2017 Ceduna Cup predictions

CUP WINNER: 2016 Ceduna Cup winner Testate along with Tara O'Donnell, Simon Drewitt, Mel Dohnt, Jett Drewitt and Callum Binder. Picture: Andrew Brooks
CUP WINNER: 2016 Ceduna Cup winner Testate along with Tara O'Donnell, Simon Drewitt, Mel Dohnt, Jett Drewitt and Callum Binder. Picture: Andrew Brooks

RACING

Ceduna Foreshore Hotel Ceduna Cup

IT is hard to go past the Angela Forster-trained A Chiller over 1600 metres, as the seven-year-old looks to back up her Thevenard Cup win. Perressini for Lisa Lefoe looks the main danger having recently come off a solid Alice Springs campaign. I would ignore his most recent run at Port Lincoln on a soft turf track which would be a shock after the red centre dirt. Graham Baccus’ Value As had an indifferent start to the season but the change of scenery may see him find some of last year’s good form.

Toyota Australia Feature Sprint Benchmark 72 Handicap

This may turn into a two-horse shootout over 1200 metres. Scott Trenowden’s Cosmic Kheleyf has form, but Rob Wilkins’ Sound of Victory is a track specialist, breaking the record in this race last year. Form is important, so I’m leaning toward Cosmic Khelyf with two wins over four runs at Port Lincoln. Sweet Never for Craig Cox always puts in a solid run on her home track and goes well over this distance.

Flinders Ports Benchmark 60 Handicap

Hezafraar has been a warrior for Des Courtney and his gutsy win over 1000 metres at Christmas makes him the favourite. Morado for Talia Harrison looms as a major threat however, running third to Hezafraar last time out at Ceduna. Trevor Trenowden’s Chandlery put in a good run over this distance in the last start at Port Lincoln.

WCT Rural Benchmark 54 Handicap

Tony Haddy’s Mind Storms will be hard to beat after cleaning them up comfortably over 1600 metres in December and working nicely over shorter distances since. Craig Cox’s Exalted Features is going over distance after working well recently in Port Lincoln. Eight of Casino Exit’s 10 wins have come at Alice Springs and after second in the Thevenard Cup, he is a chance.

Thevenard IGA Benchmark 54 Handicap

Jackie Stoetzer’s Rock Out has raced consistently without worrying the judge too much. However, the mare has been a metropolitan winner in the past and sometimes racing somewhere different like this helps. Craig Cox’s The Headmistress has been pushed over distance the last two runs. The Rob Wilkins-trained Cardinal Mission should battle for the lead but it will depend on how he settles over 1300 metres.

Ceduna Chemplus/Ceduna Home Timber and Hardware Maiden Plate

Simon Drewitt’s Tickle Me Ernie was popular with the punters last time out and likely will be again after running third. He has not raced since, but has a decent chance over 1000 metres. The Tom Jolly-trained Captain Oasis is a three-year-old gelding who still seems to be trying to find his best distance and a change in track surface might help. Sharyn Ratsch’s Always Red has only seen soft tracks to now.