Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Reigning SA Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name shoots for his first win since when lining-up in a small nine horse Bendigo Cup 2016 field in Victoria this Wednesday.
The lucrative $300,000 Group 3 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) has a field limit of 16 starters, but this spring just nine are accepted to face off in the handicap clash over the mile and a half.
Heading the field and Bendigo Cup weights with 58kg is four-year-old Redoute’s Choice stallion Howard Be Thy Name, prepared by last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir.
The smart stayer hasn’t won a race since the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) in Adelaide back in mid-May, and he is fourth-up in the Bendigo Cup.
Last time out he finished a distant fifth of six runners in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield when outclassed despite carrying only 53.5kg.
He rises notably in weight this week, but faces a smaller field of rivals with John Allen coming aboard for the ride on the top weight from barrier three.
Adding international interest to the Bendigo Cup this season is the inclusion of Charlie Appleby’s English raider Francis Of Assisi.
Kerrin McEvoy is booked to ride the Danehill Dancer seven-year-old in his Australian race debut.
The stayer, who has winning form up to 3319m back in Europe, is raced by Godolphin and chasing a top three run to pass the first ballot clause for the famous $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 1.
Last year’s Bendigo Cup winner The Offer (2015) backed up in the world’s richest handicap finishing 3.3 lengths away eighth to Weir’s $101 roughie Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance.
Along with Howard Be Thy Name, the only other Bendigo Cup acceptor above the 55kg minimum (weights raised 1kg) this year is the Ken Keys-trained Bring Something (56kg).
Luke Nolen is back aboard the Sebring six-year-old who he rode two back for a third behind Royal Rapture in a 1700m handicap on 57kg at Caulfield in late September.
Craig Newitt had the mount on the Cranbourne-based gelding last time out on 54kg when he finished a disappointing sixth beaten over 12 lengths by the winner Vanbrugh in the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) on October 15.
The only last start winners in the line-up are the Nigel Blackiston-trained Savabeel five-year-old Ferro Nero who saluted over 2000m at Caulfield on October 12, and the Robert Hickmott-trained Our Century coming off a 2400m victory at the same track that day.
Owned by Team Williams, the imported Montjeu six-year-old Our Century has just his third run in Australia in the Bendigo Cup.
He was runner-up to Hartnell, who was spanked by Winx eight lengths in last weekend’s Cox Plate quinella, during the 2014 Royal Ascot Carnival over 3219m before a lengthy break leading to his transfer to Australia.
The local Bendigo charge is headed by the Adam O’Neill-trained Desert King five-year-old Desert Samurai who comes off back-to-back thirds, the latest in the Avoca Cup (1860m) on October 15.
See below for the official Bendigo Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights with markets due for release shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 Bendigo Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Bendigo Race 8 (4:00pm) – 26/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||111134×075||HOWARD BE THY NAME||Darren Weir||John Allen||3||58kg||100|
|2||15x0x00x36||BRING SOMETHING||Ken Keys||Luke Nolen||9||56kg||96|
|3||689x10x720||BLIZZARD (NZ)||Emma-Lee & David Browne||TBA||2||55kg||88|
|4||x334147x33||DESERT SAMURAI||Adam O’Neill||Cory Parish||5||55kg||64|
|5||0x89661551||FERRO NERO (NZ)||Nigel Blackiston||Michael Walker||1||55kg||75|
|6||143x60x46x||FRANCIS OF ASSISI (IRE)||Charlie Appleby||Kerrin McEvoy||6||55kg||85|
|7||1893×48640||GO DREAMING||Grant Kluske||Justin Potter||8||55kg||90|
|8||10x42x51||OUR CENTURY (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||4||55kg||87|
|9||22x323x500||SECOND BULLET||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||7||55kg||93|
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