A look at the history of G1 Australian Cup

A look at the history of G1 Australian Cup

AUSTRALIAN CUP

Run at Flemington over 2000m, $1.5 million, weight-for-age

HISTORY

* First run in 1863 when won by Barwon

* Weight-for-age since 1979 except for 1982-86. 1863-1942 run over 18 furlongs, 1943-62 17 furlongs 110 yards, 1963 14 furlongs, since 1964 10 furlongs (2000m)

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Tim Whiffler (1867); Malua (1886); Grand Print (1964); Craftsman (1965-66); Gay Icarus (1971); Leilani (1975); Ming Dynasty (1978-80); Dulcify (1979); Hyperno (1981); Bonecrusher (1987); Dandy Andy (1988); Vo Rogue (1989-90); Better Loosen Up (1991); Let’s Elope (1992); Durbridge (1994); Saintly (1996); Octagonal (1997); Northerly (2001, 2003); Makybe Diva (2005); Zipping (2010); Fiorente (2014); Preferment (2016); Humidor (2017)

TALKING POINTS

* Bart Cummings holds the record with 13 victories

* David Hayes with five runners – Ventura Storm, Harlem, Muntahaa, So Si Bon and Sikandarabad, has four wins to his credit, the latest Harlem last year his first in partnership with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig

* Jockey Tom Hales won the race eight times during the 1800s

* Harlem will be aiming to be the seventh dual winner following Woodman (1865/66); Welkin Prince (1962/63); Craftsman (1965/66); Ming Dynasty (1978/80); Vo Rogue (1989/90); Northerly (2001/03)

* Avilius is aiming to be the 13th horse to win the Peter Young Stakes-Australian Cup double. Latest was Fiorente in 2014

* Only six mares have won the race since 1964. Shillelagh will attempt to become the first since Makybe Diva (2005)

* Oldest winners: Yootha (1969) and Zipping (2010) aged 8. Almandin (9) is this year’s oldest

* Preferment won on protest from Awesome Rock in 2016

* Makybe Diva (2005) holds the race record of 1.58.7

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

“Since stepping foot onto an Australian racecourse, he has continued to raise the bar and has earnt his moment to fight for a time honoured Group One trophy” – Avilius’ trainer James Cummings

“This preparation is all about the Melbourne Cup. We want to see how he measures up at weight-for-age and then we can plot a program after that” – Muntahaa’s co-trainer David Hayes

“He’s a horse we work by himself, not in company, so he is hard to get a line on, but he’s a real stayer and does things like a stayer” – Sound’s trainer Mike Moroney

“He’ll enjoy the step up to 2000 metres and the speed in the race” – Ace High’s trainer David Payne

“I wanted the ride on her because of her performance in the Mackinnon Stakes last spring. I thought that run showed that Flemington, over 10 furlongs, at weight-for-age, she could mix it with our best horses” – Shillelagh’s jockey Craig Williams

Credit: AAP