Sydney Cup Tips & Preview 2024

Adam Cusworth Adam Cusworth
Image inside sourced from ATC Facebook

Looking for Sydney Cup tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2024 Sydney Cup at Randwick.


It is the last start Chairmans Quality (2600m) winner, Circle Of Fire, that is the $4.80 favourite for the Sydney Cup with Dabble ahead of last year’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) 4th placegetter, Ashrun, at $6. Kalapour finished ahead of that horse as the winner of the Tancred Stakes (2400m) a fortnight ago and is at $9. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Serpentine is at $10 alongside Athasbascan. 

There are 17 acceptors for the $2 million race and the stablemate of Serpentine, Military Mission, is at $13 ahead of Glentaneous at $14. Manzoice ($17), Mahrajaan ($19), Major Beel ($21) and Mostly Cloudy ($21) head the rest of the contenders in the market. 


The Chairmans Quality is always one of the solid form references for the Sydney Cup and four contenders are on the one-week back-up after lining up in that race last weekend. They are the winner, Circle Of Fire, as well as So Dazzling (4th), Stockman (5th) and Loft (6th). 

Circle Of Fire is a Ciaron Maher import that has had three runs in Australia and clearly enjoyed the step up in trip to the 2600m in the Chairmans Quality, overcoming a few issues in the run to score from Hopeful. The four-year-old went 9.3 lengths faster than standard benchmark, which is the second best last start figure of any runner. He produced the fastest last 200m. 

The son of Almanzour drops 1.5kg and is down to 51.5kg with the Hong Kong-based Italian jockey, Andrea Atzani, to ride. It is hard to see any of the beaten brigade turning the tables on him. 

Ashrun is one of three runners that raced in the Tancred Stakes and went six lengths faster than standard benchmark to place 3rd in that race. Fourth up last spring, the eight-year-old went 16.6 lengths faster than standard when 4th in the Melbourne Cup. That is a better figure that any horse in this race has produced in the past two years. 

Kalapour is not as proven as Ashrun over the 3200m but does meet that horse 1.5kg better at the weights under the Handicap conditions of the Sydney Cup. Athabascan was 4th in the Tancred Stakes and didn’t really enjoy a clear crack at them but was able to produce the fastest last 200m. He is well and truly in the mix. 

Amade comes in with the best last start benchmark figures of any runner, having gone 13.2 lengths faster than standard when 4th in the Adelaide Cup (3200m) back on March 11. He was beaten by Glentaneous on New Year’s Day in the Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington. 

Maharajan is an interesting runner. The New Zealander completed a rare double by taking out the New Zealand Cup (3200m) last year in November before claiming the Auckland Cup (3200m) in March. He obviously loves the two miles and did defeat Mark Twain last time. That horse took out the Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington in dazzling fashion last time. 

Mostly Cloudy was 3rd in the Roy Higgins Quality, going 6.2 lengths faster than standard benchmark. Major Beel (4th), Glentaneous (6th) and Selino (8th) also come out of that race.Of that group, Mostly Cloudy was held up from the 500m to the 300m before producing the fastest last 200m, only to be swamped late. Major Beel is a possible leader here and produced a strong front running display at The Championships a year ago to take out the Australian Derby (2500m) but has not won since then. 

Other key runners include Serpentine and Manzoice. Serpentine is beginning to deliver on his talent and will be going for the hat-trick of wins. The seven-year-old might sit outside Major Beel or in front and went a healthy 11 lengths faster than standard two starts ago before enjoying a cushy run in the Neville Selwood Stakes (2000m) when victorious over Zeyrek. He is a query at the trip, finishing 22nd and 19th in the past two Melbourne Cups. Manzoice was runner-up in the Manion Cup (2400m) at his most recent run behind Post Impressionist, who then battled in the Tancred Stakes. 


I really liked what Circle Of Fire was able to do in the Chairmans Quality last weekend and have no problems with him on the short back-up as the Group 2 lead up has provided a number of winners over the years. He had some serious form overseas and the stable have picked up some big races with their imports in the past. Best roughie in the race is Mostly Cloudy. He has been working home solidly in a number of races that have featured the contenders in this race and has raced without luck in a number of those. The Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young galloper drops to 51.5kg and has won over 3200m and 3300m in Europe. He gets to that trip for the first time since coming over here late in 2022.