Veteran galloper Hawks Bay will have to break a weight carrying record if he wants to win his third straight Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay this afternoon.
The eight-year-old has won the last two Darwin Cups and will look to make it three in a row in today’s $200,000 race.
Hawks Bay has been allocated a hefty 65 kilograms for the feature, which is a tough ask for a stayer of his age.
However, it will be his own weight carrying record that he will need to break in order to win the race.
The Black Hawk gelding won last year’s race with a massive 64.5 kilograms on his back, proving he is more than capable of achieving such a fete.
Trainer Neil Dyer is hopeful that the $12 Darwin Cup chance can produce one more win in the race he has been so dominant in over the past few years.
“He’s physically in very good condition but he’s a year older and we’re probably just a bit concerned that the task ahead of him is just starting to get a little bit daunting,” Dyer told racingvictoria.net.au.
“Aside from the fact that he’s gone up half a kilo, Bolton who ran second to him last year, has also gone down two kilos.
“He probably improves twenty per cent on the dirt and he just thrives in the heat up in Darwin so were hoping that he can pull out another big run.”
While Hawks Bay may have won the race the last two years, he also placed second in both 2009 and 2010.
The galloper has won 14 of his 58 race starts in total and has earned more than $850,000 during his career.
Hawks Bay’s most recent race start was a seventh placing in the Metric Mile behind Darwin Cup favourite Spartan Eagle.