Celebrating Avondale Cup & Guineas Day | A look at the Avondale Cup vs Auckland Cup

14 Feb 2023
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Is it really the form setter we proclaim it to be?

With Eagle Technology Avondale Cup Day just around the corner, we took a deep dive into the results from this day and their role as predictors of the outcome for the big races in March; the Trackside New Zealand Derby and the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.

We’ve looked at the correlation between the Guineas and the Derby (check that out here) so now let’s delve into the Eagle Technology Avondale Cup vs the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.

2023 saw both the Avondale Cup and the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup take place at Pukekohe Park due to Ellerslie’s track upgrade.  Platinum Invador triumphed in the significant Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, galloping into the history books as the 149th winner.  He ran a good fifth in the Avondale Cup.  The Group 2 Avondale Cup was won by Aquacade (with owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay donating the purse to the Hawke’s Bay flood efforts).  He ran fourth in the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup a few weeks later.

In 2022, the winner of the Avondale Cup, Hinepara, didn’t start in the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup so we looked to the placings to see what we could find, and it didn’t disappoint with Concert Hall claiming second place in both the Avondale Cup and the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup. Uareastar took out the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.

Concert Hall at Ellerslie after winning the Group 1 Zabeel Classic


In 2021, Ocean Billy’s win in the Auckland Cup was a bit of a fairytale for trainer, Bill Pomare. He ran home for sixth in the Avondale Cup and to then take out the win in the (then) Group 1 feature provided all of the emotions for Bill and his wife who describe Ocean Billy as part of the family. His win went on to secure him a spot in the Lexus Melbourne Cup. Sound showed great form in both races to take second in the Avondale Cup and third in the Auckland Cup.


Once again in 2020, the link between the races was found in the minor placings, with Platinum Invador running second and third respectively. It was veteran galloper, Roger That, however who took out the Auckland Cup for the former sheep shearer, Antony Fuller. Fuller trains a small team of racehorses on his farm in the Bay of Plenty and produced Roger That to upset the favourites at $40 to win, 14 years after his last major victory.

Roger That and Sam Collett, triumphant in the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup 2020


2019 was a memorable year for Sam Collett when she won both the Avondale Cup and the Group 1 feature on Glory Days (with what felt like the whole of Waverley there in support of horse and trainer, Bill Thurlow). It was her first win at the highest level. In what’s seeming like a bit of a pattern, Blue Breeze featured in the placings in both races, taking second in the Avondale Cup and following that up with a third in the Auckland Cup.


A similar narrative continued in 2018 with Wildflower and Five to Midnight running second and third in both Cup races (trading spots however). Wildflower was, however, later disqualified from the Auckland Cup. The big win went the way of Ladies First for Jonathan Parkes. Ladies First was owned by the O’Leary’s who are no strangers to Cup success as they also own Who Shot Thebarman who won both the Avondale and Auckland Cup’s before going on to race in Australia in an astonishing six Sydney Cups, four Melbourne Cups, four BMWs, three Moonee Valley Cups, three Zipping Classics and two Caulfield Cups.

Ladies First coming back to the birdcage after winning the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup in 2018


2017 and 2016 saw El Solado win both races, albeit a year apart, when he took out the Avondale Cup in 2017 after winning the Auckland Cup in 2016.

With the Guineas and Derby providing several two-time winners, the link between the Cups is just as clear with our tip being to watch the placegetters in the Group 2 Eagle Technology Avondale Cup on 17 February as a part of Eagle Technology Avondale Cup & Day – they are likely to pull another placing out of the bag come 09 March so line up that place bet pronto!

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