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The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Sydney stayer Dark Eyes has opened early favourite in Canberra Cup 2017 betting to take out the black-type clash at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday.
A final field of 13 hopefuls is engaged for this weekend’s edition of the $200,000 Listed Canberra Cup (2000m), which runs on the same card as the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) for 2017 Golden Slipper Stakes bound two-year-olds.
Current favourite at $4.20 in Canberra Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is Snitzel four-year-old Dark Eyes who has won two of his three runs this time in.
On the back of a second-up fourth in Rosehill’s Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) on February 18, the gelding was then seen saluting by nearly four lengths over 2000m at Randwick in a Benchmark 85 last Saturday.
Dark Eyes is on the quick eight day back-up into the Canberra Cup field, but drops from 59kg to Sunday’s 54kg minimum and has Tim Clark retaining the ride from a gun barrier three draw.
Close second elect in the Canberra Cup odds at $4.50 is Cool Chap drawn the other end of the field out in barrier 12.
The wide gate hasn’t deterred the punters with the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained High Chaparral four-year-old out to atone for his last start fifth in the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m).
He has enjoyed a four week freshen-up since that run and drops down in distance for a shot at the Canberra Cup that is a winnable race for the galloper on his best day.
In a tight top half of the market the other best fancied are the 62kg top weight Red Excitement ($5) and the only other runner over the minimum weight Classic Uniform ($7) with 56kg.
Gerald Ryan saddles-up Excites seven-year-old Red Excitement on Sunday for a fifth time at Canberra, but the horse hasn’t been in the ATC since October of 2012.
The evergreen veteran comes off a close second when a neck off the Parramatta Cup winner under 61kg, but gives the weight away to his rivals again going up a kilo.
Before that the gelding enjoyed back-to-back summer wins in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick on Boxing Day and the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) by two lengths in mid-January.
Heavyweight hoop Adam Hyeronimus continues his association with Red Excitement again on the weekend, the honest runner never far away even with top kilos.
Classic Uniform beat Red Excitement home last start when the duo ran one-two in the Parramatta Cup and the Gary Moore-trained Al Maher four-year-old gets the chance to do so again on Sunday.
The gelding only carried 53kg to victory last start and rises three kilos for the Canberra Cup where he also steps out over further than 1900m for the first time in another test.
Other key Canberra Cup hopes this season include the Kris Lees-trained Magic Albert six-year-old Olympic Academy ($9) and the flying Canberra Cup Prelude winner Coolcat Dancer ($15) chasing a fifth win on the trot.
Check out the full Canberra Cup 2017 field, barriers and latest Fixed Win odds from Ladbrokes.com.au below.
2017 Canberra Cup Field & Betting Odds
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