This race is of course the Melbourne Cup. I have done extremely well out of it for some years since my chum Shane has an astonishing ability to work it all out. This year he has exceeded himself by acting for the subsequent owner and trainer a couple of months ago in the acquisition of Sir Dragonet from Ballydoyle for a trifling AUD1.8m.
I thought that “the Dragon” would head straight for the Cup but in fact he ran nine days ago in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley over one and a quarter miles and won quite comfortably (along with £1.7m in price money). In Europe nobody would dream of bringing out such a horse so quickly or over a distance of two miles just ten days later. But the Aussies do things differently and it seems to suit them very well.
Another chum, a distinguished racing correspondent in the UK, reckons that the Dragon will not get two miles and this probably explains why the odds are now 10/1. There is after all nothing wrong with the horse, the jockey, the going or the draw.
However, I have received the late advice that the bet to place today (the Cup is run at 4.00 a.m. London time on Tuesday) is on Twilight Payment. I have hoovered up the 33/1 and 25/1 but am told that anything down to 16/1 is good value. Fill your boots and mind the each way terms. These vary quite considerably. Do not back the Dragon each way since he either stays or he does not stay – if the latter he will not be in the first ten let alone the first four.
The Dragon’s owner and trainer, Cieron Maher, is no friend of Australian barbers. But he is a cool dude, as will be clear from the clip which I now offer: https://prismhorse.s3.amazonaws.com/media/4330de059a114e19b8cf2e99e25335ff.mp4