Congestion at the top of the market order has three runners contesting favouritism for the 2017 $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on Monday.
Shortly after the final field was released on Thursday, Ladbrokes.com.au opened the betting with Royal Request, Lieder and Billet Doux all sharing the top spot at $4.40.
The market did change slightly in the early afternoon with the Michael Hickmott trained Lieder remaining the $4.40 favourite while the top weight Royal Request and NT Derby winner Billet Doux drifting marginally to be $4.60 each.
Lieder is one of three runners Hickmott will saddle up in the Darwin Cup with Unbreakable with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn to ride, also well in the market at $7 while Wexford Town is at the double figure odds of $17.
Perth’s record breaking jockey William Pike takes over the reins on Lieder from Jarrod Todd who was aboard the Street Cry five year old last start when third to Moon Devil in the $45,000 Buntine Handicap (1900m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on July 22.
The Sheila Arnold trained Billet Doux emerged as a genuine contender for next Monday’s Top End feature race with a four lengths win in the $135,000 Ladbrokes NT Derby over the same course and distance as the Darwin Cup.
Billet Doux has trained on strongly since his explosive NT Derby win and the Darwin Turf Club has reported on twitter that the newly turned four year old worked strongly at Fannie Bay on Thursday morning.
“NT Derby winner Billet Doux worked nicely under Keith Arnold at the track this morning. Runs in Monday’s Carlton Mid Darwin Cup,” Darwin Turf Club tweeted.
First emergency Folk Tales is also well in contention in the betting at $8 and was beaten less than three lengths last start when fifth in the Buntine Handicap while Pretty Blonde has firmed in slightly from $10 to $9.