SONRO is set to start his first Griffith Cup (1350m) as a solid favourite, with bookies installing the blue-blooded Gino D'Altorio-trained gelding as a $2.50 chance to win the $15,000 feature race tomorrow at Dalton Park.
Fresh off earning Narrandera and Young Cup wins this preparation, Terry Coelli believes the favourable weight of just 54kg and the home track advantage is enough to put Sonro at the top of the market.
"The big thing in Sonro's favour is that he's weighted very well, he's carrying nothing at all compared to 58.5, 59.5 in his last few starts, so he's a good horse and he'll get a good run," Coelli said
Joel Maconachie, who was in Griffith this week doing trackwork, will get the ride aboard Sonro again after helping him to the Narrandera Cup.
The biggest threat to a fairytale win for D'Altorio is the Daryl Archard-trained gelding Produced, who has easily earned the title of top-weight for tomorrow.
"He's the best horse in the race by a long way, but he's a leader and he's got 60kg and he's probably a bit suss at anything longer than 1300m," Coelli said.
"But the track at Griffith does suit him, he has won 14 races in his career and $290,000 in prizemoney.
"But there's a lot of speed in this race, Produced is a leader, Chinzia is a leader and Sonro is a leader to an extent as well.
"Cosmic Fury is a leader as well on previous form, but it won't have the pace to go with the shorter priced runners on the day, it normally runs over 1600m so he will probably run on pretty well."
Chinzia last ran at Moonee Valley and finished fifth over 1200m on a Dead 5 track and will have a big question mark over the distance and whether the natural miler will handle the early pace.
With so many front-runners in tomorrow's feature event, the race record, of 1.20.05 set by Mrs Menzies last year is a real chance of being smashed.
Leeton trainer Peter Clancy has again entered Soward tomorrow, and with apprentice Kristen Smart claiming three kilograms, the seven-year-old gelding will only carry 51kg for the journey.
"He's probably big odds at this stage, but he's been disappointing with his runs the last couple of times, when he came back (from a spell) his runs were good," Coelli said of Soward.
"When he beat Sonro at Narrandera he should have never won that race because Sonro sat three to four wide the whole race."
Gates open at Dalton Park tomorrow at 11.30am with the first race starting at 1.10pm.