The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Super Saturday at Flemington this weekend features a double-shot of Group 1 autumn racing action including the 2022 Australian Cup where punters are tipping a return to winning form by the ultra-consistent Think It Over.
A dozen top weight-for-age horses face off in this year’s Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m) with the favourite drawn ideally in gate four with Nash Rawiller continuing associations with the So You Think six-year-old.
Think It Over made a name for himself in the spring winning four of his six starts, including the Rosehill Cup (2000m), as well as finishing third to Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
He kicked things off in the autumn with a nearly three length romp home fresh in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and lost few admirers last time out on a Heavy (10) at Randwick when just over a length back fourth to Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Heading south this weekend Think It Over gets back up to his pet distance of 2000m (10:5-0-1) and sits to of Australian Cup betting at $3.10 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win his Melbourne race debut.
The danger at Australian Cup odds of $4.60 is the Peter Moody-trained import Spanish Mission in barrier 10 with Sydney’s James McDonald in town for the ride.
The former UK stayer was third to Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in his maiden run down under in the spring, before transferring to Moody and running fourth next-up as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m).
He returned on February 12 at Caulfield when only a quarter-length back third in the Group Carlyon Cup (1600m) and is sure to improve the further he goes this prep starting on Saturday.
A further two hopefuls are under double-figures for the win with Edward Cummings’ market mover Duais ($8) the Godolphin-raced Cascadian ($8).
Runner-up in last year’s ATC Oaks before a Queensland Oaks triumph as a filly in the winter, Duais has won just one race since when saluting in October’s Coongy Cup over this distance at Caulfield.
The now four-year-old Shamus Award mare comes via the Think It Over form lines when ninth in the Apollo and sixth in the Chipping Norton, the latter seeing her beaten only one and aa half-lengths as a $91 roughie.
Like many in the Australian Cup field, she presents as a threat getting up in trip in her first Flemington start.
The James Cummings-trained Cascadian looks to break his Flemington maiden after four placings from as many starts at the track (4:0-2-2), the super galloper coming off a Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) win on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
That was last year’s Doncaster champion’s longest distanced win to date, but Cascadian was good at the Australian Cup track / distance last November when runner-up to Zaaki in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
He is third-up, fit and ticking plenty of boxes as he looks to be the first Peter Young Stakes – Australian Cup double winner since Fiorente (2014).
After winning last year’s Australian Cup with Homesman (2021), Anthony & Sam Freedman saddle-up two runners in their bid at back-to-back victories with $71 roughie Steel Prince to be ridden by last year’s winning hoop Jye McNeil from gate seven and Delphi ($21) drawn the rails.
Other standouts in the mix include Bjorn Baker’s Chipping Norton runner-up She’s Ideel ($10) and the Danny O’Brien-trained Kiwi expat Callsign Mav coming off a first-up second in the Carlyon Cup.
2022 Australian Cup Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x545432x31||CASCADIAN (GB)||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||2||59kg||112|
|2||x613111x14||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Nash Rawiller||4||59kg||116|
|3||513x2x34x3||SPANISH MISSION (USA)||Peter G Moody||James McDonald||10||59kg||115|
|4||8850×38112||HO HO KHAN (NZ)||Mitchell Freedman||Ms Tahlia Hope (a)||12||59kg||103|
|5||03310x49x5||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||7||59kg||103|
|6||15x290x9x4||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||Gavin Bedggood||Dean Holland||6||59kg||103|
|7||15x1682x52||YONKERS (USA)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||5||59kg||103|
|8||1223x117x2||CALLSIGN MAV (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Jamie Mott||11||59kg||106|
|9||x6x42107x4||DELPHI (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Mark Zahra||1||59kg||106|
|10||8x2242x6x0||MAXIMAL (GB)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||3||58.5kg||95|
|11||x371970x02||SHE’S IDEEL||Bjorn Baker||Ms Jamie Kah||9||57kg||106|
|12||21x3610x96||DUAIS||Edward Cummings||Joshua Parr||8||57kg||104|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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