Joe Pride’s Group 1 placed miler Laser Hawk is the top weight for Saturday’s Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2015 giving the weight advantage away in the handicap feature this weekend.
Hawkesbury’s stand-alone feature meeting is host to a triple shot of Group 3 racing action including the day’s marquee race, the $150,000 Group 3 Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) running as Race 6 at 3:20pm (AEST).
A capacity field of 16 starters plus three emergencies is accepted for this autumn, Artie Schiller five-year-old Laser Hawk heading the field and weights with 59kg.
He is drawn in gate nine, which becomes eight with the emergencies out, and a jockey is still to be announced for last year’s Group 1 George Main stakes third placegetter.
First-up winner of the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 14, Laser Hawk is out to atone for his distant 13th when failing to beat home any of his rivals in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last time out.
He has an easier field to defeat here, is up over a mile and will appreciate getting out of the major city tracks for the lucrative clash.
The best represented trainer in this year’s Hawkesbury Gold Cup field with a bumper seven final acceptors is Chris Waller.
The highest-rated of his contingent is German import Flamingo Star (58.5kg) in gate 10 for Jason Collett.
A super-consistent Aerion stallion, the five-year-old debuts in Australia this weekend and hasn’t raced since scoring back-to-back Group 3 wins over 1700m and 1600m respectively in Europe last October.
January’s Magic Millions Cup runner-up at the Gold Coast Strawberry Boy (57.5kg) and last start Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) third placed veteran Bagman (56.5kg) are the next heaviest-weighted of Waller’s team, the duo drawn wide in barriers 15 and 14 respectively.
Waller then has four horses getting in on the 54kg minimum on Saturday including the returning Multilateral in gate three for Kathy O’Hara and his last start Royal Randwick 100 winner Rugged Cross.
Jumping from barrier six this weekend with Brenton Avdulla retaining the ride, imported Cape Cross six-year-old Rugged Cross improved on a disappointing first-up effort at Mornington in late March to beat home Ecuador on a Soft (6) Sydney track leading up to the Hawkesbury Cup.
He drops a kilo from his 55kg winning weight that day, and will also appreciate a better draw after doing it from 12 of 12 at Randwick as a 26/1 shot.
Second and third past the post behind Rugged Cross in the Randwick 100 over1400m last time out, Ecuador and Medcaut are also confirmed acceptors in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup rematch.
Gai Waterhouse saddles-up High Chaparral five-year-old Ecuador on Saturday in barrier 12 with Tye Angland booked for the ride, the gelding boasting a nice record over the mile (5-2-2-0).
He was also beaten just a neck first-up last time out, which was Ecuador’s first run since finishing fourth in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) over a year earlier.
Waterhouse has also accepted for the widely-drawn Pheidon (18) who is first-up here and last seen running last (16th) to Moriarty in Perth’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) last December, and the last emergency Frespanol (16).
Medcaut meanwhile is one of three in the mix for Godolphin’s private trainer John O’Shea, Tommy Berry riding the in-form Commands four-year-old from an advantageous barrier four draw.
The gelding has a solid record to date (16-5-3-3), including a previous win at this track and distance in May last year, and should be ready to strike third-up in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
O’Shea’s two other representatives are smart Teofilo four-year-old Malice who James McDonald rides and San Diego jumping one inside of Malice from barriers eight and seven respectively.
Malice won back-to-back Rosehill races last November and returned with a nice Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) second in March before a sixth on April 18 in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m), while San Diego comes off a fourth to Rugged Cross.
See below for the full Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Hawkesbury Race 6 (3:20pm) – 05/02/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||20x8830x10||LASER HAWK||Joseph Pride||TBA||9||59kg||106|
|2||x53241411x||FLAMINGO STAR (GER)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||10||58.5kg||105|
|3||52120944×6||MONTON||Ron Quinton||Christian Reith||13||58kg||104|
|4||200x1332x5||STRAWBERRY BOY||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||15||57.5kg||103|
|5||3×24741918||DIADEME (NZ)||Bjorn Baker||TBA||17||57kg||106|
|6||11335×7093||BAGMAN||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||14||56.5kg||101|
|7||1126x114x2||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tye Angland||12||55kg||98|
|8||x515211x26||MALICE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||8||55kg||98|
|9||6x9461320x||PHEIDON||Gai Waterhouse||Thomas Huet||18||55kg||98|
|10||3408412530||SURPASS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Brodie Loy (a)||11||54.5kg||97|
|11||76x606148x||MULTILATERAL (USA)||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3||54kg||96|
|12||4727120×91||RUGGED CROSS (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||6||54kg||96|
|13||3x683999x0||VILANOVA (NZ)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||1||54kg||93|
|14||4x03212x13||MEDCAUT||John O’Shea||Tommy Berry||4||54kg||90|
|15||620x8x1374||SAN DIEGO||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||7||54kg||88|
|16||220x89677x||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||Jeff Penza||2||54kg||87|
|17e||x3553x9x78||LUCKY LAGO||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||19||54kg||87|
|18e||18727×8428||EVANGELIST (GB)||Tony McEvoy||TBA||5||54kg||85|