Perth Cup appearance up in the air

Ballack, the original favourite for the 2000 BMW Perth Cup, may not be a certain starter in the 2400m feature at Ascot racecourse on New Year's day.

Trainer Danny O’Brien said the gelding would only travel across for the feature event if a flight can be organised between Christmas and New Year's Eve.

There is no certainty that a flight will be available in the post-Christmas period and the back-up plan for Ballack is to contest the Byron Moore Handicap at Flemington on January 1 over 2000m.

Ballack opened a $7 favourite on TABSportsbet and remains at that quote, but he has been displaced at the top of the market by Sydney mare Ready To Lift at $6.50.

Ballack was beaten as a short priced favourite at Flemington last Saturday by Ulysses, but the run was full of merit and looked the perfect lead up run for a bold Perth Cup performance.

The clash of Ballack and Guyno, who fought out the finish of the 2007 WATC Derby, would provide a wonderful sub-plot to the main event, which promises to be one of the strongest Perth Cups seen for many years.

By Perth Racing

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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here