Gai Waterhouse’s Fiorente is set to claim his second cup at Flemington in the past six months as he lines up the raging $2.15 for this Saturday’s G1 Australian Cup at Flemington. He’ll come up against eight opponents including two three year olds, Shamus Award and Thunder Fantasy. Shamus Award already has a victory of Fiorente and his coming off a strong win last weekend in the Group 1 Australian Guineas, is on the second line off betting at $4.00 with Thunder Fantasy at $9.00. The only other runner under double figures is Chris Waller’s Foreteller at $8.50.
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1. FIORENTE – D Oliver (8) 59kgs
Fantastic win first up in the G2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago. The 6yo settled three back in the running line and Oliver was mindful, being his first run back from an intense spring campaign, that he only did what he had to do on him to get him home. The horse’s natural ability and will to win saw him register a nose win over Mourayan with Star Rolling third. He’ll be fitter again, appreciate the 2000m at Flemington and is the one they have to beat.
2. GREEN MOON – C Schofield (9) 59kgs
The 2012 Melbourne Cup winner didn’t reach the same heights during last year’s spring campaign and finished a long way off Fiorente in last year’s Cup. He too returned a fortnight ago in the G2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) where from barrier seven, he took a forward position to sit outside of the leader Star Rolling. The 7yo chased valiantly and finished less than a length from the winner Fiorente in fourth spot. His run peaked late in the Peter Young and he’ll be fitter again. Better if able to be ridden with some cover but that may be tricky for Schofield from the widest gate.
3. MOURAYAN – S Arnold (2) 59kgs
The rising nine year old almost pulled off a big upset when running second to Fiorente in the Peter Young Stakes a fortnight ago. Being first up from a spell, not much was expected from last year’s Sydney Cup winner but a cheap run on the leader’s back; saw him placed to advantage in the run home. Ran unplaced in this race last year second up after contesting the G1 Futurity (1400m) but is better prepared for the race this year and after his latest run, would be capable of another bold showing.
4. FORETELLER – C Newitt (5) 59kgs
The Dansili 7yo returned from a twelve week break in the G1 C. F. Orr Stakes (1400m) early in February where, in a small field and moderate pace, his effort to run fourth behind Moment Of Change was an honest one. His next and most recent start was last fortnight’s Peter Young Stakes where he tagged eventual winner Fiorente as the field swung for home. He didn’t have the acceleration to go with the winner by was still right on his tail on the line, 1 ¼ lengths away in fifth place. He’ll enjoy the step up to 2000m and be hoping for an honest speed up front. Expect him to tag Fiorente again in the run and whilst it’s hard to see him getting the better of Fiorente, he’ll certainly keep him honest.
5. STAR ROLLING – B Rawiller (7) 59kgs
He has been building up nicely in each of his three runs back from a fifteen week spell and looks ready for this, his first attempt at a Group 1 race. The 4yo by Casino Prince was beaten a lip by Chase The Rainbow second up in the G3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) before setting the tempo in the G2 Peter Young Stakes a fortnight ago. He led until the final few bounds and was only caught on the line behind superstar Fiorente and Mourayan who was afforded a cheap run on his back throughout. Here, with 3yo Shamus Award likely to roll forward, Star Rolling may be able to get a nice trail during the run and would not need to improve much of last start to figure in the finish again.
6. VOLEUSE DE COEURS – G Boss (1) 57kgs
One of two mares in the race, this imported 5yo made her Australian debut in last year’s Melbourne Cup. She did well to finish tenth, eight lengths off Fiorente and Mike Moroney has now had a few months since then to have the horse further acclimatise. Her staying record in Europe was strong and improving all the time. Whilst a win here may be too much to ask first up, would think she’ll be a runner to keep close tabs on moving forward.
7. LET’S MAKE A DEAL – M Rodd (6) 57kgs
Progressive mare who rounded out last preparation with a second placing in the G3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and then finishing third behind Precedence and Sertorius in the G3 Queen Elizabeth (2600m). She returned from a spell in the G2 Peter Young Stakes and finished second to last, almost 6 ½ lengths form the winner Fiorente. That was her first attempt under WFA conditions and whilst she’ll be better for having had the run, she’ll find this race no easier.
8. SHAMUS AWARD – C Williams (4) 54.5kgs
He knows the right races to win does this Snitzel colt. His two wins from twelve starts have been the G1 Cox Plate and last weekend’s G1 Australian Guineas. Last week’s victory was his second run back from a spell and saw him dictate from out in front. He was strong late against what may prove to be, a very gifted generation of gallopers. As he did in the Cox Plate, he’ll be leading the way again and capitalizing on the weight advantage he has as a younger horse. He’ll take plenty of running down.
9. THUNDER FANTASY – M Zahra (3) 54.5kgs
Showed signs of above average ability last spring and rounded out his campaign by finishing third in the VRC Derby behind Polanski. The Anthony Cummings’ trained galloper has obviously spelled well judging by his two fantastic efforts since returning to racing last month. From on on-pace position, he was able to hold off all challengers in the G2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) and register a 1 ¾ length win before, last week, finishing hard behind Shamus Award from the second half of the field, to run third (1.2 lengths). A son of Lucky Owners, he looks ready made for the 2000m and on his recent efforts, deserving of his shot at a G1 race.
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Shamus Award will show the way with Star Rolling handy – they should be able to set a tempo to their liking. If those who came up against Fiorente last time couldn’t beat him then, it’s hard to see how they’ll turn the tables on him here. Oliver will be able to put him into the race at the time of his choosing and his class should do the rest. Foreteller will tag him throughout and the step up to 2000m should give them opportunity to fill a place.
- SHAMUS AWARD
- STAR ROLLING
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.