Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
The 2017 Melbourne Cup betting has opened up considerably overnight with the defending champion Almandin’s odds drifting out to $8.
Almandin was installed the $6.50 favourite when the final field for Tuesday’s Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington was released on Saturday afternoon.
The Lloyd Williams owned, Robert Hickmott trained Almandin is still the ruling favourite just ahead of the Darren Weir trained Humidor at $9 and English stayer Marmelo at $9.
Almandin has drawn barrier fourteen in the twenty-four horse Melbourne Cup field with internationally acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori getting the call up after Damien Oliver, who was booked to ride, incurred a twenty-meeting suspension from Cox Plate Day.
The German import has had three Melbourne Cup lead up runs and was a winner two starts back in the Listed $120,000 Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m) at Flemington on September 16 before running fourth to Melbourne Cup rival Amelie’s Star in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 7.
Part owner Nick Williams reported that Almandin is in great shape as he attempts to become first horse to win back to back Melbourne Cups since champion mare Makybe Diva completed a hat trick of wins in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
“He is in great order,” part owner Nick Williams said.
“He drew seventeen last year so he is three better off. He couldn’t be better and we are very hopeful.”
“It would be wonderful to be the part of the history of a back to back Cup winner.”
Second favourite Humidor and the Hughie Morrison trained Marmelo are set to clash again after finishing beside each other when fifth and sixth behind Boom Time in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
Humidor has had one more run since the Caulfield Cup for a second to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28 while Marmelo is going straight from the Caulfield Cup to the Melbourne Cup.
Humidor has drawn barrier thirteen with Cox Plate jockey Blake Shinn retaining the ride while Hugh Bowman will stick with Marmelo who has drawn awkwardly at barrier sixteen.
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