The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The David Hayes-led Lindsay Park stable celebrated a Group 1 double at Flemington on Super Saturday with their roughie hope Harlem following on from Redkirk Warrior in the Newmarket to head the Australian Cup 2018 Results.
Donning the same colours as historical back-to-back Newmarket Handicap winning sprinter Redkirk Warrior earlier on the day, Champs Elysees six-year-old Harlem took out the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m) as a $61 roughie at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Hall of Famer Hayes enjoyed his 74th Australian Group 1 win just two races after celebrating his 73rd with Harlem posting the roughest Australian Cup result since Dandy Andy ($126 in 1988).
It was the first turf triumph from the French import since his Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) victory over the same distance at Caulfield last September and showed a nice improvement off the lead-up eighth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m).
Harlem also became the first Australian Guineas winner to come off a worse-than-seventh lead-up since 50/1 roughie Roman Arch improved on a Peter Young (then St. George Stakes) ninth back in 2006.
It was a huge result for Lindsay Park who also ran third in the Australian Cup trifecta with Ventura Storm ($31) off a Peter Young Stakes fourth, both horses purchased as Melbourne Cup horses.
Sandwiched between the two was the beaten favourite and last start Peter Young winner Gailo Chop ($2.60F) for last year’s winning trainer Darren Weir.
Gailo Chop, ridden by Michael Walker, surged forward to settle up on the pace set early by the returning The Taj Mahal who took up the lead on the inside at the 1500m mark.
“The key to it today was the draw, in barrier four I was able to take up some sort of position,” Walker said post-win.
Supply And Demand was quickly on the improve and made a move on the outside taking up the front-running, while Harlem was ideally positioned positively on the inside in fourth on settling.
The Taj Mahal and Supply And Demand were leading together around the turn for home, while Gailo Chop was hanging tough wider round.
After the favourite Gailo Chop got to the lead at the 200m, Harlem came late with a blistering run to snare the win over the beaten top fancy by a half-length.
“The way the races are playing today, closer to the fence is like lightning,” Walker explained.
“I had a beautiful run the whole way.
“I was always confident. I had a lap full of horse and it was just about getting a gap. When I got it, he just put them away.
“Lindsay Park had him spot on today, ready to run a race.”
Hayes confirmed plans for both Harlem and third-placed Ventura Storm to race next-up at Rosehill Gardens in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) on March 31 – formerly The BMW – before stepping-up to the two miles of the Group 1 $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) back at Royal Randwick on April 14.
“M walker was just outstanding, he found the fast track and he got the money which was just great,” Hayes said.
“He’s off to Sydney. We bought him as a stayer.
“In a normal year without Winx they’d be Queen Elizabeth Horses but we’re thinking the Tancred’s the go and then we’ll look at the Sydney Cup because they were both bought to be Melbourne Cup horses.”
The Australian Cup has produced the past two Tancred Stakes winners with Preferment (2016) doing the double and Jameka improving on a lead-up second in 2017.
To back the upset Australian Cup winner Harlem next race at the right price, visit Ladbrokes.com.au now.
2018 Australian Cup Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 8 – 10/03/2018
|1||7||HARLEM (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Michael Walker||–||4||59kg||$61|
|2||4||GAILO CHOP (FR)||Darren Weir||Mark Zahra||0.5L||10||59kg||$2.60F|
|3||5||VENTURA STORM (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||1.25L||2||59kg||$31|
|4||2||ALMANDIN (GER)||Liam Howley||Damien Oliver||1.45L||11||59kg||$4.40|
|5||11||SINGLE GAZE||Nick Olive||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1.85L||5||57kg||$9|
|6||10||HOMESMAN (USA)||Liam Howley||Michael Dee||2.25L||3||58.5kg||$21|
|7||8||LORD FANDANGO (GER)||Archie Alexander||Jordan Childs||2.35L||1||59kg||$71|
|8||9||THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE)||Liam Howley||Ben Melham||2.85L||7||58.5kg||$9|
|9||3||AMBITIOUS (JPN)||Anthony Freedman||Damian Lane||4.1L||12||59kg||$21|
|10||1||HARTNELL (GB)||James Cummings||Craig Williams||4.85L||6||59kg||$9.50|
|11||6||SUPPLY AND DEMAND||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||11.85L||9||59kg||$41|
|12||12||DEVISE (NZ)||Shaune Ritchie||Chad Schofield||21.85L||8||57kg||$31|
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