This Saturday three Group races headline Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day including The 2014 Darley Crown for fillies and mares where a capacity field will face off.
There were 17 original final acceptors for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 The 2014 Darley Crown (1300m), running as Hawkesbury Race 5 at 2:45pm (AEST).
An early withdrawal by Peter Snowden of #10 La Pieta however has paved the way for the first of three emergencies, the Tony McEvoy-trained The Messina Nymph, to gain a start.
The classy Commands filly has run top three in all four of her starts to date including two wins, the most recent of which was at Wyong over 1100m on April 17.
She’s also had Black-Type experience when third behind Minaj in the Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last October.
The form of that race has held up too with the Anthony Freedman-trained winner Minaj going on to win the Listed Redelva Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville recently.
The Messina Nymph then is one of five single figure fancies in the latest The 2014 Darley Crown odds paying $8, in from $9.
The markets meanwhile are led by Cosmic Endeavour drawn in gate 12 paying $4.20 to also go back-to-back having won their lead-up run.
A James McDonald mount, Gai Waterhouse’s Northern Meteor filly has been in ace form this time in including her two length victory in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 19.
She was on the short back-up there too having only just run second to Politeness in the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) on a Heavy (9) track seven days earlier.
In the Sapphire she carried only 53kg however and so will need to improve going up to 57kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions of Saturday’s showdown.
The other runner under $5 is then Plucky Belle occupying the third line of The Darley Crown betting at a quote of $4.80.
Drawn in gate three with Linda Meech to ride, Peter Moody’s Mossman mare also comes via the Sapphire Stakes having run three lengths away third to Cosmic Endeavour.
She’s out to turn the tables here then, the Group 3 Melbourne Cup Day winner from the spring third-up for the season having also run second to Avoid Lightning, runner-up in the Sapphire, in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) first-up at Rosehill on March 29.
Also at single figures to become this year’s The Darley Crown winner are then Lilliburelo ($6) and Seaside ($8).
The David Payne-trained Lilliburelo ran sixth in the Sapphire last time out but has Group 3 winning form from earlier this prep having saluted at Randwick first-up in the Triscay Stakes.
Seaside meanwhile ensures Snowden is still represented in the race, the Redoute’s Choice four-year-old racing for the first time since her Group 3 Tressday Stakes (1400m) fourth at Flemington back on the first of March.
At longer odds but still in with a shot at the crown include the likes of another Snowden-trained hope Pleiades ($11) last seen running second over the Gosford mile in January in the Group 3 Belle Of The Turf Stakes, Paul Snowden’s second emergency Commanding Wit ($13) in top form this prep including a win at Canterbury last time out and Waterhouse’s Dehere five-year-old Miss Stellabelle ($15).
Check out the latest The 2014 Darley Crown fixed win odds below, prices open now at the country’s leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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