2021 AUSTRALIAN CUP - RACE HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
The Australian Cup is a Group 1 race for open class WFA horses conducted by the Victoria Racing Club at Flemington.
The Australian Cup is run over 2000m and was introduced in 1863. It is run under Weight For Age conditions now but was a handicap until 1979. The first running was taken out by Barwon.
It was run at Caulfield in 2007 when Flemington was under reconstruction and won by Pompeii Ruler.
The Australian Cup is an outstanding race through history, mostly since it became WFA. 3yos haven't had a great record during that period. Super Cool won in 2013 but it was back to Saintly before that in 1996.
Even since that WFA change, Melbourne Cup winners have subsequently run well in the race including Let's Elope, Makybe Diva, Shocking and Fiorente plus others who ran very well in November.
One of the greatest upsets in Australian racing history came in 1988 when two elite horses Bonecrusher and Vo Rogue were expected to fight the race out.
However despite Vo Rogue kicking clear inside the 400m, Dandy Andy flashed home at 125-1 prompting caller Bill Collins to say "Goodness Gracious Me". Vo Rogue would get revenge winning the next two editions.
Mares have not been to the fore with the last winner being Makybe Diva in 2005. There have only been four in the last 32 years.
Almost every winner in the last decade ran in both the Orr Stakes and the St George (Peter Young) Stakes. Those that didn't run in both, invariably at least ran in one and won the Cup.
Bart Cummings had an incredible record taking the Australian Cup 13 times.
Tom Hales rode the winner on eight occasions in the 1800s.
Harlem won at 60-1 in 2018. He did not win another race until the 2019 running when he won at 30-1. While he couldn't make it three in a row in 2020 coming fourth, the stable did with Fifty Stars.
The 2021 Australian Cup was worth $1.5million in prizemoney.
Previous winners of the Australian Cup include Malua (1886), Spearfelt (1927), Gay Icarus (1971), Leilani (1975), Ming Dynasty (1978, 1980), Dulcify (1979), Hyperno (1981), Bonecrusher (1987), Vo Rogue (1989, 1990), Better Loosen Up (1991), Let's Elope (1992), Veandercross (1993), Saintly (1996), Octagonal (1997), Northerly (2001, 2003), Lonhro (2004), Makybe Diva (2005), Shocking (2011), Fiorente (2014) and Harlem (2018/2019).
The 2020 Australian Cup was won by Fifty Stars from Regal Power and Vow And Declare.