Star Studded Cup Field

Oct 25, 2018 Star Studded Cup Field

The TAB Inter Dominion favourite and, arguably, the horses most likely to head Victoria's ID18 defence will do battle in a star-studded field that will contest Saturday night's Decron Cranbourne Cup.

Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup winner Tiger Tara is the sole second-line starter behind defending Cranbourne Cup and Trots Country Cups champion Shadow Sax (pictured) and last year’s Perth Inter Dominion finalist San Carlo.

Throw in Carlas Pixel, who was named the four-year-old Victorian mare of 2017-18 on Sunday night, likely ID18 participants Audi Hare and polemarker Love Ina Chevy, ID18 hopeful Star Of Memphis and opportunist Bernie Winkle and the pieces are in place for a classic.

Much of the intrigue will surround San Carlo, the prodigiously talented eight-year-old Mach Three gelding for trainer Stephen O'Donoghue, who will look to back up an impressive first-up win in the Italian Cup Pace at Mildura on October 12.

Stable foreman and reinswoman Rebecca Bartley said San Carlo had returned a bigger, stronger horse after putting on 70kg while in the paddock.

“We’ve never probably worked with him this big before, so it’s taken us a little while to get him back,” she said.

“The first up run we just really needed a good hit out. He handled the track really well, which I was quite surprised with it being a littler track and him being a big horse but he handled it really well. He seemed to do it quite easy.”

Bartley said the experience the horse had gained from competing in last year's Inter Dominion final would put him in good stead for this campaign, including Saturday night's second-up rise in class for the Cranbourne Cup.

“Obviously it’s only our second run back so we’re probably not at our peak like the other horses in that race, but we feel he’ll still hold his own and be really competitive,” she said.

Bartley said he would likely have one more start before tackling the Inter Dominion series.

Gates at Cranbourne open early at 3pm so punters can catch Winx on the big screen as she attempts to take her fourth consecutive W.S Cox Plate ahead of the first race at 5.54pm.

A host of on-course activities are planned for the night including a live DJ, children’s entertainment, pony rides and Kelly Sports.

As a bonus, the first 500 paid ticket holders through the gate will also score a free ticket to the Inter Dominion heat back at the track on December 8.

Trots Media: Mark Smith