The Chris Waller trained pair of Reigning and Danchai have drawn the two inside barriers for the Listed $150,000 Blanchard Haulage Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday.
Reigning will jump from the rails and is stepping up in class after finishing third in a 1900m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Rosehill on July 4 which followed a win over 2000m at Rosehill on June 13.
Danchai will start as one of the favourites after winning the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on June 13 before running third in the Listed $100,000 Ronald McDonald House Westmead Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on June 27 and will jump from gate two.
Waller will also saddle up Winter Cup fourth placegetter Gosh who has drawn barrier ten in the sixteen horse field.
The Ipswich Cup placegetters are set to clash again with Banca Mo and Darci Be Good also lining up in the Grafton Cup after finishing second and third behind Danchai at Ipswich.
The Bevan Laming trained Banca Mo will need plenty of luck to turn the tables on Dancahi in the Grafton Cup after drawing the outside gate of the field while Darci Be Good has drawn just worst than midfield at eleven.
Banca Mo has also had a run since the Ipswich Cup and just missed a place when fourth to Escado in the Group 3 $200,000 Carlton Draught Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20 while Darci Be Good was only beaten two lengths when seventh to Addictive Habit in the Listed $100,000 Southbank Insurance Brokers Handicap (1800m) at the Gold Coast on the same day.
The Gerald Ryan trained Shoreham ran his best race for a long time when second in the Tattersall’s Cup and should get a good run from gate four.
In form trainer Ciaron Maher has a great chance to keep the stable’s winning momentum going with Winter Cup winner Kapour who came up with barrier six.
Maher had an outstanding Queensland Winter Carnival with stable star Srikandi picking up a Group 1 winning double with wins in the $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6 and again in the $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20.
Big race jockey Kerrin McEvoy was aboard Srikandi for her Group 1 double and has stuck with the stable and will partner Kapour again after the pair saluted in the Winter Cup.
Top weight Bonfire from the Gai Waterhouse stable has been handicapped with 59kg and is likely to push forward from barrier fourteen and take up his usual position near the head of the pack for Blake Shinn.
Mullet Man (barrier 12) was back in the winner’s circle last start taking out the $20,000 Grafton Cup Preview (2220m) at Grafton on July 2 and Warwick Farm trainer David Vandyke will saddle up last start restricted class winners Maurus (barrier 13) and Archean (barrier 9).