The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The 2018 Hawkesbury Gold Cup steals the show in Sydney on Saturday and below are our insider tips and updated odds on the mile feature.
The Group 3 $200,000 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) is one of three Group status autumn races on the always-popular meeting and of the 11 remaining chances, six are under double-figures in an open affair.
The latest Hawkesbury Gold Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Ecuador as the $3.60 favourite in gate seven, the veteran Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained High Chaparral eight-year-old chasing his first win since January last year.
The bookies are taking no chances with the consistent galloper however whose last start produced a close first-up second to Cellarman at Rosehill on March 31 in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m).
Waterhouse & Bott chase their second Hawkesbury Gold Cup win in as many years following the success of Fabrizio 12 months ago and Ecuador presents fresh as a genuine hope for the stable and punters this weekend.
There are a host of dangers looking at the Hawkesbury Gold Cup odds including Godolphin’s proven winner at the track Duca Valentinois ($6), the Chris Waller-trained Mister Sea Wolf ($6) down in class after a last in the Doncaster Mile on April 7 and Team Hawkes’ five-year-old Kingsguard ($6.50).
To help you sort the genuine contenders from the pretenders in one of the most open editions of the race in years below are our insider Hawkesbury Gold Cup 2018 tips to take to the bookies.
#2 Ecuador ($3.60)
Hard not to support the favourite here who should be fit second-up and who has a nice record two runs in (8:3-1-0). Lead-up second saw him under a length beaten in the Doncaster Prelude (1500m) and he’s been freshened-up since. Adam Hyeronimus retains the ride. Does go up a kilo, but can handle the weight and break a notable winning drought going up to mile having finished off well last time out off an on-pace run. Has form around some very nice types including Winx and Happy Clapper and that should be enough to see him salute here for last year’s winning stable.
#5 McCreery ($8.50)
One of three in the mix for Sydney’s best Waller, this six-year-old import has previous winning form at the track / distance having won the 2016 Rowley Mile. Dual Group 3 winner since, but hasn’t won since February of 2017. Competitive in some tough Group 1 races since and the lead-up fourth in the Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) had him only 2.6 lengths beaten. Back to a mile there’s money coming for him and should settle off the pace and flash home late.
#10 Lovani ($15)
Good price offered on Brad Widdup’s locally-trained Lonhro mare, the four-year-old a knockout hope at her home track having won over 2000m here carrying 58.5kg on April 17. She is back to a mile, which she’s got a stellar record over (4:2-1-0), and comes right back in weight to just 53kg. That, a gun barrier four draw and Christian Reith in the saddle plus the benefit of the lead-up win all point to a run that’s better than her odds suggest.
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