Two gallopers are currently sitting top of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2015 odds for Saturday with Ecuador and Medcaut equal favourites for one of the weekend’s most anticipated races.
Heading an eight-race card at Hawkesbury, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) drew an over-capacity number of final acceptors with three emergencies.
Two of those have now secured a run with Lucky Lago and Evanglist coming in to replace early scratchings Laser Hawk, who was to have carried the 59kg top weight, and the Bjorn Baker-trained Diademe drawn wide in gate 17.
There is now a host of livewire chances who are well-weighted to win the handicap clash at single-figures in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, including Ecuador and Medcaut both at $6.50.
Tye Angland rides Ecuador, who has firmed in from $7, the Gai Waterhouse-trained High Chaparral five-year-old shooting for his sixth win at his 14th start.
The mile is an ideal distance for him as he’s won two from five over the 1600m and finished second two other of those starts.
He’s up over those metres for the first time since a brave sixth when beaten only a lengthy by Boban in the 2013 Epsom Handicap.
Eucador spent a notable 12 months on the sidelines and only returned from his year off last start when second crossing just a neck off Rugged Cross in the Royal Randwick 100 (1400m) on April 18.
He carried 57kg that day and will enjoy dropping back to 55kg, which is only a kilo more than the equal favourite Medcaut who has the 54kg minimum and Tommy Berry riding.
The John O’Shea-trained Medcaut is a super-consistent Commands four-year-old who won first-up over 1400m at Rosehill on March 28 by two lengths before a last start third in the Randwick 100, still under a half-length off the Chris Waller-trained winner.
The next best in Hawkesbury Gold Cup betting outside the two top elects are then Malice ($7.50) and market mover, the aforementioned Royal Randwick 100 winner Rugged Cross ($8).
Another runner for O’Shea and Godolphin, Teofilo four-year-old Malice ran second in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) two back and comes off a sixth to Gypsy Diamond in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) from April 18 he’ll be looking to improve on her when dropped back 400m to the mile.
Rugged Cross meanwhile will get a gun run from gate six on Saturday with Brenton Avdulla retaining the ride after guiding the Cape Cross six-year-old to victory last time out.
The horse drops from 55kg to 54kg and the punters are coming with him, Rugged Cross backed right in from $12 to $8.
Rounding out the single figure hopes are then O’Shea’s third runner San Diego ($8.50) coming off a Randwick 100 fourth and Waller’s six-year-old Magic Millions Cup runner-up Strawberry Boy ($9) who ran fifth to Rugged Cross last time out who Jim Cassidy is booked to ride.
For value further down the markets there’s a host of livewire chances including Bagman ($12) who has a good 1600m record and has been freshened-up since his good third in the Group 3 Manion Cup on March 21 over 2400m, and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Encosta De Lago mare Lucky Lago ($13) who was eighth in the Randwick 100 but on the improve.
See below for the full Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2015 betting odds, markets open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where first-time depositing players will have their first deposits matched dollar for dollar up to $250 this season when using the code BETBONUS!