The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Darren Weir’s progressive four-year-old Humidor is early favourite in the pre-field Australian Cup 2017 betting markets for the weight-for-age feature at Flemington Racecourse on ‘Super Saturday’.
Of the official 27 nominations in the mix for this season’s $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), the futures favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au is Humidor at $3.60 for the win.
Record breaking Victorian trainer Weir chases his first win in the race and looks to have a huge hope in Teofilo gelding Humidor coming off back-to-back Caulfield seconds.
The latest saw the Kiwi import beaten a neck by stablemate Stratum Star in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), a race that has produced two of the past three Australian Cup winners.
Humidor will be out to go back-to-back for the four-year-olds after the success of Preferment (2016) last autumn on protest, the last of that age to win prior to that being Sirmione (2008).
Weir also has his flying Peter Young Stakes winner Stratum Star ($9) and the mare Real Love in the mix for Saturday ($17).
Occupying the second-line of the all-in Australian Cup odds at $4.40 is the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka.
No mare has won the event since Makybe Diva (2005), but Maher’s Caulfield Cup winner from the spring is highly rated to break the hoodoo.
She has run fourth in both her Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival starts to date.
The first was behind Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) before she was defeated under a length in the Peter Young Stakes in a gun tune-up for her big third-up target.
Hartnell ($6) is being kept safe in betting despite the John O’Shea-trained galloper looking an unlikely acceptor with the $700,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) on March 18 his next-up target in Sydney.
Also under $10 for the win are the evergreen seven-year-old The United States ($6.50) and the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Exospheric ($7.50).
Winner of last autumn’s Ranvet Stakes, the Robert Hickmott-trained The United States returned for the season with an eye-catching Peter Young Stakes third and is out to hand his trainer with a second win after the Australian Cup victory of Zipping in 2010.
Exospheric represents dual Australian Cup winning trainer Lee Freedman – Durbridge (1997) and the aforementioned Makybe Diva (2005).
The five-year-old Beat Hollow stallion is second-up off a sixth in the Peter Young Stakes, still only beaten under a length and a half in that February 25 run on Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
The ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira, who rode eight Sha Tin winners on Sunday after a top day of Melbourne racing at Flemington on Saturday, meanwhile is booked to ride Tally in the Australian Cup.
Godolphin galloper Tally is out to improve on his Peter Young Stakes seventh and currently pays $26.
Check out the latest Australian Cup 2017 odds below, all-in prices available at Ladbrokes.com.au until final acceptances close on Wednesday morning.
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