A thoroughbred tradition like none other returns to New Zealand this weekend. Preparations began weeks ago for the “Great Beer Cap.” Craft brewers from around the globe have already begun pitching tents in the infield. An infield which has been compared to that of the Pimlico infield during the Preakness. Sources tell the BTB that, once again, the All Blacks will be performing a spirited rendition of the “haka” in advance of the big race. Not to be outdone, rock band Pluto will be singing the National Anthem in front of their home crowd. Extra security has been called upon to keep the hooliganism at bay. At the end of it all? An 11 furlong race on the turf with ten competitors. Per tradition – the winner’s connections will receive a year’s supply of a beer of their choice. Although it’s worth mentioning that after last year’s connections chose Bud Lite, the track organizer’s have stated that they will provide a list of less offensive choices to the winning connections. Let us take a look at the field:
1) ERLEUCHTET MICH – dragonrider5 – 9/2
This 5 year old is looking for it’s first graded win. His only other try in the G3 Manatee Cup back in December of 2016 where he finished 7th and has yet to win a listed stakes in that timeframe. He has had a slew of allowance wins and in-the-money stakes finishes boasting solid speeds. Always competitive and should be a candidate to hit the wire first here. Perhaps MICHelob lite is in order for the owners….
2) CARTOMANCER – averysyard3 – 18/1
Trying a longer distance for the second time after finishing 3rd at 1-3/16 Mile last time out. Looking for first stakes win of any kind. Connections are hoping that the 4 year old can continue to improve and enjoy the increase in distance so that they can enjoy an upset and a year long beer binge.
3) OFFTOSEA ONCEMORE – blankpoin8 – 6/1
Ran a career-best 114 speed in a stakes win last time out at this distance. Looking to get first graded stakes win and springboard a successful 5 year old campaign after an up-and-down season as a 4 year old. Has a solid pedigree and looks to be peaking heading into this weekend.
4) ROBOCLOP – durkastan3 – 6/1
Represented the URC in the Equinics last time out and finished 7th. Has performed well in turf stayers throughout his career but still looking for his first graded stakes win. Will need to improve on his best to win against this field.
5) PLAYING DEEP – babychicks – 6/1
The first of three athletes by deep impact entered in this race. Looking to enter the prime of his career while making his third start as a 4 year old. Took his first stab against graded company last time out and finished a disappointing 5th but was gaining on the field. He is getting an extra furlong to catch them this time around. Should have a decent chance at the kegs.
6) BRISTOL IMPACTER – dmbwr2 – 7/2
Morning Line favorite and winner of 10 of 16 career starts is deserving of handicappers’ attention. Winner at 1-3/16 mile distance in an impressive stakes start last time out. This is the longest distance this son of Deep Impact has traveled, but this is a distance he should be able to handle. Will today be the day he breaks through against graded competition?
7) WORK’S OVERATED – marineboy2 – 10/1
Boy is it ever. The person who named this athlete is probably is at his or her desk day dreaming about what awaits the winner of this race. This horse has taken his name a bit too literal as of late and hasn’t hit the board since May of last year when he won G2 Kinsho Cho Classic. Maybe the winning prize will be the motivation that this horse has lacked for the better part of a year. The connections certainly will be hoping so.
8) COLOURFUL POET – diomed – 5/1
COLOURFUL POET is back in the Great Beer Cap as the reigning champion. Hasn’t seen the winner circle or the same form since that victory. Second start this year after a long 4 month layoff. Connections looking to cash in on another year’s worth of suds. This 6 year old will need to return to form in a hurry for that to happen.
9) OUTBACK CADET – cadet3 – 7/1
The third and final son of Deep Impact looks to be in good form entering this race. He looks to set the pace in this contest and will look to hold off his challengers at the wire. Has yet to win a stakes race but has three 2nd place finishes in his last 4 tries. Makes his second start of his 4-year old campaign and looks to be on the improve. Should be a real player in this one.
10) DARK N LAWYER – alimitos8 – 40/1
Perhaps the most ambitious entry in this field, DARK N LAWYER has yet to collect a paycheck in a stakes race in six tries. This 4 year old has shown improvement over the last few races and is giving distance a try, having never traveled more than a mile in a start. Perhaps his connections (and a few inebriated handicappers) will be treated to a Great Beer Cap surprise. Celebratory DARK N tans for everyone if that happens.
9) OUTBACK CADET – Appears to be hitting his peak and could be sitting on a breakout performance in this one.
6) BRISTOL IMPACTER – Has nothing left to prove in the allowance ranks and looks primed to tack onto his current 3 race winning streak.
8) COLOURFUL POET – Should be in better shape this time out after long layoff. Should put up a fight in an effort to retain the Great Beer Cap title.
3) OFFTOSEA ONCEMORE – Had impressive performance last time out. Should win with a similar or improved effort this time around.