Connections of the Scott Brunton-trained Banca Mo have confirmed the local seven-year-old stayer will be a final acceptor into Monday’s 2015 Hobart Cup field after his strong trial at the track on Tuesday.
Prepared by Brunton at Seven Mile Beach, Tough Speed gelding Banca Mo is one of an official 28 nominations for the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) this Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
He was confirmed for a final acceptance this morning after impressing in a strong 1400m trial at the Tattersall’s Park track after having his lead-up hampered 10 days earlier.
Banca Mo was in the barriers and ready for his Hobart Cup lead-up in the Summer Cup under weight-for-age conditions.
He was fractious in the barriers though and stewards were forced to scratch him at the gates after he bled from the mouth.
His trial for the stewards today then was an enforced one after his warning for bad barrier manners in the Summer Cup, and one he passed after a pleasing performance.
“You never want to play catch-up going into any big race but if there is any horse that is capable of producing the goods in a big race without an ideal preparation it is this horse,” Brunton told Tas Racing today.
“I am very pleased with his trial this morning over 1400 metres.
“He’s done exactly what I was looking for so it’s all systems go for the Hobart Cup next Monday.”
In the trial Banca Mo settled behind his stablemate Payteevee in second and despite a widening margin between the two responded well when David Pires asked him to a the top of the straight.
He took off accelerating well to nab the lead and run home strongly to win without being pushed too hard.
The galloper is yet to step out over the mile and a half but is set to lead Hobart Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au when the markets open later this week.
He does has a good 50% strike rate at Hobart having won two of his four starts at the track.
A known wet-track performer, the horse has proved an ultra-consistent type in Tassie over the seasons winning 11 of his 28 starts and placing in a further nine meaning he has finished out of the money on just eight occasions.
He also boasts strong Melbourne form including winning the Pakenham Cup in 2013 before wins at Flemington over 2000m and an impressive five length romp over Muirfield in that year’s Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m).
That performance proved his staying ability despite him finishing a disappointing eighth in his title defense in the same race in the mud last winter.
His three latest summer lead-up runs before the Summer Cup scratching back home have been much better though and have connections confident of Banca Mo breaking a winning drought that goes back to April of 2013.
Last start on New Year’s Eve he ran a half-length away second to Iggimacool in the Listed Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) where the same bad barrier manners scored him an earlier warning from the stewards.
Now he steps out over more distance in the Hobart Cup where he will drop from 59kg last start to 56.5kg on Monday, the weights led by the John Luttrell-trained Geegees Blackflash with 59kg.
The other big name players pre-field announcement are the Darren Weir-trained eight-year-old from Wangoom Akzar who is an unlikely acceptor, the Billy Ryan-trained local Ladoni four-year-old Genuine Lad and Pelicano with 58kg for Tony McEvoy.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the Hobart Cup 2015 final field and barriers due out later this week.
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