The autumn’s Sydney Cup winner Gallante is one of the best Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2016 betting hopes following the release of the final field of stayers for the Cox Plate Day support act.
Set to run as Moonee Valley Race 8 at 4:10pm (AEDT) this year’s $300,000 Group 2 Antler Luggage Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) features a final field of 10 runners.
Three of the hopefuls in the Moonee Valley Cup field this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival are battling for top spot in early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying between $4 and $4.20 for the win including Gallante.
The notable market mover backed in from $5 to $4.20, the Robert Hickmott-trained Montjeu six-year-old carries equal 58kg top weight in the field and races second-up for the season.
From three second-up runs to date the galloper has run third twice and he caught the eye in his resuming run back on September 17 finishing second to subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
He drops a half-kilo off that run and will relish the extra metres on Saturday, Gallante proven up to two miles after his win in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) back on April 9.
Current narrow favourite in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup odds at $4 each are now the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Monsun stallion Excess Knowledge and the Chris Waller-trained Who Shot Thebarman.
A veteran seven-year-old, Excess Knowledge has had two runs over the Moonee Valley Gold Cup distance for a win and a third.
After his eighth in the Naturalism Stakes two back, Excess Knowledge was last seen running a good third behind Almandin at Flemington in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m).
He drops from 58kg down to 56kg on Saturday and jumps from barrier two with Vlad Duric booked for the ride.
Who Shot Thebarman was scratched out of Wednesday’s Geelong Cup field in favour of this run at set weights plus penalties, the evergreen eight-year-old having his first start at the Moonee Valley track.
A son of Yamanin Vital, Who Shot Thebarman is a Melbourne Cup and Sydney Cup placegetter from previous seasons but he hasn’t won a race since last November’s Group 2 Sandown Classic (2400m).
He has been more than competitive over the past 12 months including his Group 1 The BMW (2400m) second in Sydney in the autumn and his Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) second this campaign behind subsequent Turnbull Stakes winner Hartnell.
Last start Who Shot Thebarman ran 3.4 lengths away seventh to Sir John Hawkwood in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), a run he is out to improve on in Melbourne this weekend.
Waller has also accepted for his previous Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshal ($15), a seven-year-old son of Dansili also a The Metropolitan (ninth) graduate looking to go better in easier company on Cox Plate Day.
The last of the single-figure fancies meanwhile is Second Wave ($5.50) adding an international flavour to the line-up.
Prepared in the UK by Charlie Appleby, who prepared last weekend’s Caulfield Cup runner-up Scottish, the visiting New Approach gelding debuts down under chasing his first win over further than 1710m.
He flies fresh boasting two wins and two seconds from four first-up runs to date and after carrying 61.5kg in his latest run back home in July, will appreciate carrying just 55kg on the weekend with Sydney’s James McDonald booked for the ride.
See below for the full Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and current Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the weekend’s top racing odds and offers.