Trainer Gai Waterhouse is giving Excess Knowledge a great chance of winning the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today even though he is one of the outsiders of the field.
Excess Knowledge is marked at $71 for the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au but Waterhouse, who trains in partnership with Adrian Bott, considers that to be well over the odds.
Waterhouse’s bookmaker husband Robbie Waterhouse has Excess Knowledge at $101 on his book but the first lady of racing said to ignore that, giving the English import a great chance to win her a second Melbourne Cup after Fiorente collected the winning trophy in 2013.
“Can we ever. It’s a 100-1 in my husband’s market, pay no attention to Robbie,” Waterhouse said.
“You back Excess Knowledge.”
Excess Knowledge hasn’t been to the winner’s stall since winning the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington twelve months before running seventh to Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup three days later.
The seven year old’s latest Spring Carnival form saw him run third, two starts back to Almandin in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 2 followed by a fourth to Grand Marshal in the Group 2 $300,000 Antler Luggage Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
C0-trainer Adrian Bott can see Excess Knowledge appreciating the return to the bigger Flemingon track and is also expecting an improved performance.
“It’s one of the biggest positives with him going into the race – getting back to the Flemington track,” Bott said.
“The tight-turning Moonee Valley track didn’t really suit him. Back to Flemington, we know he’s performed well here previously. His run in the Melbourne Cup was huge last year. He’s won the Lexus. He really appreciates getting back to this track.”
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell remains at the top of the Melbourne Cup market order at $6 ahead of Caulfield Cup winner Jameka at $8.50 and Lexus Stakes winner Oceanographer at $9.