After the 2010 Melbourne Cup third declarations left 47 horses in contention for the $6 million Flemington feature yesterday, bookmakers around the country readjusted their Melbourne Cup betting markets with So You Think and Shocking dominating the odds.
Currently premier online bookie Luxbet have installed Bart Cummings’ dual Cox Plate champion So You Think as the $4.40 favourite to win the 150th Melbourne Cup on Tuesday November 2, with reigning champion Shocking hot on his heels at $4.50.
So You Think has emerged as the superstar of the spring winning his second Cox Plate at just his 10th career start last Saturday and the punters are getting right behind the High Chaparral four-year-old to take out the Cox Plate / Melbourne Cup double for 2010.
Despite the hype, So You Think is definitely no sure thing for the $6 million Melbourne Cup.
Cummings is backing him up in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this Saturday, but if So You Think doesn’t come up to speed there is a chance the Dato Tan Chin Nam-owned entire won’t run in the Melbourne Cup field.
There is also the question of the distance. Can So You Think run out the testing 3200m of the Melbourne Cup? His breeding suggests he can and will, however So You Think is untested over 2040m to date and even jockey Steven Arnold has his doubts.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Street Cry five-year-old burst onto the racing scene with an upset win in the Melbourne Cup 12 months ago is returning this year to defend his title.
With So You Think’s vulnerability in the Melbourne Cup starting to play on the minds of the punters, big money is beginning to roll in for Shocking to become just the fifth horse in history to win multiple Melbourne Cups, the first since the legendary Makybe Diva (2003,2004,2005).
Shocking has had a very different lead-up to this year’s Melbourne Cup than last year.
In 2009 Shocking had been far more consistent with second placings in the Herbert Power Stakes, Coongy Handicap and a Lexus Stakes win pushing him into the Melbourne Cup.
This year the horse has tackled the Melbourne Group 1’s finishing fifth in the Underwood Stakes, second in the Turnbull and a gallant fourth in the Caulfield Cup.
His Caulfield Cup run was especially impressive as he came from near last in the field to power into fourth place, likely to have won over more ground.
Shocking is also backing up in the Mackinnon on Saturday, this race between the hot Melbourne Cup favourites giving punters the best early insight into the ‘race that stops the nation’.
There are a plethora of other Melbourne Cup hopefuls that have all but been forgotten with So You Think and Shocking saturating the media.
Other horses high up the betting markets for Tuesday week’s all important showdown include Luca Cumani’s British galloper Manighar ($13), champion French stayer Americain ($14) who impressively won the Geelong Cup and Queensland star Shoot Out ($16).
Then there’s Caulfield Cup winner Descarado paying a juicy $13 through Luxbet, and Dermot Weld’s classy mare Profound Beauty ($18) who will be looking to improve on her fifth place Melbourne Cup finish two years ago as she enjoys her swansong race before a career in stud.
Further down the market there are generous odds on in-form veteran Zipping ($21) who is assured of a start and in career best form. Punters say he’s too old, but don’t underestimate this warhorse.
Melbourne Cup markets will change dramatically after the Victoria Derby Day results this Saturday.
With the likes of Alcopop, Linton and Precedence all out to win and sneak into the Cup field, Saturday’s meet is not to be missed.
So now is the time to get in on the pre-post markets and lock in your favourites for the Melbourne Cup at the highest price.
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