Expert gives insight ahead of 2019 Denman Cup held in Muswellbrook Race Club

HOT TIPS: Cosmic Reign is heavily fancied for this year's Coolmore Denman Cup.
HOT TIPS: Cosmic Reign is heavily fancied for this year's Coolmore Denman Cup.

Stephen Gleeson is still smarting over the protest that robbed him of a provincial win with Cosmic Reign at Wyong last month.

The Muswellbrook trained six-year-old was first past the post, after leading all the way, in a Benchmark 64 over 1350 metres but later lost the race in a controversial decision by stewards to uphold a protest based on alleged interference at the 300-metre mark.

"It still hurts but that's racing and we have to move on," Gleeson said.

Moving on means, in this case, winning the $37,000 Coolmore Denman Cup (1280m) at Muswellbrook on Monday.

Gleeson scratched Cosmic Reign from Randwick on Saturday in preference to the cup.

"He has only half a kilogram over the limit, he has drawn perfectly with the inside gate, he loves this distance and he has a great record on his home track," Gleeson said.

"I think he is in this with a great chance and a win might help ease the hurt."

Cosmic Reign has started five times at Muswellbrook for three wins and a second.

Andrew Gibbons takes over on Cosmic Reign, the first time he has ridden the horse.

Ceejay Graham rode him at Wyong and again in his follow up run at Newcastle when he went too hard in front early and weakened to run ninth.

"He is really a horse that needs a strong, senior rider and Andrew is a good left hand whip rider," Gleeson said.

The trainer will have a second runner in the cup in the former Queensland trained Constantine, to be ridden by Vad Bolozhinskyi.

"One of my owners brought him over the internet and the horse came to me after a let-up," Gleeson said.

"I gave him a trial and on the strength of that trial I think he is going to need this run.

"Further on we think he might make a nice country cups horse."

Constantine could prove a useful addition to the stable winning five races including a Saturday race at Eagle Farm.

Jenny Graham and Brett Cavanough, who both featured at the Country and Provincial Racing Awards last Friday night, both have runners in the cup.

Cavanough, who won the Leading Country Trainer award, will start Syd's Footprints (Darryl McLellan) while the Graham trained I Wanna Be A Jeep (Aaron Bullock) will be resuming from a spell.

The Graham trained Victorem was voted Country Horse Of The Year after winning the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben last December and the Listed Hinkler Stakes at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke day.

While Cavanough has a great chance in the cup with Syd's Footprints he also has a strong chance in the other feature, the Denman Hotel Dash (900m) with Mr Snowman, a winner at his last two starts.


1-1.40, SARDOS COFFEE MAIDEN, 1000m: HONEY ELYSEES 1, Dubai Harbour 2, Bensay 3, Mahogany

Bay 4.

2-2.15, PIRTEK MUSWELLBROOK CLASS ONE, 1000m: SPILT 1, Sniper Excels 2, Upper East Side 3, The

Crimson Idol 4.

3-2.50, KINGSTAR FARM MAIDEN, 1280m: BRIGHT RUBICK 1, Crafty James 2, Our Eppy 3, Chasing

Comets 4.

4-3.25, NORM TURNER ELECTRICAL CLASS TWO, 1280m: DEVIATE 1, Stratacheva 2, Barbass 3,

Cinderconi 4.

5-4.00, COOLMORE DENMAN CUP, 1280m: COSMIC REIGN 1, Syd's Footprints 2, Eye On America 3,

Dual Escape 4.

6-4.35, THE DENMAN HOTEL DENMAN DASH, 900m: VINTAGE FLYER 1, Mr Snowman 2, Lonely Heart

3, Bullseye Score 4.

7-5.10, "GAME "ON" MUSWELLBROOK BENCHMARK 58, 1450m: TRAJECTION 1, Miss Eporetto 2, My

Zebrinka 3, Splash Of Lime 4.

Best Bet: Deviate.