Returning to racing in largely competitive form this season in the lead-up to the Race That Stops a Nation, punters are yet to offer much support for classy British import Opinion in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets.
Securing a credible record of five race wins and a further five minors from his 25 competitive appearances on course so far, Opinion began his racing tenure under the care of leading British trainer Sir Michael Stoute before transferring to the care of Chris Waller at the conclusion of his 2013 campaign.
Finishing a close second to fellow Melbourne Cup acceptor Junoob in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on October 4th before running a disappointing sixth when jumping clear favourite in the Group 1 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) last time out, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing (owners) representative Alex Smith is confident all signs point towards a competitive Melbourne Cup tilt for Opinion.
“There’s nothing better than competing internationally at the top – that’s what it’s all about for us,”
“Chris is on fire and had a wonderful day today … he’s handled the horse really well, we’ve been really impressed by the way he’s trained him over here.
“There’s no doubt he’ll get the trip, the Moonee Valley track didn’t suit him last time, just very tight but Flemington will be right up his street.
“Mustn’t forget he’s been second in two Group 1’s now so I think he’s there with a chance.
“We were a little bit worried as to whether we’d get in a couple of weeks ago but things have rolled in our favour, we got in off a good weight, we’re very happy to have Tye riding – a great jockey and we’re going in with a shout.”
Finishing sixth behind the likes of Equador and Weary in his Australian racing debut over 1400m on February 15th, Opinion charged home to win the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) by three lengths on March 1st before finishing second in each of the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m), Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Unable to make much of an impact over his three starts during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival prior to The Metropolitan, the Oasis Dream gelding has been charged with carrying just 53.5kgs at Flemington on Tuesday and is available in Melbourne Cup betting markets with Ladbrokes Australia at particularly generous $51 odds.