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The Lloyd Williams owned Melbourne Cup winners Almandin and Rekindling are among the fifty-three nominations for the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10.

Last year's Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling, above, is among the nominations for the 2018 Australian Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling, above, is among the nominations for the 2018 Australian Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Almandin carried Williams’ famous navy blue and white colours to victory in the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington but then finished well down the track last year when twelfth to Rekindling with Corey Brown donning the blue and white.

Rekindling was scheduled to return to Melbourne Cup winning trainer Joseph O’Brien’s stables in Ireland but will now stay under the care of William’s new trainer Liam Howley at Macedon Lodge for his Autumn Carnival campaign.

As well as Almandin and Rekindling, the Williams – Howley combination have also entered Aloft, Homesman, The Taj Mahal and Johannes Vermeer who finished second in the 2017 Melbourne Cup for legendary Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir will be looking for back to back wins in the Australian Cup with last year’s winner Humidor heading the stables three entries which include his Group 1 winning imports Gailo Chop and Tosen Stardom.

Humidor was a popular winner in last year’s Australian Cup but turned villain when he pushed Australian’s Queen  Of The Turf Winx to the limit when half a length second to her in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Sydney’s premiership winning trainer Chris Waller will be aiming for another Australian Cup win after gaining the trophy in 2016 with Preferment on protest and has nominated Calculated, Comin’ Through, D’Argento, Kaonic and Merovee.

The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig are strong in numbers again with thirteen contenders among the Australian Cup nominations with the in-form ten year old Jacquinot Bay included with them.

First acceptances for the 2018 Australian Cup will be on February 20th with the final field to be declared on March 6th.

Nominations for the 2018 Australian Cup (2000m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer
1 400x72586x ABBEY MARIE M 5 Michael Kent
2 111x21402x ALMANDIN (GER) G 8 Liam Howley
3 9x12x1397x ALOFT (IRE) G 6 Liam Howley
4 0x24x45x0x AMBITIOUS (JPN) H 6 Anthony Freedman
5 1111x1160x BONNEVAL (NZ) M 4 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
6 6x129x233 CALCULATED C 3 Chris Waller
7 5338x1160x COMIN’ THROUGH G 4 Chris Waller
8 11×1 D’ARGENTO C 3 Chris Waller
9 23328×1342 DEVISE (NZ) M 4 Shaune Ritchie
10 17x425659x ESHTIRAAK G 3 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
11 7x0143150x GAILO CHOP (FR) G 7 Darren Weir
12 6754×05133 GOLDEN MANE G 7 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
13 86x515867x HARLEM (GB) G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
14 4340x4687x HARLOW GOLD (NZ) M 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
15 822x12290x HARTNELL (GB) G 7 James Cummings
16 747x46880x HE’S OUR ROKKII (NZ) G 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
17 2x412153x HOMESMAN (USA) G 4 Liam Howley
18 2x6813520x HUMIDOR (NZ) G 5 Darren Weir
19 126x69650x INFERENCE H 4 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
20 4339332215 JACQUINOT BAY G 10 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
21 45712x232x JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE) H 5 Liam Howley
22 311x KAONIC (NZ) C 3 Chris Waller
23 11x KENTUCKY BREEZE G 3 Levi Kavanagh
24 1x1661x LEVENDI C 3 Peter Gelagotis
25 x515x2114x LORD FANDANGO (GER) H 5 Archie Alexander
26 3x212135x MAIN STAGE (NZ) G 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
27 6x122x5 MEROVEE C 3 Chris Waller
28 133x9152x MURAAQEB C 3 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
29 213x00118x ODEON (NZ) G 4 Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra
30 6×32122 PERSIAN EMPIRE (NZ) C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
31 21983839×8 PETROLOGY G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
32 x6202720x2 PRIZED ICON H 4 Kris Lees
33 0x1401241x REKINDLING (GB) H 4 Liam Howley
34 12x2273x SALSAMOR (NZ) C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
35 423040×314 SAVVY DREAMS (NZ) M 4 Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen
36 060x0057x7 SEABURGE H 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
37 11x322114x SIN TO WIN (NZ) G 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
38 x090x56111 SINGING (FR) H 8 Kris Lees
39 12x054420x SINGLE GAZE M 5 Nick Olive
40 1106x7354x SPECTROSCOPE (USA) G 5 James Cummings
41 204x77x52x SPIRITJIM (FR) H 8 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
42 212411x13x STAMPEDE H 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
43 23x11432x SULLY (NZ) G 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
44 1111×22034 SUPPLY AND DEMAND G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
45 446925041x THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE) H 4 Liam Howley
46 22x536181x TOSEN STARDOM (JPN) H 7 Darren Weir
47 49x431x16x VALIANT SPIRIT G 3 Daniel Williams
48 41x00x0479 VELOX (GB) G 8 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
49 1x5x76200x VENTURA STORM (IRE) G 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
50 11x13118x1 WAIT A SEC (NZ) G 7 Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen
51 4x3x1 WEAPON C 3 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
52 3059x1153x WHEAL LEISURE M 4 Archie Alexander
53 x6822063x3 WYNDSPELLE (NZ) H 4 Michael Kent

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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