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This afternoon Fannie Bay hosts the always-popular 2020 Darwin Cup up in the Northern Territory and the Cup Day racing odds have a three-horse betting battle in play.
The card closer on a bumper 12-race program, the field for this season’s Follow $100,000 Great Northern Darwin Cup (2050m) is down to 11 following the early withdrawal of roughie hope Malaise.
Updated Darwin Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have three horses chasing the top spot in markets come jump time with the Gary Clarke-trained Savatoxl the narrow $3.90 favourite.
The clear Darwin Cup market mover all week having been backed in from an opening quote of $4.50, the in-form Kuroshio five-year-old chases a fourth win on the trot.
Since transferring to Clarke from Will Savage, Savatoxl is unbeaten with a hat-trick of wins at the Darwin track this winter carnival.
The latest on July 22 saw him carry 60.5kg to a 1.5 length win over the mile, and while there are some queries about his 2000m form and the rise again in weight to 61kg, the punters won’t be deterred from the favourite coming into gate nine.
The only runner carrying more weight in this afternoon’s feature is the reigning Darwin Cup winner Ihtsahymn (61.5kg) who is at $4 to go back-to-back in the handicap clash.
The remarkable grey won last year’s race as a nine-year-old, the only Western Australian horse to do so, and is out to make history with a second Darwin Cup success at 10 years of age.
It was seven seasons ago Ihtsahymn won Perth’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and last year’s Darwin Cup result was a fairy tale for then rookie trainer Rob Gulberti from Broome.
Jockey Peter Hall rode the evergreen veteran to victory last year and is back in the saddle today with Ihtsahymn jumping from barrier two.
Since last year’s Darwin Cup, Ihtsahymn has had just the two starts when third in last October’s Listed Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) and second to Savatoxl first-up back at the Darwin track late last month.
He drops from 62kg that day so meets his last start conqueror better off in the weights and will be fitter for the run getting out over more distance for the rematch.
The other best in Darwin Cup betting at an equal $4 with Ihtsahymn is the Garry Lefoe-trained Budget King who has eased out slightly from $3.90.
Well-weighted on the 54kg minimum with Paul Shiers to ride, the up-and-coming King Cugat gelding makes his four-year-old debut on the back of two lead-up runs.
The latest was a seven and a half length romp home carrying 58kg to victory over the Darwin mile last month and he ticks plenty of boxes here coming back four kilos for his toughest test to date.
Another of the Clarke-trained hopefuls, Handsome Return, rounds out the single-figure fancies at $6.
The eight-year-old looked back to his best on July 5 winning the Port Adelaide Cup (2300m) in South Australia for Will Clarken before his transfer to Clarke who he debuts for in the Darwin Cup having his first start in the NT.
2020 Darwin Cup Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||70x111x3x2||IHTSAHYMN||Rob Gulberti||Peter Hall||2||61.5kg||97|
|2||3042×15111||SAVATOXL||Gary Clarke||Kim Gladwin||10||61kg||1.0kg||95|
|3||x9204x2707||LIVE AND FREE (NZ)||Gary Clarke||Jarrod Todd||7||59.5kg||89|
|4||3228728×96||TURNBERRY||Stephen Brown||Robbie Fradd||4||57.5kg||85|
|5||3697x30x90||MALAISE||Dick Leech||Sairyn Fawke||8||57kg||84|
|6||x655218335||LOTION||Angela Forster||Paul Gatt||3||56.5kg||83|
|7||8×74734021||HANDSOME RETURN (NZ)||Gary Clarke||Paul Denton||11||54kg||77|
|8||19×7257323||ASH GREY||Terry Gillett||Terry Treichel||5||54kg||76|
|9||266×214224||PAGHMAN||Gary Clarke||Wayne Davis||6||54kg||72|
|10||717×421711||BUDGET KING||Garry Lefoe||Paul Shiers||9||54kg||71|
|11||x72117x347||SAFETY DANCE||Dick Leech||Ms Anna Jordsjo (a)||12||54kg||70|
|12||3200×41721||ROSHERVILLE||Tayarn Halter||Raymond Vigar||1||54kg||68|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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