Spartan Eagle still top pick for Darwin Cup after horror draw

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Locally trained Spartan Eagle is clinging to favouritism for the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay on Monday even though he came up with the outside gate of the fifteen horse field at today’s barrier draw.

hawks bay

Hawks Bay will create history if he can win 3 Darwin Cups in succession. Photo by Taron Clarke.

The Bob Richard trained Spartan Eagle shot to the top of the betting when he made it four wins in a row at Fannie Bay with a five and three quarter lengths flogging of his opponents in the last Saturday’s $50,000 Sky Racing Metric Mile (1600m) at Fannie Bay.

But the horror draw has forced Spartan Eagle to drift slightly but he is still the top pick at $5.50 while the David Hayes trained Extra Zero, who drew barrier eight, continues to move out in the markets and is now a $6.50 chance after being the early $3.50 favourite last week.

Extra Zero, who is to be ridden by Sydney’s premier jockey Nash Rawiller, became friendless in the betting following his dismal performance last weekend when he was beaten twenty lengths by Spartan Eagle in the Metric Mile.

Topweight Hawks Bay from barrier three, is still at double figure odds at $10 and will have to lump 65kg to victory if he and jockey Steven Arnold are to make it three Darwin Cups in succession.

Hawks Bay got the job done last year with 64.5kg and trainer Neil Dyer would love to see the eight year old salute again and write his name into the record books.

“It would be nice to look back in the records in 10 or 20 years and see his name winning three  Darwin Cups,” Dyer told ntnews.com.au.

“He’s the sort of horse that deserves it and he’s going into the race in a similar position to last year.

“But he’s a year older and probably more dour – although we’ve ticked all the boxes to make him turn up at his best on the day.”

The Stephen Brown trained Host Of The Party is the one the punters came for after drawing perfectly at gate two.

Host Of The Party, to be ridden by top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn, has firmed into $6.50 from an earlier quote of $9 and is going for a hat trick of wins at Fannie Bay after winning over 1600m on July 6 then followed that up with a three lengths win over 2000m two weeks ago.

While stablemates Bolton, barrier nine, and The Big Steel, barrier twelve, have both drifted in the betting and are now $9 and $10 respectively.



About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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