Mark Kavanagh Attempts To Break Australian Cup Curse

By: Sarah Fortnum
March 9th, 2011

Trainer Mark Kavanagh will attempt turn around his Australian Cup misfortune when current favourite Shocking contests the race at Flemington this Saturday March 12, 2011.

The successful trainer has been forced to scratch four Australian Cup favourites in just three years.

Favourite Maldivian was scratched due to injury in both 2008 and 2009, while Shocking was withdrawn from the race twice in 2010.

“Shocking improves when he gets to Flemington and he improves when he gets to 2000 metres,” Kavanagh said.

Shocking was taken out of the 2010 Australian Cup field due to a minor hoof issue, and after a large hailstorm caused the rescheduling of the race to the following weekend, the 2009 Melbourne Cup winner was scratched once again.

Mark Kavanagh will be hoping his luck can turn around and allow Shocking to make it to the barriers this Saturday.

“I’m not nervous about the race, but it is a bit hard to get enthused about an Australian Cup,” Kavanagh said.

“It hasn’t been good to me.”

Should Shocking break the curse and run in the 2,000 metre event, Mark Kavanagh is confident that the Street Cry gelding can produce a win.

“Shocking improves when he gets to Flemington and he improves when he gets to 2000 metres,” Kavanagh said.

“Plus, there’s been a little bit of rain forecast for the week and that’ll certainly help, so hopefully it improves his chances.”

Shocking finished seventh last start in the Group 2 Carlton Draught Stakes at Caulfield on February 26, 2011, and his trainer believes he will perform much better this weekend.

“Trackwork was a very good guide,” Kavanagh said following Shocking’s Tuesday morning run.

“I think that’s probably as sharp as I’ve had him, so he’s on his way.”

Shocking has won six of his 26 career starts and has earned himself more than $4.2 million in prize money.

The five-year-old gelding will jump from barrier 12 in the Australian Cup this weekend and he will be ridden by jockey Corey Brown.

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