The Hawkesbury Gold Cup meeting will be held at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Rosehill will be racing on a Good track on raceday.
The consistent mare Bangkok looks the horse to beat in the Hawkesbury Crown (Sydney Race 4, 1300m). The Allan Denham-trained 5YO had finished 3rd in her past two Group race starts and stepping up to 1300m 4th up looks perfect. Bangkok has a great record at 1300m with 3 wins and 5 placing from 9 starts over the trip. Robbie Dolan has been riding the mare throughout this campaign and he’ll be on board again. Having drawn the rail, Dolan will park mid-field on the fence and with reasonable pace in the race, Bangkok will finish the race off strongly.
Gerald Ryan and Tim Clark can combine with Villami to take out the Hawkesbury Gold Rush (Sydney Race 5, 1100m). Villami is a good sprinting filly who has shown her potential last spring when she finished 2nd in the Group 2 Furious Stakes and a 3rd in the Group 3 Champagne Stakes behind the Group 1 William Reid Stakes winner Loving Gaby. This 3YO is unbeaten over Saturday’s trip winning both her starts over 1100m. Villami won the Fireball Stakes when 1st up on 7th March before a 6th in the Star Kingdom Stakes. Dropping back in trip after a four week break will suit and from barrier 7, Tim Clark will go to the lead and sit outside likely leader Agent Pippa and Villami could prove hard to catch.
Live And Free could be a terrific light weight chance in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (Sydney Race 7, 1500m). This John O’Shea-trained gelding was beaten a nose by Ranier in his only start over this track & trip last spring and he is ready to go one better on Saturday. O’Shea has given the 5YO two trials and Live And Free won his second trial over 1200m under the guidance of Glen Boss a fortnight ago and Boss will once again be on board in the Gold Cup. Live And Free has a fantastic turn-of-foot and together with his light weight of only 53kg, he’ll run over the top of this field in the straight.
By Owens Wong, Editor