Gris Caro Tops 2015 Darwin Cup Field & Weights

Chris Nash’s locally-trained British import Gris Caro will be asked to carry a hefty 61.5kg in Monday’s Darwin Cup 2015 sitting as the highest-rated and weighted runner in the handicap clash.

Gris Caro

Gris Caro is allocated the imposing top weight for Monday’s 2015 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The headline race of the annual Darwin Cup Carnival up the Top End, this year’s $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) is set to run as Race 9 at 5:35pm (local) at Fannie Bay Racecourse and has attracted a capacity field of 12 starters plus three emergencies.

Wearing the number one saddlecloth with Andrew Mallyon booked to ride on 61.5kg, With Approval stallion Gris Caro goes up a challenging five kilos on the weight he had on his back last time out when running second last (11th) behind The Bowler in the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide in mid-May.

He hasn’t won a race since the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last September but is over his pet distance in Monday’s feature boasting five wins and three seconds from 10 previous 2000m runs.

The next two heaviest weighted runners that give plenty of kilos away to the rest of the Darwin Cup field are the Gai Waterhouse-trained Travolta (60.5kg) and race favourite at Lightinthenite (60kg).

Waterhouse’s Handsome Ransom seven-year-old Travolta hasn’t won since January of 2014 so it has been a long time between drinks for the gelding who was also disappointing over the mile as a 10/1 shot at Fannie Bay last start in the Sky Racing Metric Mile on July 25.

Lightinthenite meanwhile leads Darwin Cup odds, the local veteran representing trainer Gary Clarke.

Turning eight on Saturday, the son of Galileo comes off a first-up win over 1600m at the track with 61kg from barrier two with Paul Shiers in the saddle.

He is capable of handling a kilo less on Monday then but a jockey is still to be announced with Shiers jumping aboard rival Travolta.

Metric Mile winner Whistle Stop meanwhile gets in on the 54kg minimum as the Dick Leech-trained son of Street Sense shoots for back-to-back wins at the track.

Boasting a good Fannie Bay record (8-1-4-0), the rising five-year-old ran second in two earlier runs at Darwin this winter before his big two and three quarter length victory over The Ruffian last time out with a kilo less than his weight for the rematch.

The Ruffian is also backing up in the Darwin Cup, Sheila Arnold’s Lonhro eight-year-old looking to close the margin on his last start conqueror Whistle Stop.

A drop down from 57.5kg in the Metric Mile to 54.5kg on Monday will help, the Kyneton-based Arnold yet to lock in a hoop for the old warhorse.

The other last start winners with a guaranteed run in the Darwin Cup are Royal Request and Flying Tormenta who have both won their two most recent starts, while Clarke’s second emergency Storm Approach also won over the Fannie Bay mile on July 25.

Prepared by Neil Dyer, Bel Esprit five-year-old Royal Request won over 1600m at the track on July 4 before returning a fortnight later to beat subsequent Metric Mile champ Whistle Stop by one and a quarter lengths over 1900m.

Apprentice jockey Raymond Vigar retains the ride and Royal Request drops a kilo to 54kg.

Also shooting for three on the trot, Flying Tormenta has Jan Cameron in the saddle on Monday and is eligible for the $4,000 TROBIS bonus for the Darwin Cup winner.

The Shaft filly turns four on the weekend and won over the track and distance with two kilos more (56kg) on July 18 in her first 2000m assignment.

See below for the full Darwin Cup 2015 field, jockeys and weights with the barrier draw out on Friday.

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2015 Darwin Cup Final Field

Fannie Bay Race 9 (5:35pm) – 03/08/2015

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 x6710x080x GRIS CARO (GB) Chris Nash Andrew Mallyon 61.5kg 98
2 4684500×67 TRAVOLTA (NZ) Gai Waterhouse Paul Shiers 60.5kg 96
3 9x427809x1 LIGHTINTHENITE Gary Clarke TBA 60kg 95
4 1×05321836 BOLTON (NZ) Neil Dyer Wayne Kerford 54.5kg 84
5 8×62832370 PAYTEEVEE Richard Laming Paul Denton 54.5kg 84
6 x031370x02 THE RUFFIAN Sheila Arnold TBA 54.5kg 84
7 9565792×49 PRETTY BLONDE Kym Healy Justin Potter 54kg 83
8 1512364221 WHISTLE STOP Dick Leech Stephen Ridler 54kg 83
9 x46126x954 POST D’FRANCE (NZ) Stephen Brown Stephen Baster 54kg 82
10 4384044411 ROYAL REQUEST Neil Dyer Raymond Vigar (a) 54kg 82
11 266x90x575 PROVERB Neil Dyer Dean Holland 54kg 79
12 x967245611 FLYING TORMENTA TROBIS Bonus Scheme John Peacock Ms Jan Cameron 54kg 64
13e 2122315264 KAYNO Kerry Petrick Ms Felicia Bergstrand (a) 54kg 78
14e 2392×23221 STORM APPROACH Gary Clarke TBA 54kg 74
15e 53DDx25413 SATURDAY SORCERER Mark Webb Paul Denton 54kg 74


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