Prominent racehorse owner Lloyd Williams has named Midas Touch as his best chance at securing a fourth Melbourne Cup Trophy, and has admitted there are doubts on his best-backed runner in the 2011 Melbourne Cup odds, At First Sight, running on the first Tuesday of November.
Williams currently has six horses still in contention for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), all of which are prepared by Robert Hickmott.
Just A Dash in 1981 was the first of Williams’ three Melbourne Cup winners to date, followed by What A Nuisance (1985) and popular grey Efficient (2007).
Of his 2011 Melbourne Cup contingent, At First Sight is at the shortest odds in the markets at Luxbet paying $18.
The imported Galileo five-year-old was last seen running a close second to Mark Kavanagh’s boom European import December Draw in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
Originally At First Sight was to face December Draw again in this Saturday’s $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), and was a top fancy in the Caulfield Cup odds at Luxbet that are currently lead by December Draw at $2.30.
2012 Melbourne Cup Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
However, Williams’ and trainer Hickmott were forced to abandon Caulfield Cup plans with At First Sight who was scratched from last Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) due to an elevated temperature.
Now the horse’s Melbourne Cup bid is also in doubt, with Williams’ stressing the importance of not suffering campaign setbacks this time of year.
“You don’t want to miss a day of work at this time of year and he’s missed a week,” Williams said.
“That impacts pretty hard with his Melbourne Cup campaign.”
At First Sight returned to work yesterday morning, but is in danger of missing out on a run in the 24-horse Melbourne Cup 2011 field as they currently sit 29th on the order of entry.
“He’d have to run in the Moonee Valley Cup to be a chance of running in the Melbourne Cup and I’m not full of confidence he’ll do that,” Williams admitted.
The $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) runs on Cox Plate Day Saturday week and is also the likely final lead-up race for defending Melbourne Cup winner and $10 co-favourite with Lucas Cranach, Americain.
Williams other 2011 Melbourne Cup entries and their odds are:
- Midas Touch ($21 Luxbet) – Sits 6th on the Melbourne Cup ballot, last seen running a game third to Lion Tamer and Southern Speed in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 17, is Williams’ pick
“I like Midas Touch as a horse,” Williams said.
“He’s the best horse we’ve brought out in a long while.”
- Mourayan ($21 Luxbet) – 17th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry, won the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) last start at Flemington on October 2
- Green Moon ($51 Luxbet) – Needs to finish in the top eight of the Caulfield Cup this Saturday to move up the Melbourne Cup ballot and gain a start as they are well down the order of entry in 52nd
- Linton ($71 Luxbet) – 15th in the Melbourne Cup ballot order, failed last-start when 12th in the Turnbull to December Draw and was well found out in last year’s Melbourne Cup when beaten over 35 lengths finishing a distant 21st
- Tanby ($101 Luxbet) – Needs to win a ballot exempt to gain a start as they sit 55th in the order of entry, looked a genuine chance when beaten a mere nose in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday
In other 2011 Melbourne Cup news three major international contenders are due to arrive at Victoria’s Werribee International Horse Centre on Saturday morning with Jukebox Jury, Fox Hunt and Red Cadeaux.
The only horse currently exempt from Melbourne Cup ballot elimination, Mark Johnston’s Irish St Leger winner Jukebox Jury is the current $16 fifth favourite in the Luxbet odds.
Their stablemate and last-start German St Leger winner Fox Hunt follows on $26 while the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Cadeaux, who finished third to Jukebox Jury in the Irish St Leger, is further down the markets paying $51 through Luxbet.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Caulfield and Melbourne Cup field and betting updates.
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