Murray Bridge trainer Michael Hickmott’s hopes of winning a fourth $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on Monday were boosted following Thursday’s barrier draw.
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 and is happy with the barriers that his three runners, Lieder, Unbreakable and Wexford Town, received.
Pre-race favourite Lieder has drawn barrier six in the twelve horse field plus three emergencies but is likely to jump from gate four with two of the reserves drawing inside of him.
Irish import Wexford Town could also move in two spots from his allocated barrier seven and jump from five while Unbreakable could jump from seven after drawing nine in the original draw.
“Very happy with our barrier draws for the 2017 Darwin Cup; Lieder – W Pike – 6 Wexford Town – J Noske – 7 Unbreakable- B Shinn – 9,” Hickmott tweeted.
Hickmott snapped up Perth’s recording breaking jockey William Pike for Lieder who is holding a slight advantage at the top of the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Street Cry five year old as the $4.40 favourite just ahead of the NT Derby winner Billet Doux at $4.50.
The Sheila Arnold trained Billet Doux drew barrier four in the original draw but could move in one if all the emergencies fail to gain a start.
Melbourne Cup and Golden Slipper winning jockey Blake Shinn has been lured to the Top End to ride Unbreakable who was quoted as an $8 chance on Friday morning while Wexford Town, with Perth’s Jarrad Noske in the saddle, is the outsider of the Hickmott trio at $19.
Shinn has just recently returned from a successful riding stint in the USA where he rode eleven winners at Arlington in Chicago and will be transitioning from dirt racing to riding on the oil mixed sand track at Fannie Bay.
Top weight Royal Request came up with barrier eight in the original draw and is also well in the betting at $4.80 with regular rider Jarrod Todd in the saddle again.
Locally trained Harrebs Time ($26) drew the rails with Raymond Vigar to ride again while Vanessa Arnott’s mount Saturday Sorcerer will jump from the outside gate.