Lucas Cranach Catches up in Australian Cup 2012 Odds

Impressive first-up winner of the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday, Anthony Freedman’s smart imported stayer Lucas Cranach is quickly catching up to the favourite Americain in the betting markets for Saturday week’s 2012 Australian Cup.

Lucas Cranach

Lucas Cranach is out to beat the favourite Americain in Saturday weeks' 2012 Australian Cup

One of the premier staying features held during the autumn, the $1 million Group 1 Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) is set to light up Flemington Racecourse on March 10, the event to host the reunion of many of last year’s Melbourne Cup runners.

Former Melbourne Cup winner from 2010 and the eye-catching fourth-placegetter in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last spring, the now David Hayes-trained Americain has enjoyed a stranglehold over the Australian Cup 2012 betting markets at Luxbet since futures were released.

Previously prepared in France by Alain de Royer Dupre, $5.3 million earner Americain will go straight into the Australian Cup battle off a four month spell, the seven-year-old last seen winning the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 12.

Despite many of his likely Australian Cup rivals to hold a fitness edge over him on the day, Americain remains the Luxbet favourite for their resuming run at a quote of $3.40.

After earlier paying up to $7 in the Luxbet Australian Cup markets, Mamool five-year-old Lucas Cranach has been crunched into $3.60 second favouritism after their eye-catching one and a half length victory over Bart Cummings’ fellow German import Illo in the Group 1 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.

While Americain is certainly an imposing rival, racetrack whispers are that Lucas Cranach has what it takes to get the better of them again as they did to run third, a nose ahead of Americain, in the iconic Melbourne Cup during the spring.

One person firmly planting their foot in camp Lucas Cranch is Nash Rawiller, the ace Sydney hoop having partnered the stallion for the first time for their Peter Young success.

“We’re all sort of in awe of Americain here in Australia on what he’s been able to achieve,” Rawiller said.

“What Lucas Cranach showed me on Saturday – I don’t think it’d be any walk in the park for Americain to take him on at a mile and a quarter the way he went the other day.

“When I was offered the ride I was really excited. The way we train these horses in Australia so differently to overseas, I wasn’t at all concerned about his best form being over a mile and a half.

“Especially when I’d seen he’d won over a mile and a quarter. They get to the races really wound up and fit and probably with the speed trained out of them a little bit over there.

“You can see here how well he let down. He had a lot of strength.”

The two other best-backed Australian Cup hopefuls out of the remaining 22 entries are then the now Peter Moody-prepared Manighar ($7 Luxbet) and Illo ($8 Luxbet) who ran third and second respectively in the Peter Young Stakes last Saturday.

Under the standard weight-for-age conditions of the 2012 Australian Cup all of the top fancies will meet on equal terms carrying 59kg.

One mare is still in contention with Southern Speed (57kg), Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas’ Caulfield Cup winner paying $12 to take out the Australian Cup through Luxbet after her fifth in the Peter Young.

A trio of three-year-olds also feature in the Australian Cup weights and latest entires with Victoria Derby winning Kiwi gelding Sangster, the Anthony Cummings-trained Strike The Stars and last start CS Hayes Stakes winner That’s The One who will all carry 54.5kg should they make the final field.

See below for the full list of Australian Cup entries and weights, then to lock in your early picks at the hottest prices head straight to Luxbet where you will get a better deal starting with a $400 bonus bet when you sign-up, deposit and quote the codeword BONUSBET!

2012 Dubai Australian Cup Weights

Flemington 10/03/2012

# Horse Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp. Rating
1 AMERICAIN (USA) David Hayes 1 59kg 117
2 BUDAI (GER) David Hayes 20 59kg 100
3 EFFICIENT (NZ) Robert Hickmott 22 59kg 112
4 EXTRA ZERO David Hayes 18 59kg 100
5 GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE) Michael Moroney 6 59kg 115
6 GREEN MOON (IRE) Robert Hickmott 12 59kg 103
7 ILLO (GER) Bart Cummings 21 59kg 108
8 KING DIAMOND Peter G Moody 14 59kg 99
9 LARGO LAD David Hayes 19 59kg 100
10 LUCAS CRANACH (GER) Anthony Freedman 10 59kg 112
11 MANIGHAR (FR) Peter G Moody 7 59kg 110
12 MOURAYAN (IRE) Robert Hickmott 5 59kg 110
13 MY BENTLEY (NZ) Michael Kent 17 59kg 99
14 PLAYING GOD Neville Parnham 4 59kg 108
15 PRECEDENCE (NZ) Bart Cummings 9 59kg 107
16 TANBY Robert Hickmott 13 59kg 102
17 TULLAMORE (NZ) Gai Waterhouse 11 59kg 105
18 ZAVITE (NZ) Anthony Cummings 2 59kg 110
19 SOUTHERN SPEED Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas 3 57kg 112
20 SANGSTER (NZ) Trent Busuttin 8 54.5kg 108
21 STRIKE THE STARS (NZ) Anthony Cummings 15 54.5kg 91
22 THAT’S THE ONE Colin & Cindy Alderson 16 54.5kg 89