In-form trainer Stephen Brown will be looking to win his second $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay today when he saddles up seven year old Post D’France.
Brown won the Darwin Cup in 2004 with Mr Tambourineman and is very happy with Post D’France’s preparation and said he is ready to peak today.
“I’m really happy with him – I can’t get him any better,” Brown told racing.com.
“I think the race will be run a bit differently to what all the lead-up races have been.
“He’s on target and he should be peaking on Monday.”
Melbourne based jockey Stephen Baster takes the ride on Post D’France and the gelding will jump from barrier eight in the capacity twelve horse field.
Naturally Brown considers the short priced favourite Lightinthenite the hardest to beat and the Gary Clarke trained eight year old will jump from gate seven with Sydney’s premiership winning jockey Hugh Bowman to ride.
“Liteinthenite for sure (is the hardest to beat) – he’s drawn inside us so that first corner is probably the biggest problem,” Brown said.
“Hopefully we can follow him across and tuck in behind him.”
Brown brought Post D’France to the Top End at the end of June to prepare for the Darwin Cup and he finished ninth over 1300m followed by a fifth to Lightinthenite in the $55,000 Asian United Food Service Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) on July 11.
Post D’France’s final Darwin Cup lead up saw him run fourth to Royal Request in the $45,000 Buntine Handicap (1900m) on July 18.
Brown has been having a successful Darwin Cup Carnival and visited the winner’s circle twice on Saturday with Smudger and Sound Of The Ocean, both ridden by his son Stephen Brown Junior.
Smudger was sent out as the $1.75 favourite in the first race on Palmerston Sprint Day, the $21,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Handicap (1100m), and kept the punters happy with a half length win and the father and son combination teamed up again with Sound Of The Ocean to score an one and three quarter lengths win in the $21,000 Administrator’s Cup (1200m).
Post D’France has had plenty of support for the Darwin Cup and has firmed in with Ladbrokes.com.au from $11 to his current quote of $8.50.
Lightinthenite heads the market and is a solid $2.60 favourite in front of Royal Request at $6.50 and the Gai Waterhouse trained Travolta who is also marked at $8.50 alongside of Post D’France.