The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The key race in Tasmania on the weekend is Sunday’s Hobart Cup 2017, nominations and weights for which are headed by the Darren Weir-trained Master Of Arts.
Continuing the action of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival, this season’s $200,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) attracted 19 nominations.
Sitting top of the Hobart Cup weights with 59kg is Weir’s Mastercraftsman stallion Master Of Arts.
The consistent grey has run fourth in all three runs this campaign, most recently defeated under a length by the winner Goldstream over 2000m at Flemington last Saturday.
He will be on the quick turnaround if accepted into the Hobart Cup field and will also rise a kilo from the 58kg he carried last start.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Weir has a total of four Hobart Cup nominations this summer including Master Of Arts’ last start conqueror Goldstream.
The five-year-old Italian import is only lightly-raced having won six of his 14 career starts to date including first on Australian soil on January 28.
Winner of the 2015 Group 2 Italian Derby (2200m) and Group 1 performed in Europe, Goldstream gets out over further than 2000m for the first time down under in the Hobart Cup 2017.
Rounding out Weir’s early Hobart Cup entries are Leica Day and the in-form Big Duke who comes off back-to-back Melbourne wins.
Two back the Raven’s Pass five-year-old blitzed his Boxing Day test at Caulfield over 1800m by four and a half lengths before a last start Moonee Valley win over 2040m defeating Cool Chap by a length.
Also coming off a last-start win is the sole mare nominated to take on the boys in the Hobart Cup line-up this year, the Stuart Gandy-trained Geegees Goldengirl.
A five-year-old daughter of Wordsmith, Geegees Goldengirl has an excellent Hobart track record with five wins, six seconds and four thirds from 15 starts at the course.
She is yet to win over further than 2200m, but caught the eye last time out at the track on January 22 defeating Count Da Vinci by over three lengths in the Summer Cup (2200m).
In that weight-for-age clash Geegees Goldengirl carried 57kg to her impressive victory and the mare will relish the drop back to the 54kg minimum weight in the Hobart Cup handicap clash.
Scott Brunton’s Summer Cup runner-up Count Da Vinic is also nominated for a rematch in the Hobart Cup on Sunday.
The flying six-year-old enjoyed a string of five straight Tasmanian wins before his second, including a January 6 success over the reigning Hobart Cup winner Up Cups in the Brighton Cup (2100m).
From three Hobart runs the former Tasmanian-trained galloper has enjoyed two wins and a third and Count Da Vinci will come back from 59kg last start to 54kg on the weekend sitting equal first on the Hobart Cup ballot with Geegees Goldengirl.
Brunton has also nominated for his veteran seven-year-old son of Dylan Thomas Gladstone who ran fifth in the same lead-up as his stablemate.
Up Cups is back to defend his Hobart Cup title on the back of a sixth to Geegees Goldengirl, the Helike six-year-old winless since the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) success last February.
Other key entries include the Robert Hickmott-trained Chance To Dance coming off a second to Goldstream at Flemington, Ciaron Maher’s Geelong Cup fifth placegetter from the spring Kapour and last year’s SA Derby third placegetter Cool Chap for Lee & Anthony Freedman.
The 2017 Hobart Cup field and barriers are set for release on Tuesday, January 31, with betting to open shortly after at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2017 Hobart Cup Nominations
Hobart Racecourse – 05/02/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x36x111112||COUNT DA VINCI (NZ)||G||6||Scott Brunton||1=||54kg||85|
|2||2274×74751||GEEGEES GOLDENGIRL||M||5||Stuart Gandy||1=||54kg||94|
|3||511211×444||MASTER OF ARTS (NZ)||H||5||Darren Weir||3||59kg||101|
|4||850x450x42||CHANCE TO DANCE (IRE)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||4||58.5kg||100|
|5||3505x826x3||KAPOUR (IRE)||G||7||Ciaron Maher||5||57kg||97|
|6||117×008926||UP CUPS||G||6||David Brunton||6||56.5kg||96|
|7||45x800x673||GOLDSTREAM (ITY)||G||5||Darren Weir||7||56kg||95|
|8||3603116634||LEICA DAY||G||5||Darren Weir||8||55kg||93|
|9||523189×075||LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY||G||7||Tony McEvoy||9||54.5kg||92|
|10||13×9226522||COOL CHAP||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman||10||54kg||87|
|12||323x1x4211||BIG DUKE (IRE)||G||5||Darren Weir||12||54kg||83|
|14||422×906061||DOUBLE BLUFF (IRE)||G||6||Robbie Laing||14||54kg||82|
|16||7552×86533||SETTLER’S STONE||G||5||Troy Blacker||16||54kg||74|
|19||6603053126||THE PRINCELING||G||7||Charlie Goggin & Luella Meaburn||19||54kg||63|
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