A look back at the TAB Australian Cup undercard

30 March 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

A look at some of the stories from TAB Australian Cup Day at Flemington.

Winning streak continues for Sans Doute 

Sans Doute has increased her winning sequence at Flemington to four with victory in the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m). 

The Mark Walker-trained mare started her sequence of wins in a benchmark 70 race over 1000m in December before scoring successive wins over 1100m on January 20 and March 2. 

Ben Gleeson, Walker’s assistant trainer based at Cranbourne, said the mare had taken him by surprise after she was unplaced at Seymour back in October. 

“It is hard to believe that she was running at Seymour a few months ago and running plain,” Gleeson said. 

“Her confidence is skyrocketing. 

“We had a chat about her tactics and that win at Flemington made all the difference. Since then, Mark has said to use those tactics, and it has made all the difference.” 

Sydney trip on the cards for Tobeornottobe 

The Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock stable would like to see the rain stay away from The Championships in Sydney over coming weeks. 

The team is looking to send Tobeornottobe to Randwick for the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) on April 13 after her victory in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m). 

Tobeornottobe contested the early stages of the Blue Diamond Series at Caulfield, running second on debut in the Preview before running fourth in the Prelude last month. 

“She’s an absolute ripper,” Griffiths said. 

“She did everything right in the lead ups, and unfortunately, she got a little cut on her, and she couldn’t run in the Blue Diamond. 

“We elected to wait for this, and it has paid dividends.” 

Griffiths is unsure how Tobeornottobe will handle a wet track and would prefer she did not have to find out in the Percy Sykes. 

“She’s quite athletic and has good leg speed, so she might get through it,” Griffiths said. 

“We’d prefer it dry, but you never know.” 

Senegalia ridden by Celine Gaudray wins the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Handicap at Flemington. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Senegalia back in form on straight 

The Ciaron Maher-trained Senegalia showed great fight to land the Melbourne Cup Tour Handicap (1100m) and continue her liking for the Flemington straight. 

Now a five-year-old, Maher said Senegalia had continued to furnish the more racing she has and importantly now has a strong record down the Flemington straight. 

“She just keeps improving, this mare. She’s furnishing and she’s got a really good record down the straight,” Maher said. 

“It was just a beautiful ride. She (Celine Gaudray) decided halfway down the straight that she wasn’t happy, and she pulled the horse to the outside. 

“That was the winning move, and she timed the run to perfection.” 

The Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on April 20 is likely to be the mare’s next outing. 

Arran Bay strikes again 

Arran Bay has continued his liking for the Flemington circuit claiming the Furphy Mile (1600m). 

The Phillip Stokes-trained galloper scored over 1400m at Flemington two starts back before jumping to Listed company at Caulfield last start. 

Stokes praised the ride of Daniel Stackhouse who had the galloper in a forward position. 

“Stacky knows the horse well,” Stokes said. 

“He doesn’t like horses around him, and we knew he’d be strong. Every preparation he seems to be getting better. 

“We raised the bar last start, and he was in his right race here.” 

The Listed Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on April 13 is likely to be Arran Bay’s next assignment. 

Riding honours were shared by Blake Shinn and Michael Dee with two winners each while Ciaron Maher also notched a double.