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Darren Weir eyes first Adelaide Cup with Master of Arts

Sun, Mar 12, 9:35am by Senior Writer

Darren Weir’s dominance of Australian staying races is set to continue with Master of Arts backed into $4 favourite for Monday’s Adelaide Cup (3200m).

The traditional two-mile event, which is now run at Group 2 level, has attracted a massive field with 20 horses plus three emergencies accepting.

Weir has never won the Adelaide Cup, but has of course won the Melbourne Cup, with Prince of Penzance in 2015, while he has won the other major South Australian features the Goodwood, the South Australian Derby, the Australasian Oaks and the Robert Sangster Classic.

Master of Arts won the traditional lead-up event, the Lord Reims Stakes, last week and had a tune up for this race with a jumps trial at Warrnambool on Friday.

He has never run over the 3200m before but Damien Lane should give him a good run from barrier six.

His main threat will be the Lloyd Williams owned galloper Chance to Dance. Williams owned the 2007 winner Gallic and the 2011 victor Muir. Chance to Dance, recently second in a 2500m race at Moonee Valley, is $5.50.

Another Victorian stayer, and a former Williams horse, Annus Mirabilis, is third pick at $6 having won the Bagot Handicap at Flemington on New Year’s Day.

The best hope for keeping the trophy in South Australia would appear to be Mail It In, trained by legendary Adelaide trainer Leon McDonald and his son-in-law Andrew Gluyas.

Mail It in was fourth in the Lord Reims and is a $13 pick with Clare Lindop, who won this race in 2006 when it was at Group 1 level, in the saddle.

The other placegetters from the Lord Reims, Jim’s Journey ($13) and Puccini ($26), are also given a chance.

Jim’s Journey ran fourth in the race last year, while the runner-up in that race, veteran galloper Tunes, is $31.

The David Hayes trained Purple Smile won the 2016 edition and Hayes, his son Ben and nephew Tom, have Honey Steel’s Gold in the race at $51.

Our Selections:

1st: 2. Master of Arts

2nd: 1. Chance to Dance

3rd: 4. Mail It In

4th: 3. Puccini

*Odds provided by Sportsbet

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