On Sunday Jeune six-year-old Alcopop, the beaten favourite in the 2009 Melbourne Cup, regained form to score a narrow win in the 2011 Kilmore Cup and secure a bid for the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing on March 12.
Two years ago Alcopop was the name on everyone’s lips when the bush galloper scored an emphatic victory in the Group 3 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield in October 2009 before finishing sixth behind Shocking in that year’s Melbourne Cup.
Last year Alcopop failed to find the same form, producing a number of disappointing runs throughout the season.
Prior to yesterday’s Kilmore Cup win Alcopop’s only other notable success on the track since the Herbert Power Stakes was his second place finish behind So You Think in the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes (2000m) in October last year.
The Jake Stephens-trained Alcopop was second-up for the season and went out as a $14 chance in the Kilmore Cup on Sunday.
Ridden patiently by jockey Ben Melham, Alcopop settled well back in the field yesterday with a hefty 59kg on his back before producing a courageous run on the home straight.
On the line Alcopop nudged out Its Prince ($6) by a short half-head while $3.80 favourite Vivid Vixen was a half-head back for third.
Alcopop has now won eight of his 21 starts for close to $530,000 in prize money.
After winning the Kilmore Cup, Alcopop firmed in from $26 to $19 in the 2011 Australian Cup betting odds at Luxbet.
Markets for the Australian Cup are now lead by Heart Of Dreams ($4.60 favourite Luxbet), after Mick Price’s in-form five-year-old scored a beautiful 2 ½ length win in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Other early Australian Cup favourites include defending champ Zipping ($5.50), Moudre ($6.50), Shocking ($7.50) and Precedence ($8).
For the full 2011 Australian Cup odds and markets visit Luxbet today and lock in your early favourites at the best prices in the country!
Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography