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Ladbrokes NT Derby winner Billet Doux has been an early firmer in the betting for the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on August 7.

Royal Request, above, will carry the top weight in the 2017 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Royal Request, above, will carry the top weight in the 2017 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Early betting for the Darwin Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has the Michael Hickmott trained Lieder as the $4 favourite while Billet Doux is now the second pick at $5 after $6 was bet when the market opened at the beginning of last week.

Billet Doux finished an unlucky fourth two starts back in the $70,000 Darwin Guineas (1600m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on July 8 but then put himself into Darwin Cup calculations with a dominant four lengths win in the $135,000 Ladbrokes NT Derby (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on July 22.

NT Derby winning trainer Sheila Arnold was happy that Billet Doux could show everybody his true ability after being boxed in on the fence before finishing fourth to Krusty in the NT Guineas.

“Unlucky in the Guineas when caught on the fence, but that’s racing,” Arnold said.

“A long striding, horse he needed more room, but full credit to Krusty.

“The Derby was our main aim as he is proven over 2000m, but we’ll wait and see how he pulls up.”

Jockey Paul Shiers said that he wasn’t going to get locked away on the fence again on after what happened in the NT Guineas and Billet Doux proved to be the best three year old in the Ladbrokes NT Derby.

“He went on to win as if he was the best horse in the race,” Shiers said.

“I wasn’t going to get cramped up like I did in the Guineas and once he found his rhythm at the 600m he just kicked away.”

Billet Doux is one of twenty-two horses nominated for the Darwin Cup and has been handicapped on the minimum with 54kg but is guaranteed a spot in the final twelve horse field after becoming exempt from the ballot with his win in the Ladbrokes NT Derby.

Early market order for the 2017 Darwin Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Lieder, $5 Billet Doux, $5.50 Royal Request, $7.50 Folk Tales, $8.50 Unbreakable, $11 Pretty Blonde, Saturday Sorcerer, $13 Whistle Stop, $15 Harrebs Time, $17 Abu Dhabi, Moon Devil, $21 Wexford Town, Spartan Eagle, $26 Electric Crimson, $51 Flying Tormenta, $67 New Empire, $101 Arctic Song, Best Case, Hammered Art, Overdane, Supercoach, War Story.

Weights for the 2017 Darwin Cup (2000m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp Rating
1 0031661831 MOON DEVIL G 9 Kerry Petrick 1 56.5kg 81
2 x687732141 BILLET DOUX G 4 Sheila Arnold 2 54kg 73
3 951413×631 ROYAL REQUEST G 7 Neil Dyer 3 59kg 86
4 12x4521x83 PRETTY BLONDE M 9 Kym Healy 4 57kg 86
5 2x33469x72 WHISTLE STOP G 7 Dick Leech 5 57.5kg 83
6 878x20x00x WEXFORD TOWN (IRE) G 7 Michael Hickmott 6 57.5kg 83
7 70×5614920 WAR STORY (IRE) G 8 Carly Cook 7 56.5kg 81
8 696x172x17 UNBREAKABLE G 5 Michael Hickmott 8 56kg 80
9 142111×195 HARREBS TIME G 6 Tayarn Halter 9 56kg 80
10 1x82553x62 SATURDAY SORCERER G 8 Jason Manning 10 55.5kg 79
11 26×5358324 ABU DHABI G 5 Gary Kennewell 11 54kg 76
12 1321616953 LIEDER G 5 Michael Hickmott 12 54kg 75
13 5×53638080 BEST CASE (NZ) G 7 Carl Spry 13 54kg 75
14 3119×30215 FOLK TALES (NZ) G 5 Richard Laming 14 54kg 74
15 6257×76174 FLYING TORMENTA M 6 John Peacock 15 54kg 74
16 2213043×46 ELECTRIC CRIMSON (NZ) G 8 Richard Laming 16 54kg 74
17 532675×416 ARCTIC SONG G 7 Neil Dyer 17 54kg 73
18 087289×870 OVERDANE (GB) G 8 Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones 18 54kg 72
19 412238Px23 HAMMERED ART G 6 Carl Spry 19 54kg 70
20 x8737x7698 SUPERCOACH G 8 Danny Penna 20 54kg 69
21 76784×3524 SPARTAN EAGLE G 10 Bob Richard 21 54kg 69
22 1x0780x772 NEW EMPIRE G 8 Garry Lefoe 22 54kg 61

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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