Fiorente and Shamus Award to Face Off in 2014 Australian Cup

Just nine runners have been confirmed to line up for the 2014 Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse, set to be highlighted by a showdown betting Cox Plate/Australian Guineas Champion Shamus Award and Melbourne Cup Champion Fiorente.

Shamus Award is aiming for two Group 1 victories in as many weeks in the Australian Cup on Saturday

Shamus Award is aiming for two Group 1 victories in as many weeks in the Australian Cup on Saturday. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Having produced a memorable run for victory in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 26th, Shamus Award returned to the track with resounding favouritism for the Group 1 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 8th, but was unable to maintain an early straight sprint, finishing third behind Moment Of Change and a fast-finishing Eurozone.

Employing a similar tactic to that which produced Cox Plate glory, the talented Snitzel colt took up the pace early in last weekend’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), dictated terms throughout and produced a strong final straight sprint to finish a length in the clear of Criterion and Thunder Fantasy.

With one eye on a Cox Plate defence in October, trainer Danny O’Brien has outlined the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) as the major target for Shamus Award this preparation, who will be particularly hard to beat in the Australian Cup after drawing the ideal barrier 4.

Having slowly built to the task over the spring on 2013, Fiorente (barrier 8) locked in an exhilarating sprint up the famous Flemington straight with journeyman Red Cadeaux, before pulling clear to deliver trainer Gai Waterhouse her first Melbourne Cup crown on the first Tuesday of November.

Appearing to be down-and-out in the final straight of the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) first-up at Caulfield on February 22nd, the talented Monsun entire exploded from the pack to comfortably stroll home ahead of fellow Australian Cup acceptors Mourayan (barrier 2) and Star Rolling (barrier 7).

With a rare Melbourne Cup defence shaping as a very realistic goal this year, Fiorente will first engage in what is likely to be a busy autumn campaign with nominations already lodged for appearances in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

Fellow Melbourne Cup Champion Green Moon has also accepted for the 2014 Australian Cup and will be aiming to secure a first competitive win since claiming the race that stops a nation in 2012.

Having fallen off the pace in the dying stages to finishing fourth in the Peter Young Stakes first-up, trainer Robert Hickmott is confident of a successful run for the well-trialled Montjeu entire this weekend, despite drawing the wide barrier 9.

Irish Import Voleuse De Coeurs (barrier 1) has been confirmed to make just his second Australian appearance and first-up for 2014 in the Australian Cup, having finished a disappointing tenth in the 2013 Melbourne Cup on debut.

Opening his career under the care of leading Irish trainer Dermot Weld, Voleuse De Coers managed an impressive five wins from 13 starts on the British and Irish racing circuit, including the Group 1 Irish St. Leger (2816m) just prior to his move down under.

In-form runner Thunder Fantasy (barrier 3), Let’s Make Adeal (barrier 6) and Chris Waller-trained Foreteller (barrier 5) complete the final field for the 2014 Australian Cup.

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2014 Australian Cup Final Field

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 x3x61431x1 FIORENTE (IRE) Gai Waterhouse Damien Oliver 8 59kg 118
2 x44x5990x4 GREEN MOON (IRE) Robert Hickmott Chad Schofield 9 59kg 115
3 841x7870x2 MOURAYAN (IRE) Robert Hickmott Steven Arnold 2 59kg 108
4 x810240x45 FORETELLER (GB) Chris Waller Craig Newitt 5 59kg 112
5 11x015x523 STAR ROLLING Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison Brad Rawiller 7 59kg 94
6 x1x213210x VOLEUSE DE COEURS (IRE) Michael Moroney Glen Boss 1 57kg 111
7 2x142423x8 LET’S MAKE ADEAL Nigel Blackiston Michael Rodd 6 57kg 103
8 2x27231x31 SHAMUS AWARD Danny O’Brien Craig Williams 4 54.5kg 115
9 6x11593x13 THUNDER FANTASY Anthony Cummings Mark Zahra 3 54.5kg 78


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