Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti has firmed into clear favouritism in the Melbourne Cup 2014 odds at bookmakers around the country for the world’s richest handicap on the first Tuesday of November.
Having his maiden start in Australia, the seven-year-old Heart’s Cry stallion impressed the world including trainer Tomoyuki Umeda who was thrilled with the veteran’s effort with the heavy impost.
Zac Purton, an Aussie jockey now based in Hong Kong, gave the stayer a gun ride three wide with cover before a clear run down the outside on the straight running down ATC Oaks winner Rising Romance with Caulfield Cup favourite Lucia Valentina a brave third.
The horse was always brought down under to target both the major spring cups and things are perfectly on track for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4.
There had been plenty of pre-Caulfield Cup talk that Admire Rakti, who hadn’t won a race since the Group 3 Diamond Stakes (3419m) at Tokyo back in February last year, was going to be more suited to the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup than the 2400m at Caulfield.
Looking ahead then to the step-up to the two miles connections are sure to be excited and the bookies have reacted accordingly.
Admire Rakti has been slashed into $4.60 favouritism in the Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au after sitting out around $9 before the Caulfield Cup result.
On the second line of Melbourne Cup betting at $6.50 is then the Andreas Wohler-trained Monsun stallion Protectionist.
The German raider won a Group 2 double back in Europe, including the Prix Kergorlay over 3000m in France on August 24, before his debut down under last weekend when a brave fourth to Big Memory in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Protectionist ran a cracking race that day catching the eye of the Aussie bookies and punters and has winning form right up to 3000m.
Kris Lees’ beaten Caulfield Cup favourite Lucia Valentina, winner of the Turnbull Stakes, lost few admires after being forced to race wide and encountering a check by Admire Rakti around the bend but still managing to make up plenty of ground to finish under a length off the winner in third.
The Sebring four-year-old now sits as the $8 third pick for the Melbourne Cup, the only other hope under double figures in the current markets.
Other top chances in the latest Melbourne Cup betting markets include last start Caulfield Stakes winner Fawkner ($13), Japan’s Bande ($15) who could still recover from tendon troubles in time to race in the ‘race that stops a nation’, the John O’Shea-trained David Jones Cup winner Contributer ($17) who is a doubtful starter, the Chris Waller-trained The Metropolitan champ Junoob ($17) who ran seventh in the Caulfield Cup, one time favourite The Offer ($19) who crossed 11th in the Caulfield Cup and Waller’s Auckland Cup winner over the two miles Who Shot Thebarman ($17) who over-raced in the Caulfield Cup eventually crossing four lengths away 13th.
The Johnny Murtagh-trained Ebor Handicap winner Mutual Regard, Peter Moody’s Caulfield Cup fourth placegetter Brambles ($21), dual Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux and the Marco Botti-trained Geoffrey Freer Stakes winner Seismos ($21) – too dour for the Caulfield Cup running 15th – are then all equal on $21.
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