The weights for “the race that stops a nation” were released this week and as a result the, antepost market for the 2012 Melbourne Cup has started to take real shape. The betting for the race itself, which takes place on Tuesday 6th November, will gain momentum over the next six weeks and this year, the Australians will want to end the winning sequence by Raiders from the Northern Hemisphere with European horses winning for the past two years and it is another European entry that tops the betting currently.
Leading bookmakers in Europe have installed Mount Athos as the favourite at odds of 10/1 ($11). Trained by Luca Cumani, Mount Athos looked the “real deal” when winning the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last month which extended his winning sequence for the season to three wins from three starts.
It could be said that Cumani, having saddled the runner up in the Melbourne Cup twice is now overdue a win and this could very well be the case as the five year old is sure stay every inch of the two mile trip and has the proven class to win. More importantly, the son of Montjeu is well weighted at 54kg, similar to that carried by Dunaden, when he won the race last year but who is not thought to be as good as Mount Athos.
Cumani will also be running Quest For Peace who has genuine claims in his own right. A winner of a Group Three and a Listed race already this season in Europe, Quest For Peace will carry half a kilo less than his stablemate but without doubt will go to Melbourne having produced a very similar level of form. In terms of value, the 30/1 ($31) about Quest For Peace looks exceptional and should be snapped up by each way backers.
Dunaden, who has shown some good form over in the UK this season, without winning, will be looking to successfully defend his crown but will carry top weight of 58kg, as will 2010 winner, Americain.
Dunaden’s win in the Hong Kong Vase immediately after his Melbourne Cup triumph confirmed his ability to mix it with it with top class rivals but his burden of 58 kg might even be too much for him to carry to the winners enclosure for a second successive year. Nonetheless, he can be backed currently at around the 16/1 ($17) mark but punters are advised to see how he runs in his warm up race before taking any serious plunge.
As for Americain, he ran with great credit in 2011 but could only manage fourth place. He was last seen last month at Deauville finishing one but last in a Group Two over 15 furlongs. This was a race that strongly suggested that he is likely past his best and that the 20/1 about him regaining the Melbourne Cup is nothing like value.
Dermot Weld, who has twice saddled the winner of this race will be looking for a third with Galileo’s Choice. This six year old has won a Listed race over 14 furlongs so far this year plus a Group 3 over 12 furlongs and is extremely finely tuned for the race; he will carry 53.5 kg and is currently a 30/1 shot to win. It is hard to believe that he was seventh in the Supreme Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this year but such is his versatility, then anything would appear to be possible for him.
The big hope for a home victory would seem to come from Green Moon, who finished second in the Caulfield Cup in 2011. The Robert Hickmott trained runner will be looking to win that race back-to-back before making his bid on the Melbourne Cup. His form certainly stacks up and his weight of 53.5kg gives him every chance which is why he is around the 15/1 mark to win the race and looks the best chance of ending the European domination.
Read more about the weights and latest odds ahead of the Melbourne Cup at http://melbourne-cup.betting-directory.com/