The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Nominations for the 2022 Australian Cup at Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’, March 12, are now out with Chris Waller’s Melbourne Cup hero Verry Elleegant among the 56 early entries for the weight-for-age showdown.
Verry Elleegant is gearing up for her highly-anticipated autumn return and is already among the favourites for a host of events including the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m).
The famous daughter of Zed took her elite level wins into double-figures on the first Tuesday of November last year winning the Group 1 $7.75 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) in emphatic fashion by four lengths at $18.
The stable is now plotting out her autumn targets that could include a trip south, but are more likely to see the $14 million earner remain in Sydney looking to defend her title in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Randwick and Rosehill respectively.
The bookies are keeping her safe in all-in Australian Cup betting however with the six-year-old at a current quote of $10 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Narrow favourite at $9 Australian Cup odds is the now Peter Moody-trained Spanish Mission, third to Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup trifecta when still prepared by the UK’s Andrew Balding.
A talented Noble Mission entire, Spanish Mission went to the Moody camp post-Melbourne Cup and was last seen running fourth in the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m) as the beaten odds-on favourite.
In a wide-open early market, the other chances equal with Verry Elleegant on $10 are Delphi and the Annabel Neasham-trained Zaaki.
Galileo entire Delphi, winner of the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), represents last year’s winning trainers Anthony & Sam Freedman who took out the 2021 Australian Cup with Homesman.
The five-year-old was last seen running seventh in the Melbourne Cup, his only previous Flemington assignment heading into the autumn.
The Freedmans have also nominated for veteran eight-year-old Steel Prince and another European expat Sinawann who resumed with a second to Marabi in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Zaaki meanwhile was one of the spruik gallopers last spring, but was forced out of his shot at the Cox Plate trophy on race morning due to an elevated temperature.
The Underwood Stakes winning seven-year-old was quick to atone, scoring connections a consolation prize in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Lindsay Park stable have prepared four of the past seven Australian Cup winners including three straight thanks to the back-to-back victories by Harlem (2018, 2019) followed by Fifty Stars (2020).
With Tom Dabernig now out on his own and David Hayes back overseas, it is Ben & JD Hayes now in charge of the operation who have four Australian Cup nominations this year.
The Lindsay Park contingent is headlined by ultra-consistent Bullbars four-year-old Mr Brightside, a winner of six of his nine starts to date.
Winner of the Seymore Cup over the Ballarat mile, Mr Brightside was last seen running a quarter-length back fourth in a blanket finish behind Superstorm at HQ in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m).
Godolphin’s Mackinnon Stakes runner-up Cascadian who won last year’s Doncaster Mile in Sydney and Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s French import Normandy Bridge are among the other standout Australian Cup nominees.
Along with Cascadian trainer James Cummings has also entered class mare Colette, gun Caulfield Guineas winner Anamoe and Victoria Derby runner-up Alegron.
2022 Australian Cup Nominations
|Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|3||6538x2500x||ANGEL OF TRUTH||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|4||21223x117x||CALLSIGN MAV (NZ)||G||5||Danny O’Brien|
|5||13x545432x||CASCADIAN (GB)||G||7||James Cummings|
|6||421x40030x||CEPHEUS (GB)||G||5||Matthew Dunn|
|8||x621321x8x||CONVERGE||G||3||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott|
|9||0x77027221||DARK DREAM||G||7||Ben & JD Hayes|
|10||1x6x42107x||DELPHI (IRE)||H||5||Anthony & Sam Freedman|
|12||x224x0221x||DUKE OF CONDICOTE (GB)||G||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace|
|13||73x131416x||EARLSWOOD (GB)||H||4||Maddie Raymond|
|14||33128x||EL PATRONESS||F||3||Danny O’Brien|
|15||111x12183x||ELEPHANT (NZ)||G||5||Emma-Lee & David Browne|
|16||265x83123x||ENTENTE||G||5||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott|
|17||88x311615x||FORGOT YOU (NZ)||C||3||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young|
|18||4230x8019x||GRANDSLAM||G||4||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace|
|19||327515510x||GREAT HOUSE (IRE)||G||5||Chris Waller|
|20||706x151x||HITOTSU||C||3||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace|
|21||48850x381x||HO HO KHAN (NZ)||H||7||Mitchell Freedman|
|22||111x84837x||HUNGRY HEART||M||4||Chris Waller|
|23||9x35x1338x||IN HER HONOUR (ARG)||M||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|24||1131112x5x||INSPIRATIONAL GIRL (NZ)||M||6||Danny O’Brien|
|25||x1111x900x||IRONCLAD (GB)||G||6||Will Clarken|
|26||511x90970x||KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott|
|27||18x2242x6x||MAXIMAL (GB)||H||4||John O’Shea|
|28||x21111114x||MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ)||G||4||Ben & JD Hayes|
|29||53x4x11x0x||NICKAJACK CAVE (IRE)||G||6||Peter G Moody|
|30||116×363211||NICOLINI VITO||G||4||Ben & JD Hayes|
|31||112x470x||NORMANDY BRIDGE (FR)||H||4||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace|
|32||2233×09142||PARRY SOUND||G||6||Bjorn Baker|
|33||510x06000x||PORT GUILLAUME (FR)||G||5||Ben & JD Hayes|
|34||7x5030x224||PURPLE SECTOR (NZ)||G||6||John Thompson|
|35||348x84972x||ROCK||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes|
|36||27x055167x||SECRET BLAZE||G||6||Tony & Calvin McEvoy|
|37||38x552455x||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||G||6||Chris Waller|
|38||24x371970x||SHE’S IDEEL||M||6||Bjorn Baker|
|39||117×1||SILENT IMPACT||G||3||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott|
|40||2x343x61x2||SINAWANN (IRE)||H||5||Anthony & Sam Freedman|
|41||2513x2x34x||SPANISH MISSION (USA)||H||6||Peter G Moody|
|42||5x151x||SPIRIT OF GAYLARD (NZ)||C||3||Mitchell Freedman|
|43||x03310x49x||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||G||8||Anthony & Sam Freedman|
|44||91x211x||SUREFIRE (GB)||H||4||Chris Waller|
|45||415x290x9x||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||G||7||Gavin Bedggood|
|46||9x5211143x||TARAMANSOUR (IRE)||H||5||Matt Cumani|
|47||606x34205x||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||H||6||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman|
|48||14x613111x||THINK IT OVER||G||6||Kerry Parker|
|49||6x13624x3x||TOP RANKED (IRE)||H||6||Annabel Neasham|
|51||112x21431x||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||M||6||Chris Waller|
|52||510x42133x||WENTWOOD (GB)||G||7||Maddie Raymond|
|53||10x2x8||WORTHILY (USA)||G||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace|
|54||1215x1682x||YONKERS (USA)||G||6||Chris Waller|
|55||75232x528x||YOUNG WERTHER (NZ)||G||4||Danny O’Brien|
|56||D111x1131x||ZAAKI (GB)||G||7||Annabel Neasham|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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