The lucrative Mornington Cup 2016 is the major provincial race in Victoria this weekend, betting tips and exotic selections for the Caulfield Cup qualifier on Saturday detailed below.
Due to run as Mornington Race 9 on a bumper 10-race program, this season’s $300,000 Listed Mornington BMW Cup (2400m) field runs at its capacity 14 starters including first emergency Pemberley coming in for early scratching Ancient King from the Darren Weir stables.
Leading the latest Mornington Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.50 for the win is clear favourite Tom Melbourne chasing the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) ballot exemption on offer to the winner.
Jumping from a good gate (5 into 4), the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Dylan Thomas five-year-old has just his eighth career start this weekend chasing his sixth win.
There’s a big wrap on this quality stayer who won the Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) by an impressive three and a half lengths carrying 54kg last time out on March 18.
He gets the chance to impress again here and by all accounts should only going up to a still manageable 55.5kg with Ben Melham aboard.
What can beat the clear favourite? The bookies’ next best in Mornington Cup betting this autumn racing season are early market mover Observational ($7) coming off an Easter Cup third from last Saturday behind Leebaz, the super-consistent four-year-old Pemberley ($7), Tony McEvoy’s six-year-old Big Memory ($8) and the 58kg top weight Puccini ($9.50) still chasing his first win in Australia.
So should you stick with the top fancies or go for the upset Mornington Cup result from the likes of Weir’s Yarra Valley Cup winner in the wet last time out Falago ($18) drawn in gate three for young Harry Coffey or third in the same lead-up from March 20 Berisha ($17) who is also in good form this campaign?
#4 Tom Melbourne ($2.50)
Lightly-raced import with a good weight looks tough to beat if he proves up to this class. His lead-up form is strong with an 1800m win at Flemington on March 5 over Divan and the black-type in the mud last start by 2.75 and 3.5 lengths respectively. Plenty left in the tank both times, steps up to 2400m for the first time but looks like he’ll run it out no worries. Barrier is ideal and good hoop in the saddle.
#3 Observational ($7)
Could be worth following the money trail with Observational running a cracker third seven days ago in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield beaten only a quarter-length. He is down in class and only rises a half-kilo to 56kg on the quick back-up. Is fit, drawn well and has winning form up to 2213m so only has to extend that a little further to score the upset.
#13 Dandy Gent ($19)
Really attractive price offered for Savoire Vivre four-year-old Dandy Gent prepared by Terry & Karina O’Sullivan. He won over the distance at Bendigo last start after a very nice second to former Perth Cup winner Real Love in Flemington’s Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m). This distance suits, the barrier is wide but he’s got time to overcome and is on the minimum here.
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