Trainer Ciaron Maher is tipped to claim the coveted 2024 Sydney Cup trophy this Saturday with his in-form stayer Circle of Fire.

Circle Of Fire

Circle Of Fire on the quick back-up heads 2024 Sydney Cup betting this weekend at Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

The import is poised for a quick back-up into the prestigious two-mile race.

The Group 1 $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) is one of four elite features on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick.

This year’s edition boasts a competitive field of seventeen horses, with Circle of Fire leading the charge at $4.80 through Ladbrokes.

While facing a wide barrier draw (number fifteen), Circle of Fire has the stamina and tactical nous to overcome it.

He comes into the race on a seven-day turnaround after a dominant victory in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) on a wet track last weekend.

This marked his first Australian victory, and he now sets his sights on achieving the Chairman’s Quality – Sydney Cup double, a feat last accomplished by The Offer in 2014.

Circle of Fire carries a slightly lighter weight (51.5kg) compared to last week’s race.

This weight adjustment, coupled with his current fitness, makes him a favourite for many punters.

Maher boasts another contender in the race: Ashrun, currently the second elect at $5.50.

Drawn in barrier twelve with Craig Williams in the saddle, Ashrun has been performing well throughout the autumn.

Following a string of impressive runs, he captured the Pakenham Cup two back with a hefty 58kg before a strong showing in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill, finishing third to Kalapour.

With a slight distance increase and a reduced weight (55.5kg), Ashrun has the potential to push for victory.

The reigning Tancred Stakes winner, Kalapour, also returns for the Sydney Cup, carrying between 54kg and 52.5kg with apprentice jockey Dylan Gibbons aboard.

This seven-year-old boasts a history of success at Randwick and has already secured a Group 1 victory this year at an unexpected price.

At $8.50, he offers intriguing value for a potential Tancred Stakes – Sydney Cup double.

John O’Shea‘s Athabascan, who finished a close fourth in the Tancred Stakes, is another contender to watch at $9.50.

Other notable entries include Chris Waller‘s Manzoice ($18), Phillip Stokes‘ evergreen ten-year-old Amade ($14), and the in-form Serpentine ($11) from the Waterhouse/Bott stable.

The 2024 Sydney Cup is set to run as Race 7 at Randwick on Saturday (3:15 PM AEST).

2024 Sydney Cup Field

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 014101×356 MILITARY MISSION (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Adam Hyeronimus 17 56.5kg 108
2 528451×001 MAHRAJAAN (USA) Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray Tom Marquand 16 56kg 2.0kg 107
3 0x7624x413 ASHRUN (FR) Ciaron Maher Craig Williams 12 55.5kg 1.5kg 107
4 x11x2x7706 LOFT (GER) Ben, Will & JD Hayes Blake Shinn 7 55.5kg 101
5 0194×07365 STOCKMAN (NZ) Joseph Pride Reece Jones 8 55kg 101
6 000651×868 SELINO (GB) Chris Waller Tommy Berry 9 54.5kg 102
7 L73310x021 KALAPOUR (IRE) Kris Lees Dylan Gibbons (a) 6 54kg 52.5kg 110
8 9x24305x11 SERPENTINE (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 4 53.5kg 1.5kg 107
9 0x95154234 AMADE (IRE) Phillip Stokes Michael Dee 5 53kg 101
10 911872×644 ATHABASCAN (FR) John O’Shea Tyler Schiller 11 52kg 103
11 0x800x8852 MANZOICE Chris Waller Zac Lloyd (a) 1 51.5kg 50kg 98
12 1x2343x441 CIRCLE OF FIRE (GB) Ciaron Maher Andrea Atzeni 15 51.5kg 96
13 x242111626 GLENTANEOUS (IRE) Anthony & Sam Freedman Ms Jamie Kah 2 51.5kg 96
14 1x02609x74 MAJOR BEEL (NZ) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Louis Beuzelin 3 51.5kg 96
15 3236145×23 MOSTLY CLOUDY (IRE) Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Ms Rachel King 14 51.5kg 94
16 0004235287 TORRENS Marc Chevalier Ms Jenny Duggan 13 51.5kg 94
17 0x7059x004 SO DAZZLING (NZ) John Sargent Jay Ford 10 51.5kg 87

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the 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.