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

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

With Avondale Cup & Guineas 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 across Auckland Cup Week®; the Vodafone New Zealand Derby and the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.

We looked at the correlation between the Guineas and the Derby earlier in the month (check that out here) so now let’s delve into the Wallen Concreting Avondale Cup vs the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.


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 – more about that here. 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 Wallen Concreting Avondale Cup on 19 February as a part of Avondale Cup & Guineas Day – they are likely to pull another placing out of the bag come 13 March so line up that place bet pronto!


Given the ever-changing nature of the current COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand, we’re unable to predict what position Auckland will be at come the 19 February; however, we’re keeping a close eye on Government updates regarding the COVID-19 Protection Framework and its impact on events. Click on the link below for the latest updates.