FEATURE RACE PREVIEW: AUCKLAND CUP

The expert racing tips and analysis for the Auckland Cup at Ellerslie in New Zealand with Betfair’s NZ form analyst Jason Tan. Read our feature race preview for the Auckland Cup, including tips, speed map, race history profile, runner-by-runner analysis and betting strategy. Auckland Cup tips are brought to you by the Betfair Hub!

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AUCKLAND CUP | PREVIEW AND TIPS

The Auckland Cup is an iconic Group 2 race over 3200m open to all horses and run at Set Weights & Penalties. It’s held at Ellerslie, an undulating, right-handed turf track.

Race Patterns from the last 10 years

  • The key lead-up race is the Avondale Cup. Typically run 3-weeks before, five of the last 10 Auckland Cup winners have had their lead-up run in the Avondale Cup, with three of them winning the double (Sangster, Who Shot Thebarman and Glory Days).
  • Five favourites have won the Auckland Cup, with two second-favourites saluting first.
  • El Soldado won in 2016 at a $125 SP.

SPEED MAP RACING TIPS

There isn’t a great deal of pressure in the Auckland Cup, with horses like ROGER THAT, MOHAKA, EMBER ATTACK and HE NO OPOLIO working forward towards the lead, before steadying quickly once their spots are found.

SOUND is drawn to get an ideal run close to the leaders and might force the pace from the half-mile.

CONCERT HALL can settle in the first-half of the field, although, I’d expect they’ll be concentrating on having her relax early, which could see her take a spot a touch further back.


AUCKLAND CUP | FINAL FIELD & TIPS+ RACING TIPS

1. SOUND (5) (Rated Price $6.00)

He’s placed in the last two Auckland Cups and his lead up runs have been sound in races that weren’t run to suit. Has to concede weight all round but is drawn to get a soft run and be given his chance again. Probably racing as well as previously, but a slight query staying a strong 3200m.

2. CONCERT HALL (11) (Rated Price $2.75)

Concert Hall is thrown-in under the weight conditions of the race and was excellent running 2nd in the key lead-up Avondale Cup where she carrier 59kgs. She can take up a handy position, although with a slight query over the 3200m, they’ll be keen to have her relax first and foremost. She’s got a brilliant turn-of-foot and could prove to be a class above her opposition here.

3. LINCOLN KING (8) (Rated Price $19)

He’s run well in lessor quality 3200m races like the Wellington Cup (1st in 2022) and the New Zealand Cup (4th in 2021 & 2nd in 2020). Should get a perfect trip off the speed before looking to track into the race at the 800m. Doesn’t have the class that Concert Hall has.

4. ROGER THAT (12) (Rated Price $51)

Upset winner in 2020 when he sustained a long run when scoring. Last year wasn’t a factor off a different race shape. He’s been running okay in his lead up to this with a strong last-200m in the Avondale Cup, and it’s his trainer’s single focus of his prep. Place chance most realistic though.

5. HURRY CANE (4) (Rated Price $11)

He’s not been free of issues, but is a talented staying type. Progressed well in his lead-up runs to this and against Swords Drawn produced the best last sectionals of race. He has a trainer who is a brilliant horseman and should relish the 3200m. Will get back and run at them late. Worth specking at a price.

6. TE AKAU CALIBURN (10) (Rated Price $41)

Purchased as a Cups horse, but hasn’t delivered on expectations. He has the best trainer/jockey combo (Richards/Bosson) in the country and has been building to this target well-enough. That said, he still must find a couple of lengths to be considered a genuine winning hope.

7. SWORDS DRAWN (1) (Rated Price $36)

An enigmatic galloper that might be capable of winning this if he can progress again following his last-start win, but I’m not convinced given how often he’s failed to meet expectations. He’s drawn to get an economical run and is best held-up for a late sprint at them.

8. STARRYBEEL (6) (Rated Price $25)

He’s racing very well without a great deal of luck, but his racing pattern of settling back and running on always leaves him exposed to that. He lacks the class of Concert Hall, but is up to most others in the race.


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9. JOE’S LEGACY (7) (Rated Price $41)

He ran very well in this race two years ago, and his staying record is very good. Doesn’t win much, but he shouldn’t be stopping over 3200m when others will be. His lead-up runs have been okay for this. He’s my best roughie.

10. HE NO OPILIO (9) (Rated Price $51)

Can roll along on the speed and stay on. He’s one-paced and lacks class, but he is suited by the distance. His last-200m was nearly as good as Concert Hall’s in the Avondale Cup, but has weight-swing against him. Isn’t the worst.

11. HIT THE ROAD JACK (3) (Rated Price $36)

Another who finished well in the Avondale Cup and can run well. He lacks early speed, but he’s often been asked to move mid-race, sometimes with success. Another horse who could pick up minor prize-money.

12. TARWYN (17) (Rated Price $201)

Looks well-outclassed and has a few other things against him, like a poor barrier draw and ability to stay.

13. CHARRED (2) (Rated Price $251)

Also looks out-classed.

14. EMBER ATTACK (14) (Rated Price $251)

Maiden winner that got surprisingly close in the Avondale Cup (beaten 6.7-lengths). No here though.

15. HOUSE OF CARTIER (15) (Rated Price $21)

Unorthodox prep for this race, but she is capable even though only the winner of 3-races. Her mum won the Auckland Cup in 2012 under James McDonald and she could get into the finish with a patient ride.

16. MOHAKA (13) (Rated Price $25)

Her form level is not much inferior to House Of Cartier. She was 3rd in the Avondale Cup and only 2-lengths behind Concert Hall, but 4.5kg worse off compared to her in weight they’ll carry in the Auckland Cup. Can place.

17. UAREASTAR (16) (Rated Price $25)

She’s got some upside as a stayer and was okay in her last start in the Wellington Cup (1.1-lengths behind Lincoln King. Hasn’t run since then (29 January 2022), so it would be a top training effort for her to be competitive with that gap between 3200m starts.


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SUMMARY

The 2022 Group 2 Auckland Cup over 3200m is run at Set Weights and Penalties, which ideally suits CONCERT HALL.

This is a high-class Group 1 mare that will only carry 56kg and not conceding much weight to others. She can take a position in the first half of the field in the running and has the best turn of foot. If they don’t run hard, then she’ll outsprint them. But if it’s a staying test, then that might reveal a chink in her armour. She’s well worth betting though at better than $2.75.

SOUND had another crack at the race and is a leading chance again. He doesn’t win often and has had his chances though. HURRY CANE is a nine-year-old, but relatively lightly raced. Caught the eye running the fastest last-600m, 400m & 200m of the Nathans Memorial, one of the lead-up races to the Auckland Cup and his trainer is a great conditioner of thoroughbreds. Worth a smaller bet at $11+.

LINCOLN KING won the Wellington Cup over 3200m, and whilst he’ll need to another peak performance, he stays better than most others. JOE’S LEGACY is a blow-out chance over the distance. He hasn’t won much, lacks class and has had issues, but he is very much a staying type suited by 3200m.


JASON TAN’S AUCKLAND CUP SELECTIONS & TIPS

2. Concert Hall
1. Sound
5. Hurry Cane
3. Lincoln King
9. Joe’s Legacy


AUCKLAND CUP | BETTING STRATEGY & TIPS

Betting with a 5 unit outlay.

BACK (WIN) — Concert Hall for 3.75 units at $2.75+

BACK (WIN) — Hurry Cane for 1 unit at $11.00+

BACK (WIN) — Joe’s Legacy for 0.25 units at $41.00+

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