Jono Ceglar has a lot more time on his hands these days after retiring from the AFL this year after 110-matches at the elite level. Ceglar has analysed the cup field and provided his tips for the $100,000 feature as well as his two best bets and a quaddie.
With the early scratching of Snake Gully Cup winner Suparazi on Thursday, I think we can narrow the cup down to four main hopes. The top-weight Another One, the Annabel Neasham-trained Watadeel, Pakenham visitor Rhinoceros and the locally trained Bianco Vilano from the Ron Stubbs stable look the testing material. I would be shocked to see the winner come from outside that quartet.
I've got Another One on top and I think anybody who watched the cup last year would agree the Gary Colvin-trained runner wins if it didn't draw barrier 12 and get trapped four wide for most of the trip. Another One recently run third in the Goulburn Cup first-up from a spell and has previously won second-up on two occasions from six attempts. At around the $6 mark, I feel Another One is terrific value compared to the favourite Watadeel who is hard to knock after winning at Flemington at his most recent start.
Trainer Annabel Neasham is set to make the trek from Pakenham to target her first Wodonga Gold Cup and looks to be bringing the right type of horse to win the $100,000 feature. My biggest knock on the last-start Flemington winner is the gate and Watadeel has the widest barrier in the 11-horse field. There looks to be a fair bit of speed in the race with Watadeel and Rhinoceros both go forward horses and if the pair decide to take each other on, it could set the race up for Another One to be steaming home over the top of them late.
Rhinoceros is on the quick back-up after running fourth in a stronger race at Caulfield last weekend over the mile. The quick back-up is not a concern with co-trainers Emma-Lee and David Browne using the tactic previously with Rhinoceros with great success. Drawn barrier three, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jake Noonan pounce on the early lead and if he can get away with some cheap sectionals, I can see the 'Rhino' shooting for an all-the-way win and leading his rivals a merry dance.
Bianco Vilano is a quality galloper from the Ron Stubbs stable who has been recently racing against the cream of NSW country trained gallopers in the Kosciuszko and the Barn Dance, both at Randwick. Bianco Vilano probably didn't perform to expectations in the Kosciuszko but I thought his sixth-placing in the Barn Dance was full of merit and a good form pointer for a race like the Wodonga Cup.
I think the local trainers can have a big day out and I would be surprised if both David O'Prey and Peter Maher went home empty handed and I think the pair can bookend the meeting.
RACE ONE - JORDY GIRL
Jordy Girl has run five second placings in her short seven start career and seems to keep finding one better. But after studying the form for the race, I'm really struggling to find something that is capable of beating her here. Back on her home track, jockey Logan McNeil should find a prominent position from barrier eight and prove too slick over the concluding stages of the sprint trip.
RACE EIGHT - NOLAN
Clearly the best bet on the card and if you are chasing your tail coming into the last, this is the galloper to back to blast the bookies. Trained on the track by Peter Maher, Nolan had his fair share of issues as a younger horse but is a galloper on the upward spiral. Had 12-months off the scene but has resumed with two consecutive wins and should be approaching peak fitness at his third run back. Nolan looks to have the most upside in the race compared to his rivals and if you can get $3 or more, don't be afraid to load up and head home with a pocket full of cash.
Going to go relatively skinny in the quaddie although I did find race seven to be the hardest on the eight-race card after studying the form. While I think Nolan is the best bet on the card, I have also included the stablemate Projeto in the last as a bit of added insurance. Don't be afraid to go one out Nolan and include a few more runners in race seven if you are that way inclined.
LEG 1: 9-10-12-15
LEG 2: 1-3-4-6
LEG 3: 1-2-4-8-9
LEG 4: 3-10