2023 Australian Cup Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Fri 24th March 2023


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The Australian Cup, held over 2000m at Flemington Racecourse, is a Group 1 race worth a whopping $3m. The weight-for-age feature has been taken out by some absolute champions of the turf, since the first running in 1863, but Lonhro’s 2004 win takes the cake for many, as far as memorable victories in the race go.

A full field of sixteen are set to do battle in this year’s Cup, with Godolphin’s evergreen gelding, Cascadian, heading the betting at $3.40 with Dabble. Mo’unga and Right You Are are on the second line at $7.00 ahead of last start winner, Nonconformist, at $8.00.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and these big fields can throw up an unexpected result from time to time. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2023 Australian Cup along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Cascadian (11) – $3.40F
Jockey – Ben Melham 59kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Ran on well first up in the Canterbury Stakes before flashing home into second place in the All Star Mile last weekend. Step up to 2000m third up looks ideal and he gets in well under the weight-for-age conditions against this field. Win, lose or draw, he’s an absolute marvel and is a deserved favourite in this.

2. Regal Power (10) – $91
Jockey – Craig Newitt 59kg
Trainer – John Leek Jnr

All Star Mile winner in 2020, who also has two G1 victories next to his name. Resumed in the Aus Cup prelude here a fortnight ago, where he was just fair to the line. Usually finds a bit second up and will be fitter for that run. Hard to see him winning the race but can figure in the finish at good odds.

3. Mo’unga (15) – $7.00
Jockey – Daniel Moor 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

*This horse has since been scratched.*

Finished just 1.4L behind Anamoe both first and second up this prep before no match for Dubai Honour last Saturday in the Ranvet Stakes. Has finished in the placings both goes at this track/distance in the Mackinnon Stakes of 2021 and 2022, both times behind Zaaki. Barrier doesn’t help his chances and he hasn’t been sighted in the winners stall for over 500 days, but has to be considered a winning chance yet again in this field.

4. Nonconformist (14) – $8.00
Jockey – Jordan Childs 59kg
Trainer – Grahame Begg

Resumed in fine style here at Flemington in the Blamey Stakes, when destroying a smart field over the mile. Second up record is nothing to get excited about, but before this prep he hadn’t won first up either. Clearly come back in good order and the rise to ten furlongs is a tick. Each way chance.

5. Emissary (19) – $14
Jockey – Blake Shinn 59kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Melbourne Cup runner-up who hasn’t been far away in two runs back this prep, the latest a closing third in the Aus Cup prelude here at Flemington. Will jump from the outside gate which isn’t ideal but has enough class to finish in the money if things fall into place.

6. Smokin’ Romans (5) – $26
Jockey – Beau Mertens 59kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Even effort first up in the Carlyon Cup at Sandown before much of the same last start in the Blamey. Third up out to 2000m is a positive and he’s a G1 winner his only go this track/trip. Maps well from the draw and should be ready to show something now.

7. Numerian (1) – $17
Jockey – Jamie Mott 59kg
Trainer – Annabel Neasham

Second of the Neasham-trained runners who rolled forward and fought on gamely first up in the Peter Young Stakes. Will appreciate the rise in trip here and should be able to use the inside gate to full advantage. Not completely out of it.

8. Marocchino (13) – SCRATCHED
Jockey – Troy Turner 59kg
Trainer – Lou Louciani


9. Right You Are (8) – $7.00
Jockey – Ben Allen 59kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Made it five wins on the bounce last start when he was too good for Vow And Declare here in the Aus Cup prelude. He goes to WFA now and this race is stronger than his recent outings, but it’s hard to knock winning form and he has to be respected yet again.

10. Hezashocka (3) – $26
Jockey – Damien Oliver 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Got back to last and failed to run on first up in the Blamey Stakes. Was flying at the end of last prep and had form around some of the better chances here. Should enjoy a good run from the low draw and can improve second up out to ten furlongs.

