There’s been a firming of the favourites in the 2017 Australian Cup odds ahead of the weight-for-age feature at Flemington on Saturday with Real Love out of the race.
Flying Victorian horseman Darren Weir confirmed on Friday morning that former Perth Cup winning mare Real Love would not be taking her spot in the $1.5 Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) field on ‘Super Saturday’.
An outside hope in the Australian Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au after running fifth in her three latest starts, the widely-drawn daughter of Desert King left food in her bin overnight and looked to be coming down with a virus.
“We just weren’t happy with her this morning,” Weir told RSN.
“She just wasn’t herself. There’s something coming on there I think so hopefully we can get on top of it over the next couple of days and we can get her back on track.”
Weir still has two hopes of securing his first Australian Cup win saddling-up the in-form Stratum Star and equal favourite with the Caulfield Cup winner Jameka, Humidor from barriers two and seven respectively.
Stratum Star chases a fourth straight win after the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in Perth, the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) on the Gold Coast and the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield over the past three months.
He now pays $6.50 in Australian Cup betting to continue the winning streak with a victory on the weekend.
Runner-up in the traditional Australian Cup lead-up, Peter Young second placegetter Humidor is the early market mover and shares favouritism at $4 with Jameka who looks set to peak third-up after a fourth in the same race last start.
So will the best fancied get the job done or is there an upset pending from the likes of The United States ($7) racing second-up for the autumn, Lee & Anthony Freedman’s smart import Exospheric ($8) or even evergreen seven-year-old Ecuador ($16) coming off thirds in the CF Orr – Futurity Stakes double?
Earlier in the week we published our exclusive 2017 Australian Cup Form Guide & Betting Preview, race tips based on the facts and stats uncovered there detailed below.
#10 Humidor ($4)
Weir lost Real Love but he can still run top two with Humidor on top. Gets a big tick from jockey Damian Lane who has been aboard for his three runs this time in. On the up-and-up with scope for improvement. The Teofilo four-year-old has run second in two latest, including the narrow second behind his stablemate in the Peter Young. That race form line is the one to follow into the Group 1 on Saturday. Best Place Rate of the field (77%) and this distance looks ideal (3-2-1-0).
#1 Stratum Star ($6.50)
So many livewire chances in a wide open edition of the race, but really hard to knock the lead-up of Weir’s other runner who has won three on the trot. Chases the Peter Young – Australian Cup double last won by Fiorente (2014). 2000m distance a non-issue, Group 1 winner, proven at WFA and only needs to maintain his form to finish in the money again.
#9 Boom Time ($31)
The United States is there, Jameka is there, but for value throwing in this ultra-consistent stallion from the Lindsay Park stable. Undefeated at the track (2-2-0-0) and unbeaten over 2000m (2-2-0-0). Last start produced a black-type win at Caulfield over the distance, prior to which he ran fifth under two lengths beaten by Stratum Star in the Magic Millions race. Up in class and that’s the test.
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