A full field of twelve runners will line up in the 2017 $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on Monday.
As well as the final twelve, there are also three emergencies for the Darwin Cup with the barrier draw to be conducted at the Schweppes Pavaillion at the Darwin Turf Club’s Fannie Bay race course on Thursday afternoon.
The top weight Royal Request has to carry 60.5kg in the Darwin Cup after receiving a 1.5kg penalty for winning the $50,000 Sky Racing Metric Mile (1600m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on July 29.
Jockey Jarrod Todd takes the mount again on Royal Request after riding the Neil Dyer trained seven year old at his last four starts and as well as winning the Metric Mile, the pair also combined for a win in the $55,000 Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) 0n July 15 at his previous run.
Royal Request is an eight times winner on the Fannie Bay track with his 2014 NT Derby victory being over the same course and distance as the Darwin Cup.
As expected three times Darwin Cup winning trainer Michael Hickmott has three live chances in this year’s Cup with the highly fancied Lieder with Perth whiz William Pike to ride, Unbreakable with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn booked and Jarrad Noske, also a top rated Perth jockey, on Irish import Wexford Town.
Hickmott saddled up last year’s Darwin Cup winner Canny Ballad as well as collecting the winning trophy with General Market in 2007 and Activation in 2009.
Brilliant NT Derby winner Billet Doux is also among the final acceptors for the Darwin Cup and showed his liking for the 2000m at Fannie Bay with a four lengths win against the three year olds in the $135,000 Ladbrokes NT Derby (2000m) on July 22.
Nine year old Moon Devil is also racing in fine form and the Kerry Petrick trained gelding is coming off a last start win in the $45,000 Buntine Handicap (1900m) at Fannie Bay on July 22.