Damian Lane and Mer De Glace charge to victory the Caulfield Cup.
Damian Lane and Mer De Glace charge to victory the Caulfield Cup.

Experts warn beware the Cup favourite

As eager punters launched further into Japanese horse Mer De Glace to become the first horse in almost 20 years to win the Cups double, a number of leading form analysts cast doubt on the Caulfield Cup winner's ability to run out a strong 3200m in Tuesday's $7.75 million Melbourne Cup.

Mer De Glace firmed into $6.50 Ladbrokes favouritism on Sunday off the back of drawing barrier two at Saturday's night draw.

But the fact the five-year-old has never raced beyond 2400m is a warning sign for a number of significant judges.

Sky Channel's Ron Dufficy said he had the utmost respect for the Japanese raider, but couldn't find a spot for the horse in his first four selections.

"I love horses with a turn of speed in a two-mile race and he has certainly got that," Dufficy said. "But I just think the Irish are there to take the sting out of him."

"They will just keep the pressure on and they will take the sting out of the Japanese horse. That's my question mark on him."

Herald Sun form guru and Sky Channel's David Gately said the 3200m trip was "absolutely" a concern for Mer De Glace.

 

Several experts have questioned whether Japanese visitor Mer De Glace can