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Australian Cup

1

VOW AND DECLARE

[1.00/5.67]

[6-8-6-0-0]

2

AVILIUS

[0.50/2.07]

[7-9-30-0-0]

3

SUZUKA DEVIOUS

[0.45/1.42]

[11-0-25-4-0]

4

HARLEM

[0.31/1.60]

[3-6-14-2-1]

5

KINGS WILL DREAM

[0.50/2.47]

[2-10-13-1-0]

6

REGAL POWER

[0.75/3.92]

[6-15-9-1-1]

7

FIFTY STARS

[0.11/1.07]

[3-3-17-4-1]

8

MIRAGE DANCER

[0.10/1.07]

[2-6-15-7-0]

9

SOUTHERN FRANCE

[0.17/0.96]

[9-2-23-12-0]

10

HUSH WRITER

[0.55/2.33]

[3-7-8-2-0]

11

VENICE BEACH

[0.72/2.48]

[16-12-21-5-0]

12

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE

[0.11/1.00]

[8-6-26-12-2]

13

CONSTANTINOPLE

[0.08/0.96]

[5-6-25-12-0]

14

MISS SISKA

[0.54/1.80]

[7-4-14-3-0]

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Australian Cup in recent years has been that it is largely dominated by imported horses. As we have come to expect in Australian middle distance races, the local horses often are a bit behind their imported counterparts, especially when we are talking about horses that have had their opportunity to acclimatise to local conditions. 

The interesting runner then is Vow And Declare, last year's Melbourne Cup winner. We may note that his dosage profile at [1.00/5.67] [6-8-6-0-0] looks very high for a Cup winner. But we must look at the big picture and I always warn about horses that have trivial profiles as is the case here when no individual rating is over 10. Vow And Declare is a son of War Front out of a mare by Rahy, an important yet unaccounted staying influence. If we look at the progeny of War Front we see that the average winning distance of his progeny is 10 furlongs, which is in excess of both his sire and damsire. There appears little doubt that he transmits stamina to his progeny and if we tentatively classify him as a Classic/Professional influence although still very early in his career, we see that Vow And Declare would then have a dosage index of [0.11/1.40] [6-8-14-0-8] which fits very well with past Melbourne Cup winners. 

That does not necessarily help us on Saturday, although it would seem to bring him into contention. He has yet to win first up although he has probably never started at 2000m in his comeback, so there are lots of queries about him. We also have to wonder about the way the Cup was run as I am yet to be convinced that it was a true test with farcical pace that negated the chances of a lot of the overseas horses even though about half the field finished within a couple of lengths of the winner. This just does not happen in the Cup so we are happy to wait and see what he does this time around. 

Past winners have dosages that are all under 2.00 apart from Zipping (2.25) and the imported Spillway (3.00) although he again had a trivial dosage profile with some likely unaccounted stamina influences close up in his pedigree. In terms of dosage, there are plenty in this likely range, but I think the most suited looks to be Miss Siska, an improving type of mare who seems to be maturing into a good quality stayer.  The other one that I think might be a chance at odds is Southern France who again does not have a great first up record but was impressive in winning the Sandown Cup and may well have improved under local conditions. Lots of chances though, but I think Miss Siska each way will give you a good sight.