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Moonee Valley Race 6 – Drake International / Moonee Valley Gold Cup Field & Betting Update
Defending Melbourne Cup winner and favourite to win the world’s richest handicap again this spring, French raider Americain has firmed into odds under three dollars for their first spring assignment at Moonee Valley today following the early scratchings for the 2011 Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
Registered this year as the Drake International Cup, the $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) is scheduled to run as Moonee Valley Race 6 this afternoon at 4:00pm (AEDST).
Originally the final field featured 13 gallopers, a number of which are vying for a start in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
Yesterday the Robert Hickmott-trained Linton was withdrawn from the field, their spring campaign under a cloud of doubt due to a hoof inury, and this morning two other horse have also been scratched from the Moonee Valley Gold Cup – #2 Booming and #12 Montahlia.
Kiwi raider Booming was drawn in barrier seven, and the Mick Kent-trained Motahlia in nine.
The Moonee Valley Race 6 scratchings have seen Americain firm in from $3 to $2.90 at Luxbet to take out this afternoon’s showdown.
There are three other runners at single-figure odds in the market with Gai Waterhouse’s Caulfield Cup third placegetter Tullamore ($3.90), last-start Herbert Power Stakes winner Shewan ($6) and Bart Cummings’ imported German galloper Illo ($7.50) having their first start on Australian soil.
A win by Americain today and the Australian-owned champ will shorten in their current Melbourne Cup 2011 price of $8 at Luxbet.
However, statistically speaking it would be better for Americain not to win the Drake International as the last horse to complete the Moonee Valley Cup – Melbourne Cup double was Kingston Rule back in 1990.
Americain’s regular rider and Melbourne Cup winning jockey Gerald Mosse is confident going into today’s race, but does hold some concerns about the track.
“Of course, if I can win at Moonee Valley, of course I win,” he said.
“But it is to get his condition perfect for the Melbourne Cup.
“But it is his last gallop, to get him fit.
“I’m not going to kill him because we want him to be perfect for Flemington.
“Of course Flemington suits better.
“The Valley, I don’t know. Maybe Flemington is his track.”
Tullamore is the next shortest-priced of the Melbourne Cup hopes in today’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup clash, the Savabeel five-year-old at a quote of $21 through Luxbet.
Americain is well assured of a start in the capacity 24-horse Melbourne Cup field sitting second on the ballot behind Jukebox Jury.
Tullamore, on the other hand, sits well down the order of entry in 35 weighted on just 52kg and needs at least 10 horses above them to drop out of contention, or to win today and earn a penalty, to move into the top 24.
Waterhouse may have lost her contender for today’s showcase event, Descarado injured and out of the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but Sydney’s leading lady of racing is confident Tullamore can give the stable a win today.
“He’s the horse to beat at Moonee Valley,” Waterhouse said of Tullamore, despite the horse yet having run under race conditions at the track.
In fact, there are only five horses in the Drake International today that have previously raced at the Valley with Shewan, Paddy O’Reilly, Pergola, Anudjawun and Swooper.
Of these only two have seen success with $61 roughie Pergola unbeaten in their three races here and $17 chance Swooper boasting a good record of four wins from seven starts.
The other Drake International Cup hopes still in 2011 Melbourne Cup contention are Illo, Shewan, Anudjawun and Lalla Rookh.
Of these, only Illo looks assured of a start in the iconic two-mile feature as they sit 27th on the order of entry.
For Shewan (44th), Lalla Rookh (59th) and Anudjawun (60th) it is do or die today, win or miss out on their chance to race in the Melbourne Cup.
While the Robert Smerdon-trained Shewan was certainly impressive last-start winning the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in a gritty final-stride effort over the favourite Tanby, history is against them today.
It has been 43 years since a horse has won the Herbert Power – Moonee Valley Cup double, the last being Impetus in 1968.
Below you will find the updated 2011 Drake International Cup field and odds.
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2011 Drake International Cup Field & Odds
Moonee Valley Race 6 – 22/10/2011
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating||Odds*|
|1||113X66X10X||AMERICAIN (USA)||Alain de Royer Dupre||Gerald Mosse||3||58kg||117||$2.90 Luxbet|
|2||10112X0505||BOOMING (NZ)||Jeff Lynds||Dwayne Dunn||7||58kg||105||–|
|3||0X9923X760||LINTON||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||5||57kg||108||–|
|4||11421X8383||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||6||57kg||104||$3.90 Luxbet|
|5||33313X1621||SHEWAN||Robert Smerdon||Chris Symons||10||57kg||101||$6.00 Luxbet|
|6||3262X1421X||ILLO (GER)||Bart Cummings||Luke Nolen||11||56.5kg||106||$7.50 Luxbet|
|7||8125X8X000||HARRIS TWEED (NZ)||Murray Baker||Brad Rawiller||4||56kg||108||$26 Luxbet|
|8||X83411X992||PADDY O’REILLY (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||1||56kg||99||$15 Luxbet|
|9||7465110X60||PERGOLA (NZ)||Colin & Cindy Alderson||James Winks||13||55kg||87||$61 Luxbet|
|10||2322X00445||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Michael Rodd||12||55kg||89||$21 Luxbet|
|11||8248312064||SWOOPER||Darryl Dodson||Ben Melham||2||54kg||97||$17 Luxbet|
|12||6X66212X00||MONTAHLIA (NZ)||Michael Kent||Dean Yendall||9||54kg||89||–|
|13||0223X82131||LALLA ROOKH||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Ms Clare Lindop||8||51kg||89||$19 Luxbet|
*Odds are Fixed Win and correct at time of publication – check Luxbet for updates
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