Early money is starting to come in for Marco Botti’s English raider Dandino to improve on their Caulfield Cup second and take out Australian racing’s greatest prize when they run second-up in the Melbourne Cup 2013 on Tuesday.
A final field of the world’s best 24 stayers was announced on Derby Day for this year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup, the 3200m handicap to run as Flemington Race 7 on November 5.
After drawing a gun gate in five, the Gai Waterhouse-trained import Fiorente firmed into clear $7 favouritism in the Melbourne Cup odds to go one better than their second to Green Moon in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last year.
They have eased back out to $7.50 now are followed in the markets then by last year’s fifth placegetter Mount Athos, the Luca Cumani-trained galloper paying $9 despite not having raced down under since.
That’s a huge drift for Montjeu seven-year-old who was at $7.50 immediately after the barriers were released.
Mount Athos though hasn’t won a race since May when they took out the Group 3 Diamond Ormonde Stakes (2696m) at Chester by nine lengths.
Their latest run was a long neck away second to Harris Tweed in the Listed March Stakes (2816m) at Goodwood in August carrying 62.5kg, and they drop down to just 54kg for Tuesday which is one of the reasons they’re so high up the markets.
On Saturday night Dandino was then occupying the fifth line of Melbourne Cup betting at $13, trailing also the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Prix Kergorlay winning mare Verema ($11) and the Lloyd Williams-owned Sea Moon ($13).
In a market reshuffle after the early money was taken over the past 12 hours however, it is now Dandino firming right in to an $11 chance as the third favourite to win.
They were as short as $10 overnight but have come out again slightly with money spread over some others at the field.
Dansili stallion Dandino has been firing on all cylinders this year including their half length win over Suntracer in the American St Leger Stakes (2714m) at Arlington back in August when ridden by Ryan Moore.
They debuted in Australia with Craig Williams aboard to run a brave second to Fawkner, a $19 Melbourne Cup chance, in the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The Caulfield Cup form has held up in the Flemington race many times over the years and it looks like the punters are tipping it to do so in 2013.
“Dandino ran a huge race in the Caulfield Cup, unfortunately the draw beat him,” Botti said.
“His jockey Craig Williams was delighted and said that had he had a better draw he would have won.
“He has come out of the race in good form and he has not lost any weight.
“We are really pleased with the way he took the race.
“Based on his run in the Caulfield Cup, he would have a very big chance if he handles the trip and gets a good draw.”
Dandino secured more fans after coming up with an ace gate four draw, and Moore will jump back aboard for their shot at the world’s richest handicap.
While the lead-up and gate are spot on, the only query is the step up to the two miles.
“I would not say that two miles is his best trip as most of his best form is between a mile and a half and a mile six furlongs,” his trainer Botti admitted to the Newmarket Journal this week.
“Whether he truly stays two miles remains to be seen.”
Verema then is out from $11 to $12, still an exciting chance with her gun draw (three) and lovely light weight (53kg).
Sea Moon though has eased right out to $15 to hand Williams and his private trainer Robert Hickmott with back-to-back Loving Trophies.
Others inside of $20 are then Michael Moroney’s Voleuse De Coeurs ($15), the Chris Waller-trained Hawkspur ($18), Williams’ The Metropolitan Handicap winner Seville ($17), English visitor Brown Panther ($19) jumping from barrier six and Fawnker ($19).
See below for the latest Melbourne Cup 2013 markets, all ‘Double The Odds’ prices only available online at Ladbrokes.com.au!