Wicklow Brave was a drifter in 2016 Melbourne Cup betting markets after he was allocated the outsider barrier, but the Irish St Leger winner has been backed back into a quote of $17.
Wicklow Brave drifted out to Melbourne Cup odds of $21 after he was allocated gate 24 at the 2016 Melbourne Cup barrier draw last night, but punters are not worried about the wide barrier draw and he has been well-supported in the past 12 hours.
Update: Wicklow Brave continues to be one of the most fancied horses in 2016 Melbourne Cup betting markets and he is now into $15 to take out ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The Beat Hollow gelding has gone to another level this season and he stamped himself as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender when he upset Order Of St George to win the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) at Curragh on September 11.
Trainer Willie Mullins told RSN that he has changed a great deal to get the best out of Wicklow Brave and he is confident that the seven-year-old is a genuine winning chance in the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
“We have changed a few things and concentrated more on the flat,” Mullins said.
“We have changed the way we ride him, the way we work him and it is working.
“I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to run him in the Irish St Leger, but we ran and he got one and a half kilos for winning that and I hope that hasn’t sunk me.
“He is well-travelled and the work that he did this morning was a huge bit of work.
“If he can overcome his draw and repeat that work on Tuesday he is going to give a great account of himself.”
Mullins has won a number of the biggest races in the United Kingdom and Ireland – including the Grand National and the Champion Hurdle – but he said that winning the Melbourne Cup with Wicklow Brave would be right up there with his greatest training achievements.
“It would be right up there,” Mullins said.
“Winning a Grand National for any trainer is top of the pop and this would be right up there with it.
“When we were dreaming of winning the Grand National nobody in Europe thought they could come down here and win a Melbourne Cup and it is a new horizon.”
Wicklow Brave is currently available at 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $17 with Ladbrokes, while Hartnell ($5) is a clear favourite from Oceanographer ($7), Jameka ($8), Bondi Beach ($9.50) and Heartbreak City ($15).