The 2015 Darwin Cup field has been released and imported stayer Gris Caro has been included in the acceptances for the $200,000 event that will be held at Fannie Bay on Monday afternoon.
Gris Caro will be returning to the races for the first time since he failed to fire in the Group 3 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 16, but connections are banking on the fact that the rising seven-year-old has a strong first-up record and he took out the Listed Balaklava Cup (1600m) in his racing debut.
The With Approval entire went on to win the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20 and he earnt a place in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) field, but he missed the race due to injury and has been unable to return to his best form since.
One of the most interesting horses in the 2015 Darwin Cup field is Gai Waterhouse-trained Travolta, who is chasing his first race win since he took out the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick in January last year.
Travolta started his winter campaign with a sixth place finish behind Alcohol in the Harrison Cup (1600m) at Moonee Valley on June 20 and he was outpaced in the Metric Mile (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 25, but he is sure to take plenty of benefit from the step-up in trip.
Whistle Stop claimed the biggest win of his racing career to date when he took out the Metric Mile and the consistent gelding shapes as one of the best locally-trained chances in the Darwin Cup.
The son of Street Sense won over 2000 metres when he took out the Fleming’s Nurseries Handicap (2000m) at Pakenham on March 26 and he has gone to another level since he returned to the Northern Territory for his Darwin Cup campaign.
Saturday Sorcerer was the first horse across the line in the 2014 Darwin Cup, but he was disqualified after testing positive to a banned substance and the race was awarded to Pretty Blonde, who will have the chance to win the race for the second year in a row.
Pretty Blonde has not recorded a race win since the Darwin Cup last year and she was far from impressive when she finished ninth in The Metric Mile.
Lightinthenite was only narrowly denied in the 2014 edition of the Darwin Cup and he will have the opportunity to go one better this year and is taking winning form into the $200,000 event.
The Galileo gelding failed to fire during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he returned to racing with a strong win in the Asian United Minister’s Cup (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 11.
The 2015 Darwin Cup field is rounded out by Bolton, Payteevee, The Ruffian, Post D’France, Royal Request, Proverb and Flying Torment, while Kayno, Storm Approach and Saturday Sorcerer are the three emergencies.