Admire Rakti has opened at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $5 and is set to start ‘the race that stops a nation’ at Flemington on Saturday as a clear favourite.
Admire Rakti has been favourite in Melbourne Cup betting since he carried 58 kilograms to victory in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 11 and punters are confident that the Heart’s Cry entire can overcome recent history and become the first horse since Think Big in 1975 to carry more than 58 kilograms to victory.
Lucia Valentina fared well at the 2014 Melbourne Cup barrier draw this evening and she is now into $7 to turn-the-tables on Admire Rakti in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Tuesday.
The Savabeel mare recorded strong wins in both the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6 and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October and she was far from disgraced when third in the Caulfield Cup.
German stayer Protectionist shares the second line of Melbourne Cup betting with Lucia Valentina and will jump from barrier 11 with Cox Plate winning jockey Ryan Moore on his back on the first Tuesday of November.
Protectionist stamped himself as a Melbourne Cup contender when he took out the Group 2 Hansa-Preis (2413m) at Hamburg in June and the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in August before he had his Melbourne Cup odds slashed when he worked home strongly to finish fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11.
Fawkner was wound into a quote of $8 in Melbourne Cup betting markets after he drew ideally in barrier nine at the barrier draw this afternoon, while the odds of Cavalryman ($21) and My Ambivalent ($41) following the barrier draw.
Darren Weir-trained Signoff was available at $51 in Melbourne Cup betting earlier in the week, but there was an avalanche of support for the progressive stayer in the last week and he is now on the fourth line of betting for the race.
Signoff was shortened into $8 following his Lexus Stakes victory, but he drifted slightly to $8.50 following the Melbourne Cup barrier draw.
The big drifter in Melbourne Cup betting at the conclusion of the Melbourne Cup barrier draw was Johnny Murtagh-trained Mutual Regard, who is now out to $13 after connections drew barrier 12 for the Ebor Handicap winner.
Mutual Regard will be making his Australian racing debut in the Melbourne Cup, but he is taking strong form into the race after he carried 61 kilograms to victory in the Ebor Handicap (2816m) at York on August 23.
The extreme outsiders in Melbourne Cup betting are veteran mare Unchain My Heart ($201), who beat home just a single runner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup, and Mr O’Ceirin ($201), who has not been seen at the races since he finished seventh in Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on October 12.
Fiorente (2013), Makybe Diva (2004 and 2005), Jezabeel (1998), Might And Power (1997) and Let’s Elope (1991) are the only horses to have won the Melbourne Cup in the past thirty years.