After breaking his Australian maiden status last start the John O’Shea-trained import Bow Creek is the favourite final acceptor for Saturday’s 2016 Australian Cup field at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
One of two elite levels on the ‘Super Saturday’ line-up, this year’s $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) has attracted 11 runners and is due to jump at 4:30pm (AEDT) as Flemington Race 7.
Sitting top of the latest Australian Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Godolphin-raced Shamardal stallion Bow Creek at $3.20 for the win.
Drawn the outside alley (11), a barrier that hasn’t produced an Australian Cup winning in over 30 years, the five-year-old comes off a win in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
That was Bow Creek’s first win down under from four starts here and he is now looking to complete the Peter Young Stakes – Australian Cup double last achieved by Fiorente (2014).
Four other hopefuls are also under $10 in the Australian Cup odds this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival including Our Ivanhowe ($5.50) who jumps from barrier one with Ben Melham aboard.
Lee & Anthony Freedman’s German expat is the $7 pre-field favourite to win Sydney’s Group 1 The BMW (2500m) at Rosehill on March 26 and is second-up in the Melbourne Group 1 on Saturday.
A six-year-old son of Soldier Hollow, Our Ivanhowe ran third to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last October before his brave Melbourne Cup 10th over the two miles.
He kicked off his latest campaign in the Peter Young Stakes for a fifth to Bow Creek from gate one, the same alley he has this weekend.
The other single-figure Australian Cup hopes this season are Preferment ($6.50), Rising Romance ($7.50) and the market mover Suavito ($8.50 into $8).
Chris Waller saddles-up the Spring’s Turnbull Stakes winning Zabeel stallion Preferment from gate 10 on the weekend, the four-year-old second-up after a good fourth to star stablemate Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) in Sydney on February 27.
Preferment has had three previous starts at Flemington for two wins, including the Turnbull in Group 1 company, and is also internationally performed having crossed seventh in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) back in December.
Rising Romance is the best fancied of the female gallopers in the weight-for-age classic out to become the first Australian Cup winning mare since Makybe Diva (2005) over a decade ago.
Craig Williams, who rode the 2009 Australian Cup champ Niconero, rides the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained daughter of Ekraar who shoots for her second Group 1 win after her 2014 ATC Oaks success.
She hasn’t won a race since mid-February last year so is out to break a notable winning drought, but she’s been twice Group 1 placed since including to Gailo Chop when runner-up in the Mackinnon Stakes over 2000m at Flemington last Derby Day.
Her last start was a Peter Young Stakes sixth and the extra metres this weekend will only work in the five-year-old’s favour.
Fellow mare Suavito jumps one on the inside of Rising Romance from barrier five, which last produced a winner in Manighar (2012).
The classy Torn Park five-year-old returned off a nearly year-long spell with a Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) win in mid-February before her third in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield last start.
She boasts two wins, a second and a third from five previous Flemington runs and looks fit and ready to make a charge over the 2000m on Saturday.
See below for the full Australian Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost giving punters better odds on any runner in any race daily!