A capacity final field of stayers is engaged to face off in Victoria’s feature race this Saturday including the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Tom Melbourne who heads the Mornington Cup 2016 betting markets.
The OTI Racing-owned Dylan Thomas five-year-old Tom Melbourne is only lightly-race for his age having his eighth career start in Saturday’s $300,000 Listed Mornington BMW Cup (2400m).
The lucrative mile and a half clash, which offers a 2016 Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner for the spring, has attracted a full 14 starters plus four emergency runners.
Due to run as the penultimate race on bumper 10-event Mornington card for Cup Day, the Mornington Cup is scheduled to jump at 4:50pm (AEDT) and betting is already open through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Leading the latest Mornington Cup odds at a short $2.60 for the win is Tom Melbourne who has won his past three on the trot.
The latest of those was on a muddy Heavy (10) track from March 18 taking out the Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) by three and a half lengths.
He attempts his first win over further than 2100m on the weekend, but drops from 56kg last start to 55.5kg with Ben Melham to ride from barrier five, which becomes four if the emergencies fail to gain a run.
Four other runners are also under $10 in Mornington Cup betting to take out the feature including the early market mover Observational ($8 into $6.50) jumping from barrier seven (possibly into five).
Robert Hickmott prepares the Lloyd Williams-owned Galileo five-year-old who is on the quick back-up after being narrowly beaten to cross only a quarter-length off the winner Leebaz in last Saturday’s Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield.
The next best in betting are Tony McEvoy’s Golden Miler runner-up at Bendigo last start Big Memory ($7) out wide in gate 13 and four-year-old Pemberley ($7) who has finished in the money in his past six starts dating back to July.
Duke Of Marmalade six-year-old Big Memory was only just nosed out of the black-type win last start and has a gun record over Saturday’s 2400m distance with a win and two seconds from four previous starts.
He also drops from 60kg last start to 56.5kg on the weekend with Jamie Mott booked for the ride.
At the opposite end of the weight scale getting in on the 55kg minimum, weights raised 1kg after the expected non-acceptance of original top weight The United States (60.5kg), is the Ciaron Maher-trained Pemberley.
Jake Noonan replaces Daniel Stackhouse in the saddle of the progressive Darci Brahma gelding who won back-to-back Flemington races in the summer before his third in the Stony Creek Cup (21000m) in mid-March as the beaten odds-on favourite.
Rounding out the single figure fancies is then the 58kg top weight Puccini ($8.50) who hasn’t won a race since a Group 1 win over the mile back in New Zealand in January last year.
Now prepared by Darren Weir, the five-year-old Encosta De Lago stallion is still chasing his maiden win in Australia and comes off an Easter Cup fourth beaten just a length on Easter Saturday.
See below for the full Mornington Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and current Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositors’ bonus offer with use of the code BETBONUS!