Australian Cup – Runner By Runner

The Wolf’s Runner by Runner guide to The 2018 Australia Cup run over 2000m at Flemington this Saturday. The race is steeped in history and has been won by champions such as Northerly, Lonhro, Fiorente and most recently by Humidor. Here are The Wolf’s thoughts on the 2018 Australian Cup.

2018 Australian Cup Flemington Race 
Best Bet Single Gaze to WIN ($8.50)
Quinella 1, 2, 11 ($20 for 666.67%)
First 4 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 ($40 for 33.33%)
2018 Australian Cup

1. Hartnell ($7.50)
Barrier: 6

Trainer: James Cummings

Jockey: Craig Williams

Hartnell has won a Group 1 over this track and distance before and if he is able to run up to that performance here he’ll go close. He romped home in the G1 Turnbull by over three lengths when beating home a class field of gallopers including Jameka, Our Ivanhowe & Happy Trails. Admittedly he may not be going as well compared to that day when he won, but he’s a star galloper and being third up stepping out to 2000m should spark improvement.

2. Almandin ($6.00)
Barrier: 11
Trainer: Liam Howley
Jockey: Damien Oliver

2016 Melbourne Cup winner who resumed well last start at Caulfield narrowly being defeated by Homesman. He’s a very classy animal having won three times at Flemington all at a distance of 2500m and further. He’s a talent and being second up into this he should be cherry ripe to win. The Wolf expects he’ll push forward from the wide draw and

3. Ambitious ($23)
Barrier: 12
Trainer: Anthony Freedman
Jockey: Damian Lane

Ambitious is a Japanese import who’s best run has seen him finish fourth behind the all-powerful Maurice in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn). There’s no doubt he is talented but there are doubts around how wound up he will be for his first run in Australia. His trial at Cranbourne leading into this was only fair, as the rider had to pull the stick to ensure he would be able to keep up with the field and be in the finish. There are too many unknowns around this galloper, and on that The Wolf is prepared to let him go around without him.

4. Gailo Chop ($2.75)
Barrier: 10
Trainer: Darren Weir
Jockey: Mark Zahra

Gailo Chop has had a faultless 2018 campaign and is looking for his third win in a row. At each start of this campaign as he bounced straight to the lead and is yet to be headed from there. He’ll do the same again here and give himself every chance on the speed. Against him however is that there is a stack of speed on the inside of him and with three Liam Howley runners you can be assured that one of them will employed to pester him on the speed. He won’t get his own way at the front of the field and The Wolf expects he’ll be doing too much work throughout the run to win here. Place chance at best.

5. Ventura Storm ($31)
Barrier: 2
Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig
Jockey: Regan Bayliss

Ventura Storm finished seven lengths behind Gailo Chop & co. last start and even though he is second up it is hard to see how he’ll reverse that margin here. The inside draw should allow him to take up a position on the speed, but of the stablemates he is the lesser fancied of the two in The Wolf’s eye.

6. Supply And Demand ($34)
Barrier: 9
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Jockey: Stephen Baster

Supply And Demand is the likely speed of the race along with Gailo Chop but he doesn’t look up to this level. He’ll put himself in the race but he’s yet to record a Group 1 win and The Wolf is happy to oppose him. Not here.

7. Harlem ($31)
Barrier: 4
Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig
Jockey: Michael Walker

Harlem was poor last start, however The Wolf is expecting sharp improvement from him here stepping up to 2000m. He found himself too back in the field last start on a track that favoured those on speed and from there battled away to finish second last. He’s drawn well in barrier 4 for this and with Michael Walker on he should be looking to settle him on the speed. The Wolf is expecting an improved run from Harlem however he doubts it will be good enough to win.

8. Lord Fandango ($34)
Barrier: 1
Trainer: Archie Alexander
Jockey: Jordan Childs

Finished 16 lengths behind Gailo Chop in the Peter Young Stakes last start. The Wolf is struggling to see how he will turn this margin around.

9. The Taj Mahal ($7.00)
Barrier: 7
Trainer: Liam Howley
Jockey: Ben Melham

The Taj Mahal finished fourth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes last prep over this course and distance and off that looks a contender to win this. He followed his fourth placing up with a dominant all-the-way win in the Group 2 Sandown Classic over 2400m. He’s talented and should be in the finish, but of the Lloyd Williams trio he is the second pick behind Almandin.

10. Homesman ($11)
Barrier: 3
Trainer: Liam Howley
Jockey: Michael Dee

Homesman won well in his first Australian start in the Mornington Cup Prelude, when beating home Almandin. He’s Group 1 placed at Belmont in the United States and he looks a serious cups contender moving forward. However, Ben Melham hops off Homesman to ride The Taj Mahal which has led The Wolf to believe that The Taj Mahal is a better winning chance. Not here.

11. Single Gaze ($8.50)
Barrier: 5
Trainer: Nick Olive
Jockey: Kathy O’Hara

Little Single Gaze is yet to record a win since basing herself in Melbourne but she looks an excellent chance to breakthrough here. She’s placed on three occasions since racing exclusively in Melbourne; with her best run producing a second to Boom Time in the G1 Caulfield Cup. She’s since placed behind Gailo Chop in the G2 Peter Young Stakes and The Wolf suspects she’ll be able to turn the tables on him here. Nick Olive stated during the week that she has put in her best work heading into this which enhances The Wolf’s confidence. She’ll get the gun run behind the predicted speed battle with clear running room in the straight go home the winner. This is her race and The Wolf has her on top.

12. Devise ($19)
Barrier: 8
Trainer: Shaune Ritchie
Jockey: Chad Schofield

NZ import who won the Group 1 Haunui Farm Classic last start at Hastings. This was a top win, but the Australian Cup is in a whole new league. Not here.

The Wolf’s Top 5

The Wolf is keen to side with Single Gaze who expects will get the gun run behind the leaders and get the win for Team Canberra, ahead of Almandin who loves Flemington and should be ready to peak second up.

1 – Single Gaze
2 – Almandin
3 – Hartnell
4 – Gailo Chop
5 – Harlem

Bet on the latest 2018 Australian Cup market here.