TOM Waterhouse has backed Rostropovich to win $1million in the Melbourne Cup, warning forecast rain might affect the chances of stablemate and favourite Yucatan.
Waterhouse was the most active punter at the traditional call of the card as he steered away from easing favourite Yucatan to back Rostropovich, Cross Counter, A Prince Of Aran, Avilius, Marmelo and Ace High.
The former bookmaker has backed Avilius to win $500,000 and intends to double the bet as Hugh Bowman declared there is only a handful of winning chances in the Cup.
“I there are a lot of horses in the race making up the numbers,” said Bowman, who rides Marmelo.
“I think there are about six winning chances.
“I think my horse is one of them.”
WHAT TIME IS THE MELBOURNE CUP? 3PM
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Damien Oliver, who partners Red Cardinal, said Yucatan was deserving favourite despite drifting from $4.20 to $6 with TAB.
“You just can’t go past his last start,” Oliver, a triple Cup-winner, said.
“It was an extraordinary win. He’d be the one I’d like to be riding if I wasn’t on the horse I am.”
Waterhouse predicts rain could seal Yucatan’s Flemington fate.
Who will win the Melbourne Cup?
“I like the favourite but I think it will be odds tomorrow,” he said. “That (Herbert Power Stakes) run was so good. Everyone saw it.
“But if we get a stack of rain, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts at $7. If it’s dead to good, it’s probably around the right price around $6.50.
“If it rains, Magic Circle ($8) could start around equal favourite.
“I think it’s a wide betting race.”
Waterhouse partially agrees with Lloyd Williams’ summary of the main chances.
The six-time Cup-winning owner believes there are four principal chances – Yucatan, The Cliffsofmoher, Avilius and Marmelo.
Apart from owning Yucatan, he also has shares in Rostropovich, who Waterhouse thinks can run a great race.
“Avilius has a great chance, I like the Cox Plate form, I like Rostropovich as well,” Waterhouse said.
“I’m going to keep on backing Avilius to try and win a million.
“It’s a hard race and you have to look beyond the obvious formlines.”
Jim Crowley, who rides Muntahaa, is wary of Magic Circle.
YTucatan is the Cup favourite a things stand
“I saw Magic Circle at Werribee the other day and he looks particularly well,” he said.
“He’s got a great mind. A bomb could go off and he wouldn’t look up.
“He could be the one I think.”
Pat Cosgrave said Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution had the “perfect draw” from barrier six.
“He’s top weight for a reason and I’m really happy with him,” he said.
“I think he’s a big player in the race.”
The last horse to complete win both major Cups in the same year is Ethereal in 2001.
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