A lucrative $120,000 first prize and a nice lead-up run for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival has seen this Sunday’s Canberra Cup 2013 at Thoroughbred Park attract one of its strongest line-ups in many years with the field lead by reigning Sydney Cup winner Niwot.
Due to run as Canberra Race 7 at 4:46pm (local time), the $200,000 Listed ACTTAB Canberra Centenary Cup (2000m) has this year drawn a final field of 13 stayers led by the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes co-trained veteran Niwot.
While a couple of things have worked against the Galileo eight-year-old here with Niwot to carry the 60kg topweight from a wide barrier 12 draw, they are still the classiest horse in the race having won the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) last autumn.
Due to be ridden by Dwayne Dunn on Sunday Niwot was last seen running a first-up sixth to crack colt All Too Hard in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), an effort they will be looking to improve on as they step up in distance second-up as they prepare for a Sydney Cup title defense at the end of April.
“We’re looking forward to it and it’s an attractive race for people to go to, and for Niwot with the Sydney Cup coming up,” Michael Hawkes said.
“He’s going good and generally, as horses get older, they don’t get better.
“In this case, he’s only very, very lightly raced and hopefully we’re on target for another Sydney Cup.
“This race fits in perfectly.
“The day Niwot stops is the day we think he’s had enough … the older horses with us don’t get punished early, we always take our time, and that’s why Niwot is winning races as he gets older.”
There are a number of other Sydney raiders in the mix this Canberra Cup including the also widely-drawn Snippetson gelding Fast Clip from the stables of Gai Waterhouse who will carry 56.5kg with Tommy Berry aboard from gate 13.
Other notable interstate hopes then include the Anthony Cummings-trained former SA Derby winner Shadows In The Sun (barrier six) and Peter Snowden’s consistent Redoute’s Choice mare Sindarin (barrier 10).
Representing the locals meanwhile is the Len Hodgson-trained Asclepius after their third win on the trot.
Drawn nicely in gate four with Ronnie Stewart to ride the talented Reset four-year-old has won their past two at the track and have winning form up to the 2000m here from last November when carrying 58.5kg to victory – they have just 54kg on Sunday.
Also in with a shot at the Canberra Cup trophy this weekend are the likes of Choisir seven-year-old from Wyong Jimmy Fortunes, Nick Olive’s local mare Natch Catch who was third behind Asclepius over the mile here last start, and the Neville Layt-trained Magic Albert mare Sialia Magic.
See below for the full 2013 Canberra Centenary Cup field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
2013 Canberra Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Canberra Race 7 – 4:46pm (local time) – 10/03/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||41x00800x6||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||12||60kg||107|
|2||159x6x6438||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||13||56.5kg||100|
|3||090×208410||SHADOWS IN THE SUN||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||6||55kg||97|
|4||13541x8x04||COLISEO||Norm Gardner||Jeff Penza||9||54kg||89|
|5||8x07x90361||JIMMY FORTUNES||Michael Clout||Christian Reith||1||54kg||82|
|6||x537129314||COURT CONNECTION||Danny Williams||Glyn Schofield||11||54kg||79|
|7||432303×153||NATCH CATCH||Nick Olive||Brendan Ward||5||54kg||79|
|8||543431×513||SINDARIN||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||10||54kg||78|
|9||424671×511||ASCLEPIUS||Len Hodgson||Ronnie Stewart||4||54kg||76|
|10||4921×64762||MICALONG||Mick Miladinovic||Richard Bensley||2||54kg||74|
|11||821135×145||AL AHMAR||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||Carl Spry||7||54kg||70|
|12||12219×2734||DUBAI RULER||Mick J Smith||Kevin Sweeney||8||54kg||61|
|13||2×40122303||SIALIA MAGIC||Neville Layt||Adrian Layt||3||54kg||54|