Ladbrokes’ Peter Moody has selected the Aidan O’Brien trained Yucatan as his top 2018 Melbourne Cup Tip.
Moody said that he normally doesn’t select the favourite to win the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) but was very impressed with Yucatan’s effortless win in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13.
“I’m not generally one to tip the Melbourne Cup favourite, but I simply can’t go past him,” Moody wrote in the Sunday Mail.
“Seeing is believing when it comes to the European horses in the Melbourne Cup and what he did in the Herbert Power Stakes was outstanding.”
“His owner Lloyd Williams knows what it takes to win this race and he seems incredibly confident. He is the horse to beat.”
High profile jockey James McDonald eased Yucatan down in the run to the line to win the Herbert Power Stakes in a canter and will be aboard the Lloyd Williams owned Irish stayer again at Flemington on Tuesday.
Yucatan was way out of luck at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw, coming up with barrier twenty-three in the twenty-four horse field but remains the $6 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’.
Moody’s second Melbourne Cup selection is another European raider, Muntahaa, who is prepared by Newmarket trainer John Gosden.
Muntahaa is marked at $11 on race eve and was a dominant last start winner in the £500,000 Ebor Handicap (about 2800m) at York in England on August 25.
“Looms as the wildcard of those who have not raced in Australia,” Moody wrote.
“It is rare to see a horse win the Ebor Handicap in such dominant fashion and he has impressed onlookers with his trackwork.”
“No horse has completed the Ebor – Melbourne Cup double, bit it is generally a strong guide for the race.”
Northern Hemisphere three year old Cross Counter ($10) is Moody’s third pick and the Charlie Appleby trained lightweight will jump from gate nineteen with two times Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
“I was very keen on him when he arrived in Australia, but I don’t like the fact he has had a setback, which has no doubt plagued his preparation,” Moody wrote.
“In saying that, he is the type of progressive European stayer that generally run well in this race. If he is fit, he will have every chance.”
Moody is also giving the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Runaway a rough chance at long double figure odds.
Runaway is listed as a $34 chance for the Melbourne Cup and gained a start in the famous two miler with his all the way win in the Group 3 $350,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 24.
Waterhouse won the 2013 Melbourne with Fiorente with Damien Oliver in the saddle.