2022 Australian Cup Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 10th March 2022


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The Australian Cup is a 2000m G1 WFA contest, held at Flemington during the Autumn carnival. The $1.5m feature, first run in 1863, is one of the oldest races on the Australian racing calendar, and boasts an honour roll full of champions. The Cup’s King, Bart Cummings, won the race an incredible 13 times in his long and prosperous career, the last of his winners being Sirmione, in 2008.

Looking at the market for this year’s Cup, Dabble has Sydney-sider, Think It Over, favourite at $3.00, ahead of former international galloper, Spanish Mission, at $4.40. Godolphin’s evergreen gelding, Cascadian, and G1 Qld Oaks winner, Duais, are next best at $8.00.

As we know with horse racing, anything can happen and this year’s Australian Cup looks like an open contest. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Australian Cup along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Cascadian (2) – $8.00
Jockey – Damien Oliver 59kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Resumed in fine style, when running 3rd in the G1 CF Orr Stakes, before taking out the G2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield last start. Ran 2nd at his only go this track/distance, in last year’s G1 Mackinnon Stakes behind Zaaki. Handles all conditions, and Oliver sticks. Ticks a lot of boxes in this race. Hard to beat.

2. Think It Over (4) – $3.00F
Jockey – Nash Rawiller 59kg
Trainer – Kerry Parker

Blew his rivals away first up in the G2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick, before finishing a close up 4th in the G1 Chipping Norton, in unsuitable conditions. Gets back on a dry deck here, and Rawiller comes down to maintain the ride. Drawn nicely in gate 4, and is a 5 time winner over 2000m. Deserves to be favourite, and will take plenty of beating.

3. Spanish Mission (10) – $4.40
Jockey – James McDonald 59kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody

Melbourne Cup placegetter, who resumed in the G3 Carlyon Cup at Caulfield. His run was good on that occasion, and his last furlong was strong. The step up to 2000m is ideal, and he gets the services of James McDonald. Respect.

4. Ho Ho Khan (12) – $51
Jockey – Tahlia Hope (a) 59kg
Trainer – Mitchell Freedman

Former Hong Kong galloper, who has hit a purple patch of form since returning to Australia. He bolted in the G3 Hobart Cup two starts ago, before finishing a close up 2nd in the G3 Launceston Cup. Steps up to WFA G1 now, and one would think he has to find a few lengths to be winning this. 

5. Steel Prince (7) – $61
Jockey – Jye McNeil 59kg
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

Returned from a spell in the Peter Young Stakes behind Cascadian, where he was only fair. Should be fitter for that run, and the step up in trip helps, but it’s hard to have him on recent form.

6. Surprise Baby (6) – $41
Jockey – Dean Holland 59kg
Trainer –  Gavin Bedggood

Made good late ground first up in the Carlyon Cup behind Earlswood. The 2000m at Flemington looks to be more suitable second up, and he should have gained plenty of fitness from that run. If he can find some of his best form, he will be in the money, but I’d like to see one more good run before I can entertain him in a race of this nature. 

7. Yonkers (5) – $26
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 59kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Rode the speed and held on well to finish 2nd to Cascadian in the Peter Young Stakes last start. Is a 3 time winner over 2000m, and draws nicely here, but think he might find a few of these a bit too classy. 

8. Callsign Mav (11) – $13
Jockey – Jamie Mott 59kg
Trainer –  Danny O’Brien

Three time G1 winner in NZ, who was good first up in the Carlyon Cup. Will roll forward from the outside gate here, and will be hoping to run the race to his liking. He is yet to win over 2000m, and finds himself in a hard race to try and break that stat. 

9. Delphi (1) – $19
Jockey – Mark Zahra 59kg
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

Led them up, and weakened late to finish 4th first up behind Cascadian. Has a much better second up record, and has won over 2000m. Not sure he’s a G1 WFA horse though, and couldn’t suggest filling out a ticket with his name on it.

10. Maximal (3) – $17
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 58.5kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Over raced first up in the Apollo Stakes, and finished a long last behind Think It Over. The blinkers come off here to help him switch off, and Bowman sticks. His form in the UK was strong, and it’d be no surprise to see him improve sharply in this. 

11. She’s Ideel (9) – $11
Jockey – Jamie Kah 57kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Bonny mare who just missed last time out in the G1 Chipping Norton. Get’s out to her pet trip now (2000m), and looks primed to run another good race third up. Her form on rain affected tracks is stronger than that on dry, which would be the concern going into this race.

12. Duais (8) – $8.00
Jockey – Joshua Parr 57kg
Trainer – Edward Cummings

Resumed in the G2 Apollo, where she raced in constricted room up the straight. It was much of the same second up in the G1 Chipping Norton, where she was held up badly behind a tiring Colette, and only got out late. Fair to say her two runs back have been much better than they read on paper, and the 2000m at Flemington looks ideal third up. She’s drawn nicely in barrier 8, and she will be saved for one run at them in the straight. Flying this prep, and has to be considered a winning chance.

Final Word

This year’s Australian Cup looks to lack a bit of depth in comparison to previous years, but nonetheless should be a great race. Race favourite Think It Over continues to race well, and his last start defeat in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes can be put down to the heavy10 track they raced on. He gets a firmer surface here and the step up to 2000m on a big track looks ideal. He is the one they have to beat. 

Former international and Melbourne Cup runner up, Spanish Mission, has been well found in the market, after his first up run in the Carlyon Cup. His late work was good there, and again will be suited by the step up in trip. Cascadian has come back well this prep, and was a good winner last start in G2 company. You know what you get with him, and there’s no doubt he will be in the finish here.

Sydney mare Duais comes through the same races as favourite, Think It Over, and has been luckless in both of those runs this prep. She arguably should’ve won the G1 Chipping Norton last start, and if she had, would probably be half the quote she is here. UK import, Maximal, can improve at odds after his disappointing first up run in the G2 Apollo Stakes.

So, who do we put on top? I’m going to suggest a two bet strategy. Cascadian and Duais, both around the $8 mark look good value here. As mentioned, you know what to expect from Cascadian. He’s a proven WFA contender, and is racing in great form. He finished 2nd to Zaaki, in the G1 Mackinnon Stakes at his only run this track/distance, and champion jockey D Oliver sticks. 

Duais, on the other hand, looks a bit hit and miss on paper. Her runs this prep have been far better than they appear, and with a good run in transit, she is more than capable of winning this race third up. The long Flemington straight looks suitable, and there should be no hard luck stories post this race.

Best Australian Cup Tip: 1. Cascadian – Win ($8.00) & 12. Duais – Win ($8.00)

If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our Australian Cup page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.