High Midnight is in top form heading into Friday’s Scone Cup 2016 where the James Cummings-trained four-year-old is early favourite to win the mile feature.
Due to jump as Scone Race 7 at 4:05pm (AEST), this year’s $200,000 Listed Emirates Park Scone Cup (1600m) will run at capacity with first emergency Himalaya Dream getting a run for Hawkes Racing after the early scratching of Robert Heathcote’s last start Tails Stakes winner Bewhatyouwannabe (4).
Sitting top of the Scone Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.50 for the win in an open market despite drawing wide out wide in double-digits is High Chaparral gelding High Midnight.
He has won his past two starts at Rosehill including a narrow success over 1500m on April 23 carrying a hefty 61kg to victory.
He’ll relish the drop back to Friday’s 54kg minimum weight and should be flying to get across from the gate and put himself into the run.
Three other runners are also under $10 in the latest Scone Cup betting markets including Mighty Lucky ($6) who carries the 60kg top weight.
Also drawn wide, Fred Cowell’s classy Casino Prince six-year-old won the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick on Boxing Day and won again first-up at the track over 1400m in mid-April.
His latest run was in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m), a good form race for the Scone Cup over the years, when defeated only a half-length running second to Amovatio.
He goes up from 58kg that run however so while has the ability, will need to be doing everything right under those kilos.
Equal second-favourite at $6 is the early market mover Goldstream drawn one on Mighty Lucky’s outside.
Newcastle’s Kris Lees saddles-up the imported stallion from Europe who debuted down under in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) when a distant last (eighth) to English on April 16.
He has since won a Wyong trial over 1000m and if he can find his legs down under can improve sharply off that and return to the kind of form that saw him win last year’s Italian Derby.
Rounding out the single-figure hopes at $6.50 is the aforementioned Amovatio coming off the Hawkesbury Gold Cup win for Chris Waller.
Drawn ideally in barrier two for Friday the Al Maher five-year-old has mixed it with some nice types this time in and proved his class overcoming barrier 15 of 16 to win the Group 3 with 56.5kg on his back last start.
He gets a better gate but must handle three kilos extra in the Scone Cup, something the bookies are taking no chances with of him doing.
The next best fancied in the markets at more generous odds include Waller’s reigning Scone Cup winner Tales Of Grimm ($10) out to improve on a Hawkesbury Cup seventh last start, third in the same lead-up race Casino Dancer ($11) and the Jason Attard-trained Group 1 placegetter Sons Of John ($12).
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