A bumper two-day Scone Carnival kicks off tomorrow and the major highlight is the Listed $180,000 2012 Scone Cup that will take place as the opening day feature race.
Current favourite is John O’Shea-trained gelding Lightinthenite ($2.90) who is coming off a first-up win at Randwick and will carry the minimum weight of 54.5kg.
Next best in the betting is fellow last-start winner Star Of Octagonal ($4.20) while no other runner is currently under double figures.
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#7 Lightinthenite ($2.90)
Nobody likes backing favourites but it is impossible to look past this talented four-year-old here. Carrying the minimum of 54.5kg, O’Shea said earlier this week he expects a big run from the lightly-raced gelding and we agree.
A winner of five of nine starts, he was particularly impressive first-up when beating Emancipation Stakes winner Skyerush at Randwick and has only twice in his career finished outside the placings.
To top it all off, the son of Galilelo will be ridden by classy New Zealand jockey James McDonald who has been riding winners from everywhere this year and was on board during Lightinthenite’s last-start victory.
Star Of Octagonal has been in sensational form this year and if he wasn’t forced to carry 58kg we may have tipped him to edge out Lightinthenite.
The weight remains the only question mark over the Rowley Mile winner who has recorded two wins and four placings from six starts in 2012.
Mr Tipsy is running first-up but that caused no problems for the New Zealand gelding last preparation when he won the Listed Karaka Classic fresh.
He has drawn favourably in barrier six and has run solidly in two barrier trials leading up to this weekend.
#10 Prussian Secret ($14.00)
This experienced gelding is facing a step up in class from his recent starts but comes into the race with plenty of form behind him.
The seven-year-old is a proven winner with 12 wins from 34 starts and is yet to finish worse than third in 2012.
He finished second at Tamworth first-up and then placed in the Tamworth Cup before winning his last start at Gunnedah.
If he can handle the step up to 1600 metres in what will be his longest race of the year he may just be able to challenge the race favourites.