The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The stars in this year’s edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’ were the big winners in the barrier draw on Saturday afternoon with the hot favourite Deauville Legend continuing to firm in 2022 Melbourne Cup betting markets ahead of Tuesday.
The nation will come to a standstill for just over three minutes at 3:00pm (AEDT) on Tuesday when 24 of the finest stayers take to the famous Flemington track for the 162nd edition of the Group 1 $7.75 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Favourite: No. 8 Deauville Legend ($3.80 at time of publish) – BET NOW
This horse has dominated the Melbourne Cup odds since the get go and is firming fast after James Ferguson’s class English raider came up trumps with gate nine. Efficient (2007) was the last Melbourne Cup winner from the gate. In the saddle chasing a record-equalling fourth Melbourne Cup is Kerrin McEvoy. A four-year-old in Australia, this lightly-raced Sea The Stars gelding has just three wins on his record including a Group 2 in York where subsequent Cox Plate third place-getter El Bodegon ran third. Carried 58kg there and is in the Melbourne Cup with 55kg. It’s a far from vintage edition and the internationals could have it.
The Market Mover: No. 24 Realm Of Flowers ($15 into $11 at time of publish) – BET NOW
So dominant is Deauville Legend that no other runner in the 2022 Melbourne Cup field is currently under $10 for the win. The danger though and early market mover heavily backed since Saturday’s barrier draw is the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained mare Realm Of Flowers. She profiles nicely with winning form up to 2800m and comes off back-to-back thirds in Sydney. She was beaten the barest of margins in a blanket finish to the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), should run out the two miles and gets in on just 50kg. The six-year-old daughter of So You Think will be flying with that weight, handles all going and is drawn the most successful Melbourne Cup barrier in history with gate five.
The Next Best: No. 6 Without A Fight ($11 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Without A Fight is the other international in the mix, the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained raider to be ridden by UK jockey William Buick. Until last year, barrier 18 had not produced a Melbourne Cup winner. Can this horse make it back-to-back wins from the gate Verry Elleegant won from? Consistent form at home including two 2787m, wins on the trot at York earlier in the year.
Kept Safe: No. 4 Montefilia ($11 at time of publish) – BET NOW
What a CV David Payne’s wonderful Kermadec mare has put together over her 22 starts. As a filly in 2020 she did the Flight Stakes – Spring Champion Stakes double beating home the boys in the latter before a third as the beaten odds-on favourite in that year’s VRC Oaks. Very consistent since with a Rosehill Guineas third and ATC Derby fourth last year, fifth in the ATC Oaks and winning The Metropolitan before a Caulfield Cup fourth to Incentivise in 2021. Ranvet Stakes winner in the wet defeating Verry Elleegant this autumn, and is running well again presenting fit fourth-up here having been beaten just a length when fourth in another Caulfield Cup. Genuine chance again.
The other runners under $20 are the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained top-weight Gold Trip ($13) carrying 57.5kg from barrier 14, Grahame Begg’s The Bart Cummings winning mare Lunar Flare ($17) with the flying Caulfield Cup – VRC Derby double winning hoop Michael Dee in the saddle, and the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained import Hoo Ya Mal ($18) having his debut run down under one wider in gate 15 with Craig Williams riding.
Tralee Rose meanwhile is the $101 roughie in Melbourne Cup betting out in barrier 22.
Previously also at triple-figures Arapaho has come into $71 as Rachel King looks to become just the second female Melbourne Cup winning jockey in history, while the Lloyd Williams-raced Point Nepean has been slashed from $101 to $51 with Irish hoop Wayne Lordan flying in for the ride.
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