There has been a 2013 Melbourne Cup betting move for Brown Panther after high-profile owner Michael Owendue barrier six for the English stayer at Flemington last night.
Brown Panther has impressed onlookers at the International Equine Centre at Werribee in the past fortnight and he is now into odds of $19 in Melbourne Cup betting markets following the ideal barrier draw.
Owen said at the barrier draw that trainer Tom Dascombe told him before he made his selection that barrier six would be perfect for the son of Shirocco and the former English football superstar was clearly delighted that he could hold up his end of the bargain.
“The trainer asked me to get six,” Owen said.
“He said that anything between four or fourteen but I said I didn’t want a wide spectrum so he said get number six.
“I was very, very lucky and let’s hope that it is a good sign.”
Owen represented England on 89 occasions in football and played at the highest level of the game for over fifteen years but admitted that he gets more nervous before a big horse race than he ever did during his stellar playing career.
“It is countdown to the big race now so nerves will start going,” Owen said.
“It is very different playing and watching.
“I always felt in control of what I was doing on the football pitch and the destiny is in your hands however you make it.
“Horse racing is totally different; once you say see you later to your jockey and horse, you feel a little bit nervous.”
Brown Panther has performed strongly without winning at Group 1 level in Europe, finishing second behind Masked Marvel in the 2011 Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (2937m) and third in the 2012 Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m), and was victorious in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) earlier this year but Owen believes he will face the biggest test of his racing career in the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
Owen said that the presence of so many elite European-trained horses makes the Melbourne Cup a very difficult race to win but remains confident that Brown Panther is good enough to become the first British-trained horse to win ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“It is obviously as tough a race as you can get, the Melbourne Cup is growing in quality every year and it is a very hard race to win, but so far every step that we have taken has been positive and now it is down to trainer, jockey and horse to hopefully run a good race,” Owen said.
“We have run against a few of these horses before and I think that it is common knowledge that European horses have an advantage in the staying division where as you Aussies come over to England to beat us in the sprinting division.
“I think the European horses have a good staying pedigree and hopefully we can have a first British winner.”
Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente is on top of 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets at odds of $7.50 but there has also been plenty of support for last year’s fifth placegetter Mount Athos ($9) and Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino ($11).