Estimated Reading Time: <1 minutes
Admire Rakti stormed into favouritism for the 2014 Melbourne Cup after an emphatic victory in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup over 2400 metres. The Japanese raider was $9 and has now firmed into $4.60 with Sportingbet to win the Melbourne Cup, despite being given a 0.5kg penalty to carry on the first Tuesday in November.
Admire Rakti will be aiming to become the first horse to carry more than 58 kilograms to victory in the Melbourne Cup since the Bart Cummings-trained Think Big achieved the mighty feat in 1975.
Since that time 33 contenders have aimed to carry 58 kilograms or more to win the Cup with only one of them, the legendary Makybe Diva, able to do so when she won her third Cup carrying 58 kilograms in 2005.
With that being said, Admire Rakti’s penalty is the lowest penalty given to a Caulfield Cup winner since 1980 when Ming Dynasty escaped unpenalised.
Lucia Valentina, which finished third behind Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup, is also expected to head towards the Melbourne Cup where she will carry 53 kilograms. Her Newcastle-based trainer Kris Lees has expressed confidence that she would run out the gruelling 3200 metre trip after her strong finish last Saturday.
Lucia Valentina, currently at $8 with Sportingbet, will carry a weight record for a four year old mare when she takes her place in the Cup field, with Light Fingers, which won the 1965 Melbourne Cup, currently holding the record at 52.5 kilograms.
Protectionist, which ran an eye-catching fourth in the Group 2 Hebert Power Handicap on October 11, is the clear second elect with Sportingbet at $5.50.
The German stayer by Monsun, the same sire as last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, has only been unplaced once in nine career outings, with his last two starts before heading down under resulting in victories at Group 2 level in both Germany and France.
The rest of the contenders for the Melbourne Cup remain at double figure odds with Fawkner the next best in the market at $13 with Sportingbet. The odds then drift out $17 for Junoob, Brambles and The Offer, while Who Shot Thebarman and Mutual Regard are both sitting on $19.