The biggest meeting in the Northern Territory comes around on Monday at Darwin where it is Darwin Cup Day. The weather is fine and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:55) Harvey Norman Handicap (66) 1000m
3 Evil Miss (Bet Now: $2.90) on top in the opener. This girl hasn’t raced since June 6 over 1100m here where she did a bit of work to be on speed but that early burn didn’t matter to her as she careered away late and bolted in. Form out of that race has been solid, Maskiell steers, she’s a bomb when produced fresh…she’ll do me.
1 Brooklyn (Bet Now: $2.45) is a son of Hinchinbrook for Carl Spry who is a real track/distance specialist who looks to get a really good run just off the pace. He got that a couple of weeks back and surged hard late to just miss out on picking up Moral Outrage. Won’t be far away from the inside draw and is a definite threat.
5 Wicked Affair (Bet Now: $6.00) is on the quick back up after racing at this track/distance last Saturday where the market didn’t like her but probably not to the extent of finishing last, beaten 25 lengths, which was due to a horrible beginning from the gates. The win prior when on speed was pretty good and on that, she’d be a chance here.
Race 2. (13:35) Seppelt Montgomerie Lightning Plate 1000m
I’m looking at this race without the Palmerston Sprint runners but after Saturday these tips could change. For now, I’m with 2 Action Again (Bet Now: $7.50). Might be eleven years of age but gee he has been a beauty for Neil Dyer for a number of years. Resumed at this track/distance where he was wide throughout yet stuck on really well in defeat behind Kilim. Draws better this time, fitter and looks to get run of the race stuff.
4 Your Excellency (Bet Now: $3.70) is a speedy customer for Tayarn Halter who will be up on speed doing his thing. Ran over 1100m here last time where he attempted to lead all the way and gave a really good kick under Paul Shiers but just found Kilim too good. I think back to 1000m will really suit and he’ll be giving a great sight.
7 Roughly (Bet Now: $3.50) is racing in career best form at the moment for the Paul Gardner team, winning her past two in pretty impressive all the way fashion, the latest coming over this track/distance. Bit more depth this time around, and won’t get the lead without doing work, but hard to knock the way she’s going.
Race 3. (14:10) Schweppes Handicap (70) 1200m
9 Riverina Romance (Bet Now: $2.60) on top for me in a very tricky race. Stack of speed engaged here, and this girl could potentially be part of that but I’m hoping Jamie Kah eases for cover. Two runs to date for Angela Forster, both at Darwin. Resumed over 1100m with a narrow second to American Genius before a dominant win at this track/distance against her own age. Older, seasoned horses now, but has upside, winning form and the Kah factor.
3 American Genius (Bet Now: $3.70) comes through that race Riverina Romance won mentioned above and I’d be willing to forgive him for that given he did a stack of work on speed and that clearly told on him late. Awkward draw once again, but if he can overcome it somehow, get some cover, he’s right in the game.
2 Culzean (Bet Now: $6.50) is probably the most consistent of these in terms of form but from the barrier, things are made tough. Tough win over 1100m here two back before racing again at 1100m and just dying on the run late. I think it could be chips in to find the lead from the wide gate, so he’ll spend petrol, but if he gets over and gets a cheap furlong, he’ll take some running down.
Race 4. (14:45) Mantra TROBIS Handicap (58) 1100m
Looks a perfect race for 2 Jayeffkay (Bet Now: $2.50). Had his first run at Darwin on June 30 over 1200m when sitting just off the speed out wide and finishing off nicely enough late when second to Beleaguer, a proven handy horse from SA. Form out of that race has been good, been kept on ice for this and draws a lovely gate.
1 Global Icon (Bet Now: $8.00) is on the quick back up after racing here on Wednesday over 1000m where he chased a pretty hot speed and was under pressure a fair way out. Eventually got the lead, hit the front for a brief moment but was bloused late by Macon County. I reckon the 1100m will see him right out. Hopefully drags back from the gate and launches late.
8 Edge Of Chaos (Bet Now: $4.20) could be included at odds. On the quick back up after racing over 1200m here on Wednesday where he got well back off the speed but had to like the way he closed off late behind Tuscarora. Back to 1100m is the little concern, but they should go quick in front so he’ll get his chance to run on.
Race 5. (15:20) Magic Millions Handicap 1300m
5 Unbreakable (Bet Now: $4.20) is the huge watch here. Michael Hickmott trains this son of Hard Spun, who hasn’t raced since the Oakbank Carnival when finishing down the track behind Tatoosh. Won at this track/distance around this time last year before failing in the Cup. If there is money for the horse, I’d be having something on.
1 Java (Bet Now: $4.80) has to carry the grandstand with 62kg but he’s clearly got the class over these, hard fit and in form. Comes back to 1300m after dominating at big odds over the mile against the open class horses, leading throughout to win by a big space. Not sure he’ll get it his own way here, but still has to be respected.
