Godolphin’s three-time Group 1 champion Avilius...
Race favourite First Crush has drawn nicely at midfield in a capacity 2018 Listed $160,000 G McMullan Contracting Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday.
The Chris Munce trained First Crush has drawn barrier nine in the original draw of sixteen plus four emergencies and looks likely to move in one spot at start time for the Grafton Cup and is currently the $3.80 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Mark Du Plessis has retained the ride on First Crush after the pair finished second to Megablast in the Listed $175,000 Scott McMahon Electrical Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on June 30 while Matt McGillivray was aboard at his previous start when second to Tradesman in the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on June 16.
Munce was debating whether he would run First Crush at the Sunshine Coast again this weekend in the Group 3 $150,000 The Queen’s Cup (3200m) or give the Grafton Cup another attempt after running ninth to Supply And Demand last year.
“He did get a little bit of a bump last year but really I don’t think he handled backing up in a week from the Prelude,” Munce told AAP.
“First Crush has had a fortnight to get over his run in the Caloundra Cup and he deserves to win one of these staying races this winter.”
“In the end he has only 54.5 kg in the Grafton Cup and I know he can handle the track. He races like he wants 3200 metres but in the end I think there are more pluses for Grafton.”
On the second line of betting at $5.50 is the Toowoomba trained Jumbo Prince just ahead of last start Canterbury winner Reneged at $6 and Anton En Avant at $6.50
Final field for 2018 Grafton Cup (2350m)
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||158×003504||MONTAUK||Chris Waller||Ben Looker||20||58kg||97|
|2||03×6397073||JUMBO PRINCE||Michael Nolan||Ron Stewart||3||57.5kg||96|
|3||8133×50128||ANTON EN AVANT||Stephen Lee||Matthew McGillivray||7||56.5kg||94|
|4||9163138822||FIRST CRUSH||Chris Munce||Mark Du Plessis||9||55.5kg||92|
|5||4x3849x525||SAYED (USA)||Chris Waller||Scratched||17||55.5kg||92|
|6||1495290039||ALL IN VOGUE (NZ)||Barry Lockwood||Anthony Allen (late alt)||4||55kg||89|
|7||51318×8890||TUMULTUOUS||Chris Waller||Glen Colless||19||55kg||88|
|8||51x9x00431||CHILLIN WITH DYLAN||Ben Ahrens||Michael Cahill||14||55kg||86|
|9||7411×87908||LOVING HOME (GB)||Tess Wilkes||Matthew McGuren||1||55kg||83|
|10||521×847357||MISS DUBOIS (NZ)||Matthew Dunn||Jim Byrne||11||55kg||79|
|11||28775×0821||RENEGED||John P Thompson||Craig Newitt||8||55kg||79|
|12||073796×010||COLLABORATION (GB)||Joanne Hardy||Ms Laura Cheshire||12||55kg||76|
|13||96x80x9869||FUERZA||Tracy Timbery||Beau Appo||5||55kg||75|
|14||x354214254||HIGH DEGREE||Rochelle Smith||Josh Oliver||18||55kg||69|
|15||3101×05494||JACK STRIKES BACK||Neville Stewart||Ms Olivia Pickering (a)||16||55kg||67|
|16||17×3082311||CUT THE MUSTARD||Melanie O’Gorman||Ms Rachael Murray||13||55kg||65|
|17e||x980981127||HUSONIQUE||Lesley Jeffriess||Peter Graham||2||55kg||63|
|18e||9110153720||LATINO LOVER||Ethan Ensby||Robert Thompson (late alt)||10||55kg||60|
|19e||x811522146||WINKLER (NZ)||John Everson||Jason Taylor||15||55kg||60|
|20e||4560×09760||HIS KYLLACHY (IRE)||Tess Wilkes||–||6||55kg||59|
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