The 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup field has been released and a capacity field of 16 gallopers are set to contest the Group 3 event at Hawkesbury on Saturday.
Chris Waller won the 2013 edition of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup with Coup Ay Tee and the leading Sydney trainer has included Flamingo Star, Strawberry Boy, Bagman, Multilateral, Rugged Cross, Vilanova and Danchai in the acceptances for the race.
Flamingo Star is easily the most interesting horse in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup field and will be making his Australian racing debut after winning at Group level and beating Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist in Germany.
The Areion entire has performed fairly in two barrier trials since he arrived in Australia, but the Waller stable are confident that the five-year-old will take plenty of benefit out of his first-up run in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
Gai Waterhouse is another trainer that has a strong hand in the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup field and Ecuador and Pheidon as well as potentially Frespanol could represent racings leading lady in the $150,000 race.
Ecuador returned to the races in the Rewards Royal Randwick Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 18 and looked like the winner at the 100 metre mark, but was caught in the final stages of the race by Rugged Cross, although the High Chaparral gelding is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from the run.
Pheidon will be returning to the races for the first time since he failed to fire in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 6, but he has previously performed well with fresh legs.
The other Sydney trainer with multiple runners in the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup field is John O’Shea, who has included Malice, Medcaut and San Diego in the entries.
Malice is yet to record a race win this preparation and was slightly disappointing in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 18, while Medcaut and San Diego are both coming out of the same race as Rugged Cross and San Diego.
Veteran gelding Monton (barrier 13), Kiwi mare Diademe (barrier 17) and Mike Moroney-trained Surpass (barrier 11) round out the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup field, while talented mare Lucky Lago (barrier 19), imported galloper Evangelist (barrier five) and Gai Waterhouse-trained Frespanol (barrier 16) have been included as the three emergencies.