Azuro wins Listed Sandown Cup over 3200m

Mathew Toogood
Azuro has enhanced an already accomplished 3200m record in winning the Sandown Cup

Ciaron Maher will continue to target Azuro towards 3200m races after the stayer added his third win over the distance in the Listed Sandown Cup.

Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, had $2.90 favourite Azuro and Wall Of Fire ($6) in Saturday's Sandown Cup and the pair filled the top two placings with the former winning by 1-1/4 lengths.

Neufbosc was another half-neck away third in the field of eight.

Azuro was second in last year's Sandown Cup in his first attempt over 3200m while he won the Stayer's Cup at Rosehill and the Listed Queensland Cup in Brisbane in his only other two attempts at the distance during Winter this year.

"I didn't think there was much between them and it showed," Maher said.

"The other horse, Wall Of Fire, came home strongly late but credit to Azuro. He's got an impressive record over the two miles now.

"He'll have a little rest now and probably head on to the Sydney Cup."

The Group One Sydney Cup is over 3200m at Randwick in April while the Group Two Adelaide Cup in March over the same distance is also an option for the pair who Maher said were both genuine two milers.

Azuro's connection had given the stayer his chance to qualify for this spring's Melbourne Cup (3200m), running him in both The Bart Cummings (2500m) and the Hotham Handicap (2500m) at Flemington.

The gelding needed to win one of those races to earn a ballot exemption into the Cup, run last week at Flemington, but finished fifth and third respectively.

"So this was the next best option for the stayers," Maher said.