Punters come for new Cup favourite

THE groundswell of support for the Chris Waller-trained Finche has continued with the stayer now outright favourite at $8 for the Melbourne Cup.

Finche firmed from $9.50 to $8 with bookies, while former favourite Mer De Glace has drifted from $6.50 to $8.50 second favourite.

Constantinople also was rolled out and is now $9.50.

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Il Paradiso firmed from $15 to $13 with some support and Magic Wand came from $26 to $19.

The fluctuations at the top of betting came as professional punters Tom Waterhouse and Steve Bradley launched a multi-pronged betting spree.

Emphasising the wide open nature of the Cup, Waterhouse backed six horses at the traditional Call Of The Card - and vowed to keep hunting for value ahead of the race.

The former bookmaker outlayed $54,500 on six different horses, including $10,000 at $101 to win $1 million The Chosen One, $5000 at $26 on Magic Wand and $10,000 on Downdraft at $21.

Finche (left) runs a eye-catching second in the Turnbull Stakes.
Finche (left) runs a eye-catching second in the Turnbull Stakes.

His onslaught also featured wagers of $10,000 at $8.50 on Finche, $7500 at $61 on Twilight Payment and $12,000 at $21 on Latrobe.

Bradley weighed in with the largest single bet of a spirited session with a wager of $20,000 on Il Paradiso.

"It's a race of high value and there are plenty of horses I want to be on that I haven't been able to back yet," Waterhouse said.

"I want to be on the Japanese horse (Mer De Glace) and I want to be on Cross Counter.

"Latrobe, I would have backed to win $1 million if I'd got $26. I think I've taken unders at $21.

"It's a race to find long shots. I think the market is wrong with The Chosen One. It's not in my top three but the pace is going to be on and it's going to be flying home."

Waterhouse believes that while there is great value on offer, the Cup could still fall to ruling joint favourite Mer De Glace or Constantinople.

"It wouldn't surprise me if they won," Waterhouse said.

"It's an open Cup, but I'm trying to find a way to win on it."

Damian Lane rides Mer De Glace to victory in the Caulfield Cup.
Damian Lane rides Mer De Glace to victory in the Caulfield Cup.

Their betting frenzy came as as bookmaker Warren Woodcock declared the race "the hardest Cup I've ever seen".

Finche, Mer De Glace and Magic Wand attracted plenty of interest as injured dual Cup-winning rider Corey Brown anointed Finche as the horse to beat.

"The more I go over the field, the more Finche jumps out," he said.

"He's been trained for the race and I'd like to be riding him.

"Frankie Dettori (Master Of Reality) is a good friend of mine and I'd love for him to win the race.

Former champion jockey Johnny Murtagh also chose Finche, describing Latrobe as Joseph O'Brien's best chance of winning.

Bookmakers Anthony Doughty and Mark Sampieri are also in the Finche camp, Woodcock likes Prince Of Arran while David McLauchlan says Surprise Baby can triumph.

In other developments, VRC track manager Liam O'Keeffe believes the Flemington track rating will remain at a Soft 6 for the duration of the Cup meeting.

O'Keeffe said the radar was clear for Tuesday but he doubted whether the track condition would change.

"There's only going to be light winds which aren't drying winds and a temperature of 18 degrees, so I think it will stay at a Soft 6 rating,"

O'Keeffe said after Monday's mornings rain the track was on the softer side of a Soft 6.

He has also decided to move the rail out from the true position to 3m out for the entire track.

He said he usually moved it out 2m after Derby Day for Melbourne Cup Day but with the rain the ground had been a bit more chopped up near the rail.

CALL OF THE CARD

Betting fluctuations and biggest individual wagers

Cross Counter: $14 - $3500

Mer De Glace: $9 - $2000

Master Of Reality: $26 - $500

Mirage Dancer: $31 - $700

Southern France: $21 - $500

Hunting Horn: $51 - $4000

Latrobe: $21 - $12,000

Mustajeer: $21 - $1000 each way

Rostropovich : $151-126-1 - $1000 each way

Twilight Payment: $61-51 - $7500

Finche: $8.50-$8 - $12,000

Prince Of Arran: $20 - $2000

Raymond Tusk: $26 - $5000

Downdraft: $21 - $10,000

Magic Wand: $26-21 - $5000

Neufbosc: $251 - $3000 each way

Sound: $151 - $1000
Surprise Baby: $15 - $7500

Constantinople: $9.50 - $600

Il Paradiso: $15-14 - $20,000

Steel Prince: $81-91 - $1500

The Chosen One: $101-$81 - $10,000

Vow And Declare: $12 - $10,000

Youngstar: $41-36 - $5000

News Corp Australia


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