Now in the Darren Weir barn, the 4YO resumed from a break back in January after transferring from his NZ base after a one run attack on the Cantala Stakes back in the Spring. His debut for Weir was in the Listed Barton Stakes over 1400m where he settled last in the 7 horse field and was making good late ground to finish within one length of the winner Grande Rosso. Second-up in the Carlyon Cup and carrying 57kg over the mile, he again hit the line strongly to finish in 2nd place, beaten a long neck. Taking the traditional lead-up for the Australian Cup through the Peter Young Stakes, he was beaten a neck behind Stratum Star and once again was doing his best work in the closing stages. The 2000m trip looks ideal and his prior record at the 10 furlongs shows two wins from three attempts.
The 4YO mare will be looking to match the mighty Let’s Elope as 4YO mares to win the Australian Cup within 6 months of the Caulfield Cup. The only other horse to achieve the double in the past 3 decades has been the champion from the West, Northerly. Jameka resumed in the Orr and hit the line strongly after settling well back in the run to get within 1.5 lengths of Black Heart Bart. Second-up in the Peter Young Stakes at 1800m, she was ridden much closer to the speed as the favourite and fought on strongly in the straight to be under one length from the winner Stratum Star. She won last prep over 2000m when 3rd up like she is here and her only run over the Flemington 2000m was a 2nd to Hartnell.
Prepared by Robert Hickmott and a member of the Williams racing team that are precise in their campaign planning, The United States comes into this race second-up. The chestnut entire resumed in the Peter Young Stakes and jumping from barrier 1 was able to settle just in behind the speed and after enjoying a good run in transit was able to secure 3rd place behind Stratum Star and Humidor. The Irish import has strong form when second-up in his preps, with his figures showing 4:2-2-0, however there may be some concern that he has just one placing when racing at Flemington from five attempts, three of those five coming in the G1 events of the Cantala and Mackinnon Stakes of 2016 and the Melbourne Cup of 2015. The entire has a solid record at 2000m of 6:2-2-0 as he searches for his 5th Australian win.
The Leon & Troy Corstens trained Awesome Rock will be third-up this prep after following the same trail as quite a few in this race of the Orr into the Peter Young into the Australia Cup. His performances in those two races appear sub-par on face value (7th & 10th respectiviely), however the 5YO entire has never done his best at Caulfield and has failed to record a win there in 11 attempts. Taking a line through his Autumn prep in 2016, he was 12th in the Orr and then was 4th in the Peter Young before coming out in the Australian Cup and finishing a half-head 2nd to Preferment. Overall at Flemington he has the figures of 6:2-2-0 and the 2000m trip at Flemington from 2 attempts has the 2nd in this race last year and victory in the Mackinnon Stakes during the Spring at his last start before going for a spell.
The Australian Cup is held at Flemington over the distance of 2000m. The race is held at weight-for-age conditions and has been a Group 1 contest since 1979 and was first held in 1863. Originally a handicap race it permanently reverted to the weight-for-age conditions in 1987.
A race that has been tinkered with multiple times in the history of the event, in 2017 the race will be held at its usual home of Flemington. The Australian Cup is one of six races on the Australian G1 calendar held under the same conditions and distance.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2017 is $1.5m with the winner to receive $900,000. The 2016 winner was the Chris Waller trained Preferment, ridden by Hugh Bowman. Some greats of the turf have been able to capture this race and past winners include Makybe Diva, Lonhro, Northerly, Octagonal, Better Loosen Up and Bonecrusher.
The Australian Cup forms a part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Australian Cup Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 11th March 2017|
|Race Time:||15:35 AEST|
|Race Type:||Weight For Age|
|2017 Australian Cup Odds|
The Australian Cup is a Group 1 weight-for-age race that takes place during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. Held at the first-class Flemington Racecourse, it is part of Australian Cup Day, alongside other prominent feature events, including the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap and the Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes. It covers a distance of 2000m and offers $1 million in prize money, attracting some of the best stayers in the country. From its inception in 1863 to 1962, the race was contested over 3600m, as Australia’s premier distance race, given it was longer than the Melbourne Cup. It was reduced to 3200m in 1963 and one year later it was run over the current distance of 2000m. Originally a Handicap Race, the Australian Cup became a Group 1 in 1979. It’s been that way ever since, except for 1982-86 when it temporarily reverted back to a handicap.
The glamour staying event has been won by many great horses over the years including; Fiorente (2014), Zipping (2010), Lonhro (2004), Northerly (2001/03), Octagonal (1997), Saintly (1996), Let’s Elope (1992), Better Loosen Up (1991), Vo Rogue (1989/90), Bonecrusher (1987), Hyperno (1981), Ming Dynasty (1978/80) and Leilani (1975). But triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva overshadowed them all in 2005 by not only winning the race, but stopping the clock at 1:58:73 seconds, beating Northerly’s previous course record in the event. The Australian Cup is the autumn equivalent of the weight-for-age championship, the Group 1 Cox Plate, run over 2040m at Moonee Valley in the spring.
|2016||PREFERMENT||HUGH BOWMAN||CHRIS WALLER||02:03.9|
|2015||SPILLWAY||MICHAEL WALKER||DAVID HAYES||02:00.0|
|2014||FIORENTE||DAMIEN OLIVER||GAI WATERHOUSE||02:03.6|
|2013||SUPER COOL||MICHAEL RODD||MARK KAVANAGH||02:00.9|
|2012||MANIGHAR||LUKE NOLEN||PETER MOODY||02:01.2|
|2011||SHOCKING||COREY BROWN||MARK KAVANAGH||02:00.9|
|2010||ZIPPING||NICHOLAS HALL||ROBERT HICKMOTT||02:03.6|
|2009||NICONERO||CRAIG WILLIAMS||DAVID HAYES||02:03.1|
|2008||SIRMIONE||PETER MERTENS||BART CUMMINGS||02:00.8|
|2007||POMPEII RULER||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||02:01.5|
|2006||ROMAN ARCH||CRAIG NEWITT||ROBBIE LAING||02:02.8|