A field of 15 weight-for-age stars are set to contest this Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) after acceptances for the Flemington feature were released today.
The 2011 Australian Cup final field is lead-by dominant favourite Heart Of Dreams, who has drawn barrier nine for Saturday’s showdown.
Mick Price’s in-form Show A Heart gelding Heart Of Dreams is sure to start at the top of the Australian Cup odds at Luxbet after storming home to claim an impressive 2 ½ length victory in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last start on February 26.
Twelve months ago Heart Of Dreams ran second in the 2010 St George Stakes before finishing a game fourth to Zipping in last year’s Australian Cup.
After an ideal lead-up and with defending champ Zipping ruled out for the rest of the autumn, this year’s Australian Cup looks to belong to Heart Of Dreams.
Prominent racehorse owner Lloyd Williams may have lost Zipping from this year’s contest but still has three Australian Cup contenders on Saturday with Galileo four-year-old Linton (barrier eight), 2008 Melbourne Cup placegetter C’est La Guerre (barrier three) and Irish import Mourayan (barrier 10).
Ultra consistent Perth galloper Playing God has suffered a blow with a wide barrier 11 draw for the Australian Cup after the Blackfriars colt ran third to upset winner Shamrocker in the Australian Guineas last Saturday.
Winner of last year’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, the Neville Parnham-trained Playing God made his interstate debut at Flemington in the Australian Guineas and will have come on from the run.
The 54.5kg lightweight of the Australian Cup field, Playing God will still have plenty of fans for an upset despite their wide draw and is due to be ridden by Craig Newitt.
Also with some work to do after coming up with a wide Australian Cup barrier are fellow Ascot galloper Scenic Shot (barrier 15), last start winner of the Listed Kilmore Cup Alcopop (barrier 14), Bart Cummings’ Zabeel five-year-old Precedence (barrier 13) and Flemington track specialist Shocking (barrier 12).
Precedence is the ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings sole chance of scoring a record 14th Australian Cup victory on Saturday, the multiple Group winner coming off a solid second to Heart Of Dreams in the St George Stakes.
Interesting to note is that Zipping won the Australian Cup last year jumping from barrier 12 giving Shocking some historical chance in the race.
Other notable 2011 Australian Cup acceptors include Kiwi seven-year-old Ginga Dude coming up with the inside running from gate one, four-year-old gelding Cedarberg (barrier six) and the David Hayes-trained Laristan (barrier seven).
Sinndar four-year-old Laristan is one of only a handful of last-start winners in the Australian Cup field along with Heart Of Dreams and Alcopop after they won at the Australian Cup track and distance here last Saturday.
Australian Cup betting odds will reopen following the release of the final field at Luxbet shortly so make sure you’re ready to lock in your favourites at the best price by signing up with Luxbet now!
2011 Dubai Australian Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||SHOCKING||Mark Kavanagh||Corey Brown||12||59||118|
|2||SCENIC SHOT||Daniel Morton||Shane Scriven||15||59||112|
|3||HEART OF DREAMS||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||9||59||115|
|4||C’EST LA GUERRE (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||3||59||105|
|5||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||13||59||109|
|6||GINGA DUDE (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||Michael Walker||1||59||109|
|7||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Danny Nikolic||10||59||104|
|8||ALCOPOP||Jake Stephens||Ben Melham||14||59||108|
|9||MOUDRE||Ciaron Maher||Craig Williams||4||59||106|
|10||LINTON||Robert Hickmott||Michael Rodd||8||59||105|
|11||CEDARBERG||Pat Carey||Glyn Schofield||6||59||97|
|12||LORD PYRUS (NZ)||Judy Mawer||Noel Callow||2||59||102|
|13||MR CHARLIE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5||59||92|
|14||LARISTAN (FR)||David Hayes||Brad Rawiller||7||58.5||95|
|15||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||Craig Newitt||11||54.5||110|