Mawingo and Lights Of Heaven are jostling for favouritism at the top end of the betting market for Saturday’s Group 2 $300,000 2012 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
German import Mawingo is currently the slight bookmaker.com.au favourite at $3.60 but Lights Of Heaven is hot on his tail at $3.80.
The pair fought to the line in the Group 1 Doomben Cup when Mawingo won by a head but Lights Of Heaven had the initial bragging rights after finishing ahead of Mawingo when second in the Hollindale Stakes.
The early advantage is with Mawingo after drawing barrier five while Lights Of Heaven has drawn poorly in barrier 19.
Mawingo requires a top three finish to ensure Melbourne Cup qualification, something trainer Anthony Freedman believes is important given his spring target of the Caulfield Cup.
“It’s an important race for him,” Freedman said.
“To qualify for the Melbourne Cup now means that he can have a weight-for-age campaign in the spring leading into the Caulfield Cup, which I think is the ideal race for him.”
Third best in the betting is Freuhling ($9.00) but the import is an emergency and will only gain a start if another runner withdraws.
No other contender is paying single figures with veteran stayer Scenic Shot and Chris Waller-trained The Verminator the next best at $14.00.
Two-time Group 1 winner Scenic Shot showed signs he still has some quality racing left in him when fourth in the Doomben Cup and second in last weekend’s Eagle Farm Cup.
The Dan Morton-trained nine-year-old has won 17 times from 73 starts and collected more than $3 million in prize money.
Just behind the pair is Dance With Her ($16.00), who has been in excellent form in her past three starts.
The Al Maher mare took out the Warrnambool Cup and Centaurea Stakes earlier this year and only just missed out making it three consecutive victories when beaten at the line in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup.
The Brisbane Cup will run as the eighth race on a bumper Eagle Farm program this Saturday that is highlighted by the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap.
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