While the 2012 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is in full swing there is still quality racing elsewhere and on Thursday there will be plenty of eyes on New South Wales for the Group 3 2012 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
A quality 12-horse field has been named to contest the $150,000 event which is headed by Gai Waterhouse-trained pair Wild And Proud and Kontiki Park.
Wild And Proud can be a hit-and-miss runner but it’s hard to deny his ability.
The four-year-old beat Manawanui to win the Hobartville Stakes in the autumn and while he was a distant 10th in the Epsom last month he ran a strong third the start before in Bill Ritchie Handicap.
Experienced gelding Kontiki Park ran last in the Epsom but also tasted some success earlier in the spring when he was a close runner-up in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap.
Bringing consistent form into the race is Merlin Mustang who is stepping up in class after three top three finishes in his past three starts.
Darley gelding Offenders hasn’t won this preparation but produced some good results in September when third in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap and second in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes.
To make an impact on Thursday Malavio will have to turn around his last-start form where he finished 10th at Rosehill but prior to that he won the Twin Willows Handicap and was fifth at Group 2 level in the Shorts.
Others in the Hawkesbury Cup field include Patinack-owned gelding Isopach, last-start runner-up World Wide and Bede Murray-trained gelding Darci Be Good.
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Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||21176×1260||KONTIKI PARK (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||9||59kg||102|
|2||161103×030||WILD AND PROUD||Gai Waterhouse||Peter Robl||4||58.5kg||101|
|3||x17221x510||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Nathan Berry||10||55kg||94|
|4||080×875328||OFFENDERS||Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr||3||55kg||94|
|5||96050×5764||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Bede Murray||TBA||8||54kg||90|
|6||1138336×68||ALMA’S FURY||Paul Murray||Grant Buckley||6||54kg||89|
|7||75164116×0||FROMELLES (NZ)||John Sargent||Jason Collett||12||54kg||88|
|8||250x9x2789||SAINTHOOD||Rick Worthington||Glyn Schofield||7||54kg||88|
|9||0834480×25||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||2||54kg||87|
|10||2510×46440||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||Jeff Penza||11||54kg||86|
|11||13169×7132||MERLIN MUSTANG||Michael Tubman||Brendan Ward||5||54kg||85|
|12||0531865062||WORLD WIDE||Bede Murray||Rod Quinn||1||54kg||85|