The 2014 Melbourne Cup nominations will be released at Flemington this afternoon and Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter has declared that he is expecting this year’s edition of ‘the race that stops a nation’ to be an extremely open affair.
Gai Waterhouse-trained The Offer has been Melbourne Cup favourite since he won the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in impressive fashion during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but the top of the market is dominated by international stayers, with Japanese pair Bande and Admire Rakti as well as Europeans Dandino, Terrubi, Ahzeemah and Fame Game kept very safe in markets for the Group 1 event.
Carpenter told Racing Ahead this morning that the 2014 Melbourne Cup nominations will be packed full of staying talent from right around the world and he believes that there are countless winning chances as no European stayer, outside of Aidan O’Brien-trained Leading Light, have stamped themselves as the horse to beat this season.
“The Melbourne Cup itself has turned into the staying championship of the world,” Carpenter said.
“I am absolutely certain that we are going to get a really high class list of international entries and those are going to come from all countries through Europe and we have talked about the return of the Japanese.
“It is a very open affair this year, both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup, there hasn’t been a dominant force really in the older division of the stayers and that means it is going to be a very wide open race for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups this year.
“I am really looking forward to the release of the nominations at Flemington racecourse around two o’clock this afternoon and also some other exciting announcements that are going to be made in concert with the nominations.”
Nominations for the Melbourne Cup close at midday and Carpenter will release the weights for the race on Tuesday September 16 before first acceptances are taken on Tuesday October 7 followed by second acceptances on Monday October 27 and final acceptances on Saturday November 1.
The Offer ($13) remains a narrow favourite in the 2014 Melbourne Cup betting market with Ladbrokes Australia from Japanese duo Bande ($15) and Admire Rakti ($21), 2013 Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino ($21), Makybe Diva’s half-sister La Amistad ($21), Australian Bloodstock-owned Terrubi ($21) and Godolphin stayer Ahzeemah ($26).