ACT racing fans are in for a treat this weekend with some well-known gallopers, including two Group 1 winners, named in a strong field for Sunday’s Listed $200,000 Canberra Cup(2000m).
Thirteen horses will line up in the Canberra staying feature including Sydney Cup winner Niwot who will carry the topweight of 60kg from barrier 12.
Team Hawkes are setting the veteran gelding on a path geared towards chasing back-to-back Sydney Cups and he will be running second-up after a solid sixth behind stablemate All Too Hard in the Futurity Stakes last month.
The other Group 1 winner in the field is Shadows In The Sun who took out the South Australian Derby in 2011.
The Anthony Cumminngs-trained gelding has received an early favour with a plum barrier six draw.
Shadows In The Sun broke a long winning drought in January when taking out the Listed Australia Day Cup at Warwick Farm.
Also with plenty of experience in quality races is Gai Waterhouse’s tough stayer Fast Clip.
The son of Snippetson won the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude last autumn before finishing a respectable fifth to stablemate More Joyous in the main event.
The form runner heading into the Canberra Cup is local hope Asclepius who will chase a third consecutive win after putting together back-to-back victories at Canberra in February.
Jimmy Fortunes is the only other last-start winner in the field but faces a steep rise in grade from his narrow Bathurst Cup win last month.
Other key races on the Canberra Cup day program include the $250,000 Black Opal Stakes and the $100,000 Canberra Guineas.