Australian Cup Tips & Preview
AUSTRALIAN CUP TIPS & PREVIEW
Tips will be available following the barrier draw. See our 2021 preview below for an example of what to expect.
A field of 17 has assembled for Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington where Fifty Stars aims for back-to-back wins in the event.
Harlem also aims for his third win in the $1.5 million feature having claimed victory in 2018-19 before finishing 4th last year.
There were less than two lengths between the first eight home in the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and all eight line up in the Australian Cup.
Paradee made it a hat-trick of wins when she took out the Peter Young from Shared Ambition and Homesman, while Steel Prince (4th), Nonconformist (5th), Angel Of Truth (6th), Chapada (7th) and Harlem (8th) finished within 1.8 lengths of the winner.
Every horse had their chance, and the amount of improvement they take from the run will play a big part on Saturday.
Pardee has been in work since August 2020 and had a clear fitness advantage on all of those horses who were either resuming from a spell or very early in their preparations.
It’s hard to knock her winning form, but with a lot more upside for the other seven, at least a few of them should be able to outperform her here.
Nonconformist is third-up and seems to peak around his third or fourth run, and with blinkers on for the first time, I’d expect a big improvement from the son of Rebel Raider – the breed love blinkers.
If you had to pick one runner from the Peter Young that impressed most, it would be Nonconformist as he had to come five wide on the bend and cover plenty of ground but stuck to the task gamely.
He’s improved by an average of five lengths third-up in his two previous campaigns, and with blinkers on a Rebel Raider, I’d be expecting another couple of lengths at least.
Having run 9.8 lengths quicker than standard last start, expected improvement puts him on par or beyond the personal best of all of Saturday’s Australian Cup runners.
As far as the other runners go, reigning champ Fifty Starts looks incredibly hard to beat again.
He got too far out of his ground last start in the Blamey Stakes (1600m) and absolutely motored home from last to grab 2nd place.
His performances rated on par with his win in the Blamey last year before he won the Australian Cup, and he again comes into the race third-up and ready to peak.
Australian Cup Tips & Verdict
Fifty Stars is a deserved favourite and will prove hard to beat, but with blinkers on Nonconformist, he can go to another level and claim victory at double figure odds.
Nonconformist is also unbeaten in two attempts at 2000m and he can make it three from three.