2021 Cranbourne Cup Day Tips & Preview

We turn our attention to Cranbourne on Saturday for the running of the $500,000 Cranbourne Cup over the mile.

Rain is expected right through to race day, meaning we should be racing on something close to a Soft 7.

We’ve cast our eye over the entire program and our best bets for Cranbourne Cup Day can be found below!

Rhino the Wrecker 2YO Plate (1000m) - 11:35am
No Bet

Not an easy race to start the day with nine of the 12 confirmed facing the starter for the first time.

Happy to sit this one out.

best bet
O’Brien Real Estate 3YO Cranbourne Classic (2025m) - 12:10pm
No. 1 Blushing Tycoon

Hard to knock the form of Blushing Tycoon, who’s coming off a narrow runner-up to Spirit of Gaylard in a Listed race on Cup Day.

The Busuttin and Young-trained colt struggled for running room down the straight, but showed plenty of muster once clear to hit the line strongly.

He’s rock-hard fit for four runs back and was equally as impressive two runs back at Caulfield under similar weight.

With some decent form on rain-affected going, I’m happy to have him on top.

Frankston Sand Soil & Mini Mix 3YO Handicap (1200m) - 12:45pm
No. 2 He’s Xceptional

He’s Xceptional won first-up over 1200m at The Valley and has been thereabouts ever since.

He over-raced a little last time out over the same track and trip in the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes, but still stuck on well for fifth despite getting his tongue over the bit.

The three-year-old won his maiden on a soft track at Cranbourne back in March and I think he’ll get a nice run in transit in behind the speed from barrier 3.

Frankston Mazda Shooting Star (1500m) - 1:20pm
No. 5 Lyrical Lad

Lyrical Lad is two-from-two over 1500m and has also done some of his best racing at Cranbourne in the past.

Phillip Stokes’ lightly-raced four-year-old resumed last month for a fourth to Brazen Song over shorter and wasn’t far off at Sale in his latest in a Benchmark 70.

He’s won third-up in the past, gets a big tick on soft tracks, and has drawn to get a lovely run in behind the speed.

each way
Rosemont Stud Fillies & Mares Pendant (1400m) - 2:00pm
No. 2 Belle Plaisir

This looks a nice race for Tony and Calvin McEvoy’s Kiwi import Belle Plaisir.

The Proisir mare has been strong to the line in her two starts in Australia, both against much tougher company.

She deserved to finish closer in last week’s Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes on Cup Day after copping some interference down the straight, but I still thought she showed plenty to finish off for fourth.

She’ll absolutely relish some sting out of the track, and with a bit of fitness on her side now, I think she’s the one to beat in a very good race.

Proton Developments Apache Cat Classic (1000m) - 2:40pm
No. 1 Blazejowski

Very wide-open race with a case to be made for most in the market.

I’m with Blazejowski on top, who hasn’t been seen at the races since running third-last in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm back in May.

His start prior at Caulfield over 1100m was full of merit though, while his record of three wins from six starts first-up warrants respect.

Carrying 60kg’s fresh is the query, but he did carry the same weight to a win cat Caulfield back in January where he won the Listed Barton Stakes by more than a length.

Wet track form also gets a big tick.

Listed Cranbourne Cup (1600m) - 3:20pm
No. 10 King Magnus

This is a wide-open edition of the Cup with a handful coming off Group 1 starts at Caulfield and Flemington last month.

King Magnus is one of those horses looking to improve on a very brave fifth in the Kennedy Cantala two weeks ago over the mile.

The six-year-old gave chase out wide and wasn’t beaten by much in the wall of horses hitting the line.

He’s drawn wide, so I expect he’ll be swooping in late again, but when you consider he’s found the money in six of his last eight starts, he more than measures up in a much easier race.

Reed Cranes & Transport Marathon Handicap (2500m) - 4:00pm
No. 3 Mankayan

This might be D-Day for Mankayan, who so far has returned a place in each of his five starts since journeying to Australia.

The Irish import led for most of the way in the Hotham before Great House took control at the 50m mark, but I think he might be ridden a little more patiently this time with Starcaster likely to roll forward.

He’s plenty fit and proven on soft going, so I’m happy to give him one more chance to reward punters’ patience.

Hertz Handicap (1300m) - 4:40pm
No. 5 Naval Envoy

Naval Envoy seems to be putting it together now with two placings from his last three starts.

He was unlucky not to score after leading for most of the way in the Greys race on Cup Day, while the form from his start prior at Ballarat reads well with second placegetter Flying Mascot going on to win a Group 3 race at The Valley.

He’ll likely roll forward and make his own luck on speed, and there’s a lot to like about his wet track form.