Libran firms as favourite for Sydney Cup

Chris Waller is noted for his success with European stayers and Libran has cemented his place on the pecking order with a Group Three victory at Rosehill.


The five-year-old has firmed from $6 to $3.50 to win the Sydney Cup following his win in Saturday’s Manion Cup (2400m).


Libran lived up to his $1.85 favouritism to beat Cafe Society ($17) by two lengths,.


It was the second Australian win for Libran who the trainer said had taken a little while to adapt to Australian racing since his arrival last year.


“He has been a work in progress,” Waller said.


“The plan is to take him to the Chairman’s Handicap in three weeks, one week before the Sydney Cup.


“That’s what we did with Grand Marshal last year before he won the Sydney Cup.


“I am a bit surprised Libran is the Sydney Cup favourite because we do have Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman going well.”


Libran was ridden by Brenton Avdulla who had to pass a pre-race medical examination after injuring his left thumb during a race on Thursday.


Avdulla gave punters a firm indication the incident was minor with a thumbs-up as he went across the line.


“He is on the limit in the Sydney Cup and he was pretty good today,” Avdulla said.


“We’ve just tried to get him to relax. He still fought me a little bit and I had to make a little use of him to hold my spot because I didn’t want to be three back the fence.


“I had to put him off his rhythm a fraction but I always felt in control.


“He floated late and is still learning what he is doing but he has Group One written all over him.” – AAP TURF
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