The Gary Clarke trained Finke holds a slight advantage over stablemate Lightinthenite for favouritism for the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay today.
Finke has firmed into $3.80 with Ladbrokes.com.au while Lightinthenite remains around the $4.20 mark while the big shortener is the Jason Manning trained seven year old Saturday Sorcerer who is now on the third line of betting at $5 after opening at $14.
If Finke can win the Darwin Cup he will claim the $100,000 Ladbrokes Triple Crown Bonus after winning the first two legs of the three race series at Darwin’s Fannie Bay racecourse, the $70,000 Hot 100 Darwin Guineas (1600m) on July 2 and the $135,000 Ladbrokes NT Derby (2000m) on July 16.
Finke is the winner of his last eight races and will be ridden again by Brendon Davis who has been aboard for his last three wins.
Clarke was very impressed with Finke last start Ladbrokes NT Derby win and is happy to give him a chance to pick up the $100,000 Bonus on offer.
“That was a really good win,” trainer Gary Clarke told the NT News.
“There was a bit of cat and mouse going on there in the early stages, and he had to do some extra work but he toughed it out real well.
“He’s not a stunning horse to look at but he keeps getting it done — I haven’t found the bottom of him yet.”
Lightinthenite has only had one run back since winning last year’s Darwin Cup and goes into today’s race on the back of a fourth to Whistle Stop in the $55,000 Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 9.
Paul Shiers rode Lightinthenite in the Chief Minister’s Cup and gets the mount again today.
Whistle Stop is also going around in the Darwin Cup and has eased from $8 to be marked at $9.50 on race morning.
The Dick Leech trained six year old has been racing in fine form and after winning the Chief Minister’s Cup ran second to Our Valdivia in the $50,000 Metric Mile (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 23.
Our Valdivia with regular jockey Paul Denton in the saddle again is also well in contention for the Darwin Cup and is currently listed as a $6 chance.
The Neil Dyer trained Royal Request with Tommy Berry booked to ride is also one of the main fancies and has had plenty of support firming in from $10 to $7.
Darwin Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Finke, $4.20 Lightinthenite, $5 Saturday Sorcerer, $6 Our Valdivia, $7 Royal Request, $9.50 Whistle Stop, $21 Big Man, Moon Devil, $41 Canny Ballad, Spartan Eagle, $71 Orion.