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Godolphin’s French import Avilius confirmed his favourtism for the 2019 Australian Cup with a first up win in the Group 3 $160,000 TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield last Saturday.

Avlius, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2019 Australian Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Avilius, above, is the short priced favourite for the 2019 Australian Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Avilius is now the $2.80 clear cut favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 9.

The James Cummings trained Avilius was having his first run following a disappointing effort when twenty-second behind Cross Counter in the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Avilius appeared to put that tough run out of his system and showed plenty of dash at the end of the 1600m of the Carlyon Cup to come from well back in the field to record a three quarters of a lengths win with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.

Cummings will keep Avilius to a light 2019 Autumn preparation and is already planning a weight for age campaign for the 2019 Spring Carnival.

“I’m of the view that a light autumn will suit him nicely,” Cummings said.

“We’ll then be looking at the best weight-for-age races of the spring, he may not have anywhere to hide by then, so WFA racing will be his future.”

Avilius will have one more lead up run into the Australian Cup in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 23.

The European import was quick to acclimatize Down Under and rapidly worked his way up through the grades with four wins from his first four starts on Australian soil which saw him secure a spot in the Melbourne Cup with his victory in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington.

Avilius followed up that win with a fourth to Winx in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 27.

On the second line of betting for the Australian Cup is the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Night’s Watch who resumed for a third behind Avilius in the Carlyon Cup.

Early betting for the 2019 Australian Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.80 Avilius, $6 Night’s Watch, $11 Extra Brut, Homesman, $14 Alizee, $15 Johannes Vermeer, $16 Best Of Days, $17 D’Argento, Grunt, Land Of Plenty, Rekindling, Unforgotten, $21 Sikandarabad, The Taj Mahal, $26 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.