The Darren Weir trained Chocolate Holic has been installed as the $2.50 favourite for Wednesday's Listed Balaklava Cup. Chocolate Holic has a perfect record at the mile, last winning over the distance in the 2016 Northam Cup. Victorian hoop Brad Rawiller is set to take the ride on the gelding in what will be his only ride for the day.
Two-time listed winner Lord Aspen has been in great form this preparation, running second in both of his runs at Stakes level. He won his first ever race start at Balaklava and will step out to the mile for the first since the 2015 Murray Bridge Cup.
The in-form Balf's Choice will have the services of gun Western Australian jockey William Pike. Pike rode the most winners of any jockey in Australia last season, notching up 197.5 wins at 23.9% and he has started this season off in similar style with 16 winners so far. Balf's Choice has a good record over the mile with three wins and three placings from eight starts.
Tony McEvoy will have two runners in Wednesday's feature with Brown Ben ($7) and Kourkam ($51) both accepting today and both previous winners over the mile. Brown Ben was impressive winning at Morphettville a month ago and has since been kept fresh for the Cup while Kourkam was last seen in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes in May where he ran ninth. He has won three times fresh and will be hoping to make that four on Wednesday.
Victory Downs is rated a $8.50 chance with UBET after his narrow, last start victory where he defeated last year's winner Little Akie and Balf's Choice. He has been running in some quality races over winter including winning in Swan Hill Cup in June.
Dom Tourneur will partner $12 chance Jim's Journey who has never missed a place at the mile with three wins and two placings from five starts. He also has a great first-up record with three wins from six starts.
Previous Winners of the Listed Balaklava Cup
|Year||Winner||Starting Price||Last Run|
|2016||Little Akie||$11.10||3rd BM90 1550m Morphettville Parks|
|2015||By The Grace||$6.90||2nd BM90 1700m Flemington|
|2014||Longshoreman||$7.50||3rd BM90 1600m Morphettville|
|2013||Gris Caro||$6.10||7th Group 3 Prix Andre Baboin France|
|2012||Bagman||$3.90||3rd Listed Penny Edition Stakes Morphettville Parks|
|2011||Magical Pearl||$7.50||3rd Listed Penny Edition Stakes Morphettville Parks|
Five of the last six winners of the Balaklava Cup have run placings in their last start with French import Gris Caro being the only winner in that time not to do so. His last run was a seventh placing in a Group 3 race in France and then won the Balaklava Cup first up after almost a year in-between runs.
Lord Aspen and Chocolate Holic are the two in the field that have placed in similar quality races as previous winners while Victory Downs, Little Akie, Brown Ben and Copper Coast Raider are also last start winners or placegetters.
UBET Market for the Listed Balaklava Cup
$2.50 - Chocolate Holic
$5.50 - Lord Aspen
$6.50 - Balf's Choice
$7.50 - Brown Ben
$8.50 - Victory Downs
$12 - Jim's Journey
$14+ - All Others