Cup journey made to order for Outlandos

Outlandos heads to the Australia Day Cup off the back of a hit-and-run raid in Queensland.

Renowned trainer of stayers John Sargent expects Outlandos to relish a seven-day back-up into the Listed Australia Day Cup following an eye-catching performance at the Magic Millions carnival. 

The gelding settled last from a wide draw and motored to the line to get within half a length of winner Sky Lab in the Magic Millions Trophy at the Gold Coast last week, leaving Sargent wondering what might have been if the race hadn't been shortened from 1 1⁄2 m to 1 3⁄8 m this year. 

"We were finishing very strongly, obviously, and if it had stayed at that distance, he would have been hard to beat," Sargent said. 

"It's a good race for him every year and I knew he'd run well." 

Outlandos arrived back at Randwick on Friday with Sargent immediately switching his focus to the 1 1⁄2 m feature at Warwick Farm. 

With the gelding performing similarly in last year's Magic Millions Trophy and bringing that form to Sydney with a win at his next start, Sargent has opted to stick to the same formula. 

However, this time around, he is asking Outlandos to do it off a seven-day turnaround, a scenario he believes will suit the six-year-old. 

"I saw this race and these older stayers tend to back up very well," Sargent said. 

"He's done very well and I think he has improved a bit since his last run. 

"He should run a very nice race and a bit further will suit him." 

Former Victorian-based jockey Brett Prebble, who has recently relocated to Sydney, will partner Outlandos in what is shaping as an open edition of the 1 1⁄2 m staying test. 

A field of 16 has been accepted for the race with Spirit Ridge a $3.70 favourite after breaking a near 20-month drought from the winner's stall with his Flemington triumph last start. 

He will have to contend with topweight of 130lbs if he is to follow in the footsteps of Destiny's Kiss (2016-17), Travolta (2014) and Stoway (2003), who have all carried similar weights to victory in the Australia Day feature over the past 20 years. 

Outlandos will carry 119lbs and is a $13 chance.

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