomorrow.
The grinding stayer opened at a quote of $71 when the 2015 Ballarat Cup field was released earlier in the week, but there has been a massive plunge for the five-year-old and he could start the race at an even shorter price.
Sonntag started his 2015 Racing Carnival campaign with a flat effort in the Listed Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on August 29 and she produced similar performances in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on September 19, the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 4 and the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 21.
The Teofilo gelding was set to contest the Bart Cummings Tribute Handicap at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day before heading to New Zealand for the New Zealand Cup, but a minor injury ruled him out of both races.
Dwyer told RSN this morning that Sonntag had taken no long-term damage from the minor setback and he is confident that the 2014 Queensland Derby winner can bounce back to his best form in the 2015 Ballarat Cup this afternoon.
“We had him set for a race on Cup Day and that was supposed to be his final lead-up to the New Zealand Cup that was run last Saturday, but a day or two below he just developed some muscle soreness,” Dwyer said.
“We had to give him a few days off and a bit of Beaut, so we couldn’t run him at Flemington on Cup Day and we couldn’t take him to New Zealand off the back of that.
“It was not ideal, but the Ballarat Cup will be a good consolation prize hopefully.
“We didn’t have him that fit going to the Geelong Cup knowing that it wasn’t his main goal and we did a fair bit of work after that, but he just didn’t quite cope with that leading into that Cup Day race.
“After that we had to back off and lead him off the pony for the week and we gave him a bit of anti-inflammatories to get him over the muscle soreness and he was 100 percent on Monday, so I thought I would take him to Sandown for an 800 metre jump out, which he came through great.
“He goes into tomorrow in really good order.
“I know his form doesn’t suggest it, but I am pretty confident he is as well as he can be and on his best ratings that is pretty close to the mark in this sort of field.
“He goes into the race as a live chance.”
Ungrateful Ellen is currently available at 2015 Ballarat Cup odds of $5.50 with Ladbrokes and she is a clear favourite from Akzar ($9), Sysmo ($9), Mujadale ($10) and Tooleybuc Kid ($10).