The race that stops a nation will badly interrupt my precious sleep pattern on Tuesday morning as I have an almightily cracking ante-post book on the Lexus Melbourne Cup set to run at 4.00 on Tuesday morning (please don’t go off too late)!
Having known about this being Constantinople’s aim for a while I was lucky enough to back him each-way at 20/1 and Finche and Il Paradiso are also in my ante-post pocket at double-figure odds, so if I don’t garner a return I shall be surprised, upset and bloody angry to boot.
But having ‘beaten the book’ on those three runners it affords me a chance to play again at some bigger odds and maybe a chance for you to follow me over that ‘saver cliff’ for this £2.5million splurge of a race.
Having watched last year’s event time and time again and seen the comparative odds of the runners for this year’s renewal I cannot believe the huge price attached to last year’s fifth ROSTROPOVICH.
Rated as high as 115 in his pomp in Europe (second in an Irish Derby) the son of Frankel had a horrendous draw last year when boxed in 21, had to race around the outside most of the way and did well to get to within five lengths of Cross Counter and company after looking a possible winner a quarter of a mile out.
Those wide running exertions though just bottomed him out close home and he did well to hang onto the £115k prize for fifth spot.
Since then he has been housed down under with David Hayes and run over a short of his best until contesting the Caulfield Cup last month.
That day he was given the most horrendous ride by Dwayne Dunn who for some reason rushed him into contention from third-last place on the bend to contest the lead and obviously couldn’t maintain the run and eventually finished 16th of the 18 runners.
Dunn maintains the ride here and I’m hoping connections have given him a blast in his ear to tell him to get his mount buried in midfield, on the inside and then bide his time and no rushes of blood. Better boxed in stall 12 here, I am pinning my hopes on the view that he has maintained most of his talent and can use a potent turn of foot down the home stretch.
Offered up at 50/1 (first six paces) by PP, I fancy he will outrun those odds if given the ride he needs and could sneak into the frame.
Youngstar was just behind the each-way selection last year, but from a much better draw and if I am going to have a second string to my bow then it has to be RAYMOND TUSK who was given an abysmal ride in the Ebor Handicap at York in August and this galloping two miles should be right up his street.
It is worth remembering that he ran a superb race in the Sagaro when second to Dee Ex Bee and was far from disgraced in the Ascot Gold Cup (last off the bridle) when not getting home behind the great Stradivarius.
The three draw is manna from heaven and I think Jamie Spencer is the perfect jockey for this as yet unexposed horse over this trip. Good ground is not a problem as well and Richard Hannon continues to fire in the winners at home and at 14/1 he merits a chunky each-way play to keep this famous trophy in the UK.
*All odds correct at time of posting