The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Lloyd Williams-owned Melbourne Cup winner Almandin is one of the headline horses among the Australian Cup 2017 nominations that closed this week for the Flemington ‘Super Saturday’ event.
Racing Victoria took early entries for the Australian Guineas on March 4 as well as the Newmarket Handicap and $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) taking place the following Saturday on March 11.
The Australian Cup nominations drew 61 entries, up from 55 at this stage last season.
Melbourne Cup winner Almandin and last season’s Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka both feature in the entries for the Australian Cup.
“We’re really pleased with the quality and depth of entry for the three feature races that closed today,” Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said.
“As it stands there is the possibility that we could see the Cox Plate, Melbourne and Caulfield Cup champions, among a host of other G1 winners from 2016, squaring off in one of the strongest Australian Cups we have seen in some time.”
Robert Hickmott’s German import Almandin won the ‘race that stops a nation’ as a $10 shot in Melbourne Cup betting last November giving him a two-from-three record at the Flemington track.
Hickmott won the Australian Cup back in 2010 with Zipping and will look to take it out again seven years on with Almandin one of nine nominees for the stable.
Other key Hickmott-trained, Williams-owned Australian Cup hopefuls include Herbert Power Stakes winner Assign, former French-trained galloper Bondi Beach and The United States.
Galileo stallion The United States won Rosehill’s Ranvet Stakes before his second in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney last autumn, but from five Flemington starts he has just the one second place finish.
2017 Australian Cup Nominations – Key Horses
- Almandin (Robert Hickmott)
- The United States (Robert Hickmott)
- Jameka (Ciaron Maher)
Caulfield’s Ciaron Maher prepares the reigning Caulfield Cup winner Jameka who will be out to be the first mare to win the Australian Cup since the mighty Makybe Diva (2005) over a decade ago.
Myboycharlie four-year-old Jameka is a dual Group 1 winner having also won Flemington’s Crown Oaks as a three-year-old back in 2015.
She failed to run out a strong two miles when 15th to Almandin in the Melbourne Cup last start, but over the shorter Australian Cup distance boasts an excellent record of two wins, a second and a third from four runs.
2017 Australian Cup Nominations – Key Trainers
- Lindsay Park (13)
- Robert Hickmott (9)
- Ciaron Maher (6)
- Chris Waller (5)
Maher boasts a total of six Australian Cup nominees with Jameka joined by the likes of lightly-raced Sandown Guineas runner-up Ruthven and the 2015 Doomben Cup winner Pornichet.
Last year’s Australian Cup winner was the Chris Waller-trained Preferment (2016) who won on protest over first-past-the-post Awesome Rock.
Preferment is back looking to take out the title again, the Zabeel stallion not having won again since his Group 1 The BMW (2400m) success at Rosehill last March.
Waller has nominated for five horses in total including his superstar mare Winx who will instead be saved for a Sydney run in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during April’s ‘The Championships’.
Awesome Rock is another standout Australian Cup nominee this autumn looking to atone for his protest loss last season.
Leon & Troy Corstens’ Fastnet Rock stallion was last seen posting an upset win in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival over Hauraki as a $19 shot.
Other top entries include the Lindsay Park-trained colt Seaburge who is one of 13 entries for the stable and English import Exospheric for Team Freedman – third in the Caulfield Cup last October – who both look to be exciting Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival feature horses to consider a bet on.
Check out the full Australian Cup 2017 nominations below, first acceptances for the weight-for-age race closing February 21, with markets open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
2017 Australian Cup Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 11/04/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer|
|1||111x||ABBEY MARIE||M||4||Michael Kent|
|2||21x665111x||ALMANDIN (GER)||G||7||Robert Hickmott|
|3||65x808462x||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|4||12x1x7x39x||ALOFT (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott|
|6||46x511112x||ANTONIO GIUSEPPE (NZ)||G||4||Chris Waller|
|7||1153x9210x||ASSIGN (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott|
|8||20x015551x||AWESOME ROCK||H||5||Leon & Troy Corstens|
|9||222x302x0x||BIG MEMORY (FR)||G||7||Tony McEvoy|
|10||20x11x330x||BONDI BEACH (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott|
|11||9x44x31115||BOOM TIME||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|12||3423414x||DARABAD (FR)||H||4||Robbie Laing|
|13||6706116×11||ECUADOR (NZ)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse|
|14||22x3915x0x||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||H||5||Chris Waller|
|16||13x183538x||EXOSPHERIC (GB)||H||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|17||526126x83x||EXTRA ZERO||G||10||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|18||127×532110||FLYING LIGHT||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|19||1x3x||FOUNDATION (IRE)||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|20||9x031x270x||GALLANTE (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott|
|21||x1837x820x||GREY LION (IRE)||H||5||Matt Cumani|
|22||2117x8x00x||HANS HOLBEIN (GB)||G||5||Robert Hickmott|
|23||611x92384x||HARLEM (GB)||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|24||x5x211123x||HARTNELL (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea|
|25||x400x9128x||HAZZABEEL (NZ)||G||6||Ciaron Maher|
|26||8x7323590x||HE OR SHE||G||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|27||1211x1110x||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|28||201x31129x||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||4||Darren Weir|
|29||1653x4313x||IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA)||G||6||John O’Shea|
|32||0x06Fx4431||KOURKAM (FR)||G||7||Tony McEvoy|
|34||10x42x513x||OUR CENTURY (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott|
|36||1x2252911x||PILOTE D’ESSAI (GB)||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|37||63849x080x||PORNICHET (FR)||H||6||Ciaron Maher|
|38||4110x4540x||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||5||Chris Waller|
|39||114x27156x||REAL LOVE||M||6||Darren Weir|
|40||40x274088x||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|41||1211x1380x||RISQUE (NZ)||M||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|43||10x3744x1x||SAVVY NATURE (NZ)||G||6||Gai Waterhouse|
|44||16x454282x||SEABURGE||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|45||x8xD21x00x||SIGNOFF (IRE)||G||7||Patrick F Ryan Jnr|
|47||2x145x227x||SINGING (FR)||H||7||Kris Lees|
|48||x23114407x||SIR ISAAC NEWTON (GB)||G||5||Robert Hickmott|
|49||13x81x||SKY KINGDOM (IRE)||H||4||Garry Newham|
|50||6x1141x||SNITZSON||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig|
|51||033×850211||STRATUM STAR||H||5||Darren Weir|
|53||5212x6145x||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||H||7||Robert Hickmott|
|55||10x266223x||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman|
|56||0x51709x4x||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||H||6||Darren Weir|
|57||9x9623864x||TRANSFER ALLOWANCE||G||7||Peter Roche|
|58||1x4160x88x||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman|
|59||145x52482x||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||G||5||Michael Moroney|
|60||4x6527255x||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||8||Chris Waller|
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