The Northern Territory’s premier race is this Monday’s 2012 Darwin Cup, the final field and barrier draw for which has now been released.
Due to bring a bumper nine-race program to a close at Fannie Bay Racecourse at 5:35pm (local time) on Monday, this year’s edition of the $185,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) has drawn a full field of 12 starters plus two emergencies.
Heading the Darwin Cup 2012 field and weights is defending champion Hawks Bay who will have to break their own weight-carrying record which they set last year to win again.
Twelve months ago Neil Dyer’s honest galloper raced in their third straight Darwin Cup, Hawks Bay having run second in both 2009 and 2010, this time carrying a hefty 62kg to an ultra-impressive four length victory.
After back-to-back Cup wins over 1300m and 1600m at Fannie Bay earlier this year Hawks Bay was last seen running a disappointing sixth when failing to defend their title in the Metric Mile last weekend.
They are set to carry 64.5kg on Monday and could find themselves caught in traffic from their inside barrier one draw.
While the weights are against them Hawks Bay is sure to be the sentimental favourite with the locals as a regular visitor to the NT.
Following Hawks Bay in the weights with 59kg is then the Melinda Boothby-trained Blackbriar drawn nicely in gate six with Paul Shiers to ride.
This veteran Desert Sun seven-year-old has been in good form this winter winning the QBE Cup (1200m) three back before running third and fourth respectively behind Hawks Bay in the Roant Gold Cup and the Chief Minister’s Cup.
Meanwhile there are three last-start winners engaged in the Darwin Cup this year with Stephen Brown’s local Zabeel five-year-old Sheahan (barrier nine) who attracted a 1.5kg penalty for their Metric Mile victory last Saturday which was their second on the trot over the Fannie Bay mile, Buntine Handicap winner over 1900m by 5.5 lengths on July 21 Glare (barrier 10) who like Sheahan will be out for their third straight win, and the Malcolm Carson-trained Alice Springs galloper The Third Baseman (barrier five).
Other notable hopefuls include Metric Mile runner-up Bolton, smart seven-year-old stayer Into The Sun, Cranbourne raider Sea Skye and The Ruffian over from Geelong.
Check out the full 2012 Darwin Cup field, weights, jockeys and barriers in the table below.
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2012 Darwin Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Fannie Bay Race 9 – 5:35pm – 06/08/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x480072116||HAWKS BAY||Neil Dyer||Steven Arnold||1||64.5kg||111|
|2||72154×9134||BLACKBRIAR||Melinda Boothby||Paul Shiers||6||59kg||96|
|3||64811×9522||BOLTON (NZ)||Stephen Brown||Stephen Baster||7||57kg||91|
|4||x707103088||PALMYRA BOY||Neil Dyer||Adam Nicholls||4||57kg||91|
|5||40x000x657||SYREON||Jason Manning||Ms Vanessa Arnott||12||57kg||91|
|6||x3133x4811||SHEAHAN||Stephen Brown||Scott Hillebrand||9||55.5kg inc. 1.5kg pen.||88|
|7||621421×011||GLARE||Louis Paech||Carl Spry||10||54.5kg||86|
|8||8×038471||THE THIRD BASEMAN||Malcolm Carson||Dom Tourneur||5||54.5kg||86|
|9||11×1242234||I AM MAGIC||Kerry Petrick||Phillip Crich||14||54kg||83|
|10||4×94631883||INTO THE SUN||Malcolm Carson||Michael L Evans||2||54kg||82|
|11||x951247814||SEA SKYE (USA)||Bevan Laming||Ms Jan Cameron||13||54kg||81|
|12||116x74x742||THE RUFFIAN||Sheila Arnold||Jason Maskiell||8||54kg||81|
|13e||8150×33063||CLUB LIQUID||Dick Leech||Ben Hoppo||11||54kg||80|