Grand Marshal is out to 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $41 and there has been very little betting support for the Sydney Cup winner ahead of the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow afternoon.
Grand Marshal stamped himself as a stayer with promise when he took out the Visit Victoria Plate (2800m) on Melbourne Cup Day last year and he showed his ability to run out a strong 3200 metres when he took out the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) earlier this year.
Waller admits that Grand Marshal is not a superstar and would need to find another level to win a race like the 2015 Melbourne Cup, but he has been happy with the form of the Dansili gelding and he believes that the six-year-old deserves respect on the back of his performance in the Caulfield Cup.
“He has been set for three races in the last year,” Waller told Racing Ahead.
“The first one was on Cup Day last year and it was a great thrill for the owners and after that we said we would set him for the Sydney Cup and he managed to pull that off and he has funnily enough been set for the Melbourne Cup tomorrow.
“That has been the case and I can’t fault his form.
“We realize that he is no superstar, but his last start run in the Caulfield Cup deserves respect.”
Jim Cassidy has developed a successful combination with Grand Marshal and Waller said that the veteran hoop is confident that the Sydney Cup winner can perform well in the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
Cassidy announced last weekend that he is set to retire after he rides Dawnie Perfect in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m), but Waller is keen to see the Melbourne Cup winning hoop continue his riding career for another two months and visit Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, New Zealand and Sydney for farewell race meetings.
“He is bullish about his chances and that is what makes Jimmy so good,” Waller said.
“I am going to challenge Jimmy in the next 24 hours to not retire on Thursday.
“Ultimately it is up to him and I fully respect what he was and when he does it, but I am going to try and encourage him to do a bit of a tour around Australia – South Australia, Perth, Queensland, Victoria and even New Zealand.
“We throw that into consecutive Saturday’s maybe over six weeks and have his grand finale in Sydney.
“I think it would be fitting to go out in each of those centres.
“I hope he can prolong it for another six or seven weeks.”
Grand Marshal opened at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $26 when the final field was released, but there has been very little support for the Waller-trained stayer and he is now out to $41 to take out the Group 1 event.
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