By Garry Howe
Sunday’s listed TAB Cranbourne Cup field is the best to have graced the racetrack in its 150-year history, says Cranbourne Turf Club chief executive Neil Bainbridge.
The race has a real international flavour this year, with promising stayer Folkswood likely to step out for his first start on Australian soil for English trainer Charlie Appleby.
Folkwood, who has been placed several tines at Group level in the UK, is part of the world’s largest racing operation, Godolphin.
“This has to be the best field ever assembled for a Cranbourne Cup,” Bainbridge enthused.
Topweight is the well performed Sydney galloper Ecuador, from the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott operation.
Ecuador is coming off a last start second to highly-rated Kiwi galloper Jon Snow in the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley on 29 September.
The Lloyd Williams operation has two runners, Assign and Our Century.
Assign was unplaced in in last year’s Melbourne Cup behind stablemate Almandin and could be headed down that path again.
Flying the local flag in the cup are the Mick Kent-trained Oncidium Ruler and Ken Keys’ Spanish Reef.
The TAB Cranbourne Cup – worth $300,000 in prizemoney – jumps at 3.35pm on Sunday.
The Cup field is: 1 Ecuador, 2 Folkswood, 3 Assign, 4 Guardini, 5 Lizzie L’amour, 6 Berisha, 7 Big Memory, 8 Cool Chap, 9 Nozomi, 10 Our Century, 11 Count da Vinci, 12 Grey Lion, 13 Magnapal, 14 Moonovermanhattan, 15 Red Alto, 16 Oncidium Ruler, 17 Spanish Reef.
The action at Cranbourne kicks off tonight, Friday 13 October, where local trainer Greg Eurell will saddle up his first starter in the Pinker Pinker Plate, a race named in honour of his 2011 Cox Plate winner.
Eurell will saddle up the highly fancied Falika.
The other main race on Sunday is the Apache Cat Classic, also named after a Eurell-trained champion of the turf.