Downs cup draws quality field

ALTHOUGH a capacity field was not reached, the quality of runners for this year's Darling Downs Cup on Friday night is outstanding. The final acceptors headed by Prince Humperding for the Bill Dixon Stable promise to deliver a true spectacle for those present.

Dixon, who won the Darling Downs Cup in 2001 with Hawkeye's Ghost, has full faith in stable worker Barton Cockburn, who he has booked to drive. The seven-year-old gelding by Mystical Prince has amassed more than $70,000 in prizemoney in his 91 starts to date and was runner-up in metropolitan company at Albion Park five starts ago.

Phevos, who meets Prince Humperding 10 metres better off on the handicap of 20 metres, is trained at Marburg by John Edmunds, who is noted for his ability to successfully train the older horses. Being a roan pacer, Phevos is certainly one to keep an eye on – known for his unusual colour.

Albion Park-winning trotting mare Miss Adelaide has drawn barrier two off the front line for trainer Graham Harriot.

Harriot set the mare for the $25,000 Nick Robin Memorial at Harold Park earlier this month where she clocked in a gallant fifth. She is the only trotter in the race but has a firm grasp on being one of the leading chances.

Steve Benham, who won this race last year with Slithering, has Sapper John drawn on the front line in barrier four.

The Cup, sponsored by long-time supporter Sedl Civil Contracting, has a co-feature on the card being race two, the 2010 Harness Talk Kristine MacDermott Memorial Pace.

Ay Em Shaker was the winner last year for Marburg's Andrew Shultz.

A $500 cash bonus to the winning owner plus a prize pack worth $250 to the winning trainer and driver will be presented to winning connections to take home along with the memorial trophy and rug.

Harness Talk director Terry MacDermott will present the trophy to winning connections after the race in honour of his late wife who raced many horses over the years at the now-defunct Clifford Park circuit.

A support program of four races, which will be run along with the two features, has catered for the three-year-old pacers, maidens and proven performers.

Noel and Christine Denning's Burwood Stud has once again come to hand, sponsoring the first race on the card, while XXXX Gold, Mark Philipson's Betta

Electrical and Equivet Australia have each contributed to the running of the meeting.

The Standardbred Association of Queensland will be back again this year with two displays after races one and four to entertain the public and display the fantastic breed of horse which has proven to be so versatile in recent years.

Another added attraction is the Toowoomba Trail Riders' Club display after race three.

The presentation will highlight the various skills and horsemanship of country horsemen and women, of which most people present would not have witnessed before.

For the kids, there will be a jumping castle and fairy floss while mum and dad won't miss out with the Down Under Bar in operation from 5pm.

Corporate packages are filling fast but the club secretary can be phoned on 46347400 to arrange a last-minute booking.

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