Dual Cox Plate winner Winx is included in the nominations for the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11.
Winx is one of five Chris Waller horses among the sixty-one Australian Cup nominations but she is very unlikely to race in Melbourne during the Autumn as Waller has also ready mapped out a Sydney Autumn Carnival program with her grand final being the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
Winx stretched her winning run to thirteen and claimed her ninth Group 1 trophy when she won her second Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley by a record eight lengths during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Waller’s other Australia Cup nominations are 2016 winner Preferment, Irish import Endless Drama, tough stayer Who Shot Thebarman and promising stayer Antonio Giuseppe.
Cox Plate runner up Hartnell heads up the Godolphin Australian Cup nominations which also includes Ambience, Etymology, It’s Somewhat and Tally.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Almandin heads up the Robert Hickmott trained Lloyd Williams Team which includes Group 1 winners The United States and Gallante as well as Aloft, Assign, Bondi Beach, Hans Holbein, Our Century and Sir Isaac Newton.
The 2016 Caulfield Cup winner Jameka is one of six Australian Cup nominations from the Ciaron Maher stable, the others being Hazzabeel, Kaching, Pornichet, Ruthven and Throssell.
Jamkea was a runaway three lengths winner in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield during the Melbourne Spring Carnival but failed to run out the 3200m when fifteenth to Almandin in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Co-trainers Leon and Troy Corstens are keen to set the record book straight with Awesome Rock who was denied a win in last year’s Australian Cup when relegated to second place on protest after being first across the line in front of Preferment.
The stable did get some consolation when Awesome Rock returned to Flemington on the last day of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival to win the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m).
He’s Our Rokkii, Almooonqith and Seaburge head up the thirteen Australian Cup nominations from the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig while multiple Kiwi Group 1 winner Turn Me Loose will represent Cambridge co-trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.
The first acceptances for the 2017 Australian Cup will be taken on Tuesday 21 February at 12pm with final acceptances on Wednesday, March 8.