The countdown to the 2012 Darwin Cup (2000m) is nearly over and as always the $180,000 staying test promises to be an exciting event.
Heading the market is local gelding Sheahan who is currently being offered at $3.00 after some impressive recent form.
The former Melbourne-based five-year-old is chasing a third consecutive victory at Darwin’s Fannie Bay track and is coming off a win in traditional lead-up race the Metric Mile.
Next best in the market is Sheahan’s stablemate Bolton ($3.60) who finished runner-up in the Metric Mile and the Chief Minister’s Cup in his last two outings.
The Zabeel six-year-old has black-type success to his name, having won the Listed Reaan Victoria Cup (2000m) at Caulfield in February.
Occupying the third line of betting at $5.00 are defending champion Hawks Bay and in-form local gelding Glare.
Trained by Neil Dyer in Victoria, 2011 winner Hawks Bay is returning for his fourth attempt at the Darwin Cup after also finishing runner-up in 2009-10.
The veteran gelding looked on track for a title defence after recording two consecutive victories at Fannie Bay this preparation but suffered a setback in the Metric Mile when finishing sixth and six lengths off the pace.
Also up against the cult favourite is a huge 64.5kg topweight which will be a second weight-carrying record in the event if he again proves to be successful.
No other runner falls under double figures in the Darwin Cup market with Sea Skye and Syreon the next best at $17.00.
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