Last year’s long-time favourite Incentivise and eventual winner Verry Elleegant head the early pre-nomination market for the 2022 Melbourne Cup.
The TAB has the pair locked at odds of 11.00 just over eight months out, though plenty will change between now and November 1. Peter Moody will be hoping Spanish Mission has better luck this year. The former English-trained runner is just in behind at 18.00 in the early odds.
Moody to Gain Revenge?
Our two early favourites are hardly a surprise (see the list of Melbourne Cup favourite horses). Peter Moody’s gelding Incentivise led the way in the Cup betting from last September after winning the Makybe Diva Stakes.
He was even more impressive when stepping up to 2000 and then 2400 metres. Winning the Turnbull Stakes and the Caulfield Cup made him one of the hottest favourites on record for the Melbourne Cup, though he eventually had to settle for second place.
Wondermare Verry Elleegant took him down that day and she returns for more. Chris Waller’s stable star has already run and been beaten this year, but her place at the top of the market should remain for some time.
Peter Moody has a very strong hand however as he trains not only Incentivise, but also Spanish Mission. Having had his prep interrupted when trained by Andrew Balding, the son of Noble Mission was excellent in third last year with the result of the 2021 race clearly shaping this year’s market.
Spring Champion Stakes winner Profondo is alongside him on 18.00.
The Appleby Angle
Despite the change in entry requirements and veterinary checks, British and Irish-trained runners need to be watched as their season gets going in a few weeks’ time. With that in mind, Charlie Appleby could be the man to watch. He has several contenders with quotes from the TAB.
Appleby won the race in 2018 with Cross Counter. His runners Manobo (21.00), Yibir (26.00), Hurricane Lane (26.00), Adayar (51.00) and Kemari (51.00) are all on the list. If Godolphin allow it, Appleby is bound to come with at least one genuine contender.
The trainer is well respected in the States now after several Breeders’ Cup wins. He is also prolific in Europe and in Dubai and of course, has already won the Cup itself.
Manobo is shortest in the market. He is now five from five after a successful reappearance in Dubai recently. In fact, the son of Sea The Stars broke the Meydan track record and may take in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Breeders’ Cup winner Yibir may head back to the States, while both Hurricane Lane and Adayar have major assignments ahead of them at 2000/2400 metres.
Kemari was earmarked as a Melbourne Cup candidate as soon as he won at Royal Ascot last year. He looks too big at 51.00 and could be the one to watch. The point is; whatever Appleby brings over should be watched carefully.
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