The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2017 is one of the key support races on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day this Saturday, tips and the updated betting odds on the staying showdown found below.
As the crowd gets more and more hyped about Winx shooting for a third Cox Plate trophy in Race 9, there are plenty of key betting races earlier on the card including Race 6 at 3:00pm (AEDT) – the Group 2 $300,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
It is a wide-open edition of the race this year with just seven stayers in the mix including four under double-figures in the Moonee Valley Cup odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The standout favourite geared for the race is the rails-drawn Big Duke ($2.20) who was too good for a similar line-up of rivals winning Randwick’s St. Leger (2600m) on October 14.
Drops from 58.5kg there to 57kg at set weights plus penalties on the weekend, has previous winning form at The Valley and Brenton Avdulla retains the ride on Darren Weir’s genuine stayer and deserving favourite.
Looking at the latest Moonee Valley Gold Cup betting markets the bookies rate Libran ($5) and Auvray ($5) as the next best, both coming off lead-up runs behind Big Duke in Sydney’s St. Leger.
The Chris Waller-trained Libran couldn’t get a run finishing fifth, while the in-form Richard Freedman-trained Le Harve import Auvray ran second on the back of a Group 3 win over the mile and a half in Sydney.
So is the dominant favourite Big Duke the best bet on Saturday or is there value to be had tipping an upset Moonee Valley Gold Cup result from the likes of last year’s runner-up Who Shot Thebarman ($6) or even the Lindsay Park-trained Cranbourne Cup graduate Cool Chap ($12)?
#1 Big Duke ($2.20)
Firm favourite should win without too much of a worry coming back to level weights. Was excellent in the St. Leger over 100m further with 1.5kg more. Proven at The Valley so track a non-issue, gets things his way from barrier one and was too strong for most of these in the lead-up run. Too many boxes ticked and too much ability to bet against.
#7 Cismontane ($14)
Like the price on offer for this Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained High Chaparral five-year-old who didn’t have a dream run in the St. Leger, but finished a brave third at $41 odds. Comes back a little kilo-wise for this and if he gets a softer run here, Stephen Baster back aboard after Tim Clark rode in the St. Leger, is a genuine place chance again. Moonee Valley winner at this track distance in late August in another plus.
#3 Auvray ($5)
Being kept safe in betting after finishing top two in his four latest starts. Kerrin McEvoy retains the ride after he couldn’t get the job done against Big Duke last weekend. Is a dour stayer with winning form up to 3000m in Europe, but will need to be improving to challenge with the weights in Big Duke’s favour. Still a place hope going too good to leave out.
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