A line-up of quality stayers, some eyeing a run in the Melbourne Cup next month, face off in the 2014 Moonee Valley Gold Cup field on Cox Plate Day this Saturday with the Races.com.au’s insider tips on the set weights plus penalties clash found below.
There are 10 final acceptors for this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), the favourite of which is the Chris Waller-trained Opinion.
Waller described the Moonee Valley Gold Cup as the perfect race for his last start The Metropolitan runner-up who also ran second over the two miles in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) last season.
Heading towards a run in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 4, this Oasis Dream six-year-old is suited to the conditions of the Moonee Valley Cup and gets a chance to firm in from $41 in the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the ‘race that stops the nation’.
Opinion is then joined on single figures in the Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes by a host of other live wire hopes including dual winner Precedence ($5) back to defend his title ahead of a Melbourne Cup run for the ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings, French raider Au Revoir ($6) to be ridden by Damien Oliver from gate six and Le Roi ($6.50) on the rails.
So will Opinion get the job done and further frank the form coming out of Sydney’s The Metropolitan after the winner Junoob ran well in the Caulfield Cup last Saturday?
Or is there an upset Moonee Valley Gold Cup result on the cards?
#7 Opinion ($3.30)
Deserving favourite should be able to hold them out getting in well with 55kg under the set weights plus penalties. Form jockey of the carnival Zac Purton, fresh off a Caulfield Cup victory last Saturday, jumps on in place of Tye Angland. Drops a kilo from The Metropolitan when beaten only half a length. That and the Group 1 Sydney Cup second over 3200m are his last two runs over further than 2000m and both were outstanding suggesting the 2500m will suit on Saturday. So ticks the trip box, is a dual Group 1 runner-up over staying distances and Purton in the saddle? Take him before he firms.
#4 Au Revoir ($5.50)
The bookies are taking no chances in the markets with Andre Fabre’s visiting French stallion, and with good reason. The son of Singspiel was fourth last time out on September 14 back home over 2400m in the Group 2 Prix Foy but wouldn’t have been pushed to full potential with the trip down under looming. Ready to hit his straps now he’s arrived then and should be flying over the distance. OTI-owned and they’ve got a good record this time of year with the imports and raiders. Lightly raced and on the improve plus the French form stacks up more often than not during carnival time. Oliver’s guidance will also boost his chances of a win on debut in Oz.
#1 Precedence ($5)
This is his race and he’ll be close again. The James & Bart Cummings-trained veteran may be a nine-year-old but still has a zest for racing as shown last time out when fifth beaten only 1.35 lengths by The Cleaner in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at this track in September. Freshened up and ready to go again third-up from a spell as he was when claiming his second win in this race 12 months ago. Also won in 2010 and has a 50% strike rate (10-5-0-0) at the track plus two wins from three starts over the track and distance. This son of Zabeel could be in it to win it again at a decent price.
Whether you’re backing or sacking our 2014 Moonee Valley Gold Cup betting tips make sure you access the best spring odds and offers by betting online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 bonus bet this season!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change