This weekend Victoria’s Flemington Racecourse will light up for the Melbourne Cup Carnival opener featuring nine Group races including the Lexus Stakes 2014 – betting tips for which are found below.
There are 13 stayers making up the field for this year’s $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m), the Melbourne Cup ballot exemption offering showdown running as Victoria Derby Day Race 5 at 2:15pm.
Five of the horses in the Lexus Stakes field are under double figures to win but the one the punters are coming for is the Darren Weir-trained Signoff back in from $3.80 to $2.80 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
He’s currently 36th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry so needs to win on Saturday to make the 24-starter field for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
A $19 chance in the futures Melbourne Cup odds, Weir’s Authorzied gelding has bene in good form of late running second in the Herbert Power Stakes two back before a last start third in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) when dropped back in distance.
Following Signoff in the Lexus Stakes betting markets are then the likes of market mover Lord Van Percy backed in from $9 to $6.50 and Big Memory who beat Signoff home by two when winning the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes over the mile and a half on October 11.
So will Signoff salute and make the cut for the ‘race that stops a nation’?
Or is there an upset Lexus Stakes result on the cards this year from a longer priced hope such as Geelong Cup champ Caravan Rolls On ($9) or even the Ciaron Maher-trained Marksmanship ($21) coming off a second in the same race from October 22.
#10 Marksmanship ($21)
We’re tipping an upset with Marksmanship to hit the line first after two good seconds in his two most recent starts. The Galileo seven-year-old may be up in weight but his Bart Cummings second to Who Shot Thebarman and Geelong Cup second to Caravan Rolls On were both credible runs worth a look at as he steps out over the distance again. Has winning form up to 2600m, Flemington suits and barrier five is a nice starting spot in an open field with plenty of livewire chances.
#2 Caravan Rolls On ($9)
Tipping the Geelong Cup form to hold here but reversing the quinella. Up in weight too like the runner-up but did well with Craig Williams in the saddle and having won the Sandown Cup over 3200m last spring, think the more distance the better at the end of a preparation will be key to their chances here.
#9 Signoff ($2.80)
Deserving favourite but price a bit short for mine. In gate three with the magic Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira in the saddle. Can’t knock the lead-up form (Herbert Power second and DJ Cup third) and don’t think there will be much in it.
Get behind our Lexus Stakes tips this Saturday online at Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets to celebrate the Melbourne Cup Carnival in style!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change