They may have bypassed the traditional lead-up but Warrnambool-based trainer Bill Wilde still believes his veteran galloper Constant Force can be competitive in Monday’s Darwin Cup 2013.
The Jeune seven-year-old is yet to race outside of Victoria but will make their interstate debut at career start number 36 next week.
Wilde, who co-trains the gelding with his son Symon Wilde, is praying the trip pays for itself with a win in the lucrative $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay which has previously been a happy hunting ground for Warrnambool horses.
“The prize money in the feature races in Darwin is excellent. It’s a big carnival,” Wilde told the Standard.
“Jarrod McLean has led the charge for Warrnambool trainers as he won the feature sprint race, the Palmerstone Sprint, with Youbolt last year.
“Symon is up there with Constant Force.
“I would think we might take other horses up to the Darwin carnival in the future if there are suitable races.”
Constant Force is one of a full field engaged for the feature where they will carry 57kg with Jason Maskiell to ride them for the first time.
It’s been a while between drinks for the horse too with their last win being in the Ballan Cup (1300m) on the Synthetic track at Geelong back in November last year.
Their more recent form has been a bit hit and miss, their best effort in the past couple of months being a close second to top Tassie runner The Cleaner in the $100,000 David Bourke Provincial Plate (1610m) at Flemington on June 22.
While many of the major players in the Darwin Cup field raced at the track in last Saturday’s Metric Mile, Constant Force’s most recently raced at Caulfield on July 13 over the 2000m finishing a brave fourth to Rock Princess.
“We could not get him up there in time for the Metric Mile,” Wilde said.
“We really wanted Constant Force to have a run on the track but he only left Warrnambool last Tuesday and got to Darwin on Friday.
“It’s a 4500km trip. There was no hope we could run him in the Metric Mile last Saturday.
“It’s a different racing surface at Darwin. The surface contains oil and sand. We’ve galloped him on the track and we’ll give him one or two more serious gallops before Monday’s race.
“Constant Force is an on-pace runner, which usually suits horses running in Darwin.”
Early favourite to take out the Darwin Cup is the emphatic six length Metric Mile winner Spartan Eagle who is after their incredible fifth straight victory.
Others to come via the Metric Mile include Generous Beau (3rd), Agrippa (4th) and last year’s Darwin Cup runner-up Bolton (5th) while the second placed Palmyra Boy is the third emergency for Saturday.
Their trainer Neil Dyer will still be represented in the race he’s made his own over the past two years as he’ll saddle-up the 65kg top-weight Hawks Bay after their third straight Darwin Cup success.
Darwin Cup barriers and odds are both due to out soon, and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
In the meantime why not take a couple of minutes to sign up with bookmaker.com.au who are rewarding new players with a bonus bet valued at 100 percent of their first deposit with use of the code word BONUSBET!