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Monday sees the ever-popular Darwin Cup 2020 take place on the sand track up in the Northern Territory and of the nominated horses it is the in-form Budget King leading all-in betting.
There were 24 official nominees for this season’s Follow $100,000 Great Northern Darwin Cup (2050m) and all-in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has the Garry Lefoe-trained Budget King as the horse to beat.
Allocated just 54kg, the King Cugat three-year-old looks primed to take on the older horses and will officially race as a four-year-old come Monday with the Horse’s Birthday on August 1.
Formerly with Travis Doudle in Adelaide, Budget King transferred to the Darwin stables of Lefoe this winter and made a big impact in his first start with his new trainer.
On July 22 the up-and-comer won at Darwin over the mile carrying 58kg by a runaway 7.5 lengths and will be flying with four kilos less in the Cup on Monday relishing the step-up in distance.
Ahead of Thursday’s Darwin Cup final acceptances, Budget King sits top of the pre-field markets at $3.20.
Occupying the second line of all-in Darwin Cup betting at $4 through Ladbrokes.com.au is the 61.5kg top weight Ihtsahymn, the rising 10-year-old now based with Rob Gulberti in Broome.
A former Perth-trained Group 2 champion, the veteran has had just the one start in 2020 when runner-up off a nine-month spell over the Darwin mile carrying 62kg on July 22.
It was an impressive return from the evergreen warhorse and defending Darwin Cup champion who won the race in 2019 with Peter Hall aboard with 60.5kg 12 months ago.
The other heaviest-weighted runner in this year’s Darwin Cup weights with 61kg is Gary Clarke’s stable star Savatoxl who follows closely at $4.40 for the win.
Savatoxl beat Ihtsahymn home last start to make it three wins on the trot during the 2020 Darwin Cup Carnival and his champion trainer Clarke is confident the success will continue on Monday despite the horse being yet to win over further than 1600m.
The last of the current single-figure fancies at Darwin Cup odds of $6 is then the fellow Clarke-trained Handsome Return.
The rising eight-year-old son of Handsome Ransom has winning form up to 2300m ahead of his debut at the Darwin track in the Cup.
Formerly with Will Clarken in South Australia, the Adelaide galloper has his first run with Clarke in the Darwin Cup off the back of a win in the Port Adelaide Cup (2300m) on July 5.
Clarke boasts a total of seven Darwin Cup nominees in 2020 with Savatoxl and Handsome Return potentially joined in the field on Monday by the likes of recent Hawkesbury Cup runner-up Live And Free transferred from John O’Shea, Paghman and Autocratic.
2020 Darwin Cup Nominations & Weights
|Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|2||717×421711||BUDGET KING||G||4||Garry Lefoe||2||54kg||71|
|4||x9204x2707||LIVE AND FREE (NZ)||G||6||Gary Clarke||4||59.5kg||89|
|8||8×74734021||HANDSOME RETURN (NZ)||G||8||Gary Clarke||8||54kg||77|
|9||19×7257323||ASH GREY||G||8||Terry Gillett||9||54kg||76|
|10||7442218858||PINZU (NZ)||G||8||Chris Pollard||10||54kg||74|
|12||x72117x347||SAFETY DANCE||G||6||Dick Leech||12||54kg||70|
|18||40800×4532||BULL MARKET||G||6||Angela Forster||18||54kg||64|
|19||234×009759||TABLE OF WISDOM||G||7||Kym Healy||19||54kg||64|
|20||6261531414||RECORDING TO WIN||M||5||Philip Cole||20||54kg||63|
|22||2123222124||COUNT OF ESSEX||G||6||Gary Clarke||22||54kg||62|
|24||4452×6415||HAPPY BIBI||G||4||Sherrie Lawlor||24||54kg||56|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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