The Australian Cup (2000m) takes place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse annually in late February or early March and is the premier middle distance weight-for-age race during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
With a $1million prize fund, it attracts the country’s best middle distance/staying types and is accompanied by the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on what is known as Melbourne’s ‘Super Saturday’ of racing.
Other races on Super Saturday include the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m), Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Matron Stakes (1600m).
The best form race coming into the Australian Cup is the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) held at Caulfield two weeks earlier, with 11 of the past 15 winners coming through the St George.
First run in 1863, the Australian Cup was won by Barwon when the race was a Principal race and run over a gruelling 3627m.
The long and illustrious honour roll lists the who’s who of Australian racing with the most recent winner being Super Cool in 2013.
Other former winners of the Australian Cup include Malua (1886), Marauder (1938), Bore Head (1967), Leilani (1975), Ming Dynasty (1978 & 1980), Dulcify (1979), Hyperno (1981), Bonecrusher (1987), Vo Rogue (1989-90), Better Loosen Up (1991), Let’s Elope (1992), Veandercross (1993), Saintly (1996), Octagonal (1997), Dane Ripper (1998), Northerly (2001 & 2003), Lonhro (2004), Makybe Diva (2005), Zipping (2010), Shocking (2011), and Manighar (2012).