THE City of Auckland Cup is a $200,000 Group three race held on New Year’s Day at Ellerslie in New Zealand.
The 2400m staying event is a relatively new addition to the summer carnival at Ellerslie as the Group 1 Auckland Cup was moved from January 1.
The City of Auckland Cup is run on the same day as the Group 1 Railway Stakes which is one of New Zealand’s premier horse racing meetings.
It has become a popular betting race as it’s the best guide to not only the Auckland and Wellington Cups later in the year, but also the staying races held in Australia during the Sydney autumn and Melbourne spring.
Betting is available a couple of months in advance and it usually attracts a wide open field where bookmakers offer some great futures and fixed odds value.
Best City of Auckland Cup bookmakers
All of our bookmakers listed below offer all-in and fixed odds betting on the City of Auckland Cup, but only some open their markets early.
Recent City of Auckland Cup winners
2018: In what was one of his final runs in New Zealand prior to a stint in Australia, Charles Road delivered a strong performance in the City Of Auckland Cup. The gelding raced outside of the leader early in the running before settling just off the pace set up by Gobstopper. Produced at the top of the straight Charles Road hit the front and sustained to the line, starving off a fast-finishing Five To Midnight.
2017: Former Irish import St Jean caused a big upset in the 2017 City of Auckland Cup. The Logan/Gibbs-trained horse finished best in a driving finish which involved a tight four-horse battle. The son of Teofilo wasn’t fancied to win, but it scored the half-head win over stablemate Candle In The Wind which set up a massive trifecta of over $11,000.
2016: On a rainy day in Auckland, $6.90 chance Decorah was too good for them, winning by 1.25 lengths. The Pins mare was trained by the Baker/Forsman stables and although it wasn’t one of the better City of Auckland Cup fields in recent history, it did the job well. Rank outsider Rose of Virginia finished second at odds of $12.40 before eventually taking its place in the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
2015: Delago’s Secret and Surpass battled it out down the Ellerslie straight with Delago’s Secret stealing the win on the line by a head. The Roger James-trained gelding was a well-bred type by Encosta de Lago which didn’t quite fulfil its potential, but with Danielle Johnson in the saddle, the four-year-old was able to get the chocolates at odds of $9.70.
2014: Mosquito was an enigmatic runner for Donna and Dean Logan, but with James McDonald in the saddle, it was able to secure the big win. The five-year-old by Golan was one of the better stayers racing in New Zealand in 2014, but it just didn’t know how to put it all together. It did in the City of Auckland Cup when nosing out the Stephen McKee-trained Chaparrone. Mosquito paid $10.90 for the win which set up a $16,000 first four payout.
2013: Hiace provided one of the biggest upsets in the City of Auckland Cup when winning at odds of $41.50. The six-year-old by Johar wasn’t expected to run in the money, but again with Danielle Johnson in the saddle, it was able to hold off all the challengers. Auckland Cup placegetter El Soldado finished second with Chaparrone running the first of its two City of Auckland Cup placings.
2012: The Oaks Stud scored the win in 2012 when Single Minded scored a 1.25-length victory. The four-year-old had been in solid form that campaign, but bookmakers let it drift to $11.20 for the win. There was plenty of support for favourite Sum Up, which managed only 10th, and 2013 winner Hiace finishing two spots ahead of it. Another big payout was on offer for trifecta and first four players, with the first four paying over $20,000.
City of Auckland Cup betting guide
The race doesn’t have a rich history as it was only created in 2006, but there are some strong betting lines for the City of Auckland Cup.
Red Ruler was the only favourite to win the race at odds of $3 in 2010 and that kicked off a string of winners which paid some handy odds with bookmakers.
Showcause, Single Minded, Hiace and Mosquito all paid double figures in consecutive years and recent winners have paid good each way prices.
The reason why favourites don’t have a good record in the City of Auckland Cup is down to the timing. Stayers aren’t set for summer racing, so the fields usually consist of horses which have been kept in work after a tough spring carnival.
This can throw in upset results as we’ve seen, so punters should look at backing the horses which have had experience at the distance runners which haven’t been set for any major races.
The past winners include a list of promising types which were never able to win the big Group one, so find the runners which have been thereabouts and bet accordingly.
Past City of Auckland Cup winners
2018 – Charles Road
2017 – St Jean
2016 – Decorah
2015 – Delago’s Secret
2014 – Mosquito
2013 – Hiace
2012 – Single Minded
2011 – Showcause
2010 – Red Ruler
2009 – Six O’Clock News
2008 – Pasta Post
2007 – Highflying
2006 – Zarius