The money continues to roll in for Annabel...
Australian Cup 2017 first acceptances for the Flemington Super Saturday showdown on March 11 closed this week with superstar mare Winx still in the mix despite being an unlikely final acceptor.
On Tuesday Racing Victoria took first declarations for the Australian Guineas 2017 on March 4 as well as the $1.25 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) the following weekend.
Down from 61 nominations, the Australian Cup first acceptances attracted 27 hopefuls for the weight-for-age Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival feature.
Three hail from the star Sydney stables of Chris Waller who won the race last season with Preferment (2016).
Winx is the headliner, but is more likely to stay in Sydney for the $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens the following weekend on Golden Slipper Stakes Day.
She will then be stepped up to the 2000m on April 8 at Royal Randwick during The Championships for her final run of the season in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2017.
Waller’s other hopefuls are the reigning Australian Cup winner Preferment and the in-form import Endless Drama who faces Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) this Saturday after a first-up third to her in the Apollo Stakes.
Zabeel stallion Preferment also resumed in the Apollo Stakes on February 13 running sixth and currently pays $21 in futures Australian Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to go back-to-back in the race for the first time since Vo Rogue (1989-1990).
Outside of Winx ($3.20) the other best in all-in Australian Cup betting is the Ciaron Maher-trained Caulfield Cup winner Jameka ($4.20).
The Myboycharlie four-year-old mare returned to racing this season with a brave and fast-finishing fourth beaten only one and a half-lengths by Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m).
She races again this weekend in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and will be at her peak third-up in the Australian Cup field over 2000m.
The last mare to win the Australian Cup however was the mighty Makybe Diva (2005) giving Jameka a notable hoodoo to overcome.
The other remaining mares in the mix for 2017 are the Darren Weir-trained Real Love and the Michael Kent-trained Schweppes Oaks winner Abbey Marie.
Hartnell is another unlikely Australian Cup final acceptor still officially in the mix for trainer John O’Shea, the Godolphin stable also paying up for dual Group 1 placegetter Tully.
Other top fancies in pre-field Australian Cup odds post-first acceptances include Weir’s improving Teofilo four-year-old Humidor and the Robert Hickmott-trained Ranvet Stakes winning stallion The United States.
Check out the full Australian Cup 2017 first declarations below before head to Ladbrokes.com.au for the updated markets on all upcoming Group 1 autumn races.
2017 Australian Cup First Acceptances & Ballot
Flemington Racecourse – 11/03/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|3||110x4540x6||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||5||Chris Waller||3||59kg||116|
|4||5x211123x2||HARTNELL (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea||4||59kg||124|
|5||033×850211||STRATUM STAR||H||5||Darren Weir||5||59kg||116|
|6||0x015551x7||AWESOME ROCK||H||5||Leon & Troy Corstens||6||59kg||117|
|7||5212x6145x||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||H||7||Robert Hickmott||7||59kg||117|
|8||4160x88x72||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||8||59kg||118|
|9||4x27156x55||REAL LOVE||M||6||Darren Weir||9||57kg||110|
|11||65x808462x||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||11||59kg||113|
|12||706116×113||ECUADOR (NZ)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||12||59kg||115|
|13||211x1110x8||HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ)||G||4||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||13||59kg||112|
|14||13x183538x||EXOSPHERIC (GB)||H||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman||14||59kg||117|
|15||6x454282x0||SEABURGE||C||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||15||54.5kg||115|
|17||1153x9210x||ASSIGN (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||17||59kg||104|
|18||x2252911x9||PILOTE D’ESSAI (GB)||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||18||59kg||105|
|19||0x266223x6||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman||19||59kg||107|
|20||111×8||ABBEY MARIE||M||4||Michael Kent||20||57kg||108|
|21||12x1x7x39x||ALOFT (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||21||59kg||94|
|22||9x44x31115||BOOM TIME||H||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||22||59kg||98|
|23||2x3915x0x3||ENDLESS DRAMA (IRE)||H||5||Chris Waller||23||59kg||116|
|24||2117x8x00x||HANS HOLBEIN (GB)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||24||59kg||88|
|25||145x52482x||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||G||5||Michael Moroney||25||59kg||100|
|26||1x31129x42||HUMIDOR (NZ)||G||4||Darren Weir||26||59kg||113|
|27||0x42x513x4||OUR CENTURY (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||27||59kg||99|
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