Metric Mile winner Royal Request has been issued with a 1.5kg penalty for the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on Monday.
The Neil Dyer trainer Royal Request will now have to carry the 60.5kg top weight for the Darwin Cup after originally being handicapped with 59kg.
The Thoroughbred Racing Northern Territory handicapper issued the Darwin Cup penalty for Royal Request after the seven year old scored a solid three quarters of a length win over Darwin Cup rival Spartan Eagle in the $50,000 Sky Racing Metric Mile (1600m) at Fannie Bay on July 29.
Royal Request will be chasing a hat trick of wins on Monday after having won the $55,000 Chief Minister’s Cup (1600m) 0n July 15 prior to his Metric Mile victory.
Three times Darwin Cup winning trainer Michael Hickmott has three live chances in the Darwin Cup but is leaning towards Royal Request as the horse to beat.
“Whoever beats him (Royal Request) will win the Cup,” Hickmott told the NT News.
“That horse seems bulletproof – everything about him impresses me. He’s handling the track up here well.”
In this year’s Darwin Cup Hickmott will saddle up the highly fancied Lieder with Perth whiz William Pike to ride, Unbreakable with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn booked and Jarrad Noske, also a top rated Perth jockey, on Irish import Wexford Town.
Royal Request is an eight times winner on the Fannie Bay track with his 2014 NT Derby victory being over the same course and distance as the Darwin Cup.
Early market order for the 2017 Darwin Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Lieder, $5 Billet Doux, $5.50 Royal Request, $7 Unbreakable, $7.50 Folk Tales, $11 Pretty Blonde, Saturday Sorcerer, $13 Whistle Stop, $15 Harrebs Time, $17 Abu Dhabi, Moon Devil, $21 Wexford Town, Spartan Eagle, $26 Electric Crimson, $51 Flying Tormenta, $67 New Empire, $101 Arctic Song, Best Case, Hammered Art, Overdane, Supercoach, War Story.
Weights for the 2017 Darwin Cup (2000m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||51413×6311||ROYAL REQUEST||G||7||Neil Dyer||1||60.5kg||89|
|2||0031661831||MOON DEVIL||G||9||Kerry Petrick||2||56.5kg||81|
|3||x687732141||BILLET DOUX||G||4||Sheila Arnold||3||54kg||73|
|4||2x4521x834||PRETTY BLONDE||M||9||Kym Healy||4||57kg||86|
|5||x33469x726||WHISTLE STOP||G||7||Dick Leech||5||57.5kg||83|
|6||878x20x00x||WEXFORD TOWN (IRE)||G||7||Michael Hickmott||6||57.5kg||83|
|7||0x56149208||WAR STORY (IRE)||G||8||Carly Cook||7||56.5kg||81|
|9||42111×1953||HARREBS TIME||G||6||Tayarn Halter||9||56kg||80|
|10||1x82553x62||SATURDAY SORCERER||G||8||Jason Manning||10||55.5kg||79|
|11||6×53583249||ABU DHABI||G||5||Gary Kennewell||11||54kg||76|
|13||5×53638080||BEST CASE (NZ)||G||7||Carl Spry||13||54kg||75|
|14||3119×30215||FOLK TALES (NZ)||G||5||Richard Laming||14||54kg||74|
|15||6257×76174||FLYING TORMENTA||M||6||John Peacock||15||54kg||74|
|16||2213043×46||ELECTRIC CRIMSON (NZ)||G||8||Richard Laming||16||54kg||74|
|17||32675×4167||ARCTIC SONG||G||7||Neil Dyer||17||54kg||73|
|18||87289×8705||OVERDANE (GB)||G||8||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||18||54kg||72|
|19||12238Px233||HAMMERED ART||G||6||Carl Spry||19||54kg||70|
|21||6784×35242||SPARTAN EAGLE||G||10||Bob Richard||21||54kg||69|
|22||1x0780x772||NEW EMPIRE||G||8||Garry Lefoe||22||54kg||61|