Daka's Gem to miss Perth Cup

Mornington trainer David Brideoake has abandoned Perth Cup plans for last-start Ballarat Cup winner Daka’s Gem who will now be aimed at the Bagot Handicap at Flemington on New Year’s Day and a trip to Tasmania for the Hobart and Launceston Cups.

The Sedaka gelding was at $14 with TAB Sportsbet for the Group Two Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on January 1 and on Saturday he takes on the $7 Perth Cup favourite Ballack, prepared by Danny O’Brien, in the Leighton Contractors Hcp (2000m) at Flemington.

“He had a rest in the paddock for the first week and a half after Ballarat and we’re pretty happy to head towards the Bagot with him,” Brideoake said.

“And then he could go to Tasmania for the Hobart and Launceston Cups.”

Peter Mertens, who won the Ballarat Cup (2200m) on Daka’s Gem on November 19, retains the mount on Saturday.

The nine-year-old will carry topweight of 57kg after weights were raised 0.5kg when Valedictum (60kg) was a non-acceptor.

The race has fallen right away with only six acceptors from the 14 entries.

Ballack, to be ridden by Steven Arnold, has been freshened up since running second to Road To Rock over 2000m at Flemington on November 8.

Brad Rawiller, fresh from his win aboard Niconero in the Kingston Town Classic at Ascot last Saturday, will ride Ulysses who backs up after his half-length second to Instructor over 2000m at Caulfield last week.

Brideoake said after Saturday’s race Daka’s Gem would run in the Comic Court Hcp (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday week as a lead-in to the 2800m Listed Bagot.

By Mark Ryan