Defending champion Hawks Bay leads the 2012 Darwin Cup nominations and weights with the Neil Dyer-trained six-year-old being allocated a hefty 64.5kg for their title defense in the Darwin Cup Carnival’s marquee event.
Twelve months ago the consistent Black Hawk gelding put an easy four lengths on their closest rival Palmyra Boy when running away to win the Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay with 62kg on their back.
They rise an extra 2.5kg for this year’s edition of the $185,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) however which is due to run on Monday August 6, 2012.
The 50-start veteran is no stranger to big weights however, Hawks Bay having carried 63kg and 63.5kg to victory respectively in their two most recent runs this winter.
On June 30 they scored a decisive victory in the Roant Gold Cup (1300m) at Fannie Bay overcoming the extreme outside barrier and then backed up at the track on July 14 with another solid victory this time in the Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m).
To date they have won 13 starts for a tidy $720,000 in prize money but will have their work cut out for them if they are to become a dual Darwin Cup champion on Monday week.
Following Hawks Bay in the 2012 Darwin Cup weights is then Melinda Boothby’s always honest Desert Sun gelding Blackbriar (59kg) who ran third in the feature last year.
The other heavily weighted hopefuls on 57kg each are then Stephen Brown’s Zabeel five-year-old Bolton who won the listed Victoria Cup (2000m) at Caulfield back in February, last year’s Darwin Cup runner-up Palmyra Boy and Flying Spur eight-year-old Syreon.
The final two Darwin Cup nominees having attracted more than the 54kg minimum weight this year are the Louis Paech-trained Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Glare who has won their past two starts including the Buntine Handicap (1900m) at Fannie Bay last Saturday by an impressive five and a half lengths, and up-and-coming Grandera colt The Third Baseman who comes off a four length win over the track and distance – both on 54.5kg.
Other notable hopefuls include The Ruffian, progressive Zabeel four-year-old Sheahan last seen winning over the mile at Fannie Bay by four and a half lengths, and last start Morphettville winner Sea Skye.
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2012 Darwin Cup Weights & Nominations
Darwin – 06/08/2012
|1||HAWKS BAY||Neil Dyer||1||64.5kg||111|
|3||BOLTON (NZ)||Stephen Brown||3||57kg||91|
|4||PALMYRA BOY||Neil Dyer||5||57kg||91|
|7||THE THIRD BASEMAN||Malcolm Carson||6||54.5kg||86|
|8||BACCHUS EAGLE||Stephen Brown||14||54kg||78|
|9||CHIEFTAIN JACK||David Bates||13||54kg||78|
|10||CLUB LIQUID||Dick Leech||12||54kg||80|
|12||I AM MAGIC||Kerry Petrick||8||54kg||83|
|13||INTO THE SUN||Malcolm Carson||9||54kg||82|
|14||SEA SKYE (USA)||Bevan Laming||11||54kg||81|
|16||THE RUFFIAN||Sheila Arnold||10||54kg||81|