Sydney Cup First Acceptances Feature Hartnell

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Promising Godolphin import Hartnell is one of the headline first acceptances taken on Monday for the 2015 Sydney Cup on Day 2 of The Championships this April.


Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist remains favourite to win the 2015 Sydney Cup as well this autumn at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

First declarations for all eight Group 1 highlights over the two meetings held at Royal Randwick on April 4 and April 11 closed today, including those for the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).

Last month there were 91 Sydney Cup nominations taken, but today the number of hopeful stayers still heading towards the two mile classic dropped to 44.

European import Hartnell is one of the best fancied in the futures Sydney Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes after his eye-catching second on debut down under on February 28.

The four-year-old Authorzied gelding took on the fellow John O’Shea-trained import Contributer in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm and was far from disgraced running a half-length away second.

He stormed up the Sydney Cup odds shortly after and runs again this Saturday in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes at Rosehill.

O’Shea and Godolphin’s other headline Sydney Cup hope this season is It’s Somewhat, the Dynaformer four-year-old debuting down under with a Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) victory on February 28 at Warwick Farm.

The other best fancied stayer along with Hartnell to win the Sydney Cup next month is then the Kris Lees-trainer Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist.

The Newcastle-based Lees took over the training of the former German galloper at the start of the year, the Monsun stallion debuting for his new tutor in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.

As Lees suspected the 1800m first-up wasn’t to the five-year-old’s liking and Protectionist could only manage to finish four lengths away sixth to the winner Mourinho.

Protectionist and Hartnell are both also still in the mix for the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on the same day as the Sydney Cup, the lucrative weight-for-age feature attracting 66 first acceptors.

Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has eight Sydney Cup hopes still in contention headed by his Auckland Cup champion Who Shot Thebarman.

The Yamanin Vital six-year-old, proven over the two miles in New Zealand, also performed well over the Sydney Cup distance down under last November when third behind Protectionist in the world’s richest handicap – the Melbourne Cup.

His first-up run was a stellar effort when fifth in the Chipping Norton over the mile when he flew from towards the back of the pack to cross only one and a quarter lengths off the winner, an effort that has him tipped for a huge campaign.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux is also back for a Sydney Cup bid this autumn, Ed Dunlop’s British raider the first international to travel over for a targeted autumn campaign.

The 2014 Melbourne Cup was Red Cadeaux’s fourth shot at ‘the race that stops a nation’ and the third time the now veteran nine-year-old, down to resume at Flemington in the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (3200m) this Saturday, finished second best.

As well as Red Cadeaux, the international presence is felt with the inclusion of John Moore’s Hong Kong champion Dominant who will stay on in Australia with a still to be decided trainer after the autumn.

The seven-year-old stallion was last seen running third to Designs On Rome in the Listed Centenary Vase (1800m) at Sha Tin on February 7, his last run in Hong Kong before his trip to Oz.

Rising Romance is another visitor, but from further afield.

Donna Logan’s New Zealand-trained Ekraar mare was runner-up in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) behind the ill-fated Japanese stayer Admire Rakti last spring and resumed with a win at home in mid-February.

Other well liked Sydney Cup chances include the Tony McEvoy-trained Adelaide stayer Big Memory, the Gai Waterhouse-trained import Greatwood and Henry Dwyer’s Queensland Derby winner last winter Sonntag.

The most noteworthy non-acceptor meanwhile is Rock Diva, the Tony Pike-trained New Zealander unlikely to travel down under this autumn.

Sydney Cup final acceptances close on Tuesday April 7 at 9am followed by the barrier draw on the same day.

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Ballot Weight (kg) Ture Weight (kg) Hcp. Rating
1 1x221141x6 PROTECTIONIST (GER) Kris Lees 1 58 58 115
2 587x00043x DOMINANT (IRE) John Moore 2= 56.5 56.5 112
3 4x60x4726x RED CADEAUX (GB) Ed Dunlop 2= 56.5 56.5 112
4 41x47226x1 RISING ROMANCE (NZ) Donna Logan 4 53.5 53.5 110
5 021x42x800 BEATEN UP (GB) Chris Waller 5 55 55 109
6 x861D70x00 JUNOOB (GB) Chris Waller 6= 54.5 54.5 108
7 9x071103x5 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) Chris Waller 6= 54.5 54.5 108
8 426x4381x5 AU REVOIR (IRE) Peter G Moody 8= 54 54 107
9 51x20x260x ROYAL DIAMOND (IRE) John Sadler 8= 54 54 107
10 2x050160x8 OPINION (IRE) Chris Waller 10 52.5 52.5 104
11 x281023x43 BIG MEMORY (FR) Tony McEvoy 11= 52 52 103
12 1135x4442x EPINGLE (NZ) Michael Kent 11= 52 52 103
13 2145×52553 AKZAR (IRE) Darren Weir 13= 52 52 102
14 311335×709 BAGMAN Chris Waller 13= 52 52 102
15 5215565×47 DESTINY’S KISS Joseph Pride 13= 52 52 102
16 x22x310x71 GREATWOOD (GB) Gai Waterhouse 16= 52 52 101
17 x5373350x1 IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA) John O’Shea 16= 52 52 101
18 3x35150x08 QUEENSTOWN Gai Waterhouse 16= 52 52 101
19 3x521167x2 HARTNELL (GB) John O’Shea 19= 52 52 100
20 1211x18x00 SONNTAG Henry Dwyer 19= 52 52 100
21 x405143x00 DISCLAIMER (GB) Peter & Paul Snowden 21= 52 52 97
22 5217121214 MAYGROVE Murray Baker 21= 52 52 97
23 1x9380x978 OUR VOODOO PRINCE (GB) Chris Waller 21= 52 52 97
24 12x43054x2 WISH COME TRUE (IRE) Peter G Moody 24 52 52 96
25 70x51362x8 LIKE A CAROUSEL Ken Keys 25= 52 52 95
26 49×3574200 PERMIT (GB) Chris Waller 25= 52 52 95
27 x630021x06 RENEW (IRE) Archie Alexander 25= 52 52 95
28 6320x44x07 TREMEC (NZ) John P Thompson 28 52 52 93
29 x78x2170x6 SABOR A TRIUNFO (CHI) Peter & Paul Snowden 29= 52 52 92
30 x9x676x016 SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE) Peter G Moody 29= 52 52 92
31 723211×889 GRAND MARSHAL (GB) Chris Waller 31= 52 52 89
32 7×01135316 SHOW THE WORLD (NZ) Murray Baker 31= 52 52 89
33 6x0900x090 TUPAC AMARU John O’Shea 31= 52 52 89
34 90x06x0748 ONLY A PLEASURE (IRE) Archie Alexander 34 52 52 82
35 0x5177x053 RAWNAQ David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 35 52 52 79
36 6x52x31215 ARTIBAI (GB) Kris Lees 36= 52 52 75
37 15x9768x08 BOOGIE SHOES (GB) John Sargent 36= 52 52 75
38 x210321x07 DON DOREMO (NZ) Robbie Laing 38= 52 52 72
39 136x31x31x DOUKHAN (IRE) Kris Lees 38= 52 52 72
40 7362535342 MARTINVAST (IRE) Archie Alexander 38= 52 52 72
41 6341×85332 FELIX BAY Kevin Moses 41 52 52 69
42 4212237×43 TAMPERE Shaun Dwyer 42 52 52 68
43 4×42133 MIDAS (NZ) Bart & James Cummings 43 52 52 65
44 1x6037300x KARATA Nigel Blackiston 44 52 52 53

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.


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