Boss feeling good about Big Duke chances
Jockey Glen Boss has every faith that champion trainer Darren Weir will have Big Duke in prime condition for the re-run of the Group 1 $2million Sydney Cup (3200m) on Saturday.
Big Duke was one of those stayers who did not complete the course when the Sydney Cup was declared a no-race two weeks ago, and it is unclear that will help or hinder him.
However Hall of Fame jockey Boss, says that is where the expertise of Weir comes in.
"I've found over the years that 'Weiry' has an amazing ability to keep a horse going through an extended preparation," Boss said. "He is a bit like Chris (Waller) in that regard as they get their horses to hold their form for a long time.
"I would imagine Big Duke is in great shape for the Sydney Cup."
Boss answered an SOS from the Weir stable to ride Big Duke after the stayer's regular jockey, Craig Williams, was hit with a careless riding suspension.
Big Duke looks the one to beat after his strong wins in the traditional Sydney Cup lead-ups, the Manion Cup (on protest) and Chairman's Handicap at his previous two starts.
"I've been watching Big Duke winning his races this autumn and he has been quite impressive," Boss said. "His two Sydney wins have probably been his best wins.
"Maybe the (Sydney) direction is a factor, he enjoys getting his toe in the ground, and he has come under the radar with his light weight (52kg).
"There is not a lot to say he can't win but there is a lot to say he can win."
Big Duke is 3/1 on the fixed win market for the Sydney Cup, with Penglai Pavilion 9/2 and Polarisation 11/2.
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