This afternoon in the Top End the Darwin Cup 2015 takes centre stage at Fannie Bay Racecourse, betting tips for the handicap classic detailed below.
Due to run as Race 9 at 5:35pm (local), this year’s $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) originally drew a final field of 12 starters plus three emergencies.
The early scratching of Whistle Stop and Flying Tormenta has paved the way for the first of those two emergencies to gain a run with Kayno and Storm Approach now both in the mix on the 54kg minimum.
Darwin Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is firmly led by Lightinthenite ($2.50) who has top hoop Hugh Bowman travelling up to take the mount from a midfield barrier seven draw.
The odds have continued to firm on Gary Clarke’s Galileo eight-year-old who opened at $3.60 and remains the dominant player despite a notable 60kg weight allocation.
He won last time out though with a kilo more over the mile at Darwin and the bookies are taking no chances with the veteran galloper.
Also at single figures for the win are the in-form Royal Request ($5.50) coming off back-to-back wins, the Stephen Brown-trained seven-year-old Post D’France ($7.50) and The Ruffian ($8.50).
So do the bookies have it right or is there an upset Darwin Cup result on the cards this afternoon?
#10 Royal Request ($5.50)
Lots to like about Neil Dyer’s well-weighted Bel Esprit five-year-old who has 54kg with apprentice Raymond Vigar retaining the ride. Vigar has been aboard for the galloper’s three most recent runs including a win over 1900m at the track on July 18. That was a strong one and a quarter length effort, his fifth from 10 starts at Fannie Bay, and he drops 1.5kg off that. He’s also proven over 2000m so the extra 100m will be no issue this afternoon. Run before was a 1600m win at the track and both those strong efforts should have him spot on for the Darwin Cup test.
#6 The Ruffian ($8.50)
Gallant Sheila Arnold-trained veteran from Kyneton, this Lonhro eight-year-old improved on a couple of disappointing runs from earlier this season to cross second behind Whistle Stop over the Darwin mile on July 25. On the improve and will relish a drop back from 57.5kg that run to 54.5kg today. If he runs well again and handles the step up in distance, which his record suggests he can with winning form up to 2100m and two previous 2000m victories to his name, then is a nice chance at good odds.
#14 Storm Approach ($16)
The stablemate is dominating the markets but think this Clarke-trained Purrealist gelding is the sneaky value bet of this year’s Darwin Cup. Gets a run as an emergency on 54kg, a massive drop back from 61kg last time out. He carried the 61kg to victory too over the Darwin mile on the back of a string of top three runs and gets not only the massive weight relief here but also the rails run from barrier one. Hasn’t finished worse than third in his six latest runs so is in flying form, loves the track and ticks plenty of boxes at an awesome price.
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