The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The race is on until the world’s richest handicap takes centre stage at Flemington tomorrow and the latest 2020 Melbourne Cup odds online have the widely-drawn Irish raider Tiger Moth as the one to beat.
One of eight international runners in this year’s Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) field, the Aidan O’Brien-trained son of Galileo was one of the luckless horses in Saturday afternoon’s 2020 Melbourne Cup barrier draw.
The European three-year-old came up with barrier 23 of 24 for jockey Kerrin McEvoy to overcome, McEvoy chasing his fourth Melbourne Cup win following previous success aboard Brew (2000), Almandin (2016) and Cross Counter (2018).
Despite the wide alley, the money is coming for Tiger Moth to became the third overseas-trained horse in four years to win ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Tiger Moth sits top of the latest Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $8 and will be racing for the first time in 52 days.
Presenting fresh on Tuesday, his last start on September 12 produced a stellar four length Group 3 win at Leopardstown over the mile and a half as the odds-on fancy carrying 58.5kg.
Even with a 2.5kg penalty, the current Melbourne Cup favourite is right down to just 52.5kg and will be absolutely powering home late with that weight.
Runner-up the run before to Santiago in the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m), Tiger Moth looks a super stayer in the making and is the lightly-raced danger to the better-tried runners in this year’s event.
The weight could also be key for him as the past four Melbourne Cup winners have all carried under 53kg to victory.
Despite the size of the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field, just two other contenders are currently under double-figures for the win including Tiger Moth’s stablemate Anthony Van Dyck ($9).
A one-time favourite in Melbourne Cup betting, the ultra-consistent Anthony Van Dyck is out to join Makybe Diva (58kg in 2005) to carry 58kg or more to victory in the past 35 years.
Jockey Hugh Bowman partners the Galileo entire, racing as a five-year-old in Australia, from a gun barrier three draw but the horse has work to do with the top kilos.
Winner of the Group 2 Prix Foy (2400m) at Longchamp two back, Anthony Van Dyck was brave with the same weight first-up in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) behind Verry Elleegant from a wide gate (17 of 18).
He will need to be good giving away the kilos again up to 3200m, but he’s drawn to get the run of the race and oozes class.
Also at $9 to win this year’s classic and the best fancied of the Aussie contingent is last year’s eye-catching fifth-placegetter Surprise Baby.
The son of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking had no luck in the run 12 months ago when doing too much work from barrier 20 off an unsuitable pace before flashing home late in arguably the best finish in the race.
He’s been only very lightly raced in the 12 months since with just the two subsequent runs, the latest seeing him 2.4 lengths beaten by Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Chris Waller’s mare franked that form going on to beat Anthony Van Dyck in the Caulfield Cup, while Surprise Baby has his first run since this Tuesday getting back up to his right distance range.
In 2019 Surprise Baby carried 53.5kg with Jordon Childs aboard and this year he carries just a kilo more with last year’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Craig Williams coming board.
Charlie Fellowes dual Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran ($10) with the inside barrier for flying female hoop Jamie Kah, Waller’s Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant ($11) and the Cox Plate champion Sir Dragonet ($11) present as the dangers.
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