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Connections were thrilled with the perfect Hobart Cup 2017 barrier draw for the locally Stuart Gandy-trained mare Geegees Goldengirl who goes into Sunday’s race in flying form.
Ten gallopers take to the track in Race 8 on Sunday afternoon for this summer’s edition of the $200,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) including Wordsmith five-year-old Geegees Goldengirl.
Rated by the bookies as the best of the local hopes to hold off the imposing interstate charge, Geegees Goldengirl pays $7.50 in the latest Hobart Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
That single-figure price was a result of yesterday’s Hobart Cup barrier draw when the mare came up trumps with gate four for her regular rider Sigrid Carr to jump from on the weekend.
“Goldengirl goes into this year’s Cup with great form and this barrier is perfect for her,” co-owner Paul Geard told The Mercury.
“We spoke to her trainer, Stuart Gandy, before we attended the barrier draw and he said he would like three or four so we’ve done the right thing.”
Runner-up behind Up Cups in last year’s Hobart Cup result, Geegees Goldengirl has her third run over the mile and a half in the rematch this weekend.
Up Cups defends his title but the David Brunton-trained, Craig Newitt-ridden stayer is only rated a $19 shot in Hobart Cup betting having to carry the 58kg top weight.
Last season’s runner-up meanwhile gets in on 55kg, one and a half kilos less than her weight last season when she had a luckless run from a wider barrier 11 of 14 draw.
Geegees Goldengirl has also had a lovely lead-up run into the Hobart Cup, improving on a second in the weight-for-age Summer Cup from last season to take out the 2200m event on January 22.
She carted 57kg to the impressive three and a quarter-length win and looks spot on for Sunday according to a confident Geard who races the mare in partnership with his wife Elizabeth.
“She was very impressive in winning the Summer Cup carrying more weight than she will carry on Sunday and the trainer said he couldn’t be happier with her form going into the Cup,” he said.
This year’s Hobart Cup field will be led out onto the track by the retired Geard-owned Tasmanian champion and dual winner of the staying showdown Geegees Blackflash.
“We couldn’t think of a better way for him to say goodbye to racing,” Geard said.
“It will be a very emotional moment for us and if Geegees Goldengirl wins the Cup, I don’t think there will be a dry eye in the place.”
Out to stop that fairy tale for the Geards is the odds-on favourite in Hobart Cup betting Big Duke for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir.
Weir has won four editions of the Hobart Cup in the past nine years and is back with a big hand again in 2017 saddling-up the flying import Big Duke from gate nine.
The horse has won his two lead-up runs and looks hard to beat according to the markets getting in on the 54kg minimum.
To back Geegees Goldengirl for an upset Hobart Cup 2017 result head to Ladbrokes.com.au now – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
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