Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Godolphin’s three-time Group 1 champion Avilius is the firm favourite in Australian Cup 2020 betting for Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’ with the galloper out to take his career earnings up over $3 million.
To date the six-year-old son of Pivotal has won $2,949,210 over a 25-start career that is highlighted by three victories at elite level.
This weekend at HQ, Avilius will be out to add to that in the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m), the weight-for-age classic attracting 14 final acceptances.
Sitting top of the Australian Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.70 and firming after opening at $4.50, the James Cummings-trained favourite is drawn barrier nine with Dwayne Dunn to ride.
Dunn has his first ride aboard Avilius in the Australian Cup 2020 and is the fourth different hoop in as many runs to jump aboard.
Over the spring Kerrin McEvoy was the horse’s regular rider and has been aboard for two of Avilius’s three Group 1 victories, most recently the George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last September.
This campaign Avilius has had two runs when Damian Lane rode him for a close first-up fifth behind Alabama Express in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield before Hugh Bowman jumped in the saddle for the fourth to Te Akau Shark at Randwick in last Saturday’s Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
“We wanted to keep him in this race all along knowing he’d be a possible runner,” Cummings said.
“Since he ran in the Chipping Norton last week, we’ve been looking for the clues that would tell us he’d pulled up well and that everything was as I wanted it for him to run in Group Ones on successive weekends, and the signs are all good.”
“We also had the knowledge that this time last year, he won the Tancred Stakes off a seven-day back-up from his win in the Ranvet.”
Chasing his first top level win in Melbourne, Avilius is back at Flemington for the first time since his fifth when 1.4 lengths off the winner as the beaten odds-on favourite in last year’s Australian Cup results.
“He’s got a lot of things to suit him on Saturday. He’s a winner at Flemington and the 2000m will be perfect for him at this stage,” Dunn told Racenet this week.
“If it [the track] comes up Soft, that will only be a bonus for him.”
Outside the favourite it is an open market with a further four chances under $10 in the latest Australian Cup odds including the $6.50 second elect Regal Power.
The Grant & Alana Williams-trained Pierro four-year-old is best known for his Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) victory in Perth last summer and has winning form at Group 2 level up to 2400m.
He made his Melbourne debut on February 22 when fourth only a length off the winning mare Miss Siska in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and gets the chance to finish closer second-up, fitter for the run and over more metres here.
Equal at $7 are the Chris Waller-trained Kings Will Dream coming off a Peter Young second and last weekend’s Group 2 Blamey Stakes winner Fifty Stars drawn opposite ends of the field in barriers one and 13 respectively.
Frankel entire Mirage Dancer ($9.50) in six, coming off a Peter Young third, rounds out the single-figure fancies before the likes of returning Melbourne Cup champion Vow And Declare ($12), the dual defending Australian Cup champion Harlem ($14) and Peter Young Stakes winning mare Miss Siska ($14) look the value punts.
2020 Australian Cup Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||36621x421x||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||10||59kg||113|
|2||1x42147x54||AVILIUS (GB)||James Cummings||Dwayne Dunn||9||59kg||116|
|3||0x10x870x7||SUZUKA DEVIOUS (JPN)||Mitsuru Hashida||Dean Yendall||8||59kg||103|
|4||x006380x45||HARLEM (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Jamie Kah||2||59kg||108|
|5||Px58166x32||KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jye McNeil||1||59kg||110|
|6||211x2161x4||REGAL POWER||Grant & Alana Williams||William Pike||12||59kg||110|
|7||6768256×41||FIFTY STARS (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||John Allen||13||59kg||107|
|8||1322x30x03||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||6||59kg||110|
|9||326441301x||SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Michael Dee||14||59kg||110|
|10||16621816×7||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Brad Rawiller||11||59kg||103|
|11||0328x277x6||VENICE BEACH (IRE)||Danny O’Brien||Fred W Kersley (a)||3||59kg||98|
|12||4083x100x8||CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||5||58.5kg||110|
|13||x2122240x9||CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Glen Boss||4||58.5kg||109|
|14||x278822x11||MISS SISKA||Grahame Begg||Damian Lane||7||57kg||98|
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