In a nod to the quality of the 2020 Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival, SA race results are the dominant factor in early markets for this year’s Melbourne Cup, according to the TAB.
SA Derby winner Russian Camelot is outright favourite for the Melbourne Cup, while Port Adelaide Cup winner Oceanex and Adelaide Cup winner King of Leogrance share the third line of betting. For good measure, 2019 Adelaide Cup winner Surprise Baby is second favourite, and TAB’s Nicole Thomas says punters hold SA form in high regard.
“After last year, all eyes were on the South Australian carnival and we noticed TAB customers have reacted accordingly,” Ms Thomas said.
“Given the way Surprise Baby ran in the Melbourne Cup last year after winning the Adelaide Cup, clearly TAB customers sat up and took notice.
“Even more so this year, as it appears the international presence will be minimal.”
Ms Thomas said big bets have rolled in for the Danny O’Brien-trained Russian Camelot, who scored a remarkable SA Derby win, zooming past a quality field of young stayers, despite racing back and wide for most of the 2500m trip.
“One TAB punter placed a bet of $2000 at $26 on Russian Camelot to win the Melbourne Cup, to collect $52,000, prior to the TAB South Australian Derby,” Ms Thomas said.
“The price for Russian Camelot was then slashed – from $26 to $11 – after that emphatic Derby win. Subsequently, the betting action has centred around him and is now $9 favourite to win the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 3.
“Russian Camelot also firmed into second favourite to win the Caulfield Cup on October 17, from $26 to $17.”
King of Leogrance scored an authoritative win in the 3200m Adelaide Cup in March to become a major player in Melbourne Cup discussions.
“King of Leogrance is currently $18 in the Melbourne Cup market and attracted some support to win the Cup before being beaten as the odds-on favourite in the Andrew Ramsden at Flemington by Oceanex,” Ms Thomas said.
“However, from our point of view he should not have lost too many admirers. Although Oceanex ($18) is now in the Cup field, there’s not a lot of interest in her at this stage.”
Thanks to changes implemented to conditions for this year’s Port Adelaide Cup, winner Oceanex gained automatic entry to the Andrew Ramsden, which offered a ‘win and you’re in’ guarantee for the Melbourne Cup.
Surprise Baby is yet to race since its massive run in last year’s Melbourne Cup, but Ms Thomas said Paul Preusker’s stayer remains front of mind for many punters.
“Surprise Baby has been right at the head of betting since the Melbourne Cup market opened, straight after last year’s Cup was run,” she said.
“(He) now sits on the second line of betting at $10.”
The total number of starters over the three Group 1 days of this year’s Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival were up by almost 14 per cent (299 last year, 340 this year) with three more races run (27 compared with 24).
In addition, the free-to-air coverage on Channel 7 provided a significant uplift in viewership and interest in the carnival.
2020 Melbourne Cup market:
$9 Russian Camelot
$10 Surprise Baby
$13 Master of Wine
$18 Oceanex, King of Leogrance
$26 Vow and Declare