Chris Waller’s Sydney-trained galloper Vilanova is the top-rated and weighted nomination for Tasmania’s Hobart Cup 2016 on Monday, February 8.
The Commands five-year-old is one of a bumper 28 early entries taken for this summer’s $200,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m).
A veteran of 40-starts already, Vilanova is yet to race in Tasmanian and was last seen crossing fifth of six runners behind Destiny’s Kiss in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Randwick on January 26.
He had just 56kg on his back that day and is allocated the hefty 59kg top weight in the Hobart Cup weights for next Monday.
Waller has a total of three Hobart Cup nominees this Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival also entering his Australia Day Cup fourth-placed Excites seven-year-old Black Jag (57kg) and High Chaparral four-year-old Quick Strike (54kg).
Following Vilanova in the Hobart Cup weights with 58kg is another interstate raider, Danny O’Brien’s in-form Second Bullet coming off back-to-back wins.
A five-year-old son of Encosta De Lago, Second Bullet saluted over 2000m at Flemington on January 16 and again last Saturday and is yet to be tested over the mile and a half distance of the Hobart Cup.
Also coming out of the same race Second Bullet won last time out is Peter Moody’s Dylan Thomas mare Metaphorical who ran fourth on the back of her third to Signoff when defeated just a quarter length in the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Another in-form interstate visitor is Tony McEvoy’s Adelaide-trained six-year-old Lucky Lucky Lucky whose Melbourne form over the summer has been top notch.
In late November he was runner-up to Telepathic in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m), a race Vilanova was third in, before a Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) third over the mile and a half on December 12.
Last start Lucky Lucky Lucky was third to Vilanova in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at Randwick on New Year’s Day, the gelding getting the chance to turn the tables in Tasmanian early next week.
Of the local hopes one of the top chances looks to be the flying David Brunton-trained Helike gelding Up Cups.
The five-year-old was runner-up on New Year’s Day in the Longford Cup (1800m) before two subsequent wins over 2100m and 2200m at Hobart on January 8 and 24th respectively.
His last win was in the weight-for-age Geegee Horse Stud Summer Cup carrying 59kg, the drop back to the 54kg minimum for the handicap conditions of the Hobart Cup a big advantage.
Summer Cup runner-up behind Up Cups last start, Stuart Gandy’s Wordsmith mare Geegees Goldengirl is another top Hobart Cup hopeful for Monday’s feature.
She has been in flying form since December 9 when runner-up to Admiral in the Listed Conquering WFA (1400m) at Launceston.
The four-year-old then ran third to the same horse in the Listed Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) before her January 6 win in the Devonport Cup (1880m) on the Synthetic Track and the last start second at Hobart where she boasts a solid record (13-4-5-4).
See below for the full Hobart Cup 2016 nominations, the final field and barrier draw due for release on Wednesday morning.
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2016 Hobart Cup Nominations
Hobart Racecourse – 08/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2263936211||UP CUPS||G||5||David Brunton||1||54kg||82|
|2||60×7733615||VILANOVA (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||2||59kg||97|
|3||43198×4334||METAPHORICAL||M||5||Peter G Moody||3||56.5kg||96|
|4||7×62333411||SECOND BULLET||G||5||Danny O’Brien||4||58kg||95|
|5||135×202312||GEEGEES GOLDENGIRL||M||4||Stuart Gandy||5||55kg||93|
|6||2176×52404||BLACK JAG||G||7||Chris Waller||6||57kg||93|
|7||229×675233||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||G||6||Tony McEvoy||7||56.5kg||92|
|8||x442134524||QUICK STRIKE||G||4||Chris Waller||8||54kg||86|
|9||6351x760x4||AZURITE (IRE)||G||5||Tony McEvoy||9||54kg||85|
|11||x71x996706||GEE GEE’S LA QUITA||M||7||Stuart Gandy||11||54kg||85|
|12||100×171541||LUCQUES||G||4||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||12||54kg||83|
|13||154×213723||PLAYER ONE||G||6||Max Cowen||13||54kg||79|
|14||7×00745171||ALL I SURVEY||G||4||Pat Carey||14||54kg||77|
|15||1448x8514x||LAST WISH (NZ)||G||5||Tony McEvoy||15||54kg||76|
|16||0092211222||LONCAVA (NZ)||G||5||Tony McEvoy||16||54kg||76|
|17||01223×4570||MISTER MONEYPENNY||G||8||Glenn Thornton||17||54kg||76|
|18||94181×3761||WARRIOR OF FIRE||G||4||Jerome Hunter||18||54kg||75|
|19||1×14114696||TYCOON NAVIGATOR||M||4||Gary White||19||54kg||75|
|22||508x83x005||AGGREGATOR (NZ)||G||8||Michael Kent||22||54kg||74|
|24||114×763223||SMOKE ’N’ WHISKY||G||6||John Blacker||24||54kg||72|
|27||1114×72644||SETTLER’S STONE||G||4||Troy Blacker||27||54kg||67|