The headline race of the Clarence River Jockey Club’s $1 million July Carnival runs at Grafton Racecourse today and to help our reader’s back a winner below we have the Races.com.au team’s insider Grafton Cup 2012 tips and betting selections.
While this year’s edition of the $150,000 Listed Maclean Bowling Club Grafton Cup (2350m) isn’t generating the same amount of interest with the punters yesterday’s Ramornie Handicap did, it is still shaping up as an intriguing clash well worth having a bet on.
Since Grafton Cup betting markets on the field, which is now down to 10 following the scratching of the Brian Smith-trained Hume, opened at bookmaker.com.au the only change has been Saint Encosta drifting out from $21 to $26.
Topping the Grafton Cup odds at a steady price of $3 is Saint Encosta’s stablemate, the fellow John Thompson-trained Shamardashing.
Excusing their 12th when outclassed in the Brisbane Cup two back, the Shamardal five-year-old has been in outstanding form this preparation.
Their best effort included a win over 2200-metres at the Gold Coast in May when thriving in the muddy conditions, a devastatingly close fourth to Fantastic Blue when beaten less than a length in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben and their last start fourth to Ginga Dude in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 23.
So can they keep that going at Grafton today and are they the Races.com.au tip to win?
Or do we fancy one of the favourite’s better priced rivals such as the surprisingly short Southern Shimmer ($3.20), the Bruce Hill-trained Warrior Within ($4.20) or last year’s South Grafton Cup winner Gazza Guru ($8)?
Having studied the 2012 Grafton Cup field and form guide our tips are:
#3 Shamardashing ($3)
- Favourite for a reason
- They have awesome form in the lead up forgetting the Brisbane Cup run
- Running against better than of late
- Tatt’s Cup fourth was a great effort and with improvement they will prove hard to beat
- Only concern is rise from 54kg to 57.5kg but they proved they could handle that weight (in the wet) at the Gold Coast on May 5
#Warrior Within ($4.20)
- Good price for this 60-start veteran from the Gold Coast
- Defending their Grafton Cup title having beaten home Gold In Dubai here last year
- Carried only 53kg then and go up to 58kg today which rules them out of the win for us
- Lead-up form is excellent including a Tatt’s Cup third (ahead of fourth placed Shamardashing) and a third also in the Ipswich Cup
- Again – they had 54kg for both those runs and when carrying more (59kg in the Eagle Farm Cup) they were beaten 37 lengths
- Less weight they win but it’ll be close
#4 Gazza Guru ($8)
- Undefeated at the track (2-2-0-0)
- Won the South Grafton Cup here last year
- Needs to improve on their recent runs but can getting back up in distance
Roughies We Like
#7 Danahere ($31)
- Way over the odds
- Local Grafton galloper ran a good second in the Grafton Cup Prelude last time out
- Good Win / Place percentage of 43%
- Great record at the track (6-1-2-1)
- Could sneak in for a place
Back our Grafton Cup tips, or lock in your own selections, at the best prices online now at bookmaker.com.au home of the $300 Bonus Bet Offer for new customers quoting the code BONUSBET!
*All odds quoted are fixed win from bookmaker.com.au and subject to change