Dual state trainer Stephen Brown is confident his hope in this afternoon’s 2015 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay Post D’France is on track for a win in the Top End feature.
Brown prepares horses out of both Darwin and Melbourne and today his Postponed seven-year-old Post D’France lines up as a livewire chance in the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m).
It will be the New Zealand-bred galloper’s third start at the track, and while Post D’France is yet to run top three at Darwin the bookies have him as a top hope in betting.
Currently it is Gary Clarke’s last-start winner over the Fannie Bay mile Lightinthenite who dominates Darwin Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Hugh Bowman’s mount paying $2.50 for the win.
Post D’France, who comes off a fourth to fellow Darwin Cup chance Royal Request over 1900m at the track from July 18, is also at single figures.
Shooting for his maiden win since early March over 1800m in a BenchMark 90 at Flemington, Post D’France pays $7.50 in the Darwin Cup odds with Stephen Baster booked for the ride.
Baster replaces Paul Denton in the saddle, Denton having been aboard the horse last start from barrier two on 58kg.
Today Post D’France will appreciate a big drop in weights down to the 54kg minimum but has drawn wide in barrier 10 of 12.
Brown, who shoots for his second Darwin Cup victory, couldn’t be happier with his horse and said on Sunday he was spot on for the assignment.
“I’m really happy with him – I can’t get him any better,” the former star NT jockey-turned-trainer told Racing Victoria yesterday.
“I think the race will be run a bit differently to what all the lead-up races have been.
“He’s on target and he should be peaking on Monday.”
Brown prepared Mr Tambourineman for his 2004 Darwin Cup win and is back 11 years later looking to make it a double in the feature.
He rates the favourite as the deserving top fancy and the one to beat and said the fact his horse had the wider draw was the only concerning factor.
“Liteinthenite for sure (is the hardest to beat) – he’s drawn inside us so that first corner is probably the biggest problem,” Brown said.
“Hopefully we can follow him across and tuck in behind him.”
The other single figure hopes in the latest Darwin Cup markets are the in-form Royal Request ($7.50) shooting for his third win on the trot and evergreen veteran The Ruffian ($8.50).
To check out the full markets for the Top End classic and lock in your favourites for a Monday afternoon punt on the ponies, head to Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing punters are rewarded with up to $500 in bonus bets with use of the code BETBONUS!