Australian Cup Best On Breeding... By Kristen Manning

Exospheric on the way to the barriers in the Peter Young Stakes. Photo courtesy Geo Hillis Photography.

Exospheric on the way to the barriers in the Peter Young Stakes. Photo courtesy Geo Hillis Photography.

One of the best and most popular horses of the 1980s, grand mare Emancipation made her mark on and off the track and one of the favourites for this year's Australian Cup is one of her descendants.

That is Stratum Star who is attempting to become the first Redoute's Choice line horse (his sire Stratum is a Golden Slipper winner) to claim Australian Cup victory.

Losing last year's Australian Cup on protest, Awesome Rock would be a deserved winner. He is by Fastnet Rock who sired 2013 winner Super Cool and his dam is the Gr.3 winner Awesome Planet.

Three of the last five Australian Cups have been won by imports and there are three in this year's race; The United States (by Galileo out of two times Group winner Beauty Is Truth), Exospheric (another grandson of Sadler's Wells, he is a descendant of the legendary Pretty Polly) and Tom Melbourne (by Dylan Thomas) whose dam is a half-sister to 2014 Australian Cup winner Fiorente.

Lining up for a second crack at the Australian Cup, Mourinho is by Danehill stallion Oratorio from a strong international family that has produced the outstanding stallion Storm Bird.

Despite being one of the better middle distance/staying type stallions of recent times, High Chaparral is yet to be represented by an Australian Cup winner but has a chance in the shape of Ecuador, a full brother to NZ Gr.1 winner Pondarosa Miss.

The sire of 2011 Australian Cup winner Shocking, Street Cry has Tally in this year's race. He is out of the Listed winning imported mare Itemise.

Bred along very similar lines to successful stallion Magnus, the in-form Boom Time is by Flying Spur from the family of Black Caviar who on this weekend six years ago won the Newmarket.

The family descending from famed matriarch Mumtaz Mahal has enjoyed immense influence in this part of the world, one of its finest being the 1997 Australian Cup winner Octagonal. Also, a descendant is this year's combatant Humidor whose third dam, the champion UK sprinter Habibti, is a half-sister to Octagonal's dam Eight Carat.

It could be a big day for breeder Rick Jamieson whose Gilgai Farm produced not only a Newmarket contender (The Quarterback) but also an Australian Cup favourite in the shape of Jameka, daughter of Myboycharlie and a mare by General Nediym - dam sire of last weekend's Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc.

2005 saw the wonderful Makybe Diva win the Australian Cup and her sire Desert King has another talented daughter running this year, the flashy chestnut Real Love. Boasting an interesting pedigree (line-bred to her own fifth dam Sans le Sou), she is out of the Gr.3 winner Flaming Heart.