David Vandyke’s in-form Sydney raider Sir John Hawkwood has come up trumps with the inside barrier for Saturday’s JRA Cup 2016 at Doomben Racecourse on BTC Cup Day in Brisbane.
The first of the four Group feature races on the card for the opening Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival meeting, this year’s $125,000 Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) has drawn a final field of just 10 stayers.
Set to run from gate one with regular rider Blake Spriggs continuing his association on the rising eight-year-old, Sir John Hawkwood is one of headline final acceptors having his first run at the track.
His lead-up form at home in Sydney is good and includes a first-up Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) win on March 12 before a last start third to Doomben Cup hope It’s Somewhat in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m).
Sir John Hawkwood does go up from 55.5kg that run to 58kg on the weekend so needs to handle the rise in weights.
Drawn one on his outside in barrier two is the field’s 60kg top weight Junoob from the stables of Chris Waller.
Blake Shinn has the mount on the veteran Haafhd eight-year-old, winner of the Ballarat Cup (2200m) last November before a second to Mighty Lucky, who runs in Friday’s Scone Cup, in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) on Boxing Day.
Junoob was last seen racing in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) in late April when 13th behind stablemate Amovatio as a $41 roughie.
Waller also saddles-up the second top weight in the JRA Cup on Saturday, Opinion (59.5kg), another older import out to atone for an unplaced Hawkesbury Cup run when eighth last time out under 58kg.
Coming off a better lead-up run is the Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss (56.5kg), to be ridden by Jay Ford from gate seven on the back of a third to Lady Le Fay in the Anzac Day Handicap (2000m) at Randwick on April 25.
Proven up to two miles, Destiny’s Kiss drops in weight from that run, his first since finishing seventh to Gallante in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) during ‘The Championships’.
Another top type coming into the JRA Cup off a good run is the Darren Weir-trained WA expat Real Love, a former Perth Cup winner.
She is in gate six with 56.5kg on her back in the form of Brad Rawiller and hasn’t finished worse than third in her past six starts.
The five-year-old Desert King mare won a Black-Type over 2600m at Flemington on March 5 before her close third crossing under a length off the winner Purple Smile in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) under two weeks later.
Her lead-up run into the JRA Cup was a second over 2000m at Caulfield on April 23 when defeated a short-half-head by Doctor Car.
Local hope Volkhere (54kg) represents Robert Heathcote after a second over 2200m at the track on April 30, while Vandyke’s other runner Astronomos (54kg) was also second at Doomben last time out over 1630m carrying 59.5kg.
See below for the full JRA Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights before visiting Ladbrokes.com.au where your initial deposit will be matched up to $500 when you sign-up and quote the code BETBONUS this season!
2016 JRA Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 4 (2:06pm) – 14/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||75092012×0||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||2||60kg||107|
|2||x82Px008x8||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||5||59.5kg||106|
|3||76x4212x13||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||David Vandyke||Blake Spriggs||1||58kg||103|
|4||69×3114573||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||7||56.5kg||100|
|5||315160×540||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Paul Hammersley||9||56.5kg||100|
|6||1784333132||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6||56.5kg||104|
|7||1111×64355||LOCK’S LEGEND||Brian Smith||James Orman (a)||8||54kg||94|
|8||0112270402||VOLKHERE||Robert Heathcote||Jeff Lloyd||3||54kg||92|
|9||578×558779||ADORABEEL (NZ)||Helen Page||Jason Collett||4||54kg||88|
|10||1x411917x2||ASTRONOMOS (GB)||David Vandyke||Sam Clipperton||10||54kg||88|