Luca Cumani’s British raider Mount Athos has overtaken Gai Waterhouse’s French import Fiorente for top spot in the Melbourne Cup 2013 odds.
Recent money has come in for the Montjeu gelding despite Australian racing fans not having seen them in the flesh since their fifth to the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) last spring.
The now seven-year-old is back down under waiting for round two in the ‘race that stops a nation’, running as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 5.
While there are a number of historical Melbourne Cup hoodoos for Mount Athos to overcome, the bookies have them as the new $7.50 favourite to win.
Former favourite Fiorente, runner-up to Green Moon in their Australian debut last Melbourne Cup Carnival, meanwhile is now out to $8 to go one better this spring.
History is against both horses however.
They are both out to become just the second in the past 24 years to win the race at their second attempt.
The only one to do so in that time has been Brew who was 10th to Rogan Josh in 1999 before returning to win the 2000 Melbourne Cup beating Yippyio and Second Coming in the trifecta.
There are other statistical hurdles for Mount Athos to overcome too.
As they haven’t run in Australia this season, the horse last seen finishing second to Harris Tweed in the Listed March Stakes (2816m) at Goodwood on August 24, it doesn’t bode well.
Of the five Melbourne Cup winners in the race’s 152-year history not to have been trained in either Australia or New Zealand, only Vintage Crop (1993) won without a previous lead-up start in Australia.
Also jumping favourite won’t work in their favour if you look back over the recent Melbourne Cup winners’ list with only two punters’ picks saluting in the last 15 years.
Both of those were the same horse too with the Mighty Makybe Diva taking it out in 2004 and 2005.
She also won in 2003 but didn’t start favourite.
There’s also the Melbourne Cup betting favourite’s age to take into consideration.
Mount Athos is a seven-year-old in Australia, and in the past 30 years only four of that age have been successful in the Melbourne Cup.
And for the superstitious punters?
The records show that horse’s with singular names are more favoured to win the Melbourne Cup with 86 one-word named winners saluting from the 152 editions of the race compared with 61 two-word names and just five with three words making up their name.
Despite all of this Mount Athos is the one to beat according to the Melbourne Cup pre-field odds.
Markets are set for a major shake-up on Saturday afternoon with the official release of the 2013 Melbourne Cup final field and barrier draw live from Flemington after the Victoria Derby Day racing.
So make sure you’re ready to back the Melbourne Cup winner at double their fixed win price from Saturday afternoon right up until jump time by opening your account with Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the season’s best Melbourne Cup betting offers!
Historical Melbourne Cup Hoodoos against Mount Athos
- Only one horse has won the Melbourne Cup in the past 23 years having unsuccessfully contested it the spring before – Brew (2000)
- Only one horse prepared outside of Australia or New Zealand has won the Melbourne Cup without a previous lead-up run down under – Vintage Crop (2003)
- Only one horse (twice) in the past 15 years has won the Melbourne Cup as the race favourite – Makybe Diva (2004 and 2005)
- Only two seven-year-olds have won the Melbourne Cup in the past 30 years – Makybe Diva (2005) and Rogan Josh (1999)
- Horses with two-word names have an inferior Melbourne Cup record compared to those with just one word in their title