Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Defending Melbourne Cup winner Americain has been reinstated at the top of the 2011 Melbourne Cup odds, the French-trained stayer equal favourite for the ‘race that stops a nation’ with boom German import Lucas Cranach.
Betting markets on the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), which will run as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1, underwent a major shake-up following the results of the Caulfield Guineas Day races over the weekend.
Prior to Saturday’s racing the Murray Baker-trained New Zealand stayer Lion Tamer was the sole $9.50 favourite in the Melbourne Cup 2011 betting markets at Luxbet.
The last-start Underwood Stakes winner, however, failed to come within eight and a half lengths of Gai Waterhouse’s Cox Plate-bound Descarado when running eighth to them in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
Lion Tamer has since drifted out to $15 in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet, which are now lead by $10 co-favourites Americain and Lucas Cranach.
This Saturday the Anthony Freedman-trained Lucas Cranach is expected to make their Australian race debut in the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), for which they are the second favourite for at Luxbet behind December Draw.
The Alain De Royer Dupre-trained Americain will bypass the Caulfield Cup with connections naming the $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day Saturday week as their final lead-up to the Melbourne Cup 2011.
Americain shortened in from $13 to $10 in the Melbourne Cup markets, Lucas Cranach in from $12.
This Saturday’s overwhelming Caulfield Cup favourite, December Draw, occupies the third line of Melbourne Cup betting at Luxbet paying $11.
Lion Tamer on $15 follows, equal odds with the Lloyd Williams-owned duo At First Sight and Midas Touch who have been confirmed to miss the Caulfield Cup this weekend.
Meanwhile another Melbourne Cup-bound French raider, Dunaden, has been quietly preparing for the esteemed handicap at the Werribee Quarantine Centre.
Trained by Royer-Dupre’s former assistant Mikel Delzangles, six-year-old Dunaden is a winner over 3100m at Longchamp back home in France and is rated a $26 chance in the latest Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet.
Delzangles arrived in Victoria on Saturday and was happy with the work he saw from Dunaden in a gallop at Werribee on Sunday with Craig Williams in the mount.
“He looks perfect and Craig was also very happy with him,” Delzangles said.
“The horse is just how I wanted to see him.
“He’s relaxed, he is fit, he looks fine.”
Dunaden is set to follow the same spring campaign Americain had last year, Delzangles scheduled their maiden run down under in the 2011 Geelong Cup before the Melbourne Cup clash.
The $200,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m), which Americain won on way to the Melbourne Cup last year, runs on October 19.
Williams rates the horse a genuine chance in the Geelong Cup, but believes over the two-miles of the Melbourne Cup Dundaden will be even more competitive.
“The feeling he’s given me is that he’s going to be very competitive in the Geelong Cup but it is the Melbourne Cup where we’ll see the best of him,” Williams said.
Dundaden is the third shortest-priced international Melbourne Cup entry behind Americain and $16 chance Jukebox Jury.
Other notable Northern Hemisphere-trained Melbourne Cup hopes this year that stepped out at Caulfield over the weekend included the Luca Cumani-trained stablemates Bauer and Sahara Sun.
Runner-up in the 2008 Melbourne Cup, gallant old grey eight-year-old Bauer ran an unlucky sixth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) coming within three lengths of the winner Shewan.
It was an eye-catching run from Bauer, who from a better gate and with more luck in the run could likely have won the race.
Cumani’s ex-Chilean racehorses Sahara Sun, meanwhile, ran in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) finishing a distant seven lengths away seventh to the winner Descarado.
Cumani’s travelling foreman Charlie Henson said both gallopers had come through their weekend races well.
“Bauer was a victim of circumstances in the Herbert Power and as it turned out the Caulfield Stakes was probably not the right race for Sahara Sun,” he said.
Bauer ($101) and Sahara Sun ($151) are both triple figure roughies to win the Melbourne Cup at Luxbet as they sit well outside the top 24 in the order of entry.
Henson said Cumani would look at running Bauer in either the Geelong Cup next week, the Bendigo Cup on October 26, or even the Moonee Valley Cup in a bid to move them up the Melbourne Cup ballot.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Melbourne Cup 2011 field and betting updates, then, the lock in your picks at the best futures prices head to Luxbet and open an account with Australia’s premier bookie.
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