This Saturday the summer stakes racing action in Sydney will get underway with the 2012 Frank Underwood Cup and one in-form galloper looking to steal the show is the Wayne Wilkes-trained King Utah.
Registered this year as the ATC Cup, the $100,000 Listed Frank Underwood Cup (2200m) attracted 10 early entries with nominations extended until 11:00am (AEST) on Tuesday.
One of the original nominees that will be accepting for the handicap clash is Bradbury’s Luck five-year-old King Utah from Port Macquarie.
Saturday will be the five-year-old’s debut black type assignment with King Utah, a bargain buy for $8,000 as a yearling, yet to face off against stakes company.
They have earned the assignment with a number of good runs this time in including an impressive three length romp at Grafton over 2104m back in early October.
Making it back-to-back wins with another easy victory this time over the mile and a half at Warwick Farm on October 24 as a $20 roughie King Utah was last seen finishing second to Rothera in a 2400m handicap at Eagle Farm on November 17 where they were unsuited to the Slow (7) track.
“It rained before the race in Brisbane which didn’t help him so it was a good effort,” Wilkes said.
Back on drier ground over a shorter distance (2200m) Wilkes rates King Utah a strong chance in the Frank Underwood Cup 2012 where apprentice hoop Anthony Allen, aboard for their Warwick Farm win two back, gets back aboard.
“Anthony has had two rides for two wins so he knows him,” Wilkes said talking also of his win with King Utah at Taree back in July last year.
“He rode for me a bit when he was based up here and he has improved a lot being in Sydney.”
There are certainly be some class rivals for them to overcome including Bendigo Cup third placegetter Fiumicino and the Bjorn Baker-trained Cantonese coming off a Rosehill win over 2000m last Saturday.
If all goes to plan Wilkes will continue on with his lightly raced stayer taking King Utah to the $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) on December 15 and the $125,000 Group 3 Summer Cup on Boxing Day both over the mile and a half at Rosehill Gardens.
“He keeps stepping up and if he steps up to this class then he will go on to the Christmas Cup and the Summer Cup,” Wilkes said.
“They are over 2400 metres which is a better distance for him than the 2200 on Saturday but he needs to get the miles in his legs.”
Stay tuned for all the latest Frank Underwood Cup field and betting updates over the coming days.
Remember when it comes to cooling off with a summer punt this season that the best horse racing odds and fixed win markets can be found online at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous ‘Quickbet’ feature allowing you to place your bets in three clicks of the mouse!