Castlemagne King a Cup chance
.OVERNIGHT markets might only have him in the third line of betting at $14.00, but 2012 Murwillumbah Cup winner Castlemagne King looks like a sound proposition in today's $45,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup.
The 2100m event is one of the Northern Rivers' big staying races, second only in prestige to the Grafton Cup, a Listed affair.
Castlemagne King's form this campaign has been consistent, with only a minor injury affecting his preparation in the immediate lead-up to the 2000m Murwillumbah Cup back in June. He won that race handsomely after being tailed off for most of the race and shooting home late with a barnstorming run around the field.
Skyracing racecaller Rod Fuller told My Daily News that the seven year old gelding has continued to race well ever since.
"On the strength of that run, Castlemagne King will be a force to be reckoned with in the Lismore Cup.
"He beat a good field home at Murwillumbah, and you'd think he'd be hard to beat again."
Castlemagne King has been kept busy since his success in June. An appearance during the Grafton Cup carnival and more recently in the $62,500 Taree Cup, have seen him acquit himself well without setting the racing world on fire.
At his last two runs he displayed better evidence of his Murwillumbah Cup form, including a thereabouts effort at Doomben in a Benchmark 90 handicap over 2200m. The performance was noteworthy because his usual racing style was turned on its head after he pushed up early to be in the first half of the field. Fading late, he finished just over two lengths off the winner in fifth position in among some quality gallopers.
Prior to that, he was runner-up in the $20,200 Byron Bay Cup (1600m) at Ballina. On making a charge from his more customary back-of-pack position, he was held-up on the turn but still managed to come home well with an eye catching final sprint to the post.
That run, and the extra distance in today's cup race, puts him in good stead to be considered on an equal footing with any of his competitors. These include top weight and overnight favourite Southern Shimmer, a last start Dubbo Cup winner. Second-favourite They Won't Last finished runner-up in Castklemagne King's Doomben run, with only two lengths separating them on that occasion. They meet today with a 2.5 kg advantage in favour of the better weighted Murwillumbah Cup winner.
The Lismore Cup is race seven in today's TAB program and due to jump at 4.30pm.
Murwillumbah next races on Melbourne Cup day, Tuesday 6 November.<<<end>>>