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William Haggas’ five-year-old Young Rascal dominates the betting for the $1 million Group I Sydney Cup 3200m, so can anyone beat him?

The lads at Australian Bloodstock and trainer Kris Lees admit it’s going to be a tough task but they are well prepared for the challenge ahead.

“It was hard not to be impressed with Young Rascal’s win at Rosehill,” Jamie Lovett from Australian Bloodstock said.

“We thought our horse Mugatoo might have him done that day (in the Manion Cup) but the Rascal found again and was too tough.

“That’s our biggest worry heading into the Sydney Cup, will he be too tough again?”

It seems all agree with Lovett that Young Rascal is going to be a hard nut to crack as he sits around the $2.40 mark for Sydney’s feature staying event.

Australian Bloodstock with their team of owners and trainer Kris Lees are crossing their fingers that one of their three – Mustajeer, Raheen House and Saunter Boy – can get the job done on Saturday afternoon.

“Mustajeer is our number one seed yet I suppose there is still the query about him running two miles strongly,” Lovett said.

“He is certainly weighted to his best but he is a quality horse there is no doubt about that. If you go back to when he won the Ebor he carried 60kg and was strong through the line at 2800m.

“The query about two miles comes about after he failed in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

“He went into the race off a real good run in the Caulfield Cup so there was plenty expected of him. He didn’t have a lot of luck and he dropped out.

“We should know for sure after Saturday whether he runs two miles. He has drawn perfectly and with Nash (Rawiller) on board, who really suits him, he will get his chance.

The second seed of the Australian Bloodstock team is last Saturday’s Chairman’s Quality winner Raheen House who for the first time in his career will have a seven day back up.

“The quick back isn’t something that is done in Europe but Kris (Lees) has said he is bouncing around and it looks nothing but positive as far as we can see,” Lovett said.

“Anything under a mile and half in Australia was always going to be a no go for him so it was great to see him run well once he got up in trip.

“Hugh Bowman rode him last week and was full of praise and gave the owners a real positive outlook towards the Cup and the 3200m. And the wetter the better.”

The third stringer Saunter Boy has been disappointing in Australia compared to his European form so the team are just hoping he can find some of the old form and surprise everyone.

“He’s got 51kg on his back so that is sure to help and on his European form he shouldn’t have any troubles at the two miles,” Lovett said.

“He probably lacks the class of some of the others but I’m sure a cheeky run is in there somewhere. Hopefully it’s this weekend.”

Kris Lees will saddle up four others runners for Australian Bloodstock at Randwick. The team are realists and know the quartet face tough tasks but you have to be in it to win it.

Animate and Enchanted Heart will line up in the $400,000 Provincial Championship Final (1400m) with Game Of Thorns to take her spot in the Group I Australian Oaks (2400m).

The team’s final runner will be Delectation Girl in the Group I Coolmore Legacy 1600m.

“Animate is a terrific each way chance especially after drawing a perfect gate,” Lovett said.

“He has done well since winning the heat and is likely to have a few lengths start on Asharani who I think is the one we all have to beat. Enchanted Heart will need a lot of luck from the wide gate.

“Realistically from out there she will give away a big start but Kris tells us she is looking in good order.

“Game Of Thorns has been set for this race right from the start of the prep. We have no worries about her running the trip and although her run in the Vinery wasn’t anything to write home about it was a pass mark and she will line up in good order on Saturday.

“Our girl Delectation Girl faces a big task in the Coolmore Legacy. Her best runs are when she can relax back off a solid tempo then be asked to run home.

“She can reel off a slick sectional if all things pan out perfectly. I am sure she will run well but she looks to have a massive task ahead.”


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