Trainer Matt Cumani is confident that Grey Lion will take improvement into his second campaign appearance in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington today, but the talented import has continued to drift in 2016 Melbourne Cup betting markets and is now rated a $51 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Grey Lion made his Australian debut in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 19th and stamped himself as a legitimate Cup contender when running on well for second behind Qewy with third placegetter Oceaongrapher going on to score an impressive win in the in the Lexus Stakes last Saturday.
Cumani has been thrilled with the way that the Galileo entire has taken to life at this Ballarat base, but the northern hemisphere four-year-old is yet to receive much interest in Melbourne Cup betting markets with online bookmaker Ladbrokes, and has drifted to $34 odds.
“It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” Cumani said of saddling his first Melbourne Cup runner.
“It’s great to be here and to have this in my first year is unbelievable and fantastic, and a huge thanks has to go out to the owners and to my family really.
“It’s a little bit wider than we’d hoped (barrier 16) but I think we’ve got good horses either side, and good pace.
“We’ve got Qewy on our inside and Curren Mirotic on our outside, so it could have been a lot worse.
“I think it’s all about having options. The further out you are, the easier it is to see where you’re going.
“It’s going to be up to Bossy now to try and find his route and find where he wants to settle, and then go for home when the time’s right.
“He’s come on a hell of a lot since he’s been here and really flourished. I don’t know if it’s the climate, or the Aussies or the feed, but he’s grown another leg and I hope we can keep him right all the way to the Cup day.”
Grey Lion began his career in France, under the guidance of prominent trainer Andre Fabre and has posted a credible four wins and as many minors through only twelve career starts.
Resuming this year for a smart win in the Prix De Louviers (2500m) on March 4th, Grey Lion failed to fire or beat a runner home in the Prix De La Porte De Madrid (2400m) three weeks later, but responded well for third in the Group 3 Prix D’Hedouville (2400m) most notably on May 8th.
Grey Lion will carry only 52kgs in the Melbourne Cup and will be partnered by veteran hoop Glen Boss.