The Melbourne part of the autumn racing carnival reaches a peak tomorrow with the running of the Australian Cup over 2000 metres at Flemington. As Australian Cup fields go, it’s pretty uninspiring and to my jaundiced eye, it appears that Theseo has the race in the bag. However, one can never trust to the form being spot on, as witnessed last week, anything can happen to change the fortunes of the runners. Theseo’s main threats appear to be the redoubtable Niconero, last start winner Road To Rock, or one of the mares Zarita and Arapaho Miss. Pre Eminence really stuffed up last week, getting really fizzed up pre race and ruining his chances, but if he is back to his best he might run a place.
There are two other Group One races at Flemington and one in Sydney. In Melbourne a big field (23 runners) will contest the Newmarket Handicap, a sprint over 1200 metres. Northern Meteor returns in this race. He won the Coolmore Stud Stakes back in spring. Also in the mix is Burdekin Blues, going great guns, Scenic Blast, Swiss Ace, a surprise winner last start, Secret Flyer, Triple Honour, who cannot be overlooked, and Time Thief who is not without a hope after his very good run in the Australia Stakes when he ran third behind Apache Cat.
The Cadbury Guineas a 1600 metre race for three year olds also has a crack field of talented colts and geldings. Will Von Costa De Hero behave himself and fulfil his potential this time round? Fravashi is the deserving favourite, but there are other chances in Heart of Dreams, Niconero’s little brother Nicconi and the interesting Huxssen, unbeaten so far this autumn.
There are several other interesting races at Flemington for the follower of form. The Group 2 Kewney Stakes sees Gold Water and Gallica fighting it out again. But before that race I was interested to see that old favourite Sugar Babe has returned to racing. She will be up against the current in form filly Dameselfly in the MSS Security Stakes. And I am very much looking forward to seeing Typhoon Tracy racing in the Schweppervescence Trophy. Rostova.is back as well in the Sire’s Produce Stakes. She was disappointing in the Blue Diamond, but there are excuses for her performance, so if she is back to her best she should win.
And, how could I forget, Whobegotyou, the hyped colt of spring is making his debut autumn racing appearance in the last race at Flemington.
At Randwick the Group One Chipping Norton will be run, Tuesday Joy is the favourite, but the race also has Melbourne Cup winner Viewed, AJC Derby winner Nom De Jeu, Mentality and giant killer, Gallant Tess running. Tuesday Joy came second in this race last year, beaten by Casino Queen.
All Silent, winner of the Emirates Stakes in the spring, starts his autumn campaign in the Liverpool City Cup. His target this autumn is the hallowed Doncaster Handicap. The gutsy filly Romneya will be taking on the mares in Sydney this weekend in the Group 2 Surround Stakes.
Despite the fact that some of the sparkle has gone out of the autumn carnival with Samantha Miss out with an injury and Weekend Hussler being spelled, it looks like a good day of racing tomorrow. The excitement continues on Monday where I will be interested in the performances of Augusta Proud and Coubertin who are racing in Adelaide. I won’t be placing any bets as my tipping form has been shocking so far this year. I therefore won’t put a jinx on any of my black book horses, by laying money on them.