Pun­ters get run of per­fect racing

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - BRAD DAVID­SON

STRAP your­selves in pun­ters – it’s the best time of the year.

Well it might not be for the rest of Aus­tralia but pun­ters it is at least.

It started with The Ever­est last week­end and con­tin­ues with the Caulfield Cup this week­end. And then the Manikato Stakes, Cox Plate, Derby Day, Mel­bourne Cup, Oaks Day and Emi­rates Stakes Day. Throw in the Geelong Cup as well it is a lot to look for­ward to next 22 days.

If this list doesn’t get the blood pump­ing there’s some­thing wrong!

The Caulfield Cup has had its fair share of drama this week.

First favourite Ad­mire Deus broke down on Tuesday and then there’s still a cloud around whether one-time race favourite Bon­neval will even start (at least there was when this col­umn was penned yes­ter­day).

Bon­neval found to be one out of five lame on Wed­nes­day by Racing Vic­to­ria vets but her trainer Mur­ray Baker in­sists the horse is fine. Time will tell whether she will be there to­mor­row.

IF any­thing, th­ese two un­for­tu­nate Caulfield Cup sit­u­a­tions prove just how cruel all-in bet­ting can be.

One punter had $30,000 on Ad­mire Deus on Monday night and the next morn­ing that big bet was con­fetti when the horse un­for­tu­nately suf­fered a se­vere sus­pen­sory lig­a­ment in­jury to his near­side fore­leg dur­ing track­work at War­rnam­bool.

Those who backed Bon­neval at $6 or $7 in early Caulfield Cup markets will just be hop­ing she is cleared to start. You can get $8 about the mare right now and that’s with money back if she is scratched. THE Caulfield and Mel­bourne Cup may have lost one of its ma­jor draw cards this year in Ad­mire Deus but there’s still plenty of in­trigue as usual.

By all re­ports the English­trained gal­loper Marmelo has set­tled in re­ally well and I’m par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested to see what he can pro­duce in the Caulfield Cup from a Mel­bourne per­spec­tive. He won Prix Ker­gor­lay in France last start, a race won by Amer­i­cain (2010) and Pro­tec­tion­ist (2014) be­fore claim­ing the Mel­bourne Cup later that year. The pic­ture will be­come a lit­tle clearer af­ter this week­end but there’s al­ways the in­flux of raiders con­test­ing race that stops the na­tion with­out a lead up run in Aus­tralia first.

It’s been proven time and time again just how hard it is to win the Mel­bourne Cup with­out a lead up run in Aus­tralia first but yet many in­ter­na­tional run­ners per­sist with this method.

ON Ad­mire Deus, let’s just hope he makes a full re­cov­ery and en­joys life in pad­dock some­where even if his racing days are over as may well be the case. No one likes to see any horse in­jured, par­tic­u­larly one of the na­ture the Ja­panese gal­loper suf­fered.

THE spot­light will be on Caulfield to­mor­row but there is still a handy card in Syd­ney all the same, head­lined by the Nivi­son and Brian Crow­ley Stakes at Rand­wick. I’m with Did­dums Al­bu­min in the two fea­tures re­spec­tively, while I feel Kaonic is best bet and Shazee Lee the roughie on the Rand­wick pro­gram. Good luck pun­ters! May it be a win­ning day.

English raider Marmelo’s Caulfield Cup per­for­mance will be a good in­di­ca­tor for the Mel­bourne Cup.

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