Hobart Cup winner Hurdy Gurdy Man is likely to be given a shot at a “cups double” in the Group 3 $225,000 2013 Launceston Cup (2400m) on February 27.
The five-year-old entire justified his favouritism in the Hobart Cup on February 10 to beat home local hopes The Cleaner and Geegees Blackflash by more than a length.
Trainer Darren Weir said it is likely he will return to Tasmania for the Launceston Cup where he will be eligible for a $100,000 bonus ($50,000 for the trainer and $50,000 for the owners) if he can complete the Hobart-Launceston double.
Hurdy Gurdy Man has been spending time in Warrnambool where he has been freshening up with beach work.
He will have a gallop there on Thursday which will ultimately decide whether he makes a return trip to Tasmania.
“We’ll give him a strong gallop and if he pulls up in good order, we’ll be going back,” Weir said.
The son of Street Cry carried 54kg to victory in the Hobart Cup but that impost will increase to 56kg if he lines up in Launceston.
Hury Gurdy Man is a highly consistent performer, having won 12 times and finished in the minor placings on another five occasions from 24 starts.
The last horse to complete the Hobart-Launceston Cups double was Zacielo in 2004.
Current Launceston Cup topweight is 2012 runner-up Geegees Blackflash who won last year’s Hobart Cup and finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Hurdy Gurdy Man in third this year.
A total of 26 horses have been nominated for the Launceston Cup including a number of interstate contenders.
Among the entrants are Gerald Ryan-trained veteran Ironstein and Anthony Cummings’ Group 1 winner Shadows In The Sun.
Gold Coast-based gelding Bid Spotter has been entered to contest his second Launceston Cup. The seven-year-old finished a disappointing 14th in 2011 under previous trainer Graeme Rogerson.
Now trained by Toby Edmonds, Bid Spotter has been in strong form this year, finishing third in the Magic Millions Stayers’ Cup in January and most recently seen winning his last start at Eagle Farm on February 9.