Having partnered star stayer Fiorente to two wins from as many starts including the 2013 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) first-up in February, champion jockey Damien Oliver is confident of success in this weekend’s Australian Cup (2000m); a race that had so far eluded his otherwise glittering career.
Having contested the event nearly every year since the turn of the century, Oliver told Yahoo Sports he is more confident than ever of securing a maiden crown in the major Group 1 event.
“He has come on nicely since his first-up win and I expect him to run a big race.” Oliver said.
Whilst nearly sneaking home for victory aboard equine superstar Northerly in the Australian Cup’s 2002 edition, Oliver has placed no less than seven times in the Flemington feature race and is arguably offered his best ever chance of breaking the drought this weekend.
“It’s a perfect track and distance for him at this time up to 2000 metres at weight-for-age at Flemington” he added.
Having drawn the somewhat wide barrier 8 for the Australian Cup, Oliver is confident Fiorente will again overcome the wide draw and produce his trademark turn of foot to overcome the talented field, which will also feature Cox Plate/Australian Guineas Champion Shamus Award, who drew the far-more favourable barrier 4.
Fiorente slowly built to the task over the spring of 2013, following up a competitive fourth behind Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and third behind Australian Cup-rival Shamus Award in the Cox Plate (2040m) with a resounding win ahead of Red Cadeaux in the race that stops a nation in November.
The talented Monsun entire is currently outright favourite for this weekend’s Group 1 Australian Cup at a quote of $2.20, ahead of Shamus Award ($4), 2014 Autumn Stakes winner Thunder Fantasy ($8.50) and market mover Foreteller ($10).
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