Following the elite racing action of Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas Day, the black-type features continue in Melbourne on Sunday with the 2011 Cranbourne Cup.
Set to light up Cranbourne Racecourse as Race 8 on Sunday at 4:12pm (EDT), the $200,000 Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) currently features a quality field of 15 stayers following the early scratching of #14 Sister Norma.
The highest-rated and weighted runner in Sunday’s showdown is the Michael Kent-trained American import Unusual Suspect.
Drawn in barrier nine and due to carry 60kg with Nash Rawiller engaged for the ride, seven-year-old Unusual Suspect made their Australian race debut last-start at Moonee Valley on September 10 running an eye-catching fourth to Rekindled Interest in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
Originally Kent also had Unusual Suspect nominated for the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield this Saturday, but has opted to run the galloper in the Cranbourne Cup as a guide to whether they have genuine spring carnival claims.
Unusual Suspect is still entered for all of the season’s majors including the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) Saturday week and the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at the Valley on October 22.
Caulfield Cup betting at Luxbet have them rated a $41 outsider, the horse assuredof a start in the race sitting equal seventh on the Caulfield Cup order of elimination, while for the Cox Plate Unusual Suspect if even longer at $61.
A pipe dream for connections is for the horse to go all the way to the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 1, Unusual Suspect $41 through Luxbet to win the world’s richest handicap this year.
Kent is set to be dually represented in the Cranbourne Cup 2011 having also accepted for his consistent four-year-old Domesday gelding Domesky.
Suffering an early blow drawing the extreme outside gate, Domesky comes off an excellent third behind Dream Pedlar and Carnero in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night when beaten only two lengths.
Domesky is also heading towards a possible start in either the Caulfield Cup, Luxbet paying $81 for them in their Caulfield Cup markets as they sit equal 21st on the ballot.
The next heaviest weighted Cranbourne Cup contender following Unusual Suspect this year is Graeme Boyd’s Kiwi raider Ginga Dude who has been allocated 58.5kg, Michael Walker to ride from barrier 14.
Ginga Dude is one of two last-start winners in the 2011 Cranbourne Cup field along with the Todd Balfour-trained Sean Baile Mor, the veteran eight-year-old having won over the mile at Moonee Valley on September 30.
Other notable Cranbourne Cup 2011 contenders include the Robert Hickmott-trained four-year-old Akzar drawn ideally in barrier three, Peter Moody’s consistent Jeune gelding Ishant also drawn nicely in gate four, and the Colin and Cindy Alderson-trained stablemates Pergola and The Tiger due to jump from barriers 10 and six respectively.
Ishant is the third and final Cranbourne Cup runner, along with Kent’s duo, to still be entered for this year’s Caulfield Cup but is yet to pass the first ballot clause.
The six-year-old has finished in the top three of their past six starts and is a $151 roughie in the Caulfield Cup odds at Luxbet.
A unique $2 million bonus from Tabcorp and the Cranbourne Turf Club is available to Ishant, Unusual Suspect and Domesky should they become the 2011 Cranbourne Cup winner and go on to upset the favourites in the Caulfield Cup result on October 15.
Cranbourne Cup betting is due to open shortly at our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet, so get ready for the action by signing up with them today!
Every new customer at Luxbet that quotes the codeword BONUSBET when making their first deposit this spring carnival will also be rewarded with a bonus bet valued at 100% of their initial stakes up to a generous $500!
2011 Cranbourne Cup Final Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||293621X5X4||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||Nash Rawiller||9||60kg||110|
|2||3X40798X61||GINGA DUDE (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||Michael Walker||14||58.5kg||107|
|3||16X6430X58||PLAYWRIGHT (NZ)||Steve Richards||Steven Arnold||7||55.5kg||101|
|4||3X83411X99||PADDY O’REILLY (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Ms Michelle Payne||13||54.5kg||99|
|5||214109X573||DOMESKY||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||16||53kg||94|
|6||7820X31800||DIGGERSANDDEALERS||Ray Cleaver||Ms Lisa Cropp||2||53kg||89|
|7||22X8139X35||AKZAR (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||3||53kg||87|
|8||X5022X2333||ISHANT||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||53kg||87|
|9||X15400X740||PACINO||Clinton McDonald||Danny Nikolic||5||53kg||87|
|10||07465110X6||PERGOLA (NZ)||Colin & Cindy Alderson||James Winks||10||53kg||87|
|11||4X46301854||THE TIGER||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Luke Currie||6||53kg||85|
|12||21X31488X7||BOOM ’N’ ZOOM||Ken Keys||Craig Newitt||1||53kg||84|
|13||133132X018||COLDENS CHOICE||Greg Eurell||Chris Symons||8||53kg||84|
|14||362246X914||SISTER NORMA||Greg Eurell||Dwayne Dunn||15||53kg||84|
|15||0805229607||RICEMAN||Dean Saxon||Peter Mertens||12||53kg||82|
|16||3X479126X1||SEAN BAILE MOR||Todd Balfour||Dean Holland||11||53kg||76|