Back Hansen, Keep on Dancin’

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By Nick Lloyd

The $100,000 Triple M Rockhampton Cup (1600m) brings an end to the Rocky Winter Carnival today.

The 100th edition of Rockhampton’s feature race has again attracted a high-quality field, including a strong contingent of Brisbane gallopers.

On race morning the track was rated a Heavy 8 with the rail out two metres the entire circumference.

It should be a race in two for the lead role between race favourite, Cantbuybetter and outsider of the field, No Effort Needed. Tatt’s Cup winner, Balboa Rocks¸ should earn a gun run behind the speed from barrier 2. Look for late swooping runs from Deconstructed, Outraged, Bergerac and French Hussler.

Balboa Rocks is right in this after two impressive victories in Rockhampton this prep. Drawn barrier 2 and weighted perfectly for this task, the Darryl Hansen (pictured) trained galloper can look to add the first Rocky Cup to the former hometown trainer’s long list of accolades. With only 54.5kg, I expect him to be right behind the speed and finish strongly over the top.

The Ben Currie stable has to be respected whenever he brings runners north. Cantbuybetter is the best horse in the race, however he has a number of obstacles to overcome. The son of Casino Prince has to carry the grandstand as well as deal with the visitors draw (14). Pengelly should take him to the front from that gate but whether or not he can hang on is a major query.

Outraged is the third elect here. Kelly Schweida knows how to win races in Rockhampton and will have the horse primed for this, four runs into its preparation. Ric McMahon will take this Brisbane galloper back towards the rear from barrier 8 and will look to use plenty of Rockhampton’s 600m straight to wind up. Look for Outraged finishing strongly.

Leading Rockhampton trainer Tom Button saddles up just the one runner in Deconstructed. After winning the Amateurs Cup first up in impressive fashion, he missed the kick by 5L last start before motoring home to finish 4th only beaten 2.5L. Up to the mile is perfect for it. Chris Whiteley knows the track better than anyone and can weave this runner through the pack to find the line.

Verdict: Balboa Rocks goes in on top to give Hansen his first Rocky Cup.

4 – Balboa Rocks $6

1 – Cantbuybetter $4.50

2 – Outraged $10

6 – Deconstructed $14

 

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