2017 Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day is the headline card at the major provincial racecourse and we are set for an outstanding day’s racing on Saturday.
Three black type races are set to be run and won on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day, including the Group 3 Godolphin Crown (1400m) for fillies and mares, the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) for three-year-olds and the featured Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
We have analysed each race and horse in detail, in order to help you find a winner on 2017 Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day.
Race 1 (11:55am) Richmond Club Provincial Stayer’s BM84 Handicap (2100m)
Nine runners remain in contention for Race 1 at Hawkesbury on Saturday following the scratching of Super Haze and there appears to be a few clear cut chances in the handicap. My Giuliano (barrier 3) is proven in races better than this one and will carry plenty of benefit following a first-up run a fortnight ago, while classy import Great Glen appears ready to find winning form in what will be his third-up start. Mortar Platoon was completely without luck when fourth at Canterbury last start and could find far-more ideal conditions with this step up in distance.
Tip: No. 3 Mortar Platoon – Each Way ($7/$2.35)
Race 2 (12:30pm) Clarendon Stakes (1300m)
Eight two-year-olds will take their places in this year’s Clarendon Stakes field and there is subsequently plenty of value on offer. Serena Bay (barrier 7) returned to the races for a smart win in the Cibo Café Pizzeria Handicap (1200m) on March 23rd, before running an impressive third in the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships. This is a big step back in class for the filly and she should prove extremely hard to beat in the Clarendon Stakes. Her main dangers included Tangled (barrier 8) and Icon Of Dubai (barrier 2).
Tip: No. 1 Serena Bay ($1.95)
Race 3 (1:05pm) TAB Highway Handicap (1100m)
Only eight runners make up the field for Saturday’s Highway Handicap at Hawkesbury. Ruthless Agent was a strong and consistent metropolitan performer for Kurt Goldman in recent seasons and was last seen hitting the line well for third in the TAB Highway Plate (1600m) at Randwick in late February. Moss My Name (barrier 8) has been particularly impressive in two barrier trials leading up to this race, while Still Undaunted will appreciate a step back in trip after failing to see out 1200m in a Randwick Highway Handicap a fortnight ago.
Tip: No. 2 Ruthless Agent ($3.80)
Race 4 (1:40pm) Hawkesbury XXXX Gold Rush (1100m)
A particularly talented field has been confirmed for the Hawkesbury Gold Rush and a case can be made for nearly every runner. Felines was last seen hitting the line well for fifth in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and has reportedly flourished since receiving a freshen-up, while stable mate Clearly Innocent will have his first start for Kris Lees in the race and has trialled well. Godolphin are offered two good chances in the form of Grunderzeit (barrier 6) and Old North (barrier 9), who will both contest the race fresh and are proven first-up performers.
Tip: No. 2 Felines ($4.50)
Race 5 (2:15pm) Blakes Marine BM85 Handicap (1300m)
It is an open and capacity field of fourteen that has been confirmed for Race 5 on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day and there is a number of live chances set to take their position. Chris Waller will saddled three horses in the race, including the resuming Encosta Line (barrier 9) and Invinzabeel (barrier 5), who is yet to be seen at the races in 2017. Astara is set to jump the race favourite but may require a run to find peak condition, while Lanciato (barrier 17) Spy Decoder (barrier 13) and Yuma Desert (barrier 16) will all need luck in running to win from wide draws.
Tip: No. 8 Lanciato – Each Way ($7.50/$3)
Race 6 (2:55pm) Group 3 Godolphin Crown (1300m)
The Godolphin Crown has drawn one of its strongest fields for years and it is shaping as one of, if not the most highly anticipated race on Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day. Artistry resumed for a smart win in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) and was last seen working to the line well for third in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on April 8th. Elle Lou (barrier 5) and Daysee Doom (barrier 11) have also both performed extremely well at black type level this time, while a mare like Brigadoon Rise (barrier 10) is not without a chance of posting an upset at big odds.
Tip: No. 2 Artistry ($4)
Race 7 (3:35pm) Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m)
Some of the season’s brightest three-year-olds will contest the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas on Saturday and this is another race whereby half the field have legitimate claims. Trainer James Cummings has elected to saddle Good Standing in the Hawkesbury Guineas rather than the Group 2 Victory Stakes, which perhaps comments on his confidence that the horse will perform well under these conditions. Generalissimo was an impressive winner of the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at his last start and should find a good position off pace from barrier 12, while second placegetter Rosa Carolina will carry plenty of benefit into this race and will appreciate a firmer track.
Tip: No. 12 Rosa Carolina – Each Way ($11/$3.40)
Race 8 (4:15pm) Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m)
The feature race has drawn a typically strong, competitive and open field in 2017, including last year’s runner-up Mighty Lucky (barrier 13). The tough veteran returned to the race for a credible fifth in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago and while charged with overcoming topweight (59kgs), should be right in the finish of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup. Godolphin will saddle no fewer than four runners in the race, highlighted by race favourite Spectroscope and consistent gelding Havana Cooler (barrier 4). The former won each of his first two starts in Australia, including the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m), but got too far back in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last time out and will take a position closer to the pace from barrier 5 this weekend. Fabrizio is set to take up the running from the rails draw and will ensure that the race is run at a genuine tempo and could prove a tough target for his rivals to run down late in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
Tip: No. 3 Havana Cooler – Each Way ($16/$5.20)
Race 9 (4:50pm) All State Shopfitting BM78 Handicap (1500m)
The final race on 2017 Hawkesbury Gold Cup Day is wide open following the scratching of leading contender Timeless Prince and there is plenty of value to be taken from a betting perspective. Ancient History has shown plenty of ability since debuting in Australia this season and the talented import appears ready for his first win under the care of John O’Shea. Beretta (barrier 9) never appeared in doubt when he led from start to finish to win at Canterbury a fortnight ago and Brenton Avdulla is likely to look for the early pace again on Saturday.
Tip: No. 8 Ancient History – Each Way ($10/$3.50)