A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
In the Australian Cup, Mark Kavanagh’s born-and-bred stayer Shocking produced an exceptional run to come from near last in the 15-horse field and score an easy two length victory in the testing weight-for-age feature.
Now word around the track and betting ring is that Shocking is back, the Flemington specialist a likely favourite in the futures odds for this year’s $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) to run on Tuesday November 1.
Two years ago the son of Street Cry claimed an upset Melbourne Cup result winning the 2009 edition of the famous Flemington two-miler.
Shocking snuck into that year’s Melbourne Cup field on the back of some impressive runs including his victory in the Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) by 2 ½ lengths.
Still, the punters didn’t fancy the then four-year-old with all the money on $4.60 favourite Alcopop.
Shocking went out as a $10 outsider in the Melbourne Cup betting in 2009 to win while Alcopop finished sixth.
Spelled after his success in the Melbourne Cup, Shocking returned in the autumn but failed to live up to his name having just two starts to finish a well-beaten eighth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and then sixth in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) in 2010.
The champion’s next win after the Melbourne Cup came in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 4, 2010.
It was to be a long time between drinks again, however, as Shocking’s only other notable spring run was a second to evergreen veteran Zipping in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last year.
The then defending Melbourne Cup winner lined up on November 2 against a crack field but was the disappointment of the 2010 Melbourne Cup finishing 19th and beaten 19 ½ lengths by Americain.
Shocking resumed racing this year with another eighth place finish in the CF Orr Stakes and then ran seventh to Heart of Dreams in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) on February 26.
Then the gallant five-year-old was back in the winners’ stall at Flemington finally after their win in the 2011 Australian Cup.
Shocking joined a list of turf greats that includes Makybe Diva, Saintly and Lets Elope to win both the Melbourne and Australian Cups.
So can Shocking go against history and come back this year to score another Melbourne Cup victory?
First Kavanagh has more Group 1 glory planned for his stable star during the autumn, Shocking now set to head to Sydney for next weekend’s Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill before tackling the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day April 2.
The 2011 Melbourne Cup will be the 151st running of this iconic handicap event and will run as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1, 2011.
Races.com.au will continue to provide our readers with the most comprehensive Melbourne Cup 2011 race and field information so stay tuned.
In the meantime, make sure you are ready for this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival by signing up with premier online bookmaker Luxbet.
Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography
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