Trainer Bjorn Baker is snug about the chances of...
Boom Kiwi galloper Lion Tamer has stormed into equal favouritism for the Melbourne Cup 2011 after the Murray Baker-trained stayer claimed an upset win in the $350,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on the weekend.
Winner of the Victoria Derby last spring as a three-year-old, Storming Home stallion Lion Tamer returned down under on Saturday for the 2011 Underwood Stakes to kick-start a Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign targeting the iconic $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 1.
After resuming with an eye-catching fourth to Mufhasa in the Group 1 Challenge Stakes (1400m) back home in New Zealand last month, Lion Tamer displayed their claims for a spring elite level in Oz this year with a powerful victory in the Underwood.
Ridden by Michael Rodd, Lion Tamer ($16) powered home over the 1800 metres to snare a one and a quarter length victory over South Australian filly Southern Speed ($31) in the Underwood Stakes 2011 result, the Robert Hickmott-trained spring Cups hopeful Midas Touch ($9) finishing off the trifecta a further neck back for third.
Michael Moroney’s imported stayer Glass Harmonium ($5.50) was a further two lengths away again in fourth just ahead of WA star Playing God ($7.50).
Race favourite, the Peter Moody-trained Lights Of Heaven ($4.80) failed for the second time in a row and could only manage to cross ninth, one behind Melbourne Cup-bound New Zealand mare Scarlett Lady ($11) who ran eighth, and one ahead of former Melbourne Cup winner Efficient ($41) who ran tenth for their first run in two years.
Following the surprise Underwood Stakes finishing order, Australia’s leading online bookmaker Luxbet made a major reshuffle of their 2011 Melbourne Cup odds.
Lion Tamer has been slashed from $15 into the equal $9 Melbourne Cup betting favourite with Mark Kavanagh’s emerging star December Draw, winner of the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on Underwood Stakes Day.
History is against the emerging Lion Tamer, however, with only two horses able to achieve the unique Victoria Derby – Melbourne Cup double in successive springs in the past 80 years – Par Lap (1930-31) and Efficient (2006-07).
Underwood Stakes third-placegetter, the Lloyd Williams-owned Galileo four-year-old import Midas Touch is the $13 second-favourite following their brilliant run on Saturday while Scarlett Lady remains at $14 in the Melbourne Cup markets at Luxbet.
The biggest Melbourne Cup market drifter following Saturday’s Caulfield race results was Shamrocker, originally the $12 co-favourite Danny O’Brien’s talented mare is out to $21 after running a disappointing 13th beaten over 15 lengths in the Underwood.
“She hung out of control and never ever completed in the race,” Shamrocker’s jockey Glen Boss said of Saturday’s effort.
“It was pretty disappointing.”
There is also a high chance that connections will first take Lion Tamer to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 and attempt to emulate the feat of champion So You Think who won the Underwood Stakes – Cox Plate double last year.
For the Cox Plate 2011, Luxbet now have Lion Tamer rated an $18 chance, in from their $21 quote pre-Underwood win.
To get in on all the spring betting action including futures markets for the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup, visit Luxbet today.
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2011 Underwood Stakes Finishing Order & Results
|1||8||LION TAMER (NZ)||Murray Baker||Michael Rodd||–||6||58kg||$16|
|2||15||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Danny Nikolic||1.25L||12||56kg||$31|
|3||5||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||1.45L||2||59kg||$9|
|4||7||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Ms Lisa Cropp||3.45L||11||59kg||$5.50|
|5||9||PLAYING GOD||Neville Parnham||Steven Parnham||3.55L||14||58kg||$7.50|
|6||3||HEART OF DREAMS||Mick Price||Damien Oliver||3.95L||13||59kg||$6|
|7||6||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||4.15L||9||59kg||$17|
|8||13||SCARLETT LADY (NZ)||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||James McDonald (a)||4.35L||7||56kg||$11|
|9||14||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||4.85L||3||56kg||$4.80F|
|10||1||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||8.85L||4||59kg||$41|
|11||12||BRAZILIAN PULSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Craig Newitt||11.1L||8||56kg||$51|
|12||2||MASTER O’REILLY (NZ)||Judy Mawer||Matthew Allen||14.85L||1||59kg||$201|
|13||11||SHAMROCKER (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||15.05L||5||56kg||$13|
|14||10||RIGHT OF REFUSAL||Nigel Blackiston||Michael Walker||15.25L||10||58kg||$101|
|–||4||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||–||0||–||–|
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