James Cummings’ in-form headliner Avilius has been installed the odds on favouirte after having a perfect preparation for the 2019 Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Avilius has lived up to his early 2018 Spring Carnival form and has been unbeatable at both of his 2019 Autumn Carnival appearances that saw him win twice at Caulfield in the Group 3 $160,000 TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) February 9 and in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) a fortnight later.
“I would like to think that Avilius hasn’t got much wrong going for him going into the Australian Cup,” Cummings told Moody On The Mic on SEN Radio.
“He is fit and firing. He has had the perfect preparation.”
The Godolphin French import heads the Australian Cup betting at $1.95 at Ladbrokes.com.au and is the only runner under the $10 mark with his nearest rival in the betting being the 2017 Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling at $12.
“He’s continued to thrive which is a relief considering the schedule we’d set for him,” trainer James Cummings said.
“But he’s a horse that’s able to do it because he has a weight-for-age attitude and constitution.”
“He’s been a revelation, he deserves to win a Group One race.”
“This is his moment.”
Hugh Bowman was aboard Avilius for his Peter Young Stakes win and gets the ride again in the Australian Cup and is certain to give the five year old every chance from the inside gate in the fifteen horse field.
The Lloyd Williams owned – Liam Howley trained Rekindling has been off the scene since winning the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival and the Macedon Lodge Team will also saddle up 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin.
Almandin has drawn barrier two with Damien Oliver in the saddle while Rekindling will jump from barrier nine for Ben Melham.