Cup hopes on line for stablemates

Zacada (nearest camera) going down narrowly to Who Shot Thebarman in last year’s Sydney Cup, needs to shape up on Saturday to have another crack at the 3200m feature.

Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have two contenders for the Gr.1 Sydney Cup in Zacada and Vin De Dance, but the pair will have to perform this weekend to warrant a start in the 3200m feature.

Both horses were failures when unplaced in the Gr.3 Manion Cup (2400m) on a Heavy8 track at Rosehill last month.

While disappointed in their runs, their trainers are hoping they will redeem themselves in the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

“Vin De Dance got caught three-wide the other day over 2400m,” Baker said. “You just can’t do that in that sort of competition.

“He dropped out and he pulled a bit because he was three-wide in the clear, which is not like him to pull.

“Zacada just never got into it. He couldn’t cop the track, which surprised us a bit because he has shown form on wet loose tracks before, but he has just got to take his chance.

“Both are good as gold after the run and will both run in the Chairman’s.”

Baker said it would be unlikely that his runners would press on to the Sydney Cup if they don’t put in a good showing on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Baker-Forsman will also line-up Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) aspirant Clementina at Randwick on Saturday.

The three-year-old daughter of Savabeel will contest the Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) as a lead-in run to the Oaks and Baker is confident of a good showing from his filly.

“Clementina was very unlucky in the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m),” Baker said. “She went for a run and got balked and couldn’t get a run and Leith Innes had to pull across them. She finished strongly for fourth. I thought it was an outstanding run, she was just unlucky.

“She is going to run in the Adrian Knox this week and Opie Bosson is riding her and we will just go from there.

“She is stakes placed twice in New Zealand. The Adrian Knox does fall away a bit.  The big race was The Vinery last week for the three-year-old fillies, but she’ll have her chance (on Saturday).

Baker and Forsman will also have The Chosen One and Madison County in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Last-start Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) winner The Chosen One has drawn barrier 17 in the 18-horse field and will be ridden by Blake Shinn, while dual Group One winner Madison County will jump from barrier 11 under regular Sydney rider Tommy Berry.

Fellow Kiwi contenders Platinum Invador, Arrogant, In A Twinkling and Surely Sacred have drawn 14, 12, 15 and 6 respectively.

– NZ Racing Desk