Darren Weir’s in-form galloper Stratum Star tops a twelve-horse Australian Cup 2017 field facing off at Flemington Racecourse on ‘Super Saturday’ this weekend in Melbourne.
Running as Flemington Race 8 at 4:35pm (AEDT), it is a star-studded edition of the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) including last start Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) winner Stratum Star.
A five-year-old son of Stratum, Stratum Star has now won his past three starts on the trot having also taken out the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in Perth last December as well as the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) on the Gold Coast in January.
Weir is after his first Australian Cup success on Saturday and Stratum Star comes into the race fit and chasing a double last completed by Fiorente (2014).
Jockey Mark Zahra retains the ride on the smart stallion who also came up trumps with barrier two, which last produced an Australian Cup winner with Super Cool (2013).
Weir has a total of three acceptors in this autumn’s Australian Cup field with Stratum Star joined by stablemates Humidor (7) and Real Love (12).
Humidor has been leading early Australian Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and should get a gun run from his midfield draw in the weight-for-age feature with Damian Lane in the saddle.
Lane has ridden the progressive Kiwi import for his three starts this time in including the last start second in the Peter Young Stakes when beaten a neck.
Humidor has won two of his three starts over the 2000m distance of the Australian Cup and should relish the step-up in metres for his rematch with Stratum Star this weekend.
Real Love meanwhile is looking to be the first Australian Cup winning mare since Makybe Diva (2005), the former Perth Cup winner also out to improve on her Peter Young Stakes fifth last time out.
Fourth in the Peter Young Stakes results and also looking to put a win on the board for the mares is another top-fancy in the Australian Cup odds, the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka.
The four-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie is best known for her Caulfield Cup victory last spring and looks set to peak third-up on the weekend after fourths in the Peter Young and CF Orr Stakes.
Hugh Bowman comes aboard for the Australian Cup chasing successive wins after his protest victory aboard Preferment (2016) in the race 12 months ago.
Other notable hopes include Awesome Rock who was first past the post last year before losing the race on protest, Peter Young Stakes third placegetter first-up The United States and Lindsay Park’s Boom Time who is unbeaten over 2000m.
See below for the full Australian Cup 2017 field, barriers and jockeys before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to the best Flemington odds and offers this weekend.
2017 Australian Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 8 (4:35pm) – 11/03/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||33×8502111||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||2||59kg||112|
|2||x015551x70||AWESOME ROCK||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||6||59kg||113|
|3||212x6145x3||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ben Melham||4||59kg||111|
|4||10x703x808||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Anthony Darmanin||9||59kg||108|
|5||06116×1133||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||5||59kg||109|
|6||3x183538x6||EXOSPHERIC (GB)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Damien Oliver||10||59kg||112|
|7||3x02303x37||TALLY||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||1||59kg||104|
|8||x266223x69||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Glen Boss||3||59kg||98|
|9||x44x311151||BOOM TIME||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||8||59kg||100|
|10||x31129x422||HUMIDOR (NZ)||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||7||59kg||105|
|11||x471210x44||JAMEKA||Ciaron Maher||Hugh Bowman||11||57kg||113|
|12||x27156x555||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||12||57kg||107|