A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Bookmakers around the country have re-opened betting on the 2011 Melbourne Cup following the release of first acceptances for the ‘race that stops a nation’ yesterday, gun Kiwi galloper Lion Tamer reclaiming sole favouritism for the $6.2 million handicap.
With the Melbourne Cup 2011 date set for Tuesday November 1 at Flemington, 79 horses remain in the field for the testing two-mile showdown.
Prior to Melbourne Cup first acceptances, the Murray Baker-trained Lion Tamer and Mark Kavanagh’s imported Flemington track specialist December Draw were installed as the $9.50 co-favourites at Luxbet.
In the updated 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup odds, Lion Tamer remains at $9.50 but December Draw has drifted out to $11 through Luxbet.
Last-start winner of the Underwood Stakes (1800m), Storming Home four-year-old Lion Tamer will seek back-to-back Group 1 wins this Saturday when they face off against a quality field of fellow spring hopefuls in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Meanwhile, five-year-old December Draw is unlikely to run again until either the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) Saturday week or the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 after they bought their Australian race record to five wins from six starts with a final-stride victory in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Sunday.
The next-best fancied Melbourne Cup runners in the latest Luxbet markets are Anthony Freedman’s German import Lucas Cranach ($12) and defending Melbourne Cup winner Americain ($13).
Lucas Cranach worked at Werribee in an eye-catching gallop on Tuesday, jockey Corey Brown impressed with what the talented galloper showed him.
“His work was good, he was very clean in the wind and would not have blown out a candle,” Brown said after partnering the horse for their work, which included Lucas Cranach running a 600 closing sectional in 34.5 seconds.
“He’s obviously very fit.”
Meanwhile, the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Americain is likely to have his final lead-up before attempting back-to-back Melbourne Cup victories in the $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day after not being accepted for the Caulfield Cup 2011 at third declaration stage yesterday.
Following the top four Melbourne Cup 2011 betting selections at Luxbet are the Robert Hickmott-trained stablemates At First Sight and Midas Touch both paying $15.
The imported duo, both by champion Irish sire Galileo, have shown great form in Australia with At First Sight last seen running second to December Draw in the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on September 17 while Midas Touch ran third to Lion Tamer in the Underwood on the same day.
After being dually nominated for both the Herbert Power Stakes and Caulfield Stakes on Caulfield Guineas Day this Saturday, Hickmott paid up for both At First Sight and Midas Touch for the latter at acceptance stage this morning.
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