Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Grant Williams’ in-form galloper Ranger has been the heaviest handicapped hopeful in the 2011 Perth Cup weights which were released on Tuesday ahead of the New Year’s Eve clash.
Early favourite to snare the $400,000 Group 2 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on December 31, Ranger is paying $4.60 in the Luxbet markets and has unsurprisingly been allocated the 58kg topweight for the race.
Eleventh to Guest Wing in the Perth Cup results back on New Year’s Day, which was officially the first 2011 Perth Cup while the 2012 Perth Cup won’t run until New Year’s Eve next year due to a Festival of Perth Racing rescheduling, Testa Rossa gelding Ranger has been in red hot form this season.
They won their opening three first-up starts on the trot including the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) before running a credible sixth to Luckygray in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 19.
Last start they came within a length of Playing God in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) carrying 59kg and will have their final Perth Cup lead-up this Saturday in the $225,000 Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m).
Following Ranger in the Perth Cup weights are then two of their stablemates with eight-year-old Lords Ransom, winner of the 2010 Perth Cup, on 56kg and last-start Kingston Town Classic fourth placegetter Battle Emblem on 53kg.
Two other Perth Cup nominees are also on 53kg with early third favourite in the markets Kincaple ($6.5 Luxbet) who won the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie Cups earlier in the year and the Neville Parnham-trained God Has Spoken who beat home just two other runners in the Listed JRA Trophy (2200m) on December 3.
The last of the 44 Perth Cup entries above the 52kg minimum is the Bruce McClune-trained Mega Steel on 52.5kg, the Helenus six-year-old competitive in the early Ascot features but disappointing when dead last in the Kingston Town.
Meanwhile, Perth Cup betting market mover Dancin On The Wind ($14 Luxbet) is far from guaranteed a start having been allocated just 52kg.
After running away to win a 2200 metre benchmark 68 handicap last Saturday at Ascot, beating home fellow Perth Cup hopefuls including runner-up Senhor Da Gama, Shane Edward’s Al Maher five-year-old still needs to add to their rating to move up the order of entry.
“Saturday’s win does not guarantee a start,” Perth Racing’s chief handicapper David Hunter said in regards to Dancin On The Wind.
“There are a number of horses above him and there is the Cox Stakes, (WA) St Lger and ATA Handicap to be run.”
Two remaining races on the Perth Summer Racing Carnival provide a ballot exemption into the Perth Cup field to the winner with the $225,000 Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) and the $80,000 Listed WA St Leger (2100m) both on this weekend.
Dancin On The Wind is the sole chance for local Ascot trainer Shane Edwards to go back-to-back in the Perth Cup following Guest Wing’s win earlier in the year.
See below for the complete list of Perth Cup nominations and weights.
The 2011 Perth Cup final field is due to be released on Tuesday December 27.
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2011 Perth Cup Entries & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|2||LORDS RANSOM||Grant Williams||56||105|
|3||BATTLE EMBLEM||Grant Williams||53||99|
|4||GOD HAS SPOKEN||Neville Parnham||53||99|
|5||KINCAPLE (NZ)||Mark B. Reed||53||99|
|6||MEGA STEEL||Bruce McClune||52.5||98|
|8||NEW SPICE||Elva Van Merwyk||52||94|
|11||BIG TED||Ivan Haggerty||52||91|
|12||DOUBLE BARREL||Adam Durrant||52||90|
|13||GUM NUT GURU||Justin Warwick||52||90|
|14||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||52||90|
|15||WESTERN JEWEL||Grant Williams||52||89|
|16||ELUSIVE KING||Peter Moody||52||88|
|18||MANILA I SCREAM||Adam Durrant||52||87|
|20||LOPOV (NZ)||Simon A. Miller||52||82|
|21||SENHOR DA GAMA||Simon A. Miller||52||81|
|23||MISS TIPSY TOPSY||Stan Bates||52||80|
|24||SMART TWISTER||Neville Parnham||52||80|
|25||VOLCANIC CAUSEWAY||Sonya Price||52||81|
|26||VISCOUNT CAMERON||Angela Smith||52||80|
|27||PINTADA PRINCE||Warren Radford||52||77|
|28||TEST THE ANGELS||Jeremy Easthope||52||78|
|29||DANCIN ON THE WIND||Shane Edwards||52||72|
|30||MOONLIGHT BAY||Grant Williams||52||74|
|31||COME FLIRT WITH ME||Deborah Murphy||52||73|
|33||CAMPOBELLO||Lou & Dion Luciani||52||72|
|34||SUPREMACY (NZ)||Steven Pinfold||52||72|
|35||GRAND APPROACH||Frankie Maynard||52||71|
|36||BIG JOSH||Daniel Morton||52||70|
|40||CARA CARABINI||Ben Perace||52||67|
|41||FOREVER SPECIAL||Grant Williams||52||65|
|43||AMBERS KINGDOM||Sharon Miller||52||61|
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