With the illustrious Melbourne Cup creeping round the corner, the nation excitedly waits in anticipation for the showcase race of the Spring Racing Carnival to arrive. While the trainers vigorously prepare their hopeful horses and the soon-to-be spectators start shopping for their outfits, the punters are already getting on board with the action as the ante-post betting markets for the Melbourne Cup are now open.
The first nominations for the race have all been received by the VRC, and the list of entries was announced in early August. Already the favourites and outsiders are emerging, in what looks to be a top quality field, but isn’t it always?
The Melbourne Cup is recognised globally as one of the great value races of the season, offering a massive betting prize pool, and for those punters who know their Cup history, runner’s form and are confident enough to begin betting, then there are some generous priced odds available early on.
The 2009 Melbourne Cup entries are down on last year with 230 nominations, 39 of which are international horses, including one of the current ante-post betting favourites, Irish mare Profound Beauty. The Dermot Weld trained Profound Beauty is leading the Melbourne Cup betting, sharing her early favouritism with last year’s winner Viewed, who went into the 2008 race with long priced odds of $40, but now sits with Profound Beauty at $15. Viewed is one of the “Cups King” Bart Cummings eleven contenders for this year’s Melbourne Cup, as he sets his sights on a 13th triumph.
Other Melbourne Cup nominations popular with the punters and backed by the bookies are three-year-old stayer Changingoftheguard ($17), South Australian Derby winner Rebel Raider ($17) and Roman Emperor ($21).
Of course the odds will change closer to the race as soon as the privileged 24 runners for the final field are chosen from the nominated entries by a qualified panel of VRC committee members. The horses that will race in the Melbourne Cup are chosen according to a strict set of qualifying conditions and requirements including their past performances and placings in flat races of 2300 metres or further in the last two years.
For punters who find the no guarantee of ante-post betting too risky, the final field will be announced after the last race on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 31, at approximately 7:30pm.