The Bart & James Cummings-trained Melbourne visitor The Peak is clear favourite in a strong field of middle distance gallopers to win the Prime Minister’s Cup 2015 at the Gold Coast this weekend.
The six-year-old Pendragon gelding debuts at the Queensland track and is second-up for the season in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Carlton Draught Prime Minister’s Cup (1400m), due to run as the fifth race on Hollindale Stakes Day at 2:02pm (AEST).
Drawn in barrier seven with Damian Browne aboard, The Peak comes off a second to Watermans Bay in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield from April 4.
He carried only 54.5kg that day when beaten a neck, and will need to be improving with the 57kg second top weight this weekend.
Despite this being his first run at the Gold Coast, the bookies have The Peak sitting at the top of the Prime Minister’s Cup odds at $3.20 as his previous form in Queensland back in February was good and included a third at Doomben in black-type company and a 1400m win at the Sunshine Coast carrying 59kg to a one and a half-length victory over Hi Son.
There are then three other single-figure chances in Prime Minister’s Cup betting with Ninth Legion ($4.20), Gundy Spirit ($7.50) and Final Crescendo ($8).
The 60.5kg top weight Ninth Legion comes from the Team Hawkes’ Sydney stables and is right down in class following his dead last when failing to perform on the rain-affected Randwick track on April 6 to run 20th in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m).
It is an easier assignment class-wise this weekend but the Fastnet Rock five-year-old does go up from 52.5kg to 60.5kg, a notable rise in weights.
On the 54kg minimum, Gundy Spirit represents Brisbane horseman Tony Gollan and has Tegan Harrison aboard in a wide barrier 13 of 14 draw.
A four-year-old gelding by Jet Spur, Gundy Spirit has had two unplaced runs at the Gold Coast but his 1400m record of four wins and two seconds from eight starts over the distance is good.
He comes off an April 11 win at Doomben over 1350m and is tipped to run well again this weekend.
Final Crescendo has a good barrier four draw and Glen Boss riding, the David Kelly-trained Foreplay gelding out to atone for his first-up ninth to Rocket To Glory in the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap (1100m) from earlier in the month in Brisbane.
At more generous odds for an upset Prime Minister’s Cup result are then the likes of Savabeel gelding Grayson Square who was runner-up to Rudy in the Recognition Stakes last November, the
Stuart Kendrick-trained Neo coming off a second to Gundy Spirit from April 11 and Rob Heathcote’s Tycoon Ruler seven-year-old Jopa all at $10.
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