At least four of the stars at the big stand alone race meeting at Hawkesbury NSW on April 28 have been ticketed for Australia’s richest country race carnival, the two day Scone Cup Carnival scheduled for Friday and Saturday May 11 and 12.
Hawkesbury winners chasing a share of nearly$2million in prizemoney and trophies on offer at Scone are likely to include Kingsguard (Hawkes trained winner of the $200,000 Hawkesbury Gold Cup), Glenall (Hawkes; Hawkesbury Gold Rush), Up ‘N’ Rolling (Chris Waller; won $100,000 Hawkesbury Gazette Handicap) and Siren’ Fury (Jason Coyle; $100,000 Blakes Marine Handicap).
It would not be surprising to see quite a few other Hawkesbury contestants also lined up at Scone, including Sambro, the Waller trained Hawkesbury Guineas winner.
Year after year, the Scone Cup Carnival attracts a big contingent of horses, trainers and jockeys from Sydney. For instance all three categories were represented last year on both days, each of which had more than 100 starters.
Among the trainers were Waller, Waterhouse-Bott, Gary Portelli, Bjorn Baker, Gerald Ryan, Snowdens, Hawkes, Quinton, Anthony-Edward Cummings, James Cummings and Darren Beadman, while the Sydney jockeys who made the trip included Hugh Bowman, Tommy Berry, Kerrin McEvoy, Kathy O’Hara, Blake Spriggs, Jason Collett, Christian Reith and BrentonAvdulla.
Most of the trainers are likely to have runners at Scone this year as will Newcastle’s Chris Lees and Paul Perry, the Gold Coast’s Toby Edmonds and Scone’s power base of trainers, including Brett Cavanough, Rod Northam and Paul Messara could make their presence felt.
Toby Edmonds had a treble at Tamworth on Sunday, two of the successes being in the $150,000 Tamworth Showcase Cup (won by the Pluck (USA) mare Plucky Girl) and $35,000 Jardell Cup (taken out by the Magnus gelding Mystic Moon).
Last year the big crowd, visitors and locals alike, exulted when very popular Darren Beadman won the $200,000 listed Scone Cup for Sheikh Mohammed (Darley Godolphin) raced Holy Roman Emperor (Ire) gelding DucaValentinois. He was one of three winners at the carnival trained by Beadman for the Sheikh.
One of Australia’s greatest modern jockeys, a career cut short by a horrendous fall in Hong Kong, Beadman was interim trainer for the Sheikh’s Australian stables following the resignation of John O’Shea.
Shortly after Scone, Bart Cummings; grandson James Cummings was appointed head trainer for Darley-Godolphin with Beadman assisting. They are likely to have a big entry for Scone this year, a carnival at which on the Friday is to be conducted under the banner of Darley Cup Day and at which the feature race is the Darley Scone Cup.
The cup is a $200,000 Listed race over 1600m which shares the spotlight on the Friday with the $100,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge (1100m), a race for graduates of the Inglis Hunter Valley Breeders’ Scone Yearling Sale, one which this year is on May 13 and 14 and which is a grand finale to the Scone Horse Festival.
The Cup is one seven stakes races run over the two days, the others being on the Saturday, a meeting which like Hawkesbury last Saturday, takes the place of the Sydney metropolitan program. No race carries less then $100,000 and the stakes events are the $400,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas, restricted Listed over 1400m; the $200,000 Coolmore Dark Jewel Classic-G3, 1400m Fillies and Mares; $150.000Ortensia Stakes-LR, 1100m; $150,000 Luskin Star Stakes-LR; $150,000 Denise’s Joy Stakes-LR, 1100m, 3yo fillies; and $150,000 Woodlands Stakes-LR, 1100m, 2yos. Woodlands is one of two major studs in the Upper Hunter owned by Darley-Godlophin.
Ortensia, Luskin Star and Denise’s Joy are all former top racehorses foaled and raised in the Hunter Valley, the cradle for 150 years of thousands of high class performers.
Two other results at the 2017 Scone carnival that received enthusiastic receptions on the Saturday were that of Encouraging (byRedoute’s Choice) in the Inglis 3yo Guineas and Clearly Innocent (Not A Single Doubt) in the Luskin Star Stakes.
Encouraging is prepared by former Scone jockey and trainer Peter Snowden, one now training at Randwick in partnership with his son Paul, and Clearly Innocent is with Chris Lees at Newcastle after being developed to top level by Greg Bennett. Greg gave training away just before the Scone races and is now pre-training at Beaudesert in Queensland.
Bred and raced by Cressfield, a leading breeding farm at Scone managed by Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Wayne Bedggood, Clearly Innocent in earning over $1.4million to date has won nine of 22 starts. Since he won the Luskin Star at Scone he has contested five Group 1s, winning the Kingsford Smith at Eagle Farm, finishing third in the Stradbroke at Doomben and fifth in the Darley Classic at Flemington.
Also eighth of 12 in the $10million Everest at Randwick, Clearly Innocent is listed to run at Scone again this year.
All in all, the 2018 edition of the Scone Cup Carnival, one expected to mini-Melbourne Cup day at Flemington in atmosphere, is shaping up again to be high quality racing, both programs attracting big crowds of visitors as well as locals. They will have the benefit of the Scone Function Centre, giant marquees, including those under the banners of Darley, Yalumba, Inglis Bloodstock and XXXX Gold, and plenty of other food outlets. Entertainment goes on into the evening on both days.
There is certain to be a big line up of bookmakers for each meeting including leaders of the Sydney ring, all under cover, and a number of tote outlets and television screens, including a big one centre course. For would be visitors who cannot get accommodation at Scone, there are motels and hotels at Aberdeen, Muswellbrook, Denman and Singleton. Pokolbin in the heart of Hunter Valley Wine Country is about 90 minutes drive away from Scone.
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