2011 Caulfield Cup Favourite December Draw Heads JRA Cup Nominations

Leaving no stone unturned and no option ignored, Flemington-based trainer Mark Kavanagh has chosen to nominate 2011 Caulfield Cup betting favourite December Draw in this Friday night’s JRA Cup at Moonee Valley.

One of the major support acts on a bumper Manikato Stakes Night programme, the $200,000 Group 3 Tatts JRA Cup(2040m) has attracted 20 nominations for 2011.

December Draw

December Draw has been nominated for the 2011 JRA Cup in case they are balloted out of Sunday's Turnbull Stakes at Flemington

Class import December Draw has burst into contention for all of the spring majors down under after winning four of their five starts in Australia since their debut run here in May.

With three smart Flemington wins, a narrow Moonee Valley second over an unsuitably short distance (1523m) and a last-start victory in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17, December Draw has certainly emerged as a galloper to follow closely in the Luxbet markets this season.

Having earned a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption for their Naturalism Stakes victory, December Draw is at the top of the odds for the October 15 feature at a quote of $3.70 through Luxbet.

In the Melbourne Cup 2011 betting markets at Luxbet, December Draw is the close $10 second elect behind Underwood Stakes winner Lion Tamer ($9).

Kavanagh, however, has only entered December Draw in the JRA Cup as a precaution in case they are balloted out of the 2011 Turnbull Stakes.

Running as the showcase event at Flemington this Sunday, October 2, the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) is the preferred weekend target for December Draw.

JRA Cup topweight at nomination stage is Robert Hickmott’s 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient.

The great old grey has been allocated 60kg and comes off their first-up run in nearly two years when finishing 10th behind Lion Tamer in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 17.

Hickmott boasts a strong hand in the JRA Cup 2011 nominations, prominent owner Lloyd Williams’ with four other entries in the staying showdown in Galileo four-year-old Midas Touch (59kg) coming off a third in the Underwood Stakes, last year’s JRA Cup third placegetter Linton (57.5kg), Naturalism Stakes runner-up At First Sight (56.5kg) and Bright Horizon (53kg).

Midas Touch and At First Sight have both been well-supported in the spring cup betting markets at Luxbet, the imported duo installed as the co $11 third elects for the Caulfield Cup.

Also occupying the third line of Melbourne Cup betting at $13 is Midas Touch, At First Sight further down the markets at $19.

Other noteworthy 2011 JRA Cup entries include Jake Stephen’s in-form seven-year-old Alcopop last seen running second in the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes over the Moonee Valley mile on September 10, Dato Tan Chin Nam winner Rekindled Interest and quality South Australian mare Southern Speed who ran an eye-catching second to Lion Tamer in the Underwood last-start.

As with December Draw, connections of both Rekindled Interest and Southern Speed would prefer to see their horses in the Turnbull Stakes field at Flemington on Sunday.

“There could be two divisions of the Turnbull the way things are going,” Southern Speed’s co-trainer Leon Macdonald said.

“If she gets in, then that’s where she will run but I’ve put her in the JRA Cup just in case.”

A crucial lead-up race to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors, the JRA Cup results are sure to have a major impact on the futures betting markets for upcoming Group Ones including the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup at Luxbet.

The 2011 JRA Cup final field and barriers will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au along with those for all of the weekend’s headline races.

To back your selections for Friday night’s Moonee Valley races at the best prices, or to access the futures betting on the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, head to Luxbet today.

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2011 JRA Cup Nominations, Ballot & Weights

# Horse Trainer Ballot Wgt. Hcp. Rtg.
1 EFFICIENT (NZ) Robert Hickmott 1 60kg 116
2 MIDAS TOUCH (GB) Robert Hickmott 2 59kg 112
3 UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA) Michael Kent 4 58kg 110
4 ALCOPOP Jake Stephens 6 57.5kg 109
5 LINTON Robert Hickmott 5 57.5kg 109
6 REKINDLED INTEREST Jim Conlan 3 57.5kg 109
7 AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE) Robert Hickmott 9 56.5kg 106
8 DECEMBER DRAW (IRE) Mark Kavanagh 10 56kg 105
9 DREAM PEDLAR Troy Blacker 11 54.5kg 101
10 ABSOLUTELY Michael Kent 7 54kg 105
11 SOUTHERN SPEED Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas 8 53.5kg 103
12 BRIGHT HORIZON (GB) Robert Hickmott 17 53kg 85
13 CARNERO Dean Binaisse 12 53kg 95
14 COSMONAUT Bart Cummings 20 53kg 67
15 DOMESKY Michael Kent 14 53kg 89
16 INNOCENT LADY (NZ) Graeme Sanders 13 53kg 94
17 PERFECT PECS Rick Hore-Lacy 19 53kg 71
18 RIGHT OF REFUSAL Nigel Blackiston 15 53kg 89
19 SILENT SURROUND William Smart 16 53kg 89
20 THE TIGER Colin & Cindy Alderson 18 53kg 85