Ciaron Maher’s last start Winter Cup winner Kapour is one of the headline final acceptors for the Grafton Cup 2015 field this Thursday at the Clarence River Jockey Club’s biggest race day.
Held on the second meeting of the two-day July Grafton Cup Carnival in New South Wales, this year’s $150,000 Listed Blanchard Haulage Grafton Cup (2350m) features 16 hopefuls.
Four are last start winners, most notably Maher’s Toylsome five-year-old Kapour who atoned for some poor recent form to win the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on June 27.
Relishing a Heavy (8) track and the mile and a half, which he sees close to again this week, Kapour put an easy four and a half lengths on his closest rival Bonfire in the lead-up to Grafton.
In the Winter Cup the winner carried only 54kg with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, McEvoy retaining the ride for the Grafton Cup where Kapour will go up two kilos to 56kg.
Heading the Grafton Cup field and weights with a hefty 59kg is then Gai Waterhouse’s Winter Cup runner-up Bonfire.
While Kapour has drawn well in gate six for the rematch, Bonfire has another tough test with the weight and an outside barrier 14 draw with Blake Shinn riding.
Shinn takes over for Danny Beasley aboard the imported Manduro six-year-old who ran a first-up fourth in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) before the distant winter stakes second late last month.
The next heaviest-weighted and also drawn wide with the outside barrier (16) is Bevan Laming’s Mornington Cup winner from March Banca Mo (58.5kg).
The veteran Tough Speed seven-year-old followed the Mornington Cup win with two unplaced Doomben runs before a good second to Danchai in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 13 and then a fourth when only one and a half lengths off Escado on the Gold Coast in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2400m) on June 20.
Also coming via a good run in the Tatt’s Cup is Gerald Ryan’s Reset five-year-old Shoreham who ran second and crossed just a neck off the winner when carrying 55.5kg.
He goes up a kilo to 56.5kg on Thursday and will have Brenton Avdulla aboard from barrier four.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller meanwhile has a trio of Grafton Cup chances this winter led by the nicely-drawn Ipswich Cup winner Danchai (55.5kg) in gate two with Hugh Bowman booked for the ride.
The in-form son of Authorized backed up from the Ipswich success to finish third behind fellow Grafton Cup rivals Kapour and Bonfire in the Winter Cup last time out and will appreciate a firmer track than the Heavy (8) that day as he shoots for his first win over further than 2150m.
Waller’s two other runners are the rails-drawn Choisir six-year-old Reigning who won over 2000m two back before a third over 1900m behind Sir Mako last Saturday at Rosehill and imported mare Gosh.
Jumping from gate 10 on the 54kg minimum this week, Peintre Celebre five-year-old Gosh was last seen crossing a distant fourth to Kapour in the Winter Cup and she’ll be looking to finish closer third-up at Grafton.
Other notable Grafton Cup hopes this year include Ruth Cooper’s Grafton Cup Prelude winner Mullet Man and runner-up in that same race Kingston Time drawn in barriers 12 and 7 respectively for the black-type final.
See below for the full Grafton Cup 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2015 Grafton Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Grafton Race 7 (3:55pm) – 09/07/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||32x2237x42||BONFIRE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||14||59kg||100|
|2||4323210024||BANCA MO||Bevan Laming||Timothy Bell||16||58.5kg||99|
|3||73×6342582||SHOREHAM||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||4||56.5kg||95|
|4||204x00x861||KAPOUR (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||Kerrin McEvoy||6||56kg||94|
|5||89677×5313||DANCHAI (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||55.5kg||93|
|6||368×612337||DARCI BE GOOD (NZ)||Andrew Williamson||Brad Pengelly||11||55.5kg||93|
|7||x6655x3413||REIGNING||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||1||54.5kg||91|
|8||4x54x66x94||GOSH (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||10||54kg||87|
|9||060×016160||NOISY OCEAN||Bryan Guy||Tommy Berry||15||54kg||87|
|10||1927908085||PHRASES||Bindi Cheers||Andrew Gibbons||3||54kg||85|
|11||9235912636||DREAM FOLK||Gregory Hickman||Ms Winona Costin (a)||5||54kg||80|
|12||7214×21221||MAURUS (GB)||David Vandyke||Jason Collett||13||54kg||78|
|13||2x76163x71||ARCHEAN (USA)||David Vandyke||Blake Spriggs||9||54kg||73|
|14||8546135401||MULLET MAN||Ruth Cooper||TBA||12||54kg||73|
|15||9145183342||KINGSTON TIME||Paul Grills||Ms Jodi Worley (a)||7||54kg||70|
|16||0587111124||RAPIDUS (NZ)||Bindi Cheers||Raymond Spokes||8||54kg||69|