A spectacular finale to Flemington racing
More than 11,000 people flocked to Flemington for the final day of the Flemington Racing Spectacular to witness evergreen galloper Cascadian win the $3 million Group 1 TAB Australian Cup (2000m).
Ridden by Ben Melham, the eight-year-old gelding registered his first success at Flemington after nine attempts. The win gave trainer James Cummings his first victory in the race, which also counts Bart Cummings AM and brother Edward Cummings on the honour roll.
Cascadian finished ahead of runner up Numerian and third placegetter Pounding, with first and third coming off strong performances in The All-Star Mile last week.
The win provided Ben Melham with his third of the day, after taking out the Sunlight Classic with What You Need and combining with James Cummings to win with Kallos in the ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap.
The Listed Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m) offered the first of six golden tickets into the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup with Goldman taking home the prize for trainers Gai Waterhouse OAM and Adrian Bott.
Goldman secures his place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup field in the same year Gai Waterhouse celebrates 10 years since her famous victory in the Cup with Fiorente.
Special guests on TAB Australian Cup Day included Australian Paralympian and VRC ambassador Emma Booth, 7Horse Racing’s Grace Hayden and Chairman of the Good Friday Appeal and Herald and Weekly Times Penny Fowler.
TAB Australian Cup Day continued the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) partnership with the Good Friday Appeal to raise much needed funds for The Royal Children’s Hospital, with racegoers contributing $18,000 to the Good Friday Appeal today.
The total charitable contribution made by attendees during February and March at Flemington for the Australian Childhood Foundation, Child and Racehorse Movement and the Good Friday Appeal was more than $60,000.
Singer-songwriter Bella Paige, most famously known for finishing runner up on The Voice Australia Season 7, performed the Australian national anthem in the Mounting Yard before the running of the feature race.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the Flemington Racing Spectacular proved popular with VRC members, participants and the public.
“This was the first year Flemington hosted a standalone TAB Australian Cup Day and it was a huge success, with over 11,000 people on track enjoying the good weather, entertainment, food and beverage and first-class racing,” Mr Rosich said.
“Cascadian is a fan favourite and it was a memorable win for James Cummings who continues the incredible association of the Cummings family with the TAB Australian Cup.
“Nearly 50,000 people have attended Flemington Racecourse over four Group 1 race days in February and March, proving the new-look autumn program was a success with opportunity for growth in 2024 and beyond.”
The next race meeting at Flemington will be ANZAC Day Race Day on Tuesday 25 April.