Sydney Cup Tips & Preview

Sydney Cup Tips

Looking for Sydney Cup tips for Saturday, April 11? Our form expert has previewed the gruelling staying test and given his top selection for the race.


Weights mean everything over two miles and I think Mustajeer faces an insurmountable task in Saturday’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.

The Kris Lees-prepared stayer must carry top weight of 57.5kg, and if we use the weight to distance ratio of each extra half a kilo a horse carries equates to them slowing down a length over 3200m, Mustajeer needs to be an absolute beast to win.

He needs to be 13 lengths superior to those on 51kg (Etah James, Sweet Thomas, Saunter Boy and Corncrake).


Mourayan (58kg) is the only horse to have carried more than 56kg to victory this century, and he defeated Adelaide Cup winner Norsqui, Vinery Stud Stakes placegetter Aliyana Tilde and Chairman’s Handicap runner-up Blood Brotha.

The weights were quite compressed that year with all runners carrying between 54.5kg and 58kg, so we need to take that into account when assessing how hard it is to win with top weight.

More recent winners include: Shraaoh (51kg in 2019), Who Shot Thebarman (55kg in 2018), Polarisation (51.5kg in 2017), Gallante (51.5kg in 2016) and Grand Marshal (52kg in 2015).

In that time, Top weights to have failed include: Dubhe and Sound (55.5kg in 2019), Almandin (57kg in 2018), Who Shot Thebarman (57kg in 2017 & 2016) and Protectionist (58kg in 2015).

So, we have two Melbourne Cup winners and a Melbourne Cup placegetter that failed under top weight, as well as highly credentialed European stayers that couldn’t get the job done.


Azuro brings strong recent form having finished 4.4 length from Roger That and Sound in the Auckland Cup (3200m).

He carried 1.5kg more than that pair and now drops 3kg on that effort.

They ran good time (3:19.96), and if Azuro carried 53.5kg in that race, he arguably runs quicker time and wins.

However, Azuro isn’t my top pick for the race but we take a line through him to find the winner.

Azuro’s stablemate, Yogi, is the best weighted horse in the race by a mile.

Azuro beat Yogi by four lengths in the QLD Cup (3200m) where Azuro carried 54kg and Yogi was burdened with 60kg.

The weight to distance ratio put Yogi at a 12-length disadvantage, and on Saturday, Yogi carries 1kg less than his stablemate giving him a 14-length advantage.

Yogi defeated Azuro in the 2017 Sandown Cup (3200m) when carrying 3kg more, so I truly believe Yogi is the better 3200m horse despite Azuro having three wins and a 2nd from five starts over the distance.


As far as BM ratings go, the Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) rates strongest with the winner, Raheen’s House, going 15.2 lengths quicker than standard.

Yogi was clearly the eye-catching run in that race as he only got clear in the final 150m and charged home with Nash Rawiller riding a kilo over and carrying 56kg instead of 55kg.

Yogi now meets Raheen’s House 1.5kg better at the weights, and we know Yogi will run a strong 3200m seeing his personal best was in the Sandown Cup where he went 20.6 lengths quicker than standard which is one of the strongest staying performances recorded.

Considering Yogi drops 4.5kg on that effort, he looks a weighted special heading into this race which is why I have him on top in my Sydney Cup tips.

Young Rascal looms as the main danger having defeated Mugatoo in the Manion Cup (2400m), but the question is, will the 3.5kg weight difference take its toll late?

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