One of my favourite parts about the Spring Racing Carnival is the antepost markets for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup. Unfortunately for me, two of my three early picks were injured during their prep (Descarado and My Kingdom of Fife) with only December Draw still a looking a big chance of running who I got at $200-1 and is now at $50 on Betfair for the Melbourne Cup and at $40-1 for the Caulfield Cup who is into $12. A late pick was also Happy Trails at $130-1 for the Cox Plate who is now guaranteed a run but you can still get at around $80s.
I was absolutely shocked when I saw the odds for both these races today. There are some serious wrongs that need to be righted in the markets. Let’s start with the Caulfield Cup.
Glencadam Gold is absolute unders in the Cup. At $5.30 on Betfair, he is a HUGE lay for mine. Let’s start with the fact that the horse is on the 21st line of entry and could potentially be passed by a number of different horses this weekend. While this is certainly a concern, you have to remember that we are dealing with horses. Efficient got injured training earlier in the week and a number of hopefuls have pulled out of the carnival thanks to getting injured during training. Now onto the main point. Glencadam Gold has won solidly in all four starts in Australia, but the biggest issue is that this horse hasn’t beaten anything. Let me name the four horses that finished second and third to it the last two starts: Kelinni, Reuben Percival, Peal of Bells and Gazza Guru. Now let’s me serious… these four horses are not Caulfield Cup quality. This horse has been better treated than a heavy weight champion on the fields it has competed against. The final point is that he got to dominate the race and lead from start to finish with no pressure. It was a disgraceful jockey effort behind him and it was just simply too easy.
I want to be clear, I am not potting the horse. He has a lot of ability but we have no bar to measure him against. I am more than happy to declare that he won’t be lower than $4.50 on the day of the race and should never be this short this early. The other factor you have to remember, there are three spots up for grabs this weekend and if any of those horses win impressively, they will come in big time in the market while Glencadam Gold will drift a little bit.
Now let’s look at the Cox Plate. Pierro is $2.82 on Betfair to win the Cox Plate. This horse is a superstar but once again, it is absolutely stupid to be backing this horse in antepost markets this far out. You would think he is entering a race against classes below him. That is certainly not the case! Once again, what happens if he gets injured during the run this weekend, or simply just hangs on while More Joyous wins by 4L? You are better off taking the longer odds on a horse who should win well this weekend or one who is having a nice spell before the big race.
My final point involves the two major cups and the plate. I couldn’t find an exact figure on how much it costs to fly a horse out here to have a go at the cups and plates but Andrew Hawkins (@AndrewNJHawkins) has given me the figure of around $125,000. Americain, Dunaden, Jakkalberry, My Quest for Peace, Tac De Boistron and Brigantin are just six of the international raiders who are in the line-up for the Caulfield Cup with many more in for the Cox and the Melbourne Cups. These are seasoned professionals who have been toughing it out for most their lives. Do you really think Glencadam Gold measures up in the CC? The value seems to be with the internationals in the market and if you can do your form lines around them, you could pick some nice prices.
A very final note. How happy will you be with your $2.80 for Pierro or $4.50 for Glencadam Gold on the day of the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup when there has been a huge storm and there is a heavy track? Not very happy I suspect.
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. Bet at your own risk.
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