Quality stayer primed for Sydney Cup assault

Sir Charles Road (inside) winning last year’s G2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m). Photo credit: Darryl Sherer

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Sir Charles Road will be looking to continue his love affair with Sydney on Saturday when he lines up in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick.

The Matamata galloper has a great association with Randwick, having won the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) there last year before running third in the Sydney Cup behind Who Shot Thebarman.

The five-year-old gelding returned this year to finish fourth behind Gallic Chieftain in the Chairman’s Quality and his connections are happy with him heading into Saturday’s two-mile feature.

“It was a pretty good effort (in the Chairman’s Quality),” O’Sullivan said. “He ran well and kept finding the line well, we were very pleased with him.

“He hasn’t missed an oat since. The horse looks really well, he’s bright, happy and is pretty well within himself. He certainly looks good ahead of Saturday.”

While pleased with his charge heading into the race, O’Sullivan believes Sir Charles Road will have to be at his best to repeat last year’s result after drawing barrier 20.

“He will need a lot of luck from there but it’s just the way it is. He’s fit and very healthy and he’s a happy horse,” O’Sullivan said.

“I think the field is stronger this year, but he’s going to beat more home than beat him home.”

Sir Charles Road has been marked as a $21 chance in the two mile feature by online bookmaker Sportsbet, while they have fellow Kiwi-trained horses Glory Days, Rondinella and Zacada set at $18, $17 and $91 respectively.

Meanwhile, Wexford Stables will be in search of more black-type on home soil for Group Three-winning mare Spring Heat when she competes in the Listed NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) at Hastings on Saturday.

The Hermitage Thoroughbreds-owned daughter of More Than Ready finished midfield last start in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Plate (1200m) and her connections are hoping for an improved performance from their mare.

“She’s had a little bit of a let-up after her last run and there is no doubt that she wants a bit of give in the ground,” O’Sullivan said. “We’ll let her go and see what happens.”

O’Sullivan has continued his strong association with Hermitage Thoroughbreds, recently purchasing two yearling colts with an eye towards Hong Kong.

“We are very pleased, they are two nice horses that are both going to take time,” he said.

“It’s fantastic (to get the support from Hermitage), it’s a great opportunity. If their horses are any good they do go to Hong Kong. They are hoping to buy a horse that can one day be good enough to compete up there at a good level.”