This Sunday Flemington racecourse will come to life with a bumper programme for Turnbull Stakes Day, one of the best support races of the day being the 2011 The Bart Cummings which is a crucial lead-up for gallopers on way to the famous Melbourne Cup.
Despite only holding Listed status, The Bart Cummings 2011 is worth a lucrative $200,000 in prize money and being run over 2500 metres makes an excellent lead-up run for stayers heading towards the spring majors including the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) back at Flemington on Tuesday November 1, 2011.
The Bart Cummings field this year has drawn 14 acceptors lead by $4.60 favourite at Luxbet, Niwot.
Drawn in gate two of 14, the Hawkes-trained seven-year-old Galileo gelding comes off a seventh place finish behind Lion Tamer in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) when blocked for a run at Caulfield on September 17.
The finish was better than it looks on paper for Niwot who was only beaten four and a half lengths over a race that was unsuitably short for the genuine stayer.
Winner of the Listed Ramsden Stakes over the Melbourne Cup distance of 3200 metres at Flemington back in May, Niwot will thrive over the 2500 metres on Sunday as the look to improve their credentials for the ‘race that stops the nation’.
With form over the two-miles, Niwot’s Melbourne Cup 2011 dream has credit and they currently sit as a $51 chance in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet which is an equal price with the likes of Lloyd Williams’ import Green Moon and the Peter Moody-trained mare Lights Of Heaven.
“Getting back to Flemington, up to a mile-and-a-half, it’s certainly going to be right up his alley,” co-trained Wayne Hawkes said.
“In real terms, if you’re not competitive in a race like this and probably not winning a race like this week, he probably hasn’t got much chance in the Melbourne Cup.
2012 Melbourne Cup Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
“It’s not D-Day for him, but this is the first time this prep that he’s going to be in his right race.”
Last year’s The Bart Cummings winner Harris Tweed went on to run second to Descarado in the Caulfield Cup before their game fifth in the 150th Melbourne Cup, and will be back again on Sunday to hopefully kick-start a similarly successful Spring Cups campaign.
Drawn wide in barrier 12, two out from their gate 10 start last year, the Murray Baker-trained Kiwi galloper comes off a disappointing 13th in the Naturalism Stakes where they also drew barrier 12 and were forced to race wide.
Luxbet currently have them at a price of $19 to win success The Bart Cummings on Sunday, which is a fair price considering they have been handed the hefty 60kg topweight of the field.
Harris Tweed is also the only The Bart Cummings starter on Sunday that is already guaranteed a start in the 24-horse 2011 Melbourne Cup field, and they are paying $41 in the futures Melbourne Cup markets at Luxbet.
There are four other The Bart Cummings horses at single-figure odds to win:
- Mourayan ($6.50 Luxbet) – Robert Hickmott-trained five-year-old has the rails run from gate one, in good form for this coming off a solid third to Lamasery in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill, scratched from The Metropolitan in Sydney so connections like them here
- Above Average ($6.50 Luxbet) – Anthony Freedman’s High Chaparral gelding ran third to Harris Tweed here last year, in similar form from 12 months ago and should run another strong race, looked good when only three lengths back fourth to December Draw in the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last-start
- Black And Bent ($7 Luxbet) – Champion Aussie hurdler will like the step up in distance after their ninth in the Naturalism, the longer the better for this Black Hawk six-year-old who at their last Flemington start won the Banjo Paterson Series Final over a similar 2600 metres, which was their seventh success on the flat
- My Scotsgrey ($8 Luxbet) – Shaune Ritchie’s Sydney raider did well at Flemington last start on September 3 finishing fourth to Caulfield Cup to fancy December Draw over 2000m, Melbourne Cup-bound six-year-old has won over 2400m, 2500m and 3200m in New Zealand
Races.com.au The Bart Cummings 2011 Tips:
- #4 Niwot from #11 and #5 Black And Bent – Bet now at Luxbet
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2011 The Bart Cummings Final Field, Barriers & Weights
Flemington Race 3 – 02/10/2011
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||98125X8X00||HARRIS TWEED (NZ)||Murray Baker||Brad Rawiller||12||60kg||110|
|2||X82042X043||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||1||58kg||106|
|3||X700671705||LIGHT VISION (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Chris Symons||8||55.5kg||101|
|4||1X40121X07||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dean Yendall||2||55.5kg||101|
|5||2X66111119||BLACK AND BENT||Robert Smerdon||Michael Rodd||11||55kg||100|
|6||314X87X405||HISSING SID||Bill & Symon Wilde||Damien Oliver||4||55kg||100|
|7||2X53230X94||ABOVE AVERAGE (IRE)||Anthony Freedman||Craig Williams||13||54kg||98|
|8||1819129X80||SHOWCAUSE||Frank Ritchie||Luke Nolen||9||54kg||98|
|9||362X78X000||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Danny Nikolic||6||53kg||98|
|10||8824831206||SWOOPER||Darryl Dodson||Nicholas Hall||3||53kg||97|
|11||111X4X9X14||MY SCOTSGREY (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Corey Brown||10||53kg||95|
|12||332190X800||GUEST WING||Shane A Edwards||Luke Currie||7||53kg||93|
|13||1033X70090||ALLANTHUS||Brian Jenkins||Ms Lisa Cropp||5||53kg||78|
|14||12623X8251||MONTGOMERY (NZ)||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Peter Mertens||14||53kg||78|