Flemington Raceway: Australian Cup

March 5, 2018 by

Australian Cup 2018

It’s finally time for the annual Australian Cup to be headed for Flemington racecourse once more, with this year’s event taking place on Saturday the 10th of March. The race is part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and is run over a distance of 2000 metres. The race is run under WFA conditions and horses three years of age and up may enter. The Australian Cup is widely considered to be one of the top weight for age races in the country.

Australian Cup winners generally fit a certain profile, a lot like that of the Cox Plate. Older, more seasoned gallopers tend to trot away victorious. The race is a huge draw-card for what is known as Flemington’s Super Saturday meeting, which also includes the Newmarket Handicap.

Australian Cup History

The very first Australian Cup was run in 1863 and the distance covered back then was 3627 metres. For the longest time, the Australian Cup was the annual premier long-distance even in Australia, even topping the Melbourne Cup.

This changed when the distance was chopped; first in 1943 so that more participants could be allowed in annually and then again in 1964 when it became the 2,000 meters event that it is still today.

The Australian Cup has always been a Group One event, ever since the Group classification method and system came into force in 1979.

Race Format

The start consists of 500m leading up to the first turn. This affords most runners the opportunity to make notable head-way and position themselves favourably on the track. This also ensures that all runners get an equal chance.

During the last decade, the numbers have ranged between 8 and 15, and during the last 30 years, not a single horse has won from the position of Barrier 1. Besides for Barrier 1, the winners have been consistent across the board.

Devise An Option For Australian Cup

This year’s Australian Cup is fast proving to be a feasible option for New Zealand’s Group 1 winner, Shaun Richie-trained Devise. Devise is fresh off the victory boat, having won the very recent Haunui Farm Classic, which was run over a distance of 1600m in Hastings.

The final word on whether Devise will be competing in the Australian Cup will be up to Shaun Richie and should be announced very soon.

The prize money up for grabs is a very cool $1,500,000.

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