The Perth Cup has been moved from its traditional home on New Year’s Day and instead headlines a big Saturday of racing at Ascot.
The withdrawal of Material Man means that Gatting is the clear top weight in the Perth Cup and the majority of the field is on the limit weight of 53 kilogram, but it is still set to be an interesting betting race.
Who will claim the first Group 2 event of 2018? We have analysed the entire field and our complete 2018 Perth Cup tips can be found below.
Gatting has been extremely consistent without winning this campaign. He finished second in both the Railway Stakes and the Ted Van Heemst Stakes, while he wasn’t disgraced when fourth in the Kingston Town Classic. You simply can’t knock that form and he is a horse that has won over 2400 metres in the past, when he won the WATC Derby. The big concern for Gatting is the big weight and the wide barrier draw. It would not surprise to see Damian Lane ride him aggressively in the early stages of this race and it will be tough to lead from start to finish.
Star Exhibit has not really produced since he was sent back to Perth at the start of the year and he was soundly beaten in the Railway Stakes, Kingston Town Classic and Ted Van Heemst Stakes. It is tough to see him turning around his form in this contest.
Action is currently a clear favourite in our 2018 Perth Cup betting market. He stamped himself as a leading Perth Cup contender with his fast-finishing second in the ATA Stakes at Ascot last Saturday and he does map to get a dream run in transit with William Pike in the saddle. He won the WATC Derby over this track and distance earlier this year and he is clearly the horse to beat. There isn’t a great deal of value at his current price of $2.30, but he can’t be discounted.
Cappo D’Oro has been very consistent this campaign. He returned to winning form when he beat Mississippi Delta in the Towton Stakes and he wasn’t disgraced behind Mississippi Delta and Action in the ATA Stakes. He is a better chance than his current odds of $18 suggest.
Dark Musket beat home only a single runner in both the Ted Van Heemst Stakes and the Towton Cup and he is one of the outsiders of the field for a reason.
Elegant Blast returned to a semblance of his best form with a third place finish in the Towton Cup, but she is still a mare with a very poor winning record. It wouldn’t surprise if she ran well, but it is tough to see her recording a win.
Ihtsahym has never really performed over 2400 metres and he has missed the placings in his past seven race starts, while it has been an eternity since he won a race. He is not the same horse that he once was.
Khartoum is somewhat of the x-factor in the Perth Cup field. He was sent to Perth following his win at The Valley last Saturday, but it is fair to say that this is a much tougher assignment. That was only his third career wins and this race does look a touch beyond him.
Like A Butterfly
Like A Butterfly finished second behind Action in the WATC Derby earlier this year, but it is fair to say that she hasn’t really kicked on as a four-year-old.
Mississippi Delta is the value runner in the 2018 Perth Cup field. She has recorded eight wins from her 14 race starts and she is a mare that continues to improve every time that she is seen at the races. There is no horse in this field that is fitter and she did beat Action fair and square in the ATA Stakes. The fitness edge is key to her chances and there shouldn’t be as big a difference between her price and that of Action.
Perfect Jewel finished a more than credible third in the Ted Van Heems Stakes and didn’t seem to have any issues running out the trip. She does meet Gatting much better at the weights and the only real query is whether she can run out a strong 2400 metres. $11 does seem a fair price.
Prize Catch has been thereabouts without ever really looking like a genuine winning chance in the Tattersall’s Gold Cup, Towton Cup and Ted Van Heemst Stakes. That appears to be his level.
Prying Tom shocked with his fifth place finish in the Kingston Town Classic before he failed to beat home a runner in the Ted Van Heems Stakes. I think that performance was a better indication of his talent levels.
This is a big step-up in class for Queen Bey and she has never produced anything to suggest that she is capable of winning at this level.
Royal Star was soundly beaten in both the Towton Stakes and the ATA Stakes. It is tough to see her turning-the-tables on her rivals.
The Big Show
The Big Show Glenn Maxwell can’t get into the Australian Test team, but can his namesake win the Perth Cup. He has recorded two wins on the trot in fairly impressive fashion and he is one of the few horses in this field that still does have upside. It would not surprise to see him run better than his current odds of $34 suggest.
Juicing Carrots is currently available at 2018 Perth Cup odds of $201 and that is a fair assessment. He is the first emergency in the Perth Cup field.
Brother’s Keeper was soundly beaten by The Big Show last start and isn’t up to a race of this quality. He is the second emergency in the Perth Cup field.
Mr Alby is the third emergency in the Perth Cup field.