Australian Cup Betting Tips - How does history help us find the winner?

  • Only four favourites have won the Australian Cup since 2000
  • Makybe Diva is the only mare to have won the race this millennium
  • Wide barriers are no disadvantage in this race
Lonhro famously won the Australian Cup in 2004

The Australian Cup (2000m) is one of the iconic autumn races in Melbourne, due in part to some of the champions that have taken out the Flemington weight-for-age feature. 

Makybe Diva (2005) and Northerly (2001 & 2003) are some of the modern-day guns to have won the Australian Cup and who can forget Lonhro's remarkable effort to get up in 2004, when recovering from a hopeless position. 

Lonhro's dad, Octagonal, is another winner of the race, while the likes of Saintly, Better Loosen Up, Vo Rogue and Dulcify feature on what is a rich honour roll. 

If we take a look at the trends of the race since the year 2000 there are a few things to consider in trying to work out just which horse will join that select group this year. 

The ideal lead up to the Australian Cup has always been the Peter Young Stakes (1800m), formerly known as the St George Stakes. The Caulfield Group 2 race has provided 14 of the 19 winners since the year 2000 with four of those completing the double in that time period. A further four have run 2nd before winning the Cup, while five have been unplaced. 

Harlem turned his form around last year, claiming the Australian Cup after running 8th in the Peter Young. The favourite in last year's race, Gailo Chop, was a tearaway winner in the Peter Young but had to settle for 2nd at Flemington. 

This year's Australian Cup features a number of runner from the Caulfield lead up including Avilius, who defeated Trap For Fools by over a length, while Ace High was 3rd. Night's Watch (4th), Ventura Storm (5th), Shillelagh (6th), Harlem (7th) and The Taj Mahal (8th) also come out of that race. 

Avilius has been posted as the $1.95 favourite for the Australian Cup in early markets with BetEasy, while Night's Watch is $11, Ace High is at $13 and Trap For Fools is at $15. 

Contenders in the Australian Cup that weren't in action at Caulfield include Lloyd Williams Melbourne Cup (3200m) winning pair of Rekindling and Almandin. Rekindling is first up after claiming the 2017 edition of the race that stops the nation, while Almandin resumes after winning the Zipping Classic (2400m) last year. Those two are at $13 and $17 in early markets. 

For fans of Avilius, the Australian Cup has generally been a bit of a graveyard for favourite’s with just four horses winning after starting as the popular elect. Fiorente achieved the feat in 2014 as a $1.90 pop, while Lonhro and Northerly both started as favourites when they won.  

However, horses in single figure odds do have a great record in this race and have accounted for 14 of the past 19 winners. Outside of Harlem, those to have started at odds of $10 and above since the year 2000 include the 2015 winner, Spillway ($13) as well as Niconero ($13 in 2009) and Roman Arch ($51 in 2006). Old Comrade upstaged his famous West Australian rival, Northerly, at odds of $10 in 2002. 

The Australian Cup has tended to attract the more seasoned horses in recent, years, particularly some of the stayers that featured in the previous year’s Melbourne Cup. 

Fiorente, Shocking (2011) and Zipping (2010) are among those that came off a Melbourne Cup campaign, which augurs well for the likes of Aviiius, Ace High and Ventura Storm. 

Ace High is the only four-year-old in the race this year and that age group, as well as horses aged six, have provided 12 Australian Cup winners since 2000. Horses in the six-year-old age bracket are Ventura Storm, Muntahaa, Yogi, Sikandarabad and Sound. 

Ventura Storm, Muntahaa and Sikandarabad are among five horses from the Hayes/Dabernig stable. The other two are Harlem and So Is Bon. The Hayes' have accounted for three of the past 10 winners in this race and they were Harlem, Spillway (2015) and Niconero (2009). 

The only jockeys to have won the race twice since the year 2000 are Michael Walker and Craig Newitt. Neither are in action this year. Damien Oliver steers Almandin this year and was a winner on Fiorente in 2014. Hugh Bowman takes the plum ride on Avilius and steered Preferment to victory in 2016.

The 2000m distance at Flemington, combined with the long straight, has generally given all horses a chance of winning the race no matter where they jumped from. 

Interestingly, 14 of the 19 winners have drawn out in the second half of the field, while only four gallopers have won after jumping from barriers 1 through to 4. No horse has won from either Barrier 1 or 3 since the year 2000. Avilius jumps from the inside this year and will have to break that hoodoo. 

Shillelagh, So Is Bon, Muntahaa, Sound, Sikandrabad and Yoi are among those that have drawn out. 

Selection according to trends:

Avilius will need to overcome a moderate record for favourites and has drawn in an awkward spot. The Peter Young Stakes is still the best guide. 10 out of the 14 winners of the Australian Cup didn't salute at Caulfield and of this year's lot, Ventura Storm ticks a number of boxes. 

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