37 Remain in 2015 Australian Cup First Acceptances

February 24, 2015

37 Remain in 2015 Australian Cup First Acceptances

First Acceptances were taken on Tuesday afternoon for a number of key races during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, including the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).

Weary is one of six Chris Waller-trained horses that featured in the Australian Cup first acceptances.

Weary is one of six Chris Waller-trained horses that featured in the Australian Cup first acceptances. Photo by Steve Hart.

Running at Flemington Racecourse on March 14, the Australian Cup is a key race for the staying types. When nominations for the $1 million race closed on January 27 there were 69 potential runners for the Cup, however after first acceptances were taken this afternoon that number has nearly halved to 37.

Former German raider Protectionist continues to lead the race after dominating the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the spring on just his second run in Australia. The five-year-old horse has yet to have his first start under the care of new trainer Kris Lees but that could all change this weekend as Protectionist is one of 16 horses nominated for the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), running at Caulfield.

Three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux is gearing up for his first autumn campaign in Australia, entering the Werribee quarantine centre last week, and remains in contention for the 2015 Australian Cup but third placer Who Shot Thebarman has bowled out in favour of the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) the following month.

Chris Waller’s bumper 11 Australian Cup nominations has nearly halved to six with Bagman, Beaten Up, Foreteller, Hawkspur, He’s Your Man, and Weary remaining in the draw. His contingent have all had at least one run since the nominations were announced last month but only Weary did anything worth mentioning.

The five-year-old grey won the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) against three of his stable mates before finishing third in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 14, a race all other Waller runners failed to place in.

Paul Beshara’s Happy Trails won the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) over the track and distance of the Australian Cup at the end of spring but finished just short of the placings on resumption in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago.

The seven-year-old gelding is set to have one more run before March 14 in the Peter Young Stakes this Saturday. Despite working harder than desired at trackwork this morning, Beshara is confident Happy Trails can finish somewhere in the first three.

“He surprised the hell out of me in the Underwood last year and I’m hoping he can go one better on Saturday,” Beshara told TVN.

“He’s done a treat since, I’m really happy with him.”

Other top middle-distance runners and stayers that feature in the 2015 Australian Cup first acceptances include Apollo Stakes winner Contributer, promising Perth-based gelding Disposition, who finished runner-up in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) last Saturday on his first trip out east, CF Orr Stakes second and third Entirely Platinum and Mourinho, David Hayes & Tom Dabernig’s Jacquinot Bay, who just missed out on victory in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) after Smokin’ Joey delivered a strong finish to out bob him on the line, and cult favourite The Cleaner.

Check out the full list of first acceptances for the Australian Cup below.

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2015 Australian Cup First Acceptances

# Horse Trainer
1 AKZAR (IRE) Darren Weir
2 AU REVOIR (IRE) Peter G Moody
3 BAGMAN Chris Waller
4 BEATEN UP (GB) Chris Waller
5 BIG MEMORY (FR) Tony McEvoy
6 BRING SOMETHING Ken Keys
7 CHIVALRY Mark Kavanagh
8 CONTRIBUTER (IRE) John O’Shea
9 DISPOSITION Wez Hunter
10 ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
11 ESCADO Matt Laurie
12 EXTRA ZERO David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
13 FIREHOUSE ROCK David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
14 FORETELLER (GB) Chris Waller
15 GREATWOOD (GB) Gai Waterhouse
16 HAPPY TRAILS Paul Beshara
17 HARTNELL (GB) John O’Shea
18 HAWKSPUR Chris Waller
19 HE’S YOUR MAN (FR) Chris Waller
20 HONG KONG CAPTAIN David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
21 JACQUINOT BAY David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
22 LIDARI (FR) Peter G Moody
23 MAGICOOL Mark Kavanagh
24 MOONOVERMANHATTAN Mick Price
25 MOURINHO Peter Gelagotis
26 PETROLOGY David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
27 PROTECTIONIST (GER) Kris Lees
28 PUCCINI (NZ) Peter & Jacob McKay
29 REAL LOVE Adam Durrant
30 RED CADEAUX (GB) Ed Dunlop
31 SONNTAG Henry Dwyer
32 SPILLWAY (GB) David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
33 STAR ROLLING Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison
34 STRATUM STAR Darren Weir
35 SWEYNESSE John O’Shea
36 THE CLEANER Mick Burles
37 WEARY (FR) Chris Waller

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