Damien Oliver is aiming to win his second Perth Cup. Image courtesy of perthracing.com.au
On his fourth crack at the race in 2008, former West Australian Damien Oliver managed to claim his first Perth Cup when he steered Cats Fun to victory at Ascot. Now an honorary Victorian, Oliver currently sits atop the metropolitan premiership with 23 wins this season, but he has opted out of riding at Flemington to return home for a tilt at the New Year’s Day Cup race aboard improving eight-year-old Black Tycoon . He has never finished worse than fourth in the west’s premier staying event.
Since moving across to Justin Warwick’s stable, Black Tycoon has collected seven of his 10 career wins throughout 2013. It will be the gelding’s first start over 2400 metres, but he has been relatively impressive in two starts over the 2100 this campaign. He won the Listed Tattersall’s Cup with top Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte getting him home, before finishing strongly in the Group 2 weight-for-age C.B. Cox Stakes last Saturday. Two eight-year-olds and a ten-year-old have won the race in the past two decades, with Respect the last veteran to get the chocolates back in 2007.
The Cox Stakes is the best lead-up for this event and five horses since 1989 have done the double, including Cats Fun. Last year’s winner, outsider Talent Show , finished fourth in the Cox Stakes before taking out the Cup, but the mare is even longer odds to go back-to-back, a feat not achieved since Magistrate collected the 1981 and ’82 renewals of the race.
Boom three-year-old Ihtsahymn backed up Group wins in the W.A. Guineas and Kingston Town Classic with victory in this year’s Cox Stakes, with Kincaple a long neck second and Rohan almost two lengths back in third. Rohan pushed Black Tycoon in to fourth in that race and meets Oliver’s horse a half-kilo better off this time around. The five-year-old has placed all five starts at Group level at Ascot this season but hasn’t won a race since June, 2012.
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