Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s evergreen seven-year-old Dr Drill heads betting on Thursday’s Grafton Cup 2022 field following two good lead-up runs this prep.
The in-form import is out to break a notable drought not having won a race since his 2020 Scone Cup victory two years ago.
He has looked back to his better form of late when runner-up in this year’s Scone Cup narrowly beaten two back behind Rustic Steel on a Heavy (9), before another second last time out in Rosehill’s Listed WJ McKell Cup (2000m).
Getting out over further will suit the proven stayer who is a two-time runner-up from as many starts over the Grafton Cup distance.
He carries 58kg again on Thursday with Keagan Latham retaining the ride, and pays $3.60 in the latest Grafton Cup odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Co-trainer Maher is after his second Grafton Cup victory following his 2013 victory as a solo trainer with Mr O’Ceirin.
It’s a tight top-half of the markets with a further five horses under $10 to win including the $4.40 second elect Arapaho.
The early Grafton Cup market mover, Bjorn Baker’s French-bred Lope De Vega five-year-old comes off a second in the mud behind Le Don De Vie – a non-acceptor for Thursday – in Queensland’s Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
Getting in on 54kg again here with Rachel King coming aboard for the ride, the galloper looks a genuine winning hope to frank the Caloundra Cup form heading back south.
Carrying the top-weight in this year’s Grafton Cup field is the John O’Shea-trained Berdibek with 58.5kg, the galloper occupying the third line of betting at $6.50.
Hugh Bowman partners the eight-year-old grey whose last start produced an eye-catching sixth when under two lengths off Smart Meteor in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) with 59.5kg.
Last start winner Rebel Rama is next best at $7 with Tommy Berry to partner Marc Conners’ four-year-old Dissident mare from the outside barrier (11).
She was good with 56.5kg at double-figures last start in Eagle Farm’s Tattersall’s Gold Crown (2150m) and comes back in weight here taking on the boys.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies are the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained European import Youth Spirit ($7.50) racing second-up down under off a fourth in the McKell Cup, and Chris Munce’s Ipswich Cup winner Smart Meteor ($9.50) chasing the interstate double.
The forgotten horse in the mix meanwhile who could surprise at juicy Grafton Cup odds of $31 is the locally-trained Bold Contender in barrier two chasing four straight wins off the back of his Prelude win in the wet.
2022 Grafton Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||110x4x8056||BERDIBEK (FR)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||8||58.5kg||102|
|2||536242×022||DR DRILL (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Keagan Latham||3||58kg||101|
|3||11x80x0200||BALLISTIC BOY||Chris Anderson||Jason Collett||5||56.5kg||98|
|4||1312386301||SMART METEOR||Chris Munce||Brock Ryan||7||55kg||95|
|5||3x418435x4||YOUTH SPIRIT (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Jean Van Overmeire||6||54.5kg||94|
|6||60×3041272||ARAPAHO (FR)||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||10||54kg||93|
|7||7×64408734||ALAKAHAN (IRE)||Richard & Will Freedman||Andrew Adkins||1||54kg||86|
|8||94253×4341||REBEL RAMA||Marc Conners||Tommy Berry||11||54kg||55kg||86|
|9||3×79850086||HONORABLE SPIRIT||John Smerdon||Luke Rolls||9||54kg||76|
|10||4×36457111||BOLD CONTENDER (NZ)||Andrew Parramore||Ben Looker||2||54kg||60|
|11||8×08210373||RAHAAN||Julie Pratten||Ms Mikayla Weir (late alt)||4||54kg||57|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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