THERE will no shortage of star quality when the field for Friday's $200,000 Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) is released on Wednesday morning.
Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller is likely to bring a three-pronged attack to Wagga, headed by early favourite Yonkers, as well as The Lord Mayor and He Runs Away.
Archie Alexander's top-weight, Young Rascal, is bound for Wagga despite being lumped with 61 kilograms.
The Mark Newnham-trained Spirit Ridge and Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott's Knights Order are both likely to run at Wagga.
Last-start group three winner Paths Of Glory will be in the final field at Wagga with trainers Richard and Michael Freedman to decide between here or Gosford after the barrier draw.
Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young are also keen to bring Inverloch, who led all the way to win at Caulfield two starts ago, but are unlikely to start Crimson Ace.
Archie Alexander has never been to Wagga but is keen to make his way to the Gold Cup meeting with Young Rascal.
"We're leaning slightly towards it," Alexander said.
"He's got two nominations in the next week (the other at Gosford) but I'd be thinking so. It looks a good race for him.
"If all the right horses accept, it might be a really good race."
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While not thrilled with the 61kg for Young Rascal, it has not scared Alexander away.
"It's not ideal but he's got the highest rating, that's why he's got the biggest weight," he said.
"The handicapper obviously thinks he's the best horse on ratings. I know that doesn't always mean it is as simple as that but on pure form and maths, he's the best horse in the race and that's why he's got the big weight.
"Obviously it's a compliment in itself that he's the highest rated but it is a lot of weight, we would rather not have 61 but this is a horse that was favourite in an Epsom Derby, he's been favourite in a Sydney Cup. On his day he's a class horse and hopefully he can find that form again."
Young Rascal first arrived in Australia under the care of top British trainer William Haggas.
He won first up in the country in the Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill and then finished seventh as a beaten favourite in the Sydney Cup (3200m).
Young Rascal stayed in Australia and was transferred to Alexander. He had three starts for his stable last spring but failed to fire a shot.
Alexander believes Young Rascal can run a big race at Wagga.
"Yeah for sure. We're not just going there for a warm up run," he said.
"He's in good form, the problem in Australia so far really, he hasn't really had his ground. That's been the big issue. He's had very firm tracks. If he just gets a tiny bit of the sting out of the ground, he'll run much better.
"I think he's had a few excuses. He's needed a bit of time to acclimatise and now it all looks good and everything fits into place."
Adrian Bott confirmed they will have three runners at Wagga on Cup day, headed by Knights Order in the Cup.
"We've got a few really nice chances heading down to Wagga," Bott told Racing NSW.
"Knights Order first-up in the Cup. He's ready to run a bold race for us first-up."
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