11. Pounding (9) – $20
Jockey – Luke Nolen 59kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody

Consistent gelding who ran out of his skin last Saturday in the All Star Mile. Form prior was excellent. Query now is the rise in trip here but he’s racing as though it should suit and his only run at the trip was on a heavy track, which he didn’t go a yard in. Not sure he can turn the tables on Cascadian here but should be in the finish.

12. Lunar Flare (16) – $41
Jockey – Michael Dee 57kg
Trainer – Grahame Begg

Second of the Begg runners who was good from the back first up in the Blamey Stakes, despite being no match for her stablemate. Is a winner her only go at this track/trip but the barrier is no help here. Look for another solid finish here and maybe back her next start.

13. El Patroness (6) – $61
Jockey – Patrick Moloney 57kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

G1 winner as a three-year-old who did enough last start in the Matron Stakes here at Flemington. Step up in trip suits and she gets winkers on for the first time, but others look to have stronger form lines leading into this and she’s better suited on rain affected tracks.

14. Steinem (12) – $12
Jockey – Harry Coffey 57kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Talented mare who sprouted wings late to win the Peter Young Stakes last start. Suited here over the Flemington 2000m, where she finished second in the Matriarch Stakes, at her only go. Strips fitter and excels on firm ground. Chance.

15. Bank Maur (7) – $19
Jockey – Jye McNeil 54.5kg
Trainer – Richard Laming

Ran on well to finish fourth in the Australian Guineas before taking advantage of a soft run last Saturday, winning the Alister Clark Stakes at the Valley. Ticked the 2000m box there and is drawn to get a nice run here. Should be rock hard fit now and is suited under the weight-for-age conditions at this time of year.

16. Virtuous Circle (2) – $23
Jockey – Blaike McDougall 54.5kg
Trainer – Liam Howley

Second of the three-year-olds who also comes through the Australian Guineas, where he was very good through the line. Will eat up the extra 400m here and is a genuine knockout hope if he gets the breaks from the inside draw.

17e. Yaphet (18) – $101
Jockey – N/A 59kg
Trainer – Cliff Brown

SA Derby runner-up who didn’t have much luck last start in the Aus Cup prelude. His two runs prior over shorter trips were sound. Hasn’t been done any favours by the barrier draw here and is untried at G1 weight-for-age, but could be worth following in something over further next time.

18e. Campionessa (4) – $26
Jockey – Opie Bosson 57kg
Trainer – Mark Walker

G2 winning kiwi mare who has finished close up behind some absolute machines her past two. Drawn ideally here and is proven at the trip. No doubt the form she brings will stand up and has to be considered a winning chance if she gains a start.

19e. Bear Story (17) – $126
Jockey – Daniel Stackhouse 59kg
Trainer – Clinton McDonald

Former Irish galloper who got back and held his ground first up in the Blamey Stakes. Will appreciate the step up in trip second up here but is drawn off the track and would need to improve half a dozen lengths to be winning.

Final Word

Whilst there may not be any champions in this capacity field, there is certainly plenty of depth to the form guide. The track should be in fine fettle and a genuine tempo should ensure all runners get their chance. Race favourite, Cascadian, is looking to continue his run of good form but favourites have had a bit of trouble winning the race in recent years, with Humidor the last to do so in 2017.

Top Tip: 1. Cascadian – was super from the back last Saturday in the All Star Mile, as he was first up in a hot Canterbury Stakes. Yes, he’s short enough and needs luck in his races, but it’s hard to find anything in this field that deserves to be in front of him in the market.

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1. Cascadian

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Biggest Danger: 9. Right You Are – is flying, as the picket fence beside his name suggests. He will take up a prominent position again here and take plenty of beating, despite this being a tougher assignment than he’s faced of late.

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9. Right You Are

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Best Value/ Roughie: 14. Steinem – is a good mare on her day and her first up win in the Peter Young Stakes suggests she’s come back well. That race is usually a good form reference for this and there’s no reason she can’t make it two from two this prep and claim her first G1 victory.

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14. Steinem

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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.