The 2014 Melbourne Cup will feature two Godolphin runners and punters believe that Willing Foe has the edge over his stablemate Cavalryman heading into the Group 1 event at Flemington next Tuesday.
Willing Foe has not received a great deal of fanfare since arriving in Australia, but the Dynaformer gelding has received a steady stream of support in the last two weeks and he is now into Melbourne Cup odds of $21 to deliver Godolphin a maiden win in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The lightly-raced seven-year-old was restricted to one race start in 2013, but he stamped himself as possible Melbourne Cup contender when he recorded a dominant six lengths victory over Harris Tweed in the Listed Aston Park Stakes (2670m) at Newbury on May 18, but he had his racing season ended by injury.
Willing Foe returned to the races with a tight second place finish behind Seismos in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) at Newbury on August 16 and he was not disgraced when fourth behind Brown Panther, Leading Light and Encke in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) at Curragh on September 14.
James McDonald was originally booked to ride Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup, but he took the opportunity to jump on the back of Willing Foe after original jockey James Doyle was ruled out of the race due to suspension.
While Willing Foe has received more support in Melbourne Cup betting, Cavalryman is arguably taking stronger form into the $6 million race than his stablemate.
Cavalryman started his 2014 racing season with a dominant win in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2810m) at Meydan on March 1 before he finished a close second behind Ceterach in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at the same venue on March 29.
The Halling entire returned from a brief stint in the spelling paddock with a tight win in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10 and made it two wins on the trot in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) on July 31 before finishing fourth in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3299m) at York On August 22.
Craig Williams has been booked to ride Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup and he is currently available at Melbourne Cup odds of $26.
Godolphin are hoping that either Willing Foe or Cavalryman can deliver them a maiden win in the Melbourne Cup after previously finishing second with Give The Slip (2001) and Crime Scene (2009).