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Country Cup king aims to go out a winner in Clare

Three time Murray Bridge Cup winner Excites Zelady will run his final race in Sunday’s Clare Cup with the Chris Bieg trained gelding hoping to add one more Country Cup to his resume.

Excites Zelady will be ridden by Jake Toeroek who claimed the 2015 Murray Bridge Cup aboard the gelding and while he hasn’t tasted victory since his 2017 Murray Bridge Cup win, his connections will be super proud of their $19k purchase who has since gone on to win over $558k in prizemoney.

Across his career, he’s collected a Donald Cup, a Group 3 Breeders Stakes and three Listed Murray Bridge Cup victories over his 68 starts and regardless of the result in Sunday’s Clare Cup, he’ll go down as one of SA’s great country cup horses.

While Excites Zelady has never won over further than a mile, his last couple runs have been solid and he definitely has the class to take out the 1800m Clare Cup but will face some stiff competition from his rivals who are in good form.

Topweight Sizzling Bullet has been in decent form since coming across from Sydney to join the Mark Minervini stable. He’s slowly been stepping up in distance and he is a winner over 1800m in NSW. His Gawler Cup second placing two starts back was a real eye catching run against a very handy field and with experienced senior hoop Jason Holder in the saddle, he looks tough to beat.

Ryan Balfour’s Aagas has notched up four third placings in a row and has to be close to a win after storming home on the Morphettville Parks track last start. While the majority of his victories have come over a bit further trip, he gets the services of Victorian Cory Parish who was on board him last start and they’ll be better for the run in a strong race.

Also coming out of that race on the Parks track is Oh So Unfair from the Shayne Cahill yard. This year’s Jamestown Cup winner has been the runner-up in both his last two starts and is another who looks like a win is not far away. He beat home Aagas last Saturday and while he’s slightly disadvantaged in the weights off that run, he has a good record over 1800m with three wins from eight starts at the distance.

Clare has been a happy hunting ground for Ken Sweeney’s Svetlana’s Arrow. The mare has a win and a second placing from two starts at the track and both of her two career victories have come over 1800m. While she has struggled of late, perhaps a return to her favourite distance on a track she has good form at can see her run into the placings.

The Port Fairy based Chu Chu Charlie will be steaming into Clare off some incredibly consistent form. The Ron Daniel trained seven-year-old has featured in the placings in his last seven runs with two wins, four seconds and a third. He won’t know himself with 54kg after carrying over 60kgs in his last two starts and while it’s a step up in class, you can’t knock a horse in good form.

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