The Melbourne Cup odds of favourite Fame Game could ease if the forecast rain arrives at Flemington before the running of the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’ on Tuesday.
The Japanese trained Fame Game has dominated betting for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) since his eye catching sixth to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
But the form guide reveals that the Yoshitada Munakata trained stayer has only raced on firm and good tracks in Japan with no experience at all on a rain affected surface.
Fame Game has won twice on firm going and three times on good surfaces, his last win being three starts back in the Group 3 US693,000 Diamond Stakes (3400m) at Tokyo, Japan, on February 21 on a firm rated track.
Then the six year old was narrowly beaten when second to Gold Ship on a firm track again in the Group 1 US$2.5m Tenno Sho Spring (3200m) at Kyoto, Japan, on May 3 at his last run before the Caulfield Cup.
Fame Game drew the middle of the pack at the barrier draw yesterday and will jump from twelve in the capacity twenty-four horse field of the Melbourne Cup.
The market order at Ladbrokes.com.au has Fame Game as short as $3.70 at some stage of the betting but he had drifted to $4 on Sunday morning and if the rain does arrive before start time on Tuesday, his price will continue to drift.
On the second line of betting at $9 is the English stayer Trip To Paris who ran a great Melbourne Cup trial when second in the Caulfield Cup and came up with barrier fourteen.
The first of Chris Waller’s three Melbourne Cup runners in the market is last year’s Victoria Derby winner Preferment at $10 while the leading trainer’s other two runners are at healthy double figure odds with Who Shot Thebarman at $21 and Grand Marshall at $34.
Connections of Fame Game were under the stewards’ spotlight after the running of the Caulfield Cup with attention being directed to Zac Purton’s quiet ride on the Japanese stayer.
Purton had settled Fame Game near the tail of the field and was actually last on the home turn before he ran home strongly to finished sixth, less than five lengths from the winner.
Munakata has reported that Fame Game has pleased the stable since then and he will be ridden in the same manner with Purton in the saddle again on Tuesday and will be better suited over the 3200m at Flemington.
“Hopefully he runs up to expectations,” Munakata said through an interpreter.
“He will be ridden similar to Caulfield – perhaps a little closer.
“I think he will be better suited over the longer distance of the Melbourne Cup.
“He had his final gallop today (Saturday) which went well. It’s been a nice, smooth preparation all the way through.”
Melbourne Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Fame Game, $9 Trip To Paris, $10 Preferment, $14 Max Dynamite, $15 Criterion, $16 Almoonqith, $19 The United States, $21 Who Shot Thebarman, Bondi Beach, $26 Our Ivanhowe, Excess Knowledge, Red Cadeuax, Kingfisher,$31 Hartnell, Hokko Brave, $34 Grand Marshall, Gust Of Wind, $41 Snow Sky, The Offer, $51 Sky Hunter, Big Orange, $81 Prince Of Penzance, $101 Quest For More, $201 Sertorius.
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