The bookmakers say the Cups King is making up the numbers in the Melbourne Cup, but Bart Cummings is "as confident as ever'' with Sanagas and Precedence heading towards Tuesday.
The TAB has import Sanagas, a A$51 shot after his midfield finish in the Caulfield Cup, while Precedence has touched triple figures in betting as he prepares to run in his third Melbourne Cup.
That didn't dent the confidence of the 12-time Melbourne Cup winner that he could shock the nation on Tuesday.
"They might be big prices but I'm just as confident as ever. There is no use being any other way,'' Cummings said. ''Someone has to win it and it may as well be me.''
The legend proved he is still the master of Flemington on the first Tuesday in November only four years ago when Viewed won the Melbourne Cup as a $41 outsider.
''I have done it before, you know,'' Cummings said. "I'm very happy with both of them.''
Cummings has strengthened up former US stayer Sanagas since he joined his team earlier this year.
''Like all those foreigners we get, he has put on 30 kilos once we got the good tucker into him,'' he said.
The seven-year-old owned by BC3 Thoroughbreds was sent to Cummings because of his record in the Cup. He has not been sighted in his four runs in Australia until he ran 10th in the Caulfield Cup but didn't have a lot of luck.
Cummings is convinced he will stay the distance and said if Nick Hall gave a good ride he expected him to run well.
"He has got a good barrier  and good rider in young Hall. He knows what he has to do,'' Cummings said. "The horse definitely stays, he has done it before over there [in America] and he can do again."
It is certain that Precedence will not be anywhere near the A$101 freely available around betting houses on Sunday when the TAB opened betting on the Melbourne Cup. He won for the first time in a couple of years earlier in this preparation and ran good races in the Herbert Power Handicap, where he was sixth, while last start in the Moonee Valley Cup he hit the front before fading to fourth. Cummings likes the reports he has been getting for the track.
''Precedence's trackwork has been the best of his career. He is just a typical Zabeel and is getting better with age like us all. I didn't go to the barrier draw but we left it to that Kiwi fellow [Sir Patrick Hogan].
"He unfortunately got the visitor draw in 20. The times he has been running on the track have been great and the barrier won't stop him if he is good enough.''
Hogan is the boss at Cambridge Stud where Zabeel stands and hopes Precedence can deliver the champion stallion a fourth Melbourne Cup winner after Might And Power, Jezabeel and Efficient. Zabeel will also have Lights Of Heaven, Maluckyday and Zabeelionaire on Tuesday.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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