Criterion Leads 2016 Australian Cup Nominations

David Hayes & Tom Dabernig are gunning for back-to-back Australian Cup wins this season with their contingent for the Super Saturday clash led in 2016 by Criterion.

Criterion (centre)

Criterion (centre) is the top rated 2016 Australian Cup hope for last year’s winning trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

One of two elite level majors on the Flemington card on March 12 this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival along with the Newmarket Handicap that attracted 70 nominations, this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) drew 55 early entries.

Down from 69 last season, the Australian Cup nominations still boast plenty of depth with last year’s winning trainers Hayes & Dabernig leading the charge with 13 hopefuls.

Of those the top rated in futures Australian Cup betting at installed as the early $7 co-favourite is Sebring stallion Criterion.

Last March Hayes & Dabernig won the Australian Cup with $12 shot Spillway (2015), which was Hayes’s third win in the feature following his earlier success as a sole trainer with Better Loosen up (1991) and Niconero (2009).

Now internationally-performed Criterion is well in the mix shooting for his maiden Flemington win.

During the spring the four-time Group 1 winner ran a stellar second to super mare Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before his brave third behind upset winner Prince Of Penzance in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles.

Criterion then travelled to Sha Tin for his luckless ninth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and is tipped to return to better form racing back down under over the autumn.

Other exciting Australian Cup prospects for the stable in 2016 include Group 1 winning New Zealand filly Risque who is yet to race down under, Geelong Cup – Sandown Cup double winner Almoonqith and last year’s runner-up Extra Zero.

The other horse nominated for another Australian Cup shot after a top three run last autumn is Paul Beshara’s third placed Adelaide raider Happy Trails.

Equal favourite with Criterion in the all-in Australian Cup odds currently is the Chris Waller-trained Zabeel four-year-old Preferment.

The $1.5 million earning stallion also had his last run overseas when seventh in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) on the back of disappointing Cox Plate (ninth) and Melbourne Cup (20th) results for Waller.

Prior to that he posted his third career win in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) over the same track and distance as the Australian Cup.

Waller is yet to prepare an Australian Cup winner and along with Preferment has five other nominations including his Caulfield Guineas winning colt Press Statement who is also in the mix for the Australian Guineas over 1600m the Saturday before.

Spring Champion Stakes winning colt Vanbrugh is also dually nominated across the Australian Guineas – Australian Cup this season.

Following the $7 top fancies in the Australian Cup markets are two $9 hopes, the John O’Shea-trained European import Bow Creek and Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Caulfield Cup third placed former German galloper Our Ivanhowe.

Another big hope for O’Shea and the Godolphin stable is Hauraki ($11), the Reset four-year-old runner-up in last season’s Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m).

Also among the Godolphin contingent are the likes of last autumn’s Sydney Cup fourth placegetter Hartnell and Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) winner Magic Hurricane.

Other notable entries include Murray Baker’s Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan, Nigel Blackiston’s Futurity Stakes winning mare Suavito and the Robert Hickmott-trained eight-year-old $3.8 million earner Fawkner.

See below for the full Australian Cup 2016 nominations then visit to back your early favourites at their generous futures prices before markets firm over the coming weeks!

2016 Australian Cup Nominations

Flemington Racecourse – 12/03/2016

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer
1 6x5067101x ALMOONQITH (USA) H 6 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
2 11x0x0D71x AMRALAH (IRE) H 6 Robert Hickmott
3 342x31703x ARAB DAWN (GB) G 5 John O’Shea
4 034x30721x AWESOME ROCK H 4 Leon & Troy Corstens
5 303x84047x BOLD SNIPER (GB) G 6 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
6 11x6x6x20x BOW CREEK (IRE) H 5 John O’Shea
7 135x61239x CRITERION (NZ) H 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
8 783x15167x DEVIL HAWK G 3 Chris Waller
9 21x11x DODGING BULLETS G 4 Symon Wilde
10 2460x2357x ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ) G 6 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
11 05x110010x EXTRA CHOICE (NZ) G 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
12 x25459770x EXTRA ZERO G 9 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
13 2120x1266x FAWKNER G 8 Robert Hickmott
14 4412x9102x FENWAY M 4 Ciaron Maher
15 x6x0x0069x GALLANTE (IRE) G 5 Robert Hickmott
16 141x98046x GUST OF WIND (NZ) M 4 John Sargent
17 7x6050208x HAPPY TRAILS G 8 Paul Beshara
18 2114x4650x HARTNELL (GB) G 5 John O’Shea
19 0212x0728x HAURAKI G 4 John O’Shea
20 1x8x52415x HE OR SHE G 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
21 324x16248x HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ) G 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
22 8140x HIERARCHAL C 3 Anthony Cummings
23 210x09936x LEEBAZ (NZ) G 6 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
24 260x900x2x LIDARI (FR) H 7 Darren Weir
25 55x143121x MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE) G 6 John O’Shea
26 9x5383482x MESSENE G 7 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
27 1151x7431x MONGOLIAN KHAN H 4 Murray Baker
28 310x1610x7 MOURINHO G 8 Peter Gelagotis
29 1117x MURAQABA G 4 Anthony Cummings
30 6416765x3x NO TRICKS (NZ) M 4 Wayne Walters
31 16x7x9230x OUR IVANHOWE (GER) H 6 Lee & Anthony Freedman
32 211x PALENTINO C 3 Darren Weir
33 11111x PERFECT REFLECTION F 3 Darren Weir
34 28x011907x PREFERMENT (NZ) H 4 Chris Waller
35 111x2511x PRESS STATEMENT C 3 Chris Waller
36 110×441 PURE KARMA G 4 Saab Hasan
37 22x620027x RISING ROMANCE (NZ) M 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
38 2x61211x RISQUE (NZ) F 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
39 33x132200x ROYAL DESCENT M 6 Chris Waller
40 12217x SACRED EYE F 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
41 7×62333411 SECOND BULLET G 5 Danny O’Brien
42 92314x8x1x SIGNOFF (IRE) G 6 Darren Weir
43 17148x SOVEREIGN NATION C 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
44 412011x61x ST JEAN (IRE) H 6 Aaron Purcell
45 0x00x04442 STAR ROLLING G 6 Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison
46 32x731310x STRATUM STAR H 4 Darren Weir
47 2N311x117x SUAVITO (NZ) M 5 Nigel Blackiston
48 311731x TARZINO (NZ) C 3 Mick Price
49 4x3432161x TASHBEEH H 4 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
50 x0x122610x THE UNITED STATES (IRE) H 6 Robert Hickmott
51 55x416211x TORGERSEN (NZ) C 3 Chris Waller
52 5x2462111x VANBRUGH C 3 Chris Waller
53 0x2x51352x VELOX (GB) G 6 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig
54 7872447201 WALES H 6 Richard Laming
55 1×831114 XTRAVAGANT (NZ) C 3 Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards


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