The Hunter for 2022 will take place at Newcastle over 1300m on Saturday, with a full field of 16 runners taking their place in the $1 million race where the winner takes home $580,000. This year’s edition will feature one of the best fields we have seen in the race’s short history, with runners coming from big form races throughout the spring, such as the Golden Eagle, The Everest and the Manikato Stakes, to name a few.
Online bookmakers have opened their markets with the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained In The Congo as the clear favourite at $4.20. On the next line of betting we have Waihaha Falls ($5), even though he is fourth emergency, followed by Vilana ($6) and Apache Chase ($6.50). However, the chances don’t end there, as Eleven Eleven ($8.50), Skyman ($11) and Overpass ($11) all have claims.
We expect to see a lot of speed, with Apache Chase, In The Congo, Overpass and Expat all looking for the lead. From inside barriers, we should see Gravina, Gem Song and Bandersnatch look to sit behind the leaders and be better than midfield. The backmarkers and swoopers that will jump from outside barriers include Eleven Eleven, Skyman, Vilana and Sky Lab, and due to the high level of speed injected into this race, they should get every chance to run home strong in the concluding stages.
Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the 2022 The Hunter.
The Gregory Hickman-trained Eleven Eleven looks to be a very good chance to take out The Hunter for 2022, after he ran a very good race first-up in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on October 22. The Manikato was run on a Heavy 8, which this guy historically has never run well on, but he was still able to run a solid fifth place behind Bella Nipotina. This son of Fastnet Rock should take a lot of benefit from his first-up run, and his second-up record is much better than his first-up form, recording two wins and three placings for eight second-up starts. This six-year-old gelding will have to jump from the widest barrier, but considering his natural racing pattern is to settle at the rear of the field and look to run on, this shouldn’t be a problem for him. There looks to be very good speed in this race, and Tommy Berry will need to head to the outside on the turn to allow this guy to run home and put them away late.
In The Congo brings form from the Group 3 Sydney Stakes and the Golden Eagle, where he ran second and seventh, respectively. This son of Snitzel will be one of the speed influences in the race, and considering he has drawn barrier two, he should get all the favours and not have to do too much work to find the front. If the other speed influences have to work much harder than this guy, or they choose to take a sit and not contest the speed, it will only improve the chances of the current favourite.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Bandersnatch will be dropping back in distance from the 1600m of The Big Dance last start, while he will also drop from 61kg to 56kg on Saturday in The Hunter. This son of Casino Prince will jump from barrier five and he will get a much better run in transit. It isn’t ideal for a horse to drop back in distance from 1600m to 1300m, but he should be very fit for this run.
Skyman for the Chris Waller and James McDonald combination can’t be overlooked, due to their impressive record together. This seven-year-old gelding will be first-up on Saturday and he has a decent fresh record, with two wins and a second-placing from seven starts. However, this son of Mukhadram may want further than 1300m, so look for him to be flashing home late in the concluding stages.