2016 Darwin Cup Nominations Released

On the first Monday of August the 61st edition of the Top End’s premier showdown will light up Fannie Bay RacecourseDarwin Cup 2016 nominations now out.


Last year’s winner Lightinthenite is nominated to defend his title in the 2016 Darwin Cup on August 1. Photo: Steve Hart.

Set to run on August 1, the Horse’s Birthday, this year’s $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m), run on the sand, has attracted 19 nominations.

The headline hopeful is the Gary Clarke-trained flyer Finke who is out to become the first winner of all three legs of the Darwin Triple Crown since Ventilago (1996) and just the third in history with Brinney (1989) the other to achieve the rare feat.

A winner of his eight most recent starts, Clarke’s ultra-consistent Turffontein young star joined The Ruffian (2011) and Host Of The Party (2013) as the most recent winners of the opening two legs of the series last run.

On the back of a Darwin Guineas (1600m) win at the start of the month, the youngster took out the Ladbrokes NT Derby (2000m) by one and a quarter lengths as the odds-on favourite last Saturday.

He has now won all five of his runs at the Fannie Bay track heading into Monday week’s Darwin Cup where he is sure to start dominant favourite in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au in his first run as a four-year-old.

Finke is also up for the lucrative $100,000 Ladbrokes Triple Crown Bonus on top of the Darwin Cup winner’s cheque.

Clarke has a total of four Darwin Cup nominees this winter with Finke possibly joined in the capacity 12-starter Darwin Cup field by Big Man, Celebrakti and Lightinthenite.

Veteran Galileo nine-year-old Lightinthenite is a multiple Group 2 placegetter and Group 1 performer in Sydney and ran fourth to Fat Al in the 2012 Epsom Derby.

He was transferred to Darwin in 2014 and was runner-up in that year’s Darwin Cup behind Pretty Blonde before a runaway nine lengths success over Design For Life carrying an impressive 60kg in last year’s edition.

Lightinthenite defends his Darwin Cup title this season having had just one run over the last 12 months when fourth first-up on July 9 at the track behind Whistle Stop in the Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) with a hefty 64kg on his back.

The Dick Leech-trained winner of that Darwin Cup lead-up as a $21 outsider, Street Sense five-year-old Whistle Stop is also among the nominations for next month’s feature.

He has a strong record at Fannie Bay (10-2-4-0) and at his last look at further than a mile, ran fifth in the Alice Springs Cup (2000m) back in May.

Alice Springs Cup winner Montalto is another Darwin Cup nominee, the Court Of Jewels mare prepared at Port Lincoln by Angela Forster.

She has had two runs since when fourth to Lago Girl over 1300m at Darwin in late May and her second to Whistle Stop in the Chief Minister’s Cup.

Forster has also nominated for her King Cugat eight-year-old Moon Devil who comes off a brave third behind Royal Request in last Saturday’s Million Dollar Fish Buntine Handicap (1900m) at the track.

Last year’s Darwin Cup runner-up Royal Request won that race, the Neil Dyer-trained Bel Esprit five-year-old to return to the track looking to go one better on the back of his sixth Darwin win from 15 starts.

Kym Healy’s High Rolling mare Pretty Blonde won the 2014 Alice Springs Cup – Darwin Cup double and finished third to Lightinthenite when unsuccessfully defending her title in the latter 12 months ago.

In the 2014 Darwin Cup Pretty Blonde was second past the post but was awarded the win after the disqualification of Saturday Sorcerer for a positive drug test.

Saturday Sorcerer meanwhile ran second to Royal Request in the 1900m clash last weekend and after his former trainer Stuart Gower copped a two year ban for the failed Darwin Cup drug test in 2014, the seven-year-old now represents local horseman Jason Manning.

See below for the full Darwin Cup 2016 nominations, the final field and barrier draw due for release on Thursday July 28.

Before then make sure you’re ready to back this year’s Darwin Cup winner at the hottest winter racing odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au where new depositing players only need to quote the code BETBONUS to enjoy up to $500 in bonuses!

2016 Darwin Cup Nominations

Darwin Racecourse – 01/08/2016

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 1425134222 ABU DHABI G 4 Lloyd Kennewell 73
2 x371668x16 ADJUSTER G 7 Ken Rogerson 76
3 1770×11230 BIG MAN G 6 Gary Clarke 81
4 5860x4x756 CANNY BALLAD G 7 Michael Hickmott 77
5 1218122142 CELEBRAKTI G 7 Gary Clarke 70
6 7111111×11 FINKE G 4 Gary Clarke 82
7 475×813315 FLYING TORMENTA M 5 John Peacock 73
8 1143639288 KAYNO G 6 Kerry Petrick 80
9 27809x11x4 LIGHTINTHENITE G 9 Gary Clarke 100
10 4801314142 MONTALTO M 7 Angela Forster 90
11 1637234663 MOON DEVIL G 8 Angela Forster 81
12 0223651745 MOONLIGHT HUSSLER G 5 Danny Penna 61
13 x27357x527 ORION (NZ) G 6 Kerry Petrick 78
14 3523393511 OUR VALDIVIA (NZ) G 6 Lisa Lefoe 77
15 x005627x34 PRETTY BLONDE M 8 Kym Healy 75
16 x9045x6591 ROYAL REQUEST G 6 Neil Dyer 83
17 4693110×22 SATURDAY SORCERER G 7 Jason Manning 82
18 1890×48370 SPARTAN EAGLE G 9 Bob Richard 78
19 x065755541 WHISTLE STOP G 6 Dick Leech 85


Have your say, post a comment.