Australia’s best form experts offer their Cup tips
JAPAN'S Melbourne Cup favourite Mer De Glace is splitting the opinion of some of Australia's most revered form experts, as punters lined up to back him into clear favouritism yesterday.
Ladbrokes put Mer De Glace up at $8 after Saturday night's barrier draw and he then firmed to $7.50, again to $7 and then late yesterday even further to $6.50, giving him a clear edge over pre-draw favourite Constantinople ($8).
Top bookmaker Rob Waterhouse, who has long been one of Australia's best form students and will be fielding at Flemington tomorrow, agrees with the move and says he has him the clear top pick in his market.
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"I love the Japanese horses. He appeals to me as the obvious, most likely winner," Waterhouse said.
"The one thing for certain is 3200m will be right up his alley. He has improved so much this season, he's really come of age.
"I think he will be very hard to beat and I most certainly won't be opposing him."
But ratings gurus Daniel O'Sullivan (BetSmart Racing) and Gary Crispe (Racing & Sports and Timeform) are opposed to Mer De Glace.
Crispe concedes his rating is right there, but questions whether 3200m is going to be a bridge too far.
"I think he's a good 2000m horse that gets 2400m (and not) a 2400m horse that will get 3200m," he said.
"I think the poor recent record of Caulfield Cup winners will come against him."
O'Sullivan agreed and said he had "a little query about whether he can improve to another peak up to 3200m, which will be needed to win this race".
The trio also differ on the chances of the leading Australian-trained hopes.
Crispe and O'Sullivan are both giving excellent hopes to the Chris Waller-trained Finche and Danny O'Brien's Vow And Declare, but Waterhouse says he will be happy to lay both at their current prices.
"Chris Waller has had such a great season this year, but I think (Finche) will be under its true odds and I will probably be a little bit against it. I have it around 15-1," Waterhouse said of the horse who is currently $10 in the Ladbrokes market.
"I don't think (Vow And Declare) is quite good enough. I have it marked a 20-1 chance. Not dismissing it, but too short for me."
Waterhouse and Crispe agree Aidan O'Brien's Cox Plate fourth placegetter Magic Wand is capable of running a race at odds and they also have the Lindsay Park import Constantinople quite high in their rankings.
O'Sullivan, however, is opposed to the second favourite.
"I still have a few queries around whether he's quite the finished product as a racehorse yet and feel that any weaknesses like that can be found out in a Melbourne Cup," he said.