Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The non-acceptance of original top weight Destiny’s Kiss sees Kiwi raider Benzini head the 2017 Grafton Cup field and weights for this Thursday’s staying feature.
The Clarence River Jockey Club hosts its major racing carnival on Wednesday – Thursday this week, the action hitting fever pitch on Day 2 with the latest edition of the $160,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m).
While on Wednesday the Ramornie Handicap 2017 field drew a capacity line-up of sprinters, this year’s Grafton Cup field has drawn just 15 final acceptors.
One of the most notable non-acceptors is the Joe Pride-trained Australia Day Cup winner Destiny’s Kiss who was saddled with the 60kg top weight at nomination stage.
Pride, displeased by the hefty allocation, chose not to accept for the eight-year-old veteran whose latest run was a third in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on July 1.
The new 59kg top kilos now belongs to the Adrian & Harry Bull-trained New Zealander Benzini who is after his first win since the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm last year.
Hong Kong performed when sixth in the Vase that December and Group 1 placed at home over 2000m in March this year since then, Benzini has had four runs in Queensland this campaign.
The latest produced a sixth behind Supply And Demand in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the start of the month and the galloper gets the chance to turn the tables on his last start conqueror in the rematch on Thursday.
Caloundra Cup winner Supply And Demand carried 55.5kg to victory in the mile and a half feature at the Sunshine Coast and backs up in the Grafton Cup field chasing his fourth win on the trot.
The smart Sebring four-year-old has progressed quickly through the ranks this preparation, but faces another challenge as he rises notably up to 58.5kg meeting Benzini far worse in the weights on Thursday afternoon.
Also drawn the outside barrier (15 of 15) with Joshua Parr retaining the ride, Supply And Demand is prepared by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
Waterhouse gets the chance to make history as the first female trainer to prepare four Grafton Cup winners should Supply And Demand get the job done.
The best weighted horse in the mix and a likely top fancy in Grafton Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Chris Waller-trained Montauk in barrier 12 with Corey Brown aboard the progressive four-year-old More Than Ready gelding.
Montauk comes off a brilliant second to Gallic Chieftain in the Winter Cup, which was his first look at the 2400m.
Now proven over the metres, he will relish the chance to go one better in the Grafton Cup results on the 54kg minimum weight again.
Former champion hoop Chris Munce also saddles-up a genuine winning hope with his Husson five-year-old First Crush who comes off a narrow win in the Grafton Cup Prelude (2215m) at the track on July 6.
First Crush drops down from 55.5kg in that lead-up victory to 54kg for the black-type feature and is out to do the double for the second time in as many years following the success of Rednav last winter.
2017 Grafton Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Grafton Race 7 (4:05pm) – 13/07/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||256×234426||BENZINI||Adrian & Harry Bull||Ms Tegan Harrison||13||59kg||101|
|2||x251352111||SUPPLY AND DEMAND||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||15||58.5kg||100|
|3||2123245432||MONTAUK||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||12||54kg||89|
|4||742×966095||FELTRE||Brian Smith||Micheal Hellyer||3||54kg||86|
|5||1124117906||MORENDI||Darren Graham||Michael Cahill||2||54kg||84|
|6||2034183133||WAR BABY||Kelvin Hickmott||Larry Cassidy||10||54kg||84|
|7||140237×658||ANTON EN AVANT||Stephen Lee||Jim Byrne||7||54kg||84|
|8||x5023x7757||DANJEU (IRE)||John P Thompson||Blake Spriggs||14||54kg||83|
|9||8075166362||MORE ENERGY||Jason Coyle||Jeff Lloyd||8||54kg||78|
|10||x965692541||GET ON THE GRANGE||Allan Kehoe||Josh Adams||4||54kg||72|
|11||2213216321||FIRST CRUSH||Chris Munce||Robert Thompson||5||54kg||72|
|12||6852×31119||ALLZIN||Graham Hoy||Peter Graham||1||54kg||70|
|13||90×6780088||METEOROLOGIST||Marcus Wilson||Luke Rolls||11||54kg||67|
|15||7725×98353||STRADAZZLE||Wade Slinkard||Ben Looker||6||54kg||51|
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