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Big Duke only Weir runner to start in Hobart Cup

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In-form galloper Big Duke will be trainer Darren Weir’s only runner in the Group 3 $200,000 Hobart Cup (2400m) at Hobart on Sunday.

Big Duke, above blue, black and white colours, is likely to represent the Darren Weir stable in the Hobart Cup. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Big Duke, above blue, black and white colours, is likely to represent the Darren Weir stable in the Hobart Cup. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

As well as Big Duke, Weir had nominated Master Of Arts, Goldstream and Leica Day for the Hobart Cup, but Weir’s racing manager Jeremy Rogers said that the five year old gelding would be the stable’s only representative.

“Leica Day won’t be coming and Darren is more keen on Goldstream heading to the Launceston Cup as he is owned by the same connections as Big Duke that is definitely going to Hobart and Brenton Avdulla has been booked to ride him,” Rogers told Tasracing News

“Master of Arts is ultimately heading to the Adelaide Cup so Darren has decided not to send him to Hobart.”

Sydney based jockey Brenton Avdulla has been booked to ride Big Duke who will be chasing a hat trick of wins after a win over 1800m in a BenchMark 78 Handicap ay Caulfield on December 26 followed by a win in a 2040m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Moonee Valley on January 21.

Big Duke has been weighted on the minimum 54kg and is likely to stay with that weight even if the weights have to be raised 1.5kg at acceptance time.

Master Of Arts on 59kg, the Robert Hickmott trained Chance To Dance on 58.5kg and Ciaron Maher’s Kapour on 57kg all look likely to miss the Hobart Cup leaving the local stayer Up Cups, weighted on 56.5kg, to be elevated to be the top weight up 1.5kg to 58kg.

If that is the case all runner’s weighted over the 54kg minimum will be raised 1.5kg except for Stuart Gandy’s mare Geegees Goldengirl whose weight will be increased form 54kg to 55kg while all the other runners weighted on the minimum will remain on 54kg.

Chance To Dance will head to Caulfield on Saturday for a 2400m Open Handicap while Ciaron Maher has indicated that Kapour would most likely be kept for the Group 3 $200,000 Launceston Cup (2400m) at Launceston on February 22.

Geegees Goldengirl and the Scott Brunton trained Count Da Vinci are set to clash again after running the quinella in the $50,000 Pimms Summer Cup (2200m) at Hobart on January 22.

Jockey Sigrid Carr steered Geegees Goldengirl to a three and a quarter lengths wins over Count Da Vinci who suffered his first defeat from his last start six starts.

The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Cool Chap will appreciate the step up to the 2400m of the Hobart Cup following his last start second to Big Duke over 2040m at Moonee Valley.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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