Kellnni to back up in Sydney Cup

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller has no qualms in backing up last weekend’s winner Kelinni in this Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick.


Kelinni shot to Sydney Cup favouritism after winning the Japan Racing Association Plate at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Kelinni was quickly elevated to a clear cut Sydney Cup favourite after a dominant victory with 60kg in the Listed $100,000 Brookfield Multiplex Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Waller is comfortable in running Kelinni again with a seven day back up saying that he needed the hit out so he wouldn’t have three weeks into between runs going into a 3200m race.

And Waller was quick to point out that Kelinni backed up after three days after winning the Group 3 $250,000 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on November 3 to finish a gallant fourth to Green Moon in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.

“I always say when a horse wins, 99 per cent of the time they come out the other end pretty well,” Waller said.

“You have to have everything in order and be in the best of health to win races, and he’s done that. When he backed up in the Melbourne Cup last year, he did it with only three days, which was far from the right thing to do, but he handled it OK.

“I think the right thing for the Sydney Cup was to run him on the weekend, otherwise it would have been three weeks between runs and he went into the Cup unfit. I’ve got him in the best shape I can and if he’s good enough, he’ll win on Saturday.”

The tough stayer was one of three winners Waller saddled up on Saturday with the leading trainer also claiming the two Group 1s that were on offer with Royal Descent taking out the $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) by ten lengths and Sacred Falls sneaking up along the fence to claim the $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m).

Kellini, who finished fourth to Fiveandahalfstar two starts back in the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 6, is going into the Sydney Cup at his sixth run this campaign and is ready to run out a strong 3200m.

Nash Rawiller, who rode Kelinni to victory on Saturday, will have to hand over the ride to rival Jim Cassidy next week as he is required to ride the Gai Waterhouse trained Julienas who has to turn his form around after finishing last of fifteen in the Group 2 $175,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick two week’s ago.

Julienas had to trial to Racing New South Wales stewards satisfaction after the dismal performance but came through with flying colours with a win in a 1200m Randwick trial last Friday.

By winning the penalty free Japan Racing Association Plate, Kelinni is exempt from any ballot and will carry the comfortable weight of 54.5kg and heads the Sydney Cup betting at $3.70.

Second favourite Maluckyday ($6.50) has pleased trainer John Hawkes since his sixth in the BMW and expects the six year old to figure in the finish.

“I thought he ran really good. He just blew the start, which didn’t help,” Hawkes said.

“It was weight-for-age now he’s back to a handicap and he’ll be better over the two miles.

“He’s fine, he’ll be in the mix there somewhere. He’s running well without winning, he might get his chance on Saturday.”

Kiwi stayer Blood Brotha is next in the market at $9 on the strength of his last start second to Tremec in the Group 2 $175,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on April 13 and his win over 2400m in the Group 2 NZ$200,000 Pacific Jewellers Wellington Cup at Trentham on January 26.

Julienas is on the next line of betting at $10 just ahead of the John Thompson trained Tremec at $11.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.