Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes is giving dual Australian Cup winner Harlem a great chance of claiming a third straight win in the $1.5m 2000m weight for age Group 1 at Flemington on Saturday.
Harlem provided two upset wins in the last two year when he arrives at $61 in 2018 to beat Gailo Chop and Ventura Storm and then repeated the performance twelve months later to beat Shillelagh and Trap For Fools as one of the outsiders again at $31.
Ben Hayes trains in partnership with his father David Hayes and cousin Tom Dabernig and believes that Harlem is shaping up better than when he claimed an Australian Cup double last year.
“He’s flying and all his work suggests he’s improved,” Ben Hayes told AAP.
“He’s structurally very sound. He’s an eight-year-old now but everything looks like it’s firing very well.
“He’ll run a great race.”
Harlem has had the same preparation in the lead up to the 2020 Australian Cup as he had in the two previous years with a first up 4th fourth in the Group 3 $160,000 Supergardens TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield on February 8 followed by a close up fifth in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield a fortnight later.
Pre-post betting for the Australian Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Harlem marked at $11 while the Chris Waller trained Kings Will Dream sits at the top of the market order at $5 just ahead of the Western Australian trained four year old Regal Power at $6.
The Lindsay Park Team could have up to five runners in the Australian Cup with last Saturday’s Blamey Stakes winner Fifty Stars ($8.50), European imports Cape Of Good Hope ($26) and Constantinople ($31) and six year old So Si Bon ($81) are among the nominations.