The Ballarat Cup has been a late spring target for Antonio Giuseppe who will be out to give Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller a second win in the race in three years.
Waller won the $300,000 Listed Ballarat Cup two years ago when Junoob carried top weight of 60kg.
Antonio Giuseppe is the 58kg topweight on Saturday, chasing his first win of the spring at his sixth start of the campaign.
“Top weight obviously makes it hard but he’s carrying the big weight for a reason because he’s simply the highest-rated in the race which should mean he’s the best in the race,” Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said in the stable’s weekly update.
“He’s been set for this race and we’ve been waiting for it. We’ve got him going as good as we physically can and hopefully we can take out the Cup.”
Antonio Giuseppe’s second in the Group Three Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in Sydney in mid-September has been his best result this spring.
Antonio Giuseppe had a jump-out at Flemington last Friday in preparation for Saturday.
He is at $5 behind import Mr Garcia ($3.10) who will be having his first start for Darren Weir after winning during the Melbourne Cup carnival for German trainer Andreas Wohler.
Trainer Tony McEvoy is hoping for some rain for veteran stayer Big Memory to ensure there is enough give in the surface to suit the eight-year-old.
McEvoy said he had struggled to get Big Memory to peak fitness this time in but had been happy with how he had been going and thought he was coming into form when he ran fourth in the Moe Cup two starts ago.
He was then disappointed when the gelding finished sixth in the Bendigo Cup last start.
“His last run really disappointed me but he has been feeling the firm tracks,” McEvoy said.
“I’m watching the forecast and I’m hoping we can get some rain. But if the track’s too firm that will diminish his chances.”