Sydney Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller has said a top 10 finish in the 2011 Melbourne Cup with The Verminator would please him no end, but can the recent Metropolitan Handicap winner step-up and reward connections with a prize-money finish on Tuesday?
The $6 million total prize money on offer in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), which is the richest handicap race in the world, at Flemington on Saturday is divided among the top 10 horses in the official Melbourne Cup finishing order.
While the Melbourne Cup winner walks away with a juicy $3.6 million, $900,000 goes to second, $450,000 to third, $250,000 to fourth, $175,000 to fifth and then sixth – 10th all receive $125,000.
Waller has two chances in the Melbourne Cup field 2011 to take out a share of these riches with The Verminator and Hawk Island.
Both of Waller’s Melbourne Cup runners are rated $101 roughies in the Luxbet markets, but with Hawk Island needing it wet and drawn in barrier 18 which has never produced a Melbourne Cup winner, it seems the dedicated horseman’s best chance lies in The Verminator.
#21 The Verminator – Horse Form
- Jockey: Craig Newitt
- Trainer: Chris Waller
- Owners: Mr R L Smith, Mr J C Smith, Ms L R Smith, Mrs C Smith, Mr R Z Smith, Mr K J Smith, Mrs E Smith, Mr J B Smith, Mrs S Smith
- Age: 5YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Jeune (GB) from Fraar Side
- Career: 25:7-6-3
- Prize Money: $561,100
- Track: 1-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current Melbourne Cup Odds: $101 to Win / $26 to Place – Bet now at Luxbet
Right up until the eleventh hour The Verminator looked like they could miss out on a start in the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field.
They made the cut, however, and then came up with a very favourable barrier four draw igniting Waller’s hopes of preparing his maiden Melbourne Cup champion.
“It’s certainly a privilege to be a part of the big race,” Waller said.
“It’s certainly part of a dream every Australian would love to have a runner.
“We’ve got a lot of stayers so it’s important for me to keep taking them to the next level and to have two horses in the Cup is certainly a great honour.
“If we can do that (run in the top 10) we have done our job.”
The Verminator looked in great form when running away to win The Metropolitan by three lengths over their stablemate and fellow Melbourne Cup hope Hawk Island a Randwick on October 1.
But in a poor Cup lead-up last Saturday they struggled when finishing a distant 11th beaten 14 lengths by another Melbourne Cup chance Glass Harmonium ($35 Luxbet) in the Mackinnon Stakes.
It was a run that was short of their preferred distance, but it was still disappointing.
So can The Verminator return to form and finish in the money for Waller on Tuesday?
Melbourne Cup 2011 Form & Facts For The Verminator
- Their age is ripe for a Cup win with five-year-olds having won 43 times previously, the equal highest along with 4YO’s
- The breeding is spot on – their sire Jeune won the 1994 Melbourne Cup while their dam Fraar Side is a daughter of 1993 Caulfield Cup winner Fraar
- Lots to like about their The Metropolitan success when coming from barrier 16 and beating a classy field of staying types
- Carried 59kg in the Metropolitan last-start and they drop to just 52kg for the Cup which aids their cause
- Represents the small Aussie contingent – worth a bet on at Luxbet to get behind the green and gold!
- Barrier four looks nice for them, turn of foot says that with a bit of luck a top 10 finish is within their reach
Melbourne Cup 2011 Form & Facts Against The Verminator
- Jockey Craig Newitt is yet to ride a Melbourne Cup winner, and Waller is yet to train one
- Has only had one previous start at Flemington which was their disappointing Mackinnon 11th on Saturday
- Based on the Mackinnon form they don’t have the class for a Melbourne Cup win
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