Gai Waterhouse’s star Melbourne Cup winner from the spring Fiorente continues to dominate betting for the Australian Cup 2014 at Flemington Racecourse ahead of this weekend’s staying major.
The imported Monsun six-year-old entered the history books on the first Tuesday of November in their final run last prep saluting for the punters in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Fiorente then kicked things off with another win this time in narrowly defeating Mourayan in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22.
Now they’ll look to keep the good times rolling on Saturday shooting for another elite level triumph, this time in the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m).
It’s a race they’re tipped to excel in too stepping up to the 2000m, a distance they last saw when a close fourth to Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington last October.
Drawn in barrier eight in a nine-horse Australian Cup field, Fiorente will again be ridden by their Melbourne Cup winning hoop Damien Oliver.
The duo are paying $2.20 in the latest Australian Cup betting markets, a deserving price based on their recent form.
There are then two other single figure chances to win this year’s Australian Cup, the second favourite of which is a horse that’s previously beaten Fiorente – Shamus Award.
Drawn in gate four with Craig Williams to ride, Danny O’Brien’s star Snitzel colt had Fiorente’s measure in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last October.
There they became the first three-year-old maiden to take out the iconic weight-for-age clash, a race Fiorente could only manage to run a half length away third in.
Under the standard WFA conditions of the Australian Cup Shamus Award again has the obvious weight advantage carrying 54.5kg to Fiorente’s 59kg.
It is however five kilograms more than their 49.5kg winning weight in the Cox Plate.
This campaign Shamus Award has been competitive in older company once again.
Their first-up effort was a brave third to Moment Of Change in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
They then relished the step up to a mile when defeating their own age in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) just last Saturday.
Third favourite at $8.50 is then Thunder Fantasy (barrier three).
Anthony Cummings’ Lucky Owners colt is another three-year-old looking to take advantage of their light weight in the Cup.
Third to Polanski in last year’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Thunder Fantasy has had two runs this time in.
Their first was a smart win in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield before their close third to Shamus Award in the Australian Guineas – the form of which the bookies are rating for Saturday’s showdown.
Other notable Australian Cup hopes in the top half of the markets then include early market mover Foreteller ($10) for Sydney’s Chris Waller after their first win since last September’s Makybe Diva Stakes over the Flemington mile, 2012 Melbourne Cup hero Green Moon ($12) coming via a Peter Young fourth and Casino Prince four-year-old Star Rolling ($17) who ran third in that same lead-up.
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