Fresh off a Morphettville double last weekend, Sairyn Fawke will be looking to atone for last year’s narrow loss in the Bordertown Cup when he combines with Victorian visitor Finn McCool in Sunday’s feature.
The in-form Fawke lifted two outsiders to victory on Saturday at Morphettville, bookending the card starting with an $81 winner and following it up with an $8 winner. His mount on Sunday is not opposed to winning at big odds, claiming October’s Avoca Cup at $31 where he defeated the handy Instrumentalist and the Jericho Cup winner High Mode.
Since that win he’s been a bit out of sorts but he has contested some decent races and last start met a solid field, headed by a quality winner in Chapal at Sandown. He’s dropping back in class a bit on Sunday and will be searching for his first win over 1850m but Fawke knows the track well and will be desperate to go one better after running second in last year’s Cup on Flow Meter.
Grant Young’s Exalted Craftsman will be making the big trip from Murray Bridge to Bordertown for Sunday’s Cup. He’s been running in some good quality races in town and has not finished worse than fourth in his last four runs. Interestingly, he’s never won a race under 2100m and on Sunday he’ll drop back 600m to the 2000m. Regardless of his record over the distance, he’s going to be one of the hot favourites for the race, especially with experienced jockey Shayne Cahill on board.
The local chances look to be led by the Sue Murphy trained Athos. The seven-year-old has a first, second and fourth placing to his name over the 2000m at Bordertown. The step up in grade means he only carries 56kg and he won’t know himself with that weight on Sunday. He’ll also be buoyed by the booking of Emily Finnegan who rides a lot at down at the South East and has a good record whenever riding in the region.
Coming back for another crack at the Bordertown Cup are the Darryl Dodson trained Duquessa and Grant Kluske’s Fantastic Magic. Duquessa ran last in last year’s feature but has been contesting a few solid races in town of late and will look to bounce back this year. Fantastic Magic gets the services of Dom Tourneur again and this year’s Strathalbyn Cup winning combination will be looking to improve on their fifth placing last year.
Claiborne King is the only last start winner in the field and while that was in BM60 grade, he will be carrying the minimum weight and jockey Jeff Maund sticks with him after that win. There will also be lots of support for the Bordertown trained Mr Steal. The James Dodgson trained gelding hasn’t won since claiming the Orange Cup back in April of 2016 but anything can happen on a horse’s home track on Cup Day!