Big Orange has been the market mover in 2016 Melbourne Cup betting markets and he is now into $14 to win the Group 1 event at Flemington on Tuesday.
There has also been some consistent money for the Caulfielfd Cup winner Jameka who is now marked at $8, displacing Lexus Stakes winner Oceanographer who is now on the third line of betting at $8.50.
Big Orange was available at Melbourne Cup odds of $18 when the final field was released on Saturday afternoon, but he has been the best-backed runner in the past 24 hours and there have been a number of big bets for the Duke Of Marmalade gelding.
The five-year-old finished a more than credible fifth behind Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup 12 months ago and he has gone to another level in the past 12 months.
Big Orange finished a close second behind Vazirabad in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan on March 26 and he was third behind Exospheric in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on April 30.
He returned to winning form with a high-rating victory over The Grey Gatsby in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 7 and he won again in impressive fashion in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) on July 28.
Trainer Michael Bell believes that Big Orange has the best lead-up form of the other horses that have made the trip from the United Kingdom and he is confident that he is in better form than he was when he contested the race last year.
“He is in great form,” Bell said.
“He breezed on Friday, had a little canter and had a lead-out yesterday.
“He is absolutely bang on for the race.
“His form in the UK is better (than it was 12 months ago) and he only needs to improve a little bit to be seriously involved in the finish.
“I am really confident of a good run.
“I am not necessarily confident of victory, but I am confident that he will perform with big credit.”
Big Orange was settled right on the speed in the early stages of the Melbourne Cup last year and Bell said that jockey Jamie Spencer could very well lead on the talented gelding in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“He is always ridden prominently and there is no point saying that he is going to do anything different because he will be there or thereabouts throughout the race.
“We are happy to make it, but if anything wants to take it on they are more than welcome to.”
Big Orange is currently available at 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $14 with Ladbrokes, while Hartnell ($5) remains a clear favourite from Jameka ($8), Oceanographer ($8.50) and Bondi Beach ($10).