2016 Australian Cup First Acceptances Leave 27

Twenty-seven horses remain in contention for the Australian Cup 2016 on ‘Super Saturday’ at Flemington Racecourse next month after first acceptances closed on Tuesday.


Fawkner is the highest-rated 2016 Australian Cup first acceptance taken for the March 12 feature at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

One of two elite level Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival features taking place on March 12, this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) originally attracted 55 nominations.

That number was reduced this week with Australian Cup first declarations taken by Racing Victoria.

Sitting number one on the Australian Cup ballot is eight-year-old Fawkner for Robert Hickmott and goliath owner Lloyd Williams, the veteran son of Reset a three-time Group 1 winner.

In 2013 he won the Caulfield Cup and has twice contested the Melbourne Cup for a sixth in 2013 and 10th in 2014, but is yet to run in an Australian Cup field.

He returned to racing with a 14th, beaten only four lengths, in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13 and is currently a $15 hope in futures Australian Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.

Those all-in Australian Cup odds are led by the Godolphin-raced import Bow Creek ($6) and the Chris Waller-trained Preferment ($7).

Bow Creek is yet to win down under, his latest start producing a CF Orr Stakes 13th, but the Shamardal stallion is tipped to improve over the autumn starting with a run this weekend in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m).

Trainer John O’Shea has also paid the Australian Cup first acceptance fee for last year’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) winner in Sydney Magic Hurricane and last Saturday’s Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) winner at Rosehill Arab Dawn.

Second best in betting for next month’s weight-for-age clash, Preferment is a four-year-old son of Zabeel who is nominated to contest the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) over the Randwick mile this Saturday.

Winner of last October’s Turnbull Stakes, the 2014 Victoria Derby winner’s last start was in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) where he ran seventh to Highland Reel back in December.

Waller is yet to trainer an Australian Cup winner and Preferment is his only remaining hope in the 2016 edition.

The other early single figure hope for the win is dual New Zealand Group 1 winner Xtravagant ($8), the three-year-old Pentire colt also the top fancy for the previous Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).

The last three-year-old Australian Cup winner was the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool (2013) who was the first since Saintly (1996).

Along with Xtravagant there are six other three-year-old Australian Cup first acceptors including Mick Price’s Victoria Derby winner Tarzino, Kevin Hayes Stakes winning filly Risque imported from New Zealand and the Darren Weir-trained Palentino.

David Hayes & Tom Dabernig won last year’s Australian Cup with five-year-old Spillway, Risque one of seven hopefuls still in the mix for the stable to go back-to-back this season.

The other most notable Hayes & Dabernig-trained chances include the spring’s Geelong Cup – Sandown Cup double winner Almoonqith ($13), November’s Emirates Stakes fifth-placegetter He Or She ($21) and last year’s runner-up Extra Zero ($41).

Winner of the CF Orr Stakes first-up off a 10 month spell, Nigel Blackiston’s classy mare Suavito is also right in the mix for the Australian Cup this preparation.

On the weekend she defends her Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) title at Caulfield, and she is already rated a $10 hope for the 2000m feature in three weeks’ time.

See below for the full list of Australian Cup 2016 first acceptances, markets open on the classic now through Ladbrokes.com.au!

2016 Australian Cup First Acceptances & Ballot

Flemington Racecourse – 12/03/2016

# Form (Last 10) Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight
1 120x1266x0 FAWKNER G 8 Robert Hickmott 1 59kg
2 x6050208x0 HAPPY TRAILS G 8 Paul Beshara 2 59kg
3 2x620027x0 RISING ROMANCE (NZ) M 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 3 57kg
4 x254597706 EXTRA ZERO G 9 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 4 59kg
5 28x011907x PREFERMENT (NZ) H 4 Chris Waller 5 59kg
6 10x1610x70 MOURINHO G 8 Peter Gelagotis 6 59kg
7 N311x117x1 SUAVITO (NZ) M 5 Nigel Blackiston 7 57kg
8 311731×4 TARZINO (NZ) C 3 Mick Price 8 54.5kg
9 16x7x9230x OUR IVANHOWE (GER) H 6 Lee & Anthony Freedman 9 59kg
10 11111×3 PERFECT REFLECTION F 3 Darren Weir 10 52.5kg
11 10x09936x5 LEEBAZ (NZ) G 6 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 11 59kg
12 5x143121x7 MAGIC HURRICANE (IRE) G 6 John O’Shea 12 59kg
13 260x900x2x LIDARI (FR) H 7 Darren Weir 13 59kg
14 412x9102x9 FENWAY M 4 Lee & Shannon Hope 14 57kg
15 6x5067101x ALMOONQITH (USA) H 6 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 15 59kg
16 460x2357x0 ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ) G 6 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 16 59kg
17 1x6x6x20x0 BOW CREEK (IRE) H 5 John O’Shea 17 59kg
18 1×8311141 XTRAVAGANT (NZ) C 3 Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards 18 54.5kg
19 2x61211x1 RISQUE (NZ) F 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 19 52.5kg
20 34x30721x0 AWESOME ROCK H 4 Leon & Troy Corstens 20 59kg
21 17148×65 SOVEREIGN NATION C 3 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 21 54.5kg
22 211×72 PALENTINO C 3 Darren Weir 22 54.5kg
23 2x31703x81 ARAB DAWN (GB) G 5 John O’Shea 23 59kg
24 x343216112 TASHBEEH H 4 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 24 59kg
25 x8x52415x2 HE OR SHE G 5 David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 25 59kg
26 21x11x62 DODGING BULLETS G 4 Symon Wilde 26 59kg
27 8140×63 HIERARCHAL C 3 Anthony Cummings 27 54.5kg


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