Reigning Australian Cup winner Zipping has been scratched from this year’s race due to a leg injury.
The Danehill nine-year-old, raced by Lloyd Williams and his wife Susie, had been second pick in the betting for Saturday’s $1 million 2000m feature with Sportingbet Australia which had tightened him from $7 to $5.50 after sustained support.
Meanwhile Bart Cummings was back at Flemington, the track which has made him a household name over decades, to see his Australian Cup prospect Precedence go through his paces on Tuesday morning.
Cummings, who has won 12 Melbourne Cups, has an even better record in the Australian Cup which he has won 13 times, the first with Arctic Coast in 1968 and the last with Sirmione in 2008.
The master trainer was touched off narrowly in last year’s Australian Cup by Zipping who edged out Sirmione by a nose with another Cummings runner Moatize third.
Precedence pleased Cummings with his solo workout on the course proper with the stable’s long-time track rider Joe Agresta on top.
“He went nice,” Cummings said.
“I’m very pleased with the way he’s going at the moment.
“He’s racing as good as ever. If he gets a nice draw he’s a good chance.”
Precedence, who won the Group Two Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) last spring, ran a pleasing Australian Cup trial when second to Heart Of Dreams in the Group Two St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield when second-up from a spell on February 26.
“He drew well and took the short way around. He (Steven Arnold) rode him for luck and he wasn’t quite good enough,” Cummings said.
Australian Cup favourite Heart Of Dreams was at $4.40 with TAB Sportsbet following Zipping’s withdrawal on Tuesday afternoon with Moudre at $5.50, Precedence at $6, Zipping’s stablemate Linton at $8 and 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking at $8.50 with West Australian three-year-old Playing God at $9.