The 2018 Group 3 $250,000 Sky Racing Hobart Cup at Hobart on Sunday has developed into an open betting race with the three mainland stayers Dee I Cee, Pretty Punk and Andrea Mantegna prominent in the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2400m contest.
Prominent Tasmanian trainer Barry Campbell will saddle the best of the locals with $4.80 second favourite Eastender winning two of his last three starts.
The Darren Weir trained Andrea Mantegna has been installed the $4.40 favourite in the eleven horse Hobart Cup field while Dee I Cee from the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable and Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas’s Pretty Punk are sharing the third line of betting at $5.
Dee I Cee
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Dee I Cee was narrowly beaten over the Hobart Cup distance of 2400m last start in the Australia Day Cup at Warwick Farm and will take some solid race fitness into Sunday’s feature staying race. Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown takes the ride and is certain to give the six year old every chance from barrier two in the eleven horse field.
The South Australian trained Pretty Punk was a winner at Morphettville over 2018m and at Flemington over 2000m before her last start fourth in a 2000m Handicap at Caulfield on January 27. The step up to 2400m won’t be a problem for the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas trained Pretty Punk who has recorded a win over 2500m on her home track at Morphettville in June last year. Craig Williams is sticking with Pretty Punk who has drawn awkwardly at barrier ten.
Geegees Goldengirl is yet to win at 2400m from five attempts but Brighton trainer Stuart Gandy has steadily increased her distances throughout her campaign and the six year old mare is coming off a last start second over 2200m in the Summer Cup at Hobart on January 28. Geegees Goldengirl has drawn nicely at barrier five with Sigrid Carr taking the ride again.
Fastnet Dragon put himself into Hobart Cup contention with a last start nose win over Geegees Goldengirl in the Summer Cup. Ace Sydney rider Brenton Avdulla takes over from Brendon McCoull on Fastnet Dragon who has drawn out wide at barrier nine.
The Rhonda Mangan trained Up Cups ran the best race of his latest preparation last start when third behind Fastnet Dragon and Geegees Goldengirl in the Summer Cup. David Pires takes over the reins from Anthony Darmanin and will be able to give Up Cups every chance from barrier three. Up Cups is a two times winner over the 2400m, one of them being the 2016 Hobart Cup.
Anthony Darmanin will have to be at the top of his gain if he is going to win the Hobart Cup on Brilliant Jet after the five year old drew the outside barrier in the eleven horse field. Brilliant Jet was a winner over 2040m at The Valley four starts back and visited the winner’s stall again last start in a 1880m Handicap at Devonport on January 10.
The Darren Weir trained Andrea Mantegna has been racing consistently in restricted class and looked impressive with a last start five and a quarter lengths win in a BenchMark 82 Handicap over 2250m on the Morphettville Parks track in Adelaide. Top Melbourne jockey Damian Lane will take over from Harry Coffey on Andrea Mantegna who has drawn nicely at barrier four. The Giant’s Causeway five year old is a winner over the Hobart Cup distance of 2400m.
Eastender is another who has won over 2400m and heads into the Hobart Cup in fine form with two wins and a second from his last three starts, his latest in the Brighton Cup over 2100m at Hobart on January 12. Craig Newitt has been aboard the Barry Campbell trained Eastender for his last four starts and takes the ride again in the Hobart Cup. Eastender is the shortest priced of the local Hobart Cup contenders and looks the best chance to keep the winning trophy in Tasmania.
Six year old gelding Settler’s Stone is one of the outsiders of the Hobart Cup field and is coming off a last start sixth to Fastnet Dragon in the $50,000 Summer Cup (2200m) at Hobart.
Speed Force was a winner two starts back in a 1620m BenchMark 82 Handicap at Launceston before finishing fifth in the Summer Cup. Trainer Bill Ryan has decide to put the blinkers on Speed Force for the first time in the Hobart Cup.
Earl Da Vinci
The former Kiwi galloper Earl Da Vinci has been racing consistently since arriving from New Zealand with two wins and four placings from his last six starts. Two starts back the Scott Brunton trained six year old finished third to Eastender in the Brighton Cup before running second in a 2100m Launceston BenchMark 68 Handicap on January 31.