While unable to justify favouritism when finishing a disappointing sixth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) last time out on October 25th, in-turn causing his Melbourne Cup odds to drift noticeably, jockey Tye Angland is confident the wide Flemington track will see a return to competitive form for Opinion on Tuesday.
Securing a credible five race wins and as many minor places from his 25 appearances on course so far, Opinion began his racing tenure under the guidance of renowned trainer Sir Michael Stoute before transferring to the care of Chris Waller at the conclusion of his 2013 racing campaign in Britain.
Having partnered the Oasis Dream gelding just once previous; an impressive display for second in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October, Angland is excited by the prospect of taking the ride on Opinion in the Race That Stops a Nation and is confident of completing a far-more impressive performance than that assumed of a $67 Melbourne Cup odds chance.
“I rode him in the Metropolitan and ran second on him, so I chased the ride pretty hard,” Angland told Racing Victoria.
“Zac (Purton) rode him last week, but I was always going to get the ride back.
“He didn’t look good at Moonee Valley, but I gave Zac a phone call and he just said it was his first time riding him and he’s a horse that doesn’t handle tight little tracks.
“Big tracks like Randwick are his best runs, so I’m sure once he gets back to the big track at Flemington he’ll be hard to hold back.”
A standout performer for Waller over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, Opinion won the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) in only his second Australian appearances 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) most notably.
Beating just two runners home in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) on August 16th, the gelding out of Kiltubber quickly found competitive form in finishing fifth in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) most notably, leading into The Metropolitan.
Allocated an ideal central draw in barrier 14, Opinion opened betting at Melbourne Cup odds of $51, but is yet to receive much attention from punters; leading to an evident drift to current his current quote.