O'Brien happy that light is right for Ballack

Trainer Danny O'Brien is content with Ballack's ultralight Perth Cup preparation.

Ballack is equal second favourite at $6.50 in the TAB Sportsbet market for Thursday's $418,000 Perth Cup over 2400m.

The Victorian stayer will have raced once in seven weeks going into the cup.

That was his narrow second over 2000m on a heavy track at Flemington on December 13.

"I always had the Perth Cup in mind and deliberately dodged the top-of-the-range spring races," O'Brien said.

"He is by Montjeu and the majority of the breed are just natural stayers who don't need hard racing to be up there.

"Ballack is a good traveller and that also was my plan to take him over quite late. He travelled to Perth as a young horse and ran well in the Derby.

"He also travelled well to Brisbane in the winter and won the Tattersall's Cup."

Ballack was runner-up to Guyno in the WATC Derby in March last year.

Topweight Annenkov has raced well three times in the west this campaign, including a last-start second in the Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot.

Caulfield trainer Peter Moody was at Doomben on Saturday to watch Carlton Forward finish second in the Tommy Smith Slipper and flew to Perth early yesterday to assess Annenkov.

There is a doubt on Annenkov at 2400m.

He was well beaten in the 2007 Caulfield Cup and again in the 2350m Warrnambool Cup in May this year, but he did strike trouble in the home straight in the latter race.

Ballack will be ridden by gun Perth jockey William Pike in the feature event.

By Bart Sinclair

To view full Herald Sun story click here 

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

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