Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
The 2017 Melbourne Cup tips from all the top trainers, owners and jockeys in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’ are flowing in ahead of the famous Flemington Race 7 this afternoon and five-time winning owner Lloyd Williams is tipping Johannes Vermeer to “do a Green Moon.”
Back in 2012 Green Moon scored an upset Melbourne Cup win at $21 odds for Williams, his fourth ‘Loving Trophy’, in a field of better fancied runners including beaten favourite and reigning champion Dunaden (14th).
Last year Williams made history with a fifth Melbourne Cup success as an owner after Almandin backed-up from a Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) win at the Flemington track to win as an $11 chance in Melbourne Cup betting.
This afternoon that imported stayer returns looking to break the hoodoo of defending Melbourne Cup winners and be just the second since Think Big (1974-75) to not just win, but finish in the top three.
Earlier in the week Almandin, whose last start was a fast-finishing fourth under a big weight as the beaten favourite in The Bart Cummings, could be found at $7 Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
He has since eased out to $9 with a notable task ahead going up from 52kg last year to 56.5kg this afternoon.
While Williams told a Melbourne radio station Almandin was “in particularly good order”, the goliath owner has a strange feeling not to discount another of his Melbourne Cup horses.
“My heart says Almandin but I can see JV [Johannes Vermeer] doing a Green Moon,” Williams said.
“He reminds me of Green Moon. He’s a horse who can sprint, he’s got a beautiful barrier and Benny Melham is as good a rider as you can find in a staying race.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he won. He’s got a great barrier — if he gets a bit of luck — and he’ll be very impressive in last 200m.
“Remember what Green Moon did in 2012? He sprinted and put two or three lengths on them.
“If Benny hangs on a bit longer he might put five lengths on them as he has a serious turn of foot.”
Johannes Vermeer is prepared in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien and the visiting five-year-old Galileo entire has had the benefit of two runs down under this spring.
First-up he ran a close second to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) before his third when only one and a half lengths beaten by the upset winner Boom Time in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
A progressive type, Johannes Vermeer is yet to win over further than 2011m and sees the two miles for the first time, but the team are convinced he’ll run the distance.
The other Williams-owned chances in the Melbourne Cup field today are the race’s only four-year-old contender Rekindling ($15), US Army Ranger ($71), Bondi Beach ($61) with barrier one and Gallante ($81) backed in from triple-figures earlier in the week.
Check out the latest Melbourne Cup 2017 odds on all the hopeful stayers online today and uncover the value at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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