Friday’s Mackay Cup is one of the feature events on a nine-race card at the North Queensland track this Friday. The speed will be only moderate in the 2000m race, with second emergency North Afrika looking like the leader from the inside draw if he gets a start. John Manzelmann’s Shiranda will jump the favourite at around the $3.30 mark and will have to overcome barrier 15, but he should race handily nonetheless.
Free racing tips for 2020 Mackay Cup
Shiranda @ $3.30 Sportsbet
We thought Shiranda was the run of the race in the Rockhampton Cup a fortnight ago when he race wide without cover for the early stages, was out on his feet in the straight and then kicked strongly to finish third only half a length behind all-the-way winner Absolut Artie and the fast-finishing Barachiel. The son of Bernadini backed up on the Tuesday at this track over 1800m, overcame the outside alley again and simply donkey licked them to race away for a 4.5-length victory. Elly Smith has retained the ride and will push forward from the gate and take a power of beating. Shiranda is a 2000m specialist, with three wins and three minor placings from eight starts, and we expect him to be too good and give Smith her first feature win. Chips in!
Kuttamurra Al @ $9.50 Sportsbet
Lindsay Hatch and Justin Stanley combine with seven-year-old gelding Kuttamurra Al, who brings some solid metropolitan form to Mackay. He does his best racing when he gets out over a trip, which he hasn’t quite got to in four runs this time in. Despite running 10th, we thought his run behind The Kingdom over 1840m at Eagle Farm was respectable and should measure up in a race of this nature. He is drawn the best out of any of the runners towards the top of the market, and Stanley is certainly a positive booking. Expect him to settle behind the speed and be charging home late.
Le Dude @ $11 Sportsbet
Le Dude was smashed in the betting last start when he ran fourth behind Don’t Doubt Lara and Taraki at this course over a mile, but we are going to forgive and forget that effort and look at his previous form lines. The start beforehand, he was a 0.8-length winner over Shiranda at 1800m where he was just too strong in the concluding stages. He had a freshen up, stepped back in trip to the mile and now rises to the 2000m for the first time in his career. He is a two-time winner at Mackay from only five starts and is drawn reasonably well in 13 as he tends to race handy. Wanderson D’Avila will look to potentially lead on the Iffraaj gelding and could take some running down, especially if North Afrika doesn’t get into the final field. Not a bad each-way play at $11.
Shiranda – $100 win Sportsbet