Former Melbourne Cup winner Americain will shoot for a different Cup success this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, the currently Aussie residing champ the headline horse in the 2012 Australian Cup nominations.
Due to run at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday March 10, the $1 million Group 1 Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) has this year attracted 53 nominations with Americain topping the list.
Winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup, the French-trained galloper returned to Australia last spring winning two of their three starts.
They also put in the performance of a lifetime to come from near last in a big 23-horse field to come within one and a half lengths over Dunaden when fourth in the Melbourne Cup 2011.
Staying on in Australia throughout the autumn, Americain is currently being prepared by David Hayes.
Last year’s Australian Cup winner was the since-retired Shocking, also a former Melbourne Cup winner, and Shocking’s trainer Mark Kavanagh is without an entry this season.
Shocking was the fourth horse in history to complete the unique Melbourne – Australian Cup double following Makybe Diva, Saintly and Let’s Elope – Americain out to become the fifth.
Other Australian Cup 2012 nominees that ran in last year’s Melbourne Cup include Anthony Freedman’s third placegetter Lucas Cranach and the now Peter Moody-trained Manighar who ran a brave fifth in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Victoria’s leading horseman Moody, who opted to nominate stable star Black Caviar for the 2012 Newmarket Handicap also run on Australian Cup Day, has a total of eight Australian Cup nominees.
Aside from the former Luca Cumani-trained European, other top Moody hopes include multiple Group performer Highly Recommended, Caulfield Guineas third placegetter Huegill, Testa Rossa mare There’s Only One and former Queenslander Rothera.
Another big-name trainer with plenty of ammo heading into the 2012 Australian Cup is the maestro Bart Cummings, out for an incredible 14th win in the race, his trio headed by German import Illo.
Two years ago prominent owner Lloyd Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott enjoyed Australian Cup success with the great Zipping, and this year they boast a staggering seven entries.
Among the Williams-owned contingent are Caulfield Cup runner-up Green Moon, Mackinnon Stakes second placegetter Mourayan, Bendigo Cup winner Tanby and 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient.
Other noteworthy 2012 Australian Cup entries are:
- Glass Harmonium (Michael Moroney) – Imported Verglas stallion won the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes on Derby Day before bombing out in the Melbourne Cup beating home just one other runner, but to their best when getting back in distance
- Descarado (Gai Waterhouse) – Last-start Caulfield Stakes winning High Chaparral five-year-old and former Caulfield Cup hero
- Playing God (Neville Parnham) – Champion Perth galloper scored their second Kingston Town Classic win back in December, regular visitor to Melbourne and a multiple elite level performer including third to Shocking in the Australian Cup last year as a three-year-old
- Sangster (Trent Busuttin) – Ace Kiwi galloper heads the three-year-old entries this Australian Cup, brilliant down under last prep with their season culminating with a win in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m)
- Southern Speed (Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas) – Reigning Caulfield Cup hero, resumes this Thursday in the Listed John Dillon Stakes at Caulfield
Weights for the Australian Cup will be released on February 1 followed by first acceptances on February 21.
The 2012 Australian Cup final field is then due out on March 7.
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au to view all stages of the Australian Cup field.
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2012 Australian Cup Nominations
|1||AMERICAIN (USA)||David Hayes|
|2||AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|3||BUCCELLATI (GB)||Michael Moroney|
|4||BUDAI (GER)||David Hayes|
|5||COLLAR (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|6||DESCARADO (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse|
|7||DRUNKEN SAILOR (IRE)||Michael Moroney|
|8||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott|
|9||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes|
|10||FIUMICINO (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|11||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney|
|12||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|13||HIGHLY RECOMMENDED||Peter G Moody|
|14||HOLLOWLEA||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan|
|15||HUEGILL||Peter G Moody|
|16||I FEEL GOOD||Frankie Stockdale|
|17||ILLO (GER)||Bart Cummings|
|18||KING DIAMOND||Peter G Moody|
|19||LARGO LAD||David Hayes|
|20||LUCAS CRANACH (GER)||Anthony Freedman|
|21||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody|
|22||MANIGHAR (FR)||Peter G Moody|
|23||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott|
|25||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott|
|26||MY BENTLEY (NZ)||Michael Kent|
|27||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham|
|28||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings|
|30||REBEL SOLDIER (IRE)||David Hayes|
|31||RIGHT OF REFUSAL||Nigel Blackiston|
|32||ROTHERA||Peter G Moody|
|33||SANGSTER (NZ)||Trent Busuttin|
|34||SEA GALLEON||Colin & Cindy Alderson|
|35||SEGURO (NZ)||Brian Jenkins|
|36||SHOOT OUT||Chris Waller|
|37||SHOUT OUT LOUD||Peter G Moody|
|38||SOUND JOURNEY||Darren Magro|
|39||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas|
|40||STOLE (NZ)||Brian Jenkins|
|41||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings|
|42||SUPREME WARRIOR (NZ)||Leon Corstens|
|43||TACTIC (GB)||David Hayes|
|45||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson|
|46||THERE’S ONLY ONE||Peter G Moody|
|47||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse|
|50||VIVID VIXEN (NZ)||Mick Price|
|51||WALL STREET (NZ)||Michael Moroney|
|52||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens|
|53||ZAVITE (NZ)||Anthony Cummings|