2023 Sydney Cup race preview & best bets | Saturday, April 8

Sydney Cup preview

What 2023 Sydney Cup
Where Royal Randwick Racecourse – Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031
When Saturday, April 8, 2023
Prizemoney $2,000,000
Distance 3200m
Status Group 1
Conditions Handicap
2022 winner Knights Order (3) | T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott | J: Rachel King (51.5kg)

The 2023 Group 1 Sydney Cup is one of the featured races at Randwick this Saturday. Raced under handicap conditions over 3200m, we see Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip headline the massive 20-horse field on display seeking Group 1 glory – including last year’s winner, Knights Order. The Group 1 Tancred Stakes and last weekend’s Group 2 Chairmans Quality Handicap look the main form-lines converging on this race, with Arapaho and Surefire taking their place alongside some of the beaten brigade looking to turn the tables.


European raider, Cleveland ($3.80), heads the market for the Sydney Cup holding clear favouritism with online bookmakers after an eye-catching performance in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes. King Frankel ($8) is the only other galloper in single digits coming out of the same race, while the winner, Arapaho, has been set at $15. The stablemate of Cleveland; Baron Samedi ($11), has seen some early support for the Joseph O’Brien yard, while Surefire ($15) and High Emocean ($11) are sure to have some admirers on the one-week turnaround. The race doesn’t end there with last year’s winner, Knights Order ($19) and Gin Martini ($13) rounding out the market hopefuls.


Knights Order (12) looks the clear leader in this year’s Sydney Cup, taking up the exact same role as he did last year to win. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained stablemate, Sir Lucan (15) should put the pressure on early as well looking to cross, while King Frankel (11) won’t be far off the pair, taking a similar position to the Tancred Stakes. Arapaho (8) is drawn to get a nice run throughout the journey around mid-field, as will the likes of Stockman (5), Surefire (6), Timour (3) and Explosive Jack (4). Plenty of the main chances have drawn wide will likely be tracking back, Cleveland (17), Gold Trip (16), Baron Samedi (20 and High Emocean (19) all find a tricky speed map to overcome.

Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the 2023 Sydney Cup.


Cleveland was impressive on Australian debut and goes on top in the 2023 edition of the Sydney Cup. His run in the Tancred Stakes screamed out this son of Camelot wanted a step-up in trip and his best European form indicates the same thing. His peak runs have come when overcoming the pain barrier of 3000m and all of which have seen him carry huge weights. Cleveland isn’t going to know himself with 51kg on his back and he was the horse to follow from the Tancred Stakes form, so we’re happy to stick with him. He’ll be forced to back from barrier 17; however, if Kerrin McEvoy can weave a passage or make a mid-race move, Cleveland could outstay his opposition.

Baron Samedi is the stablemate of our on top pick and despite drawing the carpark, looks the wrong price to us. His European form might even read better than Cleveland, running into the world’s best stayer, Kyprios, on April 23 last year at Navan in listed grade. Kyprios went on to produce wins all over the continent, including the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup and Group 1 Goodwood Cup, beating Stradivarius along the way. Baron Samedi went for a spell after that effort and returned at Curragh on October 23 to finish second behind Emily Dickinson at Group 3 level. We haven’t seen this gelding out of Harbour Watch since and the fact Joseph O’Brien has placed him here shows intent for us. He’s drawn barrier 20 and we think might be ridden more aggressively than Cleveland to go find a forward position. There’s a risk Tom Marquand could get caught wide throughout the journey, but it could be off set with elite wet track form, with six of his seven career wins coming on rain effected ground. If Baron Samedi finds any luck, he might prove the class of the field outside of Gold Trip.

High Emocean has been prepared for this race since running into third in the 2022 Melbourne Cup and the Maher & Eustace team have her placed beautifully. She comes out of the race behind Surefire in the Group 2 Chairmans Quality Handicap and was the clear forgive in the race getting way too far out of her ground over the 2600m. The step up in trip should do her wonders chasing them home late and gets a similar set up to her Melbourne Cup effort. All that to go with a weight swing on her key rivals, High Emocean must be considered a major player here.

59.5kg may be the undoing for Gold Trip but you’ve got to respecting him despite giving his rivals a head start in that regard. He earns the weight on his Melbourne Cup success alone, but it looks a tough task to overcome with some quality low-weighted chances engaged in this event. The booking of James McDonald caught the eye as well, but it’ll take a cracking ride to see him carry the extra 2kgs from his win on the first Tuesday of November.



$100 betting strategy
$70 win #11 Cleveland @ $3.80 at Bet365
$30 win #3 Baron Samedi @ $11 at Ladbrokes

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