Following the success of My Bentley in the final Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival cup 12 months ago, Cranbourne horseman Mick Kent will return to Ballarat this Sunday seeking his second straight win saddling up two gallopers in the 2011 Ballarat Cup.
Due to jump at 4:12pm (local time) as Race 8 on Sunday, the $150,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) has drawn a classy final field of 17 horses this year, two of which will represent the reigning winning trainer Kent with Red Buttons and Domesky.
Both of Kent’s stayers have drawn favourably for the feature with seven-year-old Red Ransom gelding Red Buttons jumping from gate three and Domesday four-year-old Domesky in barrier six.
Domesky, who will be ridden by last year’s Ballarat Cup winning jockey Brad Rawiller, was last seen finishing a brave second to fellow Ballarat Cup rival Musical Hit when beaten a mere nose at Flemington over 2000 metres on November 5.
In their lead-up run, before which Domesky was outclassed when finishing nearly 17 lengths away 16th to Southern Speed in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), they carried a hefty 58.5kg and jumped from the far outside barrier 16 of 16.
Coming into a more advantageous gate on Sunday, Domesky also drops back in the weights to 55kg making them a nice horse to check the odds on at Luxbet.
“He’s had an indifferent campaign,” Kent said of his Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes winner Domesky.
“He ran really well first up, ran good second up, was a bit unlucky at the Valley then had no luck at all at Cranbourne, he ran awful in the Caulfield Cup and we freshened him up and he ran well again (on Emirates Stakes Day).
“He’s better with his races spaced so after the Caulfield Cup (failure) we thought we’d target this race.
“He’s an interesting horse, he’s got ability, he always gets back and looks unlucky but I am pleased with his condition, he looks well.”
Meanwhile Red Buttons will be ridden by Dean Yendall, the 10-time winner last seen finishing eight lengths away sixth to Lucky Eighty Eight in the Kyneton Cup (2000m) on November 2.
Their run before that when beaten by the bob of a head in the No Fuss Solutions Classic (2025m) at Cranbourne, which replaced the postponed Moe Cup that Red Buttons won last year, was far more promising and it is something similar to that Kent is hoping to see on Sunday.
“He ran well at Cranbourne in the Moe Cup that wasn’t the Moe Cup and then at Kyneton the track was off on the fence a bit that day and he just got too far back,” Kent explained.
“The one thing I’ll say about him is he’s been carrying a lot of weight and he’s getting some nice weight off (55.5kg).
“He’s working well and he looks terrific.”
Notable Ballarat Cup rivals standing in between Kent and another win this year include Peter Moody’s last-start Eclipse Stakes winner Rothera, the Michael Moroney-trained Tinseltown and Pat Carey’s in-form Ulundi.
Our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet are due to release their Ballarat Cup betting markets shortly, so make sure you are ready to back your selections at the best prices by opening your account today.