By Ray Hickson
Trainer Adrian Bott prefers to look at the positives for Scone Cup favourite Sedanzer instead of dwelling on a below par first-up performance.
The four-year-old was a beaten favourite in the 1300m Godolphin Crown at Hawkesbury at her first start since stretching to 2200m on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast and just wasn’t herself.
Bott said, heading into the Listed $200,000 Darley Scone Cup (1600m) on Friday, he can’t fault the mare and is banking on a step up in distance and her unblemished second-up record.
“I was slightly disappointed with the performance, I was hoping to see her race a bit sharper first-up,’’ Bott said.
“She did sit quite close off a hot tempo and she wasn’t on the best part of the track so they might be factors that led to her not showing the performance we expected.
What did you make of Sedanzer's first-up effort at Hawkesbury on April 28?
“We’re more than forgiving of her first-up run and she gets a number of factors in her favour that should lead her to turn it around.’’
Those factors include the three from three second-up record, barrier five and the form of jockey Tim Clark who racked up a Group 1 win last weekend.
TAB had Sedanzer as the clear $4.40 favourite for the Scone Cup on Thursday afternoon, in from her opening quote of $5.50.
Bott said Sedanzer wasn’t known for being a first-up performer prior to winning in restricted company at the start of her previous preparation.
“It’s hard to assess first-up last campaign because of the grade she started in,’’ he said.
“She progressed a lot last time so where she was resuming was a much harder task than asked of her last campaign.
“We were really happy with the way she came through the race and with her work since.’’
Defending Scone Cup hero Duca Valentinois, the $5.50 second favourite, has to lump an extra 6kg on the 53kg he carried to victory in 2017.
The Godolphin galloper again comes through the Hawkesbury Cup and trainer James Cummings described Friday’s race as his “grand final’’.
“He ran home strongly from back in the field last time after a gap between runs and appears to have improved ahead of this,’’ Cummings said.
“Since winning this race 12 months ago he’s added another Listed win to his CV and if he can handle the weight penalty he can be very competitive.”
Punters Intel data from Duca Valentinois’ Hawkesbury Cup run suggest he’s tracking well as he covered an extra 9.1m and still ran the second fastest last 200m of 11.41 and third fastest last 600m in 33.72.
Duca Valentinois' Scone Cup win last year was actually Godolphin's fourth since 2011 with Dysphonia (2011), Raspberries (2012) and Cameo (2014) all winning under the Darley banner.