A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
There has been absolutely no love for the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Cismontane in the latest Melbourne Cup 2017 odds with a big drift on the Lexus Stakes winner.
Cismontane was the final horse to secure a spot in the Group 1 $6.25 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) field with a gutsy effort in last Saturday’s Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
Earning the ballot free ride into the Melbourne Cup field, which is down to 23 runners with Who Shot Thebarman withdrawn on Sunday due to a fever, Cismontane carries the 50kg lightweight in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’.
No Melbourne Cup winner since Rogan Josh (1999), the late Bart Cummings’ 11th winner of the two mile classic, has carted under 51kg to victory in the race.
Apprentice Beau Mertens rides Cismontane with the High Chaparral five-year-old chasing the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double for the first time since Shocking (2009).
He put it all in late to hold off Vengeur Masque in the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day and comes down 4kg from his winning weight, but could be cooked having also run the Saturday prior in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup when third.
Cismontane is the obvious pace horse in the Melbourne Cup this year but not sure if he will be able to sustain the up-front ride all the way to the winning post in a two mile race full of better experienced stayers.
The punters seem to have the same opinion and Cismontane has eased out notably in the latest Melbourne Cup betting markets from $34 to $51 at Ladbrokes.com.au to hand Waterhouse her second ‘Loving Trophy’ following her success in 203 with that year’s $7 favourite Fiorente.
The bookies and punters may be shying away from Cismontane winning the Melbourne Cup, but Waterhouse remains confident tipping the horse as an “excellent chance” in an interview with A Current Affair on Melbourne Cup Eve.
“I think he’s got an excellent chance of winning the Cup,” she said.
“Not many horses come from the Lexus, which is the race he won on Saturday, but he’s got a lightweight chance.
“He’s got great intestinal fortitude and he showed that on Saturday.”
The two longest priced Melbourne Cup winners from the past 30 years were Viewed ($41 in 2008) and Prince Of Penzance ($101 in 2015) with the rest of the champions saluting at around $12 – $17 in the markets.
That rough average price of a Melbourne Cup winner stacks up for a number of chances in 2017.
Historically the Melbourne Cup odds work in favour of the likes of the German raider Red Cardinal ($17) jumping from the outside barrier with dual winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, the 2015 runner-up Max Dynamite ($16) and the unknown young European Rekindling ($14).
Of those the punters have backed the Joseph O’Brien-trained Irish visitor Rekindling, who has firmed in from $17 and who has the 2009 winning jockey Corey Brown aboard on 51.5kg from barrier four.
Racing in Australia as a four-year-old, the entire gets the chance to even the score of this age group with the five-year-olds who currently boast the 44 – 43 advantage when it comes to the age of Melbourne Cup winners in history.
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