This afternoon the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup 2016 takes place in New South Wales and the Team Hawkes-trained Messene is favourite to take out the Black-Type clash.
Due to run as Race 7 at 4:10pm (AEST), the $150,000 Listed 2016 Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) field is down to 15 starters.
Chris Waller withdrew his equal top weight Index Linked (13) and Faust (10) is also scratched from the field, giving the sole emergency and $101 roughie shot Mr Sommerville a run from barrier four.
Due to jump from gate 11 with Blake Shinn in the saddle is now the sole 59kg top weight, Messene, who is the $3.20 top fancy in the latest Wagga Wagga Gold Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The seven-year-old son of Lonhro hasn’t won a race since the 2014 Ajax Stakes over two years ago, but the bookies are taking no chances with the proven Group 1 performer.
Messene is out to improve on a distant 10th last time out in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m), but ran two good seconds over the same distance at Rosehill in March so is capable of a big run on the firm track.
Close second favourite in the markets at $4.20 is the in-form Adirondack who gets in on the 54kg minimum.
Prepared by Cranbourne horseman Shawn Mathrick, the Lonhro five-year-old comes off a massive five length win at Caulfield on April 16 in the VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m).
That was his first 2000m run and he thrived in a good field carrying 59kg, so will relish the drop back in weights this afternoon with jockey Jarrod Todd likely to go forward and sit on the pace throughout.
Two other single-figure fancies round out the hops under $10 with Iggi Pop and Reigning both at a current price of $9 and drawn well in gates three and five respectively.
Former champion jockey Peter Robl saddles-up Savabeel seven-year-old Iggi Pop who is another good light-weight hope coming back from 59kg to 54.5kg today.
The gelding was runner-up in the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) behind Honey Toast in Queensland last start and has winning form up to two miles.
James Cummings’ fellow seven-year-old Reigning was also far from disgraced last start, the son of Choisir finishing 2.5 lengths away fourth to Lady Le Fay in the Anzac Day Handicap (2000m) on April 25.
Sam Clipperton is in the saddle for the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup and his mount should be ready to peak three runs into his current campaign.
The other best in Wagga Wagga Gold Cup betting this season are Gwenda Markwell’s Reset four-year-old Rhodin Drive ($11) who has winning form up to 2200m, Waller’s rising nine-year-old Moriarty ($13) who won the 2014 Kingston Town Classic at his peak but nothing since and his rails-drawn stablemate Dance Of Heroes ($14).
See below for the full Wagga Wagga Gold Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds on this afternoon’s feature race before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your selections at the right price!