6 Einstein Magic (Bet Now: $12.00) looks one of the hardest to beat. Ran over 1100m here last Saturday where she got a mile back off them in a fast run affair and really savaged the line late to run second to Niccoco. Has won up to 1200m, but off last start, I think she’ll have no trouble running out a decent 1300m.
Race 6. (15:55) Ladbrokes Handicap (62) 1300m
2 Mulk (Bet Now: $2.60) for me. This bloke was formerly with the Hayes/Dabernig team but is now with Neil Dyer. Has had two runs during the Carnival, resuming with an eye catching fifth over 1300m before having a five week freshen up and racing over 1200m when working home strongly behind Riverina Romance. Fitter and back up to 1300m, he’s very likeable.
3 Needy Rocket (Bet Now: $4.40) was four weeks between runs when racing over 1100m here on July 18 where I thought Maskiell rode him an absolute treat just off the pace and once he was presented with clear air, he was always in control. He’ll eat up the extra furlong here, upside and the big tick is that Maskiell sticks.
Looks to be real intent with 4 Windsor Cup (Bet Now: $8.50) here, with a stack of gear changes leading up to this run, most notably the blinkers going on again. Ran over this track/distance on July 13 when working home okay late without threatening behind Ombramani. He can sit closer in the run from the draw and that was his first run in three weeks so there should be room to improve.
Race 7. (16:35) Designer Kitchens Handicap 1600m
7 Pot Black (Bet Now: $6.50) here. This gelding is on the quick back up after racing over 1300m here on Wednesday where he was trucking along beautifully behind the speed and once he got clear air, he was always going to wear them down and finished best in a driving go. He’ll eat up the mile and does appear to have upside.
1 Gracious Prospect (Bet Now: $11.00) is a stablemate of Pot Black who does have the stronger form lines but has to contend with topweight and a tricky gate. He ran over this track/distance last start where he was wide no cover for the duration but toughed it out quite well to run second to Java. Rises big time in weight but is racing too well to ignore.
9 Quantum Dot (Bet Now: $8.50) has been a proven performer at this Carnival for a couple of seasons now and should run well once again. Ran over this track/distance last Saturday where he was seemingly off the bit for the most part but once he picked up, he was good to the line and through it when second to Halogem. He’ll get a sweet run in transit once again and rates highly.
Race 8. (17:15) Arafura Line Marking Handicap (66) 1900m
Really like the way that 3 Halogem (Bet Now: $5.50) is going about his business at the moment. This gelding ran over the mile last Saturday where he was once again spotting them a big start but like they do so often at Darwin, they can make it up and he did in impressive fashion. Up to 1900m for the first time but is racing as if it will suit.
4 Wicked Promise (Bet Now: $4.00) is a mare racing in great form at the moment. Is a winner at the track/distance and will appreciate the step up to it after bolting up over the mile last time under a lovely ride from Maskiell, who had her parked in a beaut spot and once asked for the effort, gee she put them away. Very likeable.
5 Trooper’s Ploy (Bet Now: $11.00) should appreciate the step up to 1900m. John Hickmott has had a fab Darwin Carnival and I think he gets another chance at winning via this bloke, who ran over the mile last time an was a real eye catcher late behind Halogem. Gets a 2.5kg weight pull on that horse and is racing as if the extra 300m will suit.
Race 9. (17:55) Darwin Cup 2000m
Two horses I want to back each way here, firstly 7 Lieder (Bet Now: $5.50). He comes through the main lead up, won by Senior Council, but I thought Lieder was one of the runs of the race. Had to make a long searching run from around the 800-900 mark whereas the winner had the suck box seat sit and last say. Hopefully Jamie Kah can have him closer in the run. If that’s the case, clearly the horse to beat.
12 Turf Man (Bet Now: $4.50) is the fav and probably on current form, deservedly so. His NT Derby win was really something to behold. Midfield, circled them, rounded them up and absolutely walked in by over ten lengths. The negative with him is that he’s been up a fair while and the Derby/Cup double has been near impossible to achieve in recent times.
2 Royal Request (Bet Now: $13.00) is the defending champion who always has to be respected whenever he races at Darwin. Is he going as well as he was leading into last year? For mine I’d say no but that’s not to say he can’t win because overall, I don’t think this is the strongest Cup field ever assembled. Got too far back over the mile last time but was doing his best work late behind Gracious Prospect. He’s right in the game for mine.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Four Number 2 Jayeffkay
NEXT BEST: Race One Number 3 Evil Miss
LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 7 Lieder
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Leg Two: 3, 7, 9, 10, 13
Leg Three: 3, 4, 5, 7
Leg Four: 1, 2, 7, 12
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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