Melbourne Cup punters plunge on mare

ADAM PENGILLY
Last updated 13:15 06/11/2012
DANIEL GALVIN\Fairfax NZ

We talk to Punters at Ellerslie racecourse and get their picks ahead of the Melbourne Cup race later this afternoon.

Melbourne Cup style 2012
Getty Images Zoom
Fashions on the Field kicks off ahead of the big race at Flemington.

Melbourne Cup preview and tips

Finish Line
Supplied Zoom
Melbourne Cup 2012 finish

Related Links

Melbourne Cup: Staff leave early for a punt Americain all fired up for Melbourne Cup Melbourne Cup punters favour Americain Trainers tips for the Cup Melbourne Cup truly global spectacle The fashions of the Melbourne Cup Melbourne Cup style 2012 Williams feels Dunaden has the class Melbourne Cup 2012 racing action Melbourne Cup: Punters' picks

Match Scorecard

0
Tries:
Conversions:
Penalty goals:
0
Tries:
Conversions:
Penalty goals:
Venue:
Error: Cannot find match file.

Relevant offers

Racing

Trainer John Wheeler winning as he winds down Murray Baker beefs up for Royal Stakes at Ellerslie Size counts in Pikes' favour as Boodles comes up trumps Emerald Queen back to her royal best in Timaru Price will rise on promising galloper Shadow Fox Harness racing: Madiba shows her magic at Westport Promising trio dominate the Equine Stakes at Winton Bets go off-line after TAB hit by cyber attack Tegan Abel claims win on first raceday ride at Rotorua Eagle-eyed Aussie owner right on the money

Punters have warmed to the prospect of the Melbourne Cup remaining in Australia, sensationally supporting the only mare in this year's race, Lights Of Heaven, at yesterday's Call of the Card at Crown Casino.

One of two runners for premier Victorian trainer Peter Moody, the Brisbane Cup winner was backed to win A$1.2 million after chasing home Dunaden when third in the Caulfield Cup a week ago.

Betstar's Alan Eskander offered A$21 about Lights Of Heaven, which was quickly snapped up by two of Australia's biggest punters, Sean Bartholomew and Kingsley Bartholomew, who forked out $A25,000 and $A15,000 respectively to back the five-year-old Zabeel mare.

''I thought $A21 was a fair price, but I didn't think it was bulk overs,'' Eskander said.

''They just kept coming for it. We're standing it for about $A1.2 million at this stage and I think we took up most of the punting on the floor at $A21. Lights Of Heaven was easily the best backed.''

At the New Zealand TAB, Lights of Heaven is the fifth favourite, paying $16 to win. Last year's winner Dunaden is favoured at the NZ tote at $6.50, followed by Mount Athos at $7,  2010 winner Americain at $7.50 and Red Cadeaux at $9.

Niwot, another Melbourne-prepared hopeful staring down the European invasion, was the subject of the call's biggest liability for bookmaker Tom Waterhouse after he accepted a $A10,000 each-way bet at $A71.

The Lights Of Heaven plunge and Niwot splurge was in stark contrast to the cool reception Americain and Dunaden received, with a $A50,000 wager at $A8 on Dunaden the only serious interest in the past two Cup winners.

Waterhouse was ''surprised'' Americain and Dunaden were on the nose with the big players on Cup eve.

''They came for them, but they didn't come for the favourites the way I thought they would,'' he said. ''We held a lot of money [on other horses] and I suppose we've just got to hope it goes the right way [today].''

Caulfield Cup flop Glencadam Gold was the subject of a $A5000 each-way wager at $A51 before another punter launched into a revised $A41 with a $A10,000 each-way bet. Waterhouse also stands to lose $A250,000 on a single wager on Bart Cummings' Sanagas.

Overseas-trained horses Red Cadeaux ($A12), Tac De Boistron ($A81), Mount Athos ($A8) and My Quest For Peace ($A21) were all well tried. Eskander said apart from Lights Of Heaven, the small support for a number of runners in the great race indicated the field assembled was the most even for years.

''I think it's one of the best Melbourne Cups we've had assembled in recent history - if not all time,'' he said. ''I think when you have a level race like that it's hard for them [punters] to try to decide. Over the next 24 hours there'll be a truckload more money.''

Ad Feedback

Waterhouse said: ''This is a very, very good even field with a lot of good horses. The money came straight for a lot of them.''

- Sydney Morning Herald

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

How did you fare with your Melbourne Cup punting?

Nailed it, Protectionist you beauty

Not all bad, a nice little profit

Good and bad, I came out about even

Lost a little, but it could be worse

Crashed and burned, there's always next year though

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content