This Sunday the action of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival gets into full swing with the running of the 2012 Hobart Cup, a final field of 10 top stayers engaged for the feature.
Won last year by Sydney raider Bid Spotter, this year’s edition of the $225,000 Group 3 AAMI Hobart Cup (2200m) is shaping up as a super clash by a number of strong interstate visitors and Tasmania’s ace staying types.
Topweight of the field with 59kg and Dwayne Dunn engaged for the ride is the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Rainbow Styling out for back-to-back wins for the Sydney stayers.
Drawn on the rails in barrier one veteran Zabeel seven-year-old Rainbow Styling showed they still had wins up their sleeve taking out an 1800m handicap at Caulfield last-start on January 26 when carrying 58.5kg.
That victory broke a lengthy winning drought for the horse whose other most recent turf triumph was in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) also at Caulfield back in September of 2010.
Rainbow Styling is one of three other last-start winners engaged in the Hobart Cup 2012 field.
The other most notable galloper coming off a win is John Luttrell’s local hopeful Geegees Blackflash who will go out as the 58.5kg second top-weight with Peter Mertens aboard.
The Clangalang five-year-old has been in flying form of late winning all four of their spring – summer starts to date.
Their purple patch has included a stakes victory in the Listed Kevin Sharkie Stakes (1600m) at Hobart on December 27, and most recently their brilliant six length Summer Cup (2100m) win carrying 60kg.
Dropping back in weight, and seeking their third win from as many starts at Hobart, Geegees Blackflash is likely to open at the top of the Hobart Cup odds at Luxbet when markets are released shortly.
“We thought that he would get 58 or 58.5kg,” Luttrell said.
“He carried 60kg last start so the weight he got is fair enough.
“I think we can still win the race.”
The other gallopers seeking back-to-back victories are the Patrick Payne-trained Victorian stayer Fieldmaster to be ridden by Michelle Payne from gate two, and the Gary White-trained Wynyard Cup winner Mr Isaac in barrier three with Michael Walker engaged for the ride.
Black Minnaloushe five-year-old Fieldmaster made a brilliant start to their Tassie raid last Sunday when they scored a tidy one and three quarter length victory over fellow Hobart Cup acceptor Dream Flyer, prepared by local horseman Troy Blacker, with the Danny O’Brien-trained Savabeel mare Placement at close third.
It is a genuine field full of ace chances for this year’s Hobart Cup with other notable horses including the Shaune Ritchie-trained Kiwi Roi D’Jeu coming off a close second in a Group 3 over 2000m in New Zealand on January 21, and Michael Moroney’s last-start Victoria Handicap runner-up Viking Hero, Moroney opting not to accept original topweight Drunken Sailor.
On the 54kg minimum with Damien Oliver aboard, Viking Hero will jump from barrier nine of 10.
“He’s had three starts this preparation and he’s spot on going into the race,” Moroney’s stable manager Anthony Feroce said of Viking Hero.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au throughout the coming weeks for all the latest Tassie racing news and betting updates.
2012 Hobart Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Hobart – 12/02/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4X65680X61||RAINBOW STYLING (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||1||59kg||102|
|2||21142X1111||GEEGEES BLACKFLASH||John Luttrell||Peter Mertens||6||58.5kg||101|
|3||25X675X212||ROI D’JEU (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||–||8||55.5kg||95|
|4||2241143X51||FIELDMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||Ms Michelle Payne||2||54.5kg||93|
|5||020940X652||VIKING HERO||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||9||54kg||91|
|6||2446X18212||DREAM FLYER||Troy Blacker||Craig Newitt||4||54kg||88|
|7||7343632313||PLACEMENT (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||7||54kg||85|
|8||146X294026||SUCCESS DOSTTA||David & Scott Brunton||–||5||54kg||82|
|9||3156323341||MR ISAAC||Gary White||Michael Walker||3||54kg||78|
|10||527X571127||JAY BEE’S GEE GEE||Stuart Gandy||Robert Thompson||10||54kg||76|