Mount Athos is the new favourite in 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets; with the Luca Cumani-trained stayer overtaking Fiorente as the punters elect for the Group 1 event at Flemington on Tuesday.
Mount Athos is now into Melbourne Cup odds of $7.50, while Fiorente, who has been favourite since his fast-finishing fourth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) over a month ago, is now on the second line of betting at a quote of $8.
The Montjeu gelding has been extremely impressive since arriving in Australia just under a fortnight ago and has produced a number of sizzling trackwork performances at the International Equine Centre at Werribee.
He worked alongside his companion horse, a present from OTI Racing co-founder Terry Henderson to Cumani, over 1400 metres at Werribee this morning and Cumani is extremely happy with the condition of the stayer heading into the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday.
Mount Athos finished fifth behind Green Moon in the 2012 Melbourne Cup and although his form hasn’t been as strong this season will be advantaged by having leading Australian Craig Williams on his back; with English jockey Ryan Moore setting the Ormonde Stakes winner far too great an assignment in the final stages of last year’s race.
Fiorente has been the big drifter in 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets since the start of the week but Gai Waterhouse stable jockey Tommy Berry, who will ride Tres Blue in the Melbourne Cup, was very impressed with the Monsun entire when he partnered him at trackwork at Flemington this morning.
Berry told TVN that he has not ridden Fiorente for over a month but was brimming with praise for the condition of the horse, especially following his tough, on-pace effort in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
“He is bouncing,” Berry said.
“After his run on Saturday I thought he would have been a bit flat but he is not.
“The horse is flying.”
Both Mount Athos and Fiorente will have to overcome recent history if they are going to be successful in the 2013 Melbourne Cup next Tuesday.
No horse has won the Melbourne Cup after failing to win the race the year before since Brew in 2000 (who finished tenth in the 1999 edition of the race) and no horse has come back and won the race the following year after finishing second since Empire Rose in 1988.