On Saturday Perth’s Belmont racecourse is set to host a cracker day of racing headlined by the $125,000 Group 3 D’Orsongna Roma Cup (1200m).
16 of the 17 nominations have been paid up for Saturday’s sprint showdown, with a number of the early favourites improving their stocks with ideal barrier draws.
Last year’s Roma Cup winner Grand Nirvana is back to defend his title, having just his third race since being gelded. Grand Nirvana is aiming for the H G Bolton – Roma Cup double for the second successive year, after the Fred Kersley-trained runner claimed a smart victory in the H G Bolton Sprint (1200m) last start.
He had a similar brilliant Belmont Park campaign last year before failing to impress in all of his Ascot summer race starts, leading Kersley to geld him in hopes of settling Grand Nirvana down and stop him from over-racing.
The four-year-old son of Scenic has drawn barrier three for Saturday, starting two on the outside of his biggest rival and half-brother Idyllic Prince.
Due to jump from the prized barrier one, the Jim Taylor-trained Idyllic Prince ran a gallant second to Grand Nirvana in the H G Bolton, and will be looking to do one better in the Roma Cup. The seven-year-old veteran with a proven weight-for-age record is also sired from the great Irish galloper Scenic, and has been in great form since late last year when he ran an eye catching second to Ortensia in the Group 2 Winterbotton Stakes (1200m).
On Saturday Idyllic Prince will be racing second-up, after a good Belmont barrier trial on May 5 and his first 2010 start in the H G Bolton.
Another top fancy is Grand Nirvana’s stablemate, Roman Time. Fred Kersley’s other runner has drawn at the opposite end of the field in barrier 11, but is still a solid hope after his good lead-up running third in the H G Bolton.
Just one three-year-old will start in Saturday’s Roma Cup, Frank Maynard’s Kid Choisir. The consistent Choisir colt is coming off a last win, his sixth from 10 career starts, and is another winner from the barrier draw having secured gate four.
Kid Choisir is one of two Roma Cup chances for Henley Brook-based trainer Frank Maynard, who will also have his six-year-old O’Reilly gelding Escadaire lining up in the far outside barrier 16.
Another classy contender in the 2010 Roma Cup is the returning Shane Edwards-trained Phenomenons, having his first start since a nasty hoof injury took the Giant’s Causeway four-year-old off the spring racing scene.
Before injuring his hoof, Phenomenons ran a powerful third to Markus Maximus in last year’s Group 1 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot, and is due to be ridden by top hoop Brad Parnham.
The 2010 D’Orsogna Roma Cup is scheduled as race six on Belmont’s great eight event card on Saturday. Stay tuned for a detailed betting preview with the Roma Cup odds later in the week, and in the meantime checkout Ladbrokes.com.au for other top racing odds including those for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
2010 Roma Cup Final Field & Barriers
|Albie Beckett||Patrick Carbery||15||58.5|
|Jim P Taylor||Jason Brown||1||58.5|
|Fred Kersley||Peter Knuckey||11||58.5|
|Fred Kersley||Daniel Staeck||3||58.5|
|Daniel Morton||Chloe Chatfield||2||58.5|
|Frank Maynard||Shaun Mc Gruddy||16||58.5|
|Michael Lane||Lucas Camilleri||6||58.5|
|Jim P Taylor||John Claite||9||58.5|
|Brent Larsson||Link Robertson||8||58.5|
|Neville Parnham||Takahide Ikenushi||14||58.5|
|Ronald Reid||Ben Kennedy||7||58.5|
|Shane A Edwards||Brad Parnham||12||58.5|
|Dean White||Shaun O’Donnell||10||58.5|
|Frank Maynard||Paul Harvey||4||57|
BLACK IN TIME
|Jim P Taylor||Jessica Hill||5||56.5|
|Graeme Ballantyne||William Pike||13||56.5|