2021 Australian Cup runner-by-runner preview | Flemington R8

Steel Prince

What 2021 Australian Cup
Where Flemington Racecourse – 448 Epsom Rd, Flemington VIC 3031
When Saturday, March 6, 2021 | 4:45pm AEDT | Race 8
Prizemoney $1,500,000
Distance 2000m
Status Group 1
Race Conditions Weight for age; 3YO+; maidens ineligible
2020 Winner Fifty Stars – 59kg (13) | Jockey: John Allen | Trainer: David Hayes

2021 Australian Cup Betting Preview

The Australian Cup honour roll is littered with star stayers, so a win in the prestigious Flemington feature is always well regarded. A massive field of 17 has accepted for the Group 1 over 2000m, and with $1,500,000 on the line it is no surprise to see several stars in the mix. Fifty Stars is looking to defending his title, while past winners Harlem and Humidor are also set to run. The 2021 Australian Cup is set to jump at 4:45pm AEDT.

#1 Humidor (12)

Humidor won this race back in 2017, so it is no surprise to see he has been backed at an each-way price in the early markets. With $18 on offer for the three-time Group 1 winner, it is hard to ignore his chances in the Australian Cup. His first-up run in the CF Orr Stakes was super despite being well beaten, but that was over 1400m and his best performances have come when facing 1600m or further. He has three runs when faced with 2000m, including the 2017 Australian Cup, and it would certainly not surprise us if the veteran gelding takes it out this year.

#2 Harlem (7)

While Harlem’s best racing looks to be behind him, it is hard to completely rule out the winner of the 2018 and 2019 Australian Cups. He was only beaten by two lengths in the Peter Young Stakes, but he does look hard to be with on this occasion.

#3 Fifty Stars (3)

Fifty Stars absolutely flew home in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes on February 27, and the seven-day backup looks to be the perfect recipe for success in the Australian Cup. Connections will be hoping for a similar result to last year, when he managed to take out the Blamey Stakes and then backed it up a week later with a tough run in the Australian Cup. He loves Flemington, has performed well with John Allen on board in the past, and should be right in the finish.

#4 Homesman (14)

Having led the field up in the Peter Young Stakes, Homesman battled on to hold on to third place over the 1600m. The query is whether he can see out the 2000m at this stage of his career, as he has not won at the distance since his Mornington Cup Prelude win in 2018. He will be up on speed but could find a few of these hard to hold out.

#5 Warning (15)

The 2019 VRC Derby winner is back for another campaign. When the Freedman-trained gelding was last at 2000m, he was only beaten a length in last year’s Turnbull Stakes. He then went on to finish midfield in both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup to show he is one of the better stayers in the country. From barrier 15, however, Warning will be towards the rear of the field throughout and will need a genuine tempo to be competitive.

#6 Angel Of Truth (13)

Another runner coming through the Peter Young Stakes is the Hawkes-trained Angel Of Truth, who was only beaten by 1.25 lengths when finishing sixth. Prior to that he struggled to beat home Humidor in the CF Orr Stakes. He has not won in close to two years, but his run in The Metropolitan in the spring when finishing a half-length third suggests he can run a big race at a price.

#7 Best Of Days (17)

The winner of the Carlyon Cup two starts back will need plenty of luck early on from barrier 17 of 17. The Godolphin runner is a genuine on-pace galloper who will be looking to settle just off the leaders’ heels, and if there is a jockey in the country who can do it, it’s William Pike. Best Of Days was left a little flat-footed in the Blamey Stakes last week and needs to make up two lengths on Fifty Stars, so there are too many queries for us to have him.

#8 Steel Prince (11)

The second Anthony Freedman runner in the Australian Cup is the one we want to be with. Having settled three deep with no cover in the Peter Young Stakes, Steel Prince battled on bravely and was only beaten by a length in a bunched finish. He is another runner who will appreciate getting to the 2000m, and with two wins at Flemington he looks hard to beat despite the $13 price on offer. The in-form Jamie Kah sticks and will look to settle him in the first half a dozen from barrier 11.

#9 Chapada (9)

Yet another runner coming through the Peter Young Stakes, Chapada will make his run down the outside of the track in the Australian Cup. He was not beaten far at his last Group 1 assignment at Flemington when finishing third behind True Self. Mike Moroney’s five-year-old gelding was not afforded much luck over the concluding stages in the Peter Young Stakes and will appreciate the wide track of Flemington, so he has to feature in wider exotics.

#10 Platoon (10)

Although he finished off nicely in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes at Flemington last weekend, the step up to Group 1 company looks to be too steep for Platoon. The Parnham-trained gelding looks under the odds at $31.

#11 Shared Ambition (2)

Once regarded as one of the best stayers in the country, Shared Ambition comes into this off a close second in the Peter Young Stakes. If he was greeted with a softer track this Saturday, then he would be in this up to his neck. The Chris Waller-trained gelding has not won on a firm deck since October 2019 in a BM84 at Caulfield, so it is hard to have him despite his first-up win at Randwick on February 6.

#12 Defibrillate (4)

One of the unknowns in terms of black-type races coming into the Australian Cup is the Patrick Payne-trained Defibrillate. Having won nine of 13 career starts, including the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude at Caulfield a fortnight ago, he is a runner on the up. Payne has thrown him straight into the deep end, but as the saying goes, winning form is good form. He will look to savage the line late and must be included in all calculations.

#13 San Huberto

It was a huge return by the Matt Cumani-trained San Huberto when finishing a long neck away from Defibrillate in the Mornington Cup Prelude. He is another runner that will improve even further when getting out to a longer distance, and connections will want a solid performance en route to the Sydney Cup. Staying at 2000m second up is surprising, however, and we are struggling to entertain him as a live chance.

#14 Nonconformist (16)

It was a big run in the Peter Young Stakes by Nonconformist after dropping a little too far back in transit. It may be a similar story in the Australian Cup, as he will need plenty of luck from the wide draw in barrier 16. The in-form Luke Currie sticks on board, but there are just too many queries to justify the $13 on offer.

#15 Miami Bound (8)

The $61 on offer for Miami Bound looks to be unders considering her best racing is done on rain-affected ground. She is expected to be amongst the also-rans.

#16 Miss Siska (5)

Miss Siska has not won in over a year now. Despite a bold runner-up performance in the Carlyon Cup, the mare is hard to have in this.

#17 Paradee (1)

Having strung together a hat-trick of wins, the Danny O’Brien-trained Paradee is one of the main chances in the 2021 Australian Cup. With plenty of the market elects expected to settle towards the rear of the field, the use of barrier one by Craig Williams will be all important. If he can settle the mare just off the leaders’ heels, there is no reason why Paradee cannot put up a picket fence with her fourth win a row.

Best bets for 2021 Australian Cup

$100 betting strategy
$60 win: Steel Prince
$40 boxed trifecta: 3-8-9-12-17

[rmOC_events_list event_ids=1362886_08]


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