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Antonio Giuseppe continues Sydney Cup tilt

Sydney Cup favourite Antonio Giuseppe continues his build-up for that Group One challenge at Randwick as the heavily-backed runner in the Group Three Sky High Stakes at Rosehill.

The Chris Waller-trained gelding is the early favourite ($6) to notch his first Group One win in the $2 million Sydney Cup on April 8.

And Saturday’s Sky High market suggests the four-year-old can add to his win at Rosehill in the James Ruse Handicap (1500m) on February 18 despite a slight scare on Thursday with a minor abrasion to a hock.

Antonio Giuseppe is rated the $1.90 favourite with the TAB and should not have any issues handling a heavy 8 given he has a perfect two-from-two record on wet surfaces.

With the 3200m Sydney Cup in mind, Waller would have preferred Antonio Giuseppe to have struck a good track in the Sky High Stakes (2000m) but was confident he could handle the assignment.

“He had a terrific first-up win, second-up he’s at 2000, he’s had three weeks between runs and he’s a middle distance horse,” Waller said.

“I would have liked to have been running him on a good track but he handles wet tracks.

“He hasn’t missed any work, he had a good solid foundation up to his first-up run. He’s taken heart from that, I think he’s fit enough.”

Waller has four runners in the Sky High Stakes with Grand Marshal ($31), Who Shot Thebarman ($9.50) and Libran ($12) also lining up in the nine-horse field.

Veteran Who Shot Thebarman put in an eye-catching run behind stablemate Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes.

“He ran a cracker first-up over the mile, running third behind Winx. He’s come through it well, he’s as happy as Larry. He won’t worry about a heavy track,” Waller said.

He said Libran and Grand Marshal, who are both targeting the BMW Stakes and Sydney Cup, would appreciate a step up in distance from 1600m after finishing seventh and ninth respectively in the Chipping Norton Stakes on February 25.

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