Friday's Murray Bridge Gold Cup looks to be a tightly contested affair with an in-form McEvoy runner and a two-time winner set to be two of the main players in the Listed feature.
Tony McEvoy will be looking to claim his third Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup on Friday with his in-form galloper Brown Ben. The five-year-old gelding took out the Listed Tokyo City Cup at Morphettville in his last start and the start prior he ran second behind Balf's Choice in the Listed Balaklava Cup. New stable jockey Jamie Kah will jump aboard Brown Ben for the first time and look to continue the success the combination has had this season where they are currently running at a 43.5% winning strike rate.
The Macdonald & Gluyas trained Mail It In should relish getting out to the mile where he has a sensational 10:4-3-2 record. After kicking off his campaign in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes which was taken out by Saturday's Group 1 Caulfield Stakes winner Gailo Chop, he is now third up where he has placed twice previously. Jockey Clare Lindop has partnered him for three of his career victories and will ride him on Friday from barrier nine.
Dual Murray Bridge Gold Cup winner Excites Zelady comes back for his fourth crack at the feature after claiming the 2014 and 2015 editions of the race. A specialist over the mile, Excites Zelady should appreciate only having to carry 54kg on Friday and will have the services of Justin Potter on board.
Victorian galloper Magic Consul is set to make the trip across the border for Friday's feature and while the eight-year-old veteran has been up and down in distance this preparation he has been running in some good quality races against the likes of Cool Chap and Aloft.
The youngest runner in the field, Richard Jolly's Federosa has been runner-up in her last three runs and will now step up to the mile where she has won at previously. Former Cup winner Jake Toeroek has ridden the mare in all of her starts bar one and will stick with the mare on Friday.
Locally trained It And A Bit is a track specialist with four wins from starts at the track, while 2016 Balaklava Cup winner Little Akie will be aiming to give his trainer Brian Mueller his second victory in the Murray Bridge Cup after winning it over 20 years ago in 1994 with Mr Kildane.
The last six winners of the Murray Bridge Gold Cup have come through a varied series of races in the past. Excites Zelady's two wins came off the back of Gawler Cup runs but that race is now run after the Murray Bridge Cup. It's worth noting, the Murray Bridge Gold Cup has not been a happy hunting ground for favourites with not one saluting over the past six years. The average winning price over that time has been $13.90.
Previous Murray Bridge Gold Cup Winners
|Year||Winner||Starting Price||Previous Run|
|2016||Sandhill Warrior||$15.40||3rd Morphettville Open HCP 1400m|
|2015||Excites Zelady||$16.70||6th Gawler Cup 1500m|
|2014||Excites Zelady||$8.40||4th Gawler Cup 1500m|
|2013||Pelicano||$7.20||7th Randwick Group 2 Hill Stakes 2000m|
|2012||Eclair Surprise||$5.50||2nd Morphettville BM68 1400m|
|2011||War Ends||$30.40||11th Morphettville Listed Tokyo City Cup 1800m|