French import Azuro is still a 100-1 pop for the 2019 Melbourne Cup despite claiming a second win over the 2 mile journey with his victory in the Listed $200,000 Triple M’s Big Breakfast Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Azuro was sent out as the $2.70 favourite for the Queensland Cup and after winning jockey Matt McGillivray let the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trainer stayer stride to the from at the 1400m, the result was never in doubt.
Last Saturday’s win was Azuro’s second success over 3200m following his last start win in the $125,000 Stayer’s Cup at Rosehill on June 29 while the five year old’s only other run over the two miles produced a close up second to Yogi in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (3200m) at Ladbrokes Park at Sandown at the end of the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Stablemate Yogi also went around in the Queensland Cup to finish a gallant third with 60kg on his back.
Betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2019 Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November has Azuro marked as a $101 chance while last year’s winner Cross Counter heads the marker order at $15.
Azuro was strong at the end of the 3200m despite McGillivray circling the field at the half way mark and taking up the lead before going on to to record a three and three quarter lengths win over Social Element with stablemate Yogi a close up third.
“My horse didn’t want to settle. I couldn’t fight the whole race and it was time to go,” McGillivray said.
“I had to take the initiative and it worked out beautifully. There’s not much of him, he’s a very light framed horse. He’s got a big motor underneath him.
“I was very confident at the 300m and it was a terrific win.”
The Maher – Eustace stable wrapped up a successful Queensland Winter Carnival with Azuro adding to the victories of Kenedna in the Group 1 $700,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) and in the Group 2 $400,000 P.J. O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at Doomben, two year old Dubious in the Group 2 $200,000 Champagne Classic (1200m) and Etana in the Group 2 $200,000 The Roses (2000m) also at Doomben.
All In betting for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $15 Cross Counter, $17 Master Of Rreality, $21 Falcon Eight, Japan, Torcedor, $26 A Prince Of Arran, Avilius, Django Freeman, Finche, Ghostwatch, Marmelo, Gold Mount, Ispolini, Kew Gardens, Shraaoh, Surprise Baby, Verry Elleegant, Vow And Declare, $31 Johannes Vermeer, Amade, Dee Ex Bee, Latrobe, Rostropovich, Southern France, Steel Prince, Stradivarius, $34 Buckhurst, Raa Atoli, Sir Dragnet, $41 Mr Quickie, Dubhe, Mugatoo, Old Persian, Rekindling, Yucatan, $51 or better the rest.