Mr Brightside draws barrier one in Australian Cup

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Mr Brightside

The Group 1 will headline the 10-race card at Flemington this Saturday afternoon, with a small but select field of nine runners accepting for the 2000m contest.

Four of the nine acceptors come through the All-Star Mile form line, while Legarto is the only runner that brings overseas form into the 2024 edition of the $3 million race.

Although was beaten in the All-Star Mile, the Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained galloper has opened as the +130 favourite with online bookmakers.

The son of Bullbars won both the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes and Stakes in his first two starts this preparation; however, his form at 2000m plus is a query, having raced over the distance three times for one placing.

Closely following the market elect is the All-Star Mile winner, (+170), who led every step of the way over 1600m at last time out.

The Ciaron Maher-trained mare will step up to 2000m for just the second time in her 27-start career, and much like the favourite, there will be questions about her effectiveness over the distance.

Last start Blamey Stakes winner, (+700), has the best record of any of her rivals over 2000m (5:3-1-0) and is undefeated from two starts at the track and trip throughout her career.

The -trained mare was a dominant winner of the Group 1 VRC Champions Stakes during the spring, where she defeated two of her rivals that she will face on Saturday.

Although (+800) hasn't won a race since winning the 2023 edition of this race, the -trained gelding finished off strongly over 1600m last start and he will appreciate the rise in trip fourth-up for the campaign.

Outside of the fancied runners, Legarto (+1400) seems to be the only other horse given a chance, as the -trained mare returns to Flemington for the first time since her Australian Guineas victory last year.

The Australian Cup will be race eight on the Flemington program and is scheduled to jump at 4:15pm AEDT.

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