The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The biggest day on the Northern Territory racing calendar takes place on Monday with the action headlined by the Darwin Cup 2019, betting for which is dominated by the Michael Hickmott-trained Lieder.
Closing the card at Fanny Bay Racecourse as Race 9 at 5:35pm (local time), this season’s $200,000 Great Northern Darwin Cup (2000m) field features a capacity 12 starters plus three emergencies.
Drawn a treat in gate five with Shayne Cahill to ride is the clear $2.15 favourite in Darwin Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, Street Cry seven-year-old Lieder.
The gelding has his 10th start at the Darwin track and chases back-to-back wins after his breakthrough win at the course on July 20.
Lieder was ultra-impressive carting 59kg to a huge three length victory in that 1900m handicap and should relish the drop in weight to 57kg in the Darwin Cup over 100m further on Monday, which Hickmott has been targeting for months.
Despite the size of the field there are just two other horses currently at single-figures in Darwin Cup betting for 2019 with the 60.5kg topweight Ihtsahymn ($4) and the flying Poet’s Landing ($5), both coming off multiple lead-up wins.
Broome horseman Rob Gulberti now trains veteran nine-year-old Ihtsahymn, the former Perth-trained galloper and Group 1 Kingston Town Classic winner (2013) chasing a third win on the trot.
Two back he saluted at his new home track in a BenchMark 70+ over 1435m in an incredible effort under 66kg before his narrow victory in the TAB Metric Mile (1600m) at Perth, which he earned a 1kg Darwin Cup penalty for.
The Lloyd Kennewell-trained Poet’s Landing meanwhile comes off a terrific four straight winning streak that the Kiwi-bred four-year-old will be out to extend in Darwin Cup Day.
After a late May win at Ipswich, Poet’s Landing’s latest three victories have all been at Darwin including over the Cup track and distance on July 19 when he took out the $135,000 Ladbrokes NT Derby (2000m) as a three-year-old.
Poet’s Landing was the $2.15 favourite in betting for the NT Derby where he carried 58kg to victory, the up-and-comer sure to appreciate coming back to 55.5kg with Paul Shiers aboard for the horse’s first race start as a four-year-old.
Other notable hopes in the Darwin Cup markets this winter include top local hope Ash Grey ($12) who won over the Darwin mile in a mid-July upset last time out and Angela Forster’s in-form Good Journey eight-year-old Lotion ($16) formerly with the Lindsay Park stable.
Lotion comes off a trio of placings at Darwin, beaten 3.7 lengths by Lieder over 1900m two back when third and then only a 0.2 lengths off Ihtsahymn at the mile last time out.
Head to Ladbrokes.com.au now for the full Darwin Cup 2019 field, weights, betting markets and latest offers on the $200,000 feature.
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