TWO of the biggest races on the Tyers Park calendar have arrived, and we're ready to pour through the two fields to see who will come out on top in this Sunday's Bathurst Cup and The Panorama.
The Bathurst Cup has drawn plenty of interest from classy middle distance runners, as a qualifier for the Big Dance, while the richest race on the Tyers Park calendar, The Panorama, has gathered some elite country talent once again.
Let's pour through the two fields to try and find a winner among a great crop of horses making their way to Bathurst.
The Bathurst Cup (1,800 metres), $50,000, 4.50pm
- 4) Elettrica ($5.50 fav)
- 1) Super Pursuit ($8)
- 9) Spaltet ($8.50)
- 3) Queenmaker ($7.50)
It's a shame to see zero Bathurst horses lining up for the city's namesake cup this year but it's only natural that big name visitors will line up for a go in this race when a place in a $3 million final is at stake.
There's a lot of horses here with exciting Sydney weekend form while other have been impressive out in the country, though none catch my eye more than ELETTRICA.
The mare probably would have caught winner Satness during last Saturday's strong run at Randwick if she found clean air a little earlier, and prior to that she won over this distance at Rosehill.
The Richard and Will Freedman-trained runner is drawn to sit close to the speed, if desired, and is very hard to knock among this field.
He has to lug the big weight but I'd back SUPER PURSUIT to overcome that and put in a big performance.
Richard Collett's seven-year-old carried this weight during a third placing last preparation in a similar quality race at Randwick and last start ran an impressive final furlong at the same track to score another third placing at big odds.
SPALTET found another gear over the last 100m when called upon last start at Warwick Farm to win in fine style.
Prior to that he was edged out of another win by Constructionmaster at Hawkesbury in another gallant run to the line.
Queries on him are whether he'll measure up against this field over the longer trip, and in the past hasn't been impressive when four runs into a preparation.
One of the best shots to disrupt this trio will be Edward Cummings' QUEENMAKER.
The mare has a record of one win and four runner-up finishes over her five runs at the 1,800m and she plugged along bravely to finish third last start at the Dubbo Gold Cup.
Best roughie: CINQUE TORRI ($14) finished two lengths behind stablemate and winner Iknowastar in the Dubbo Gold Cup and was far from disgraced.
He gets in very light here and it would be no surprise to see him among the finish.
The Panorama (1,300 metres), $110,000, 5.25pm
- 8) Cliff House ($6)
- 6) Wizard Of Oz ($5.50)
- 5) Molly Nails ($4.50 fav)
- 3) Osman ($18)
Last year's edition of this race was taken out in a stunning upset for local trainer Roy McCabe with Know Where To Look, but unless we see some more scratchings there won't be another home trained victor this time around.
This race has become an exciting addition to the Bathurst calendar and is a late opportunity for potential Kosciusko runners to showcase their potential a month out from the big event.
CLIFF HOUSE has an enviable form line, with eight starts for four wins and four placings, and he should be right up there again in this race.
This will be a slight step up in class from what he was racing in during his previous preparation but that last start Highway Handicap victory is pretty hard to ignore.
He gets in four kilograms lighter here than that race.
Lands a tougher barrier here but if he settles in a good spot early then he's sure to be a major danger.
WIZARD OF OZ secured a tough win in a class three Randwick event two starts ago and he wasn't that far away when eighth last start at the same track.
He likes to lead so a good start from his wide barrier is a must. If he gets away cleanly and settles towards the front without having to do too much work he could be the one to catch.
Yes, the last start reads 12th place for MOLLY NAILS but she was far from disgraced in a good quality mares race at Randwick.
She began this prep with a nice Highway Handicap win on a heavy Rosehill track. A run of similar quality gets her close here.
Mack Griffiths' Soldiers Saddle winner OSMAN is after another feature Bathurst race victory.
He's drawn the carpark for this one but the American Pharoah gelding his trailled superbly leading up to this and should relish the first up trip over the 1,300m. A real knockout shot.
Best roughie: Griffiths' other runner AMICUS CURIAE ($17) absolutely loves this track, with two wins and a runner-up finish here.
This will obviously be much tougher than those previous attempts but after a solid second placing in his recent first up run there's a lot to like about him at this price.