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French import Gailo Chop is the only Darren Weir trained galloper among the twenty-six first acceptances for the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10.

Gailo Chop, above, is the only Darren Weir trained galloper among the first acceptances for the 2018 Australian Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Gailo Chop, above, is the only Darren Weir trained galloper among the first acceptances for the 2018 Australian Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Weir’s last year’s winner Humidor and Japanese import Tosen Stardom were also both nominated for the Australian Cup but will now miss the feature Autumn Carnival weight for age race and concentrate on the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Weir said that Humidor won’t be defending his Australian Cup title after being behind in his Autumn Carnival preparation and is likely to step for the first time this year in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

“He’s (Humidor) just a fortnight behind the rest of them,” Weir told RSN927’s Racing Pulse.

“He’ll run next Saturday in the Futurity, go into the Blamey and then head up to Sydney.”

Dual Group 1 winner Tosen Stardom has had one run back from a spell and has taken longer than expected to get over his tough first up effort when eleventh to Hartnell in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 10.

“He’s alright now but it’s obviously not the ideal way to start a preparation,” Weir said.

“He’ll be fine but we’ll just poke around with him and probably change plans a bit now and maybe go to the Blamey (Stakes) to give him some time to get over the run and then head up to Sydney for the Carnival.”

Gailo Chop is a winner over the Flemington 2000m when he led all of the way to take out the 2015 Longines Mackinnon Stakes and has returned for the Autumn in winning form with a first up victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield on February 10.

C.F. Orr Stakes winner Hartnell is still in the mix for the Australian Cup and was the only James Cummings trained horses among the first acceptances.

Craig Williams was able to drive Hartnell through the pack to record a tough first up win in a blanket finish with less than a length separating the first seven placegetters.

The last two Melbourne Cup winners Almandin and Redkindling are two of six Lloyd Williams owned gallopers listed in the first acceptances for the Australian Cup and are joined by Johannes Vermeer, The Taj Mahal, Homesman and Aloft.

C.F. Orr Stakes runner up Single Gaze is still in the mix as is the 2016 Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon.

2018 Australian Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has Gailo Chop as the $4.50 favourite just head of Hartnell at $6.50, The Taj Mahal at $7 and Single Gaze at $10.

Early betting for the 2018 Australian Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Gailo Chop, $6.50 Hartnell, $7 The Taj Mahal, $10 Single Gaze, $11 Harlem, Lord Fandango, Prized Icon, $13 Abbey Marie, Almandin, Ambitious, Johannes Vermeer, $21 Levendi, Main Stage, Rekindling, Sully, $26 Homesman, Singling, Ventura Storm, $34 or better the rest.

The final field for the 2018 Australian Cup will be released on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

First acceptances for the 2018 Australian Cup (2000m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight
1 22x12290x1 HARTNELL (GB) G 7 James Cummings 1 59kg
2 111x21402x ALMANDIN (GER) G 8 Liam Howley 2 59kg
3 0x1401241x REKINDLING (GB) H 4 Liam Howley 3 58.5kg
4 0x24x45x0x AMBITIOUS (JPN) H 6 Anthony Freedman 4 59kg
5 x0143150x1 GAILO CHOP (FR) G 7 Darren Weir 5 59kg
6 2x054420x2 SINGLE GAZE M 5 Nick Olive 6 57kg
7 45712x232x JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE) H 5 Liam Howley 7 59kg
8 6202720×24 PRIZED ICON H 4 Kris Lees 8 59kg
9 1x5x76200x VENTURA STORM (IRE) G 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 9 59kg
10 111×220342 SUPPLY AND DEMAND G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 10 59kg
11 446925041x THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE) H 4 Liam Howley 11 58.5kg
12 515x2114x3 LORD FANDANGO (GER) H 5 Archie Alexander 12 59kg
13 00x72586x6 ABBEY MARIE M 5 Michael Kent 13 57kg
14 6x515867x2 HARLEM (GB) G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 14 59kg
15 23x11432x8 SULLY (NZ) G 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 15 54.5kg
16 6822063×34 WYNDSPELLE (NZ) H 4 Michael Kent 16 59kg
17 3059x1153x WHEAL LEISURE M 4 Archie Alexander 17 57kg
18 2x412153x HOMESMAN (USA) G 4 Liam Howley 18 58.5kg
19 1x1661x5 LEVENDI C 3 Peter Gelagotis 19 54.5kg
20 x090x56111 SINGING (FR) H 8 Kris Lees 20 59kg
21 9x12x1397x ALOFT (IRE) G 6 Liam Howley 21 59kg
22 3x212135x4 MAIN STAGE (NZ) G 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 22 54.5kg
23 4339332215 JACQUINOT BAY G 10 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 23 59kg
24 23328×1342 DEVISE (NZ) M 4 Shaune Ritchie 24 57kg
25 204x77x52x SPIRITJIM (FR) H 8 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 25 59kg
26 49x431x162 VALIANT SPIRIT G 3 Daniel Williams 26 54.5kg

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.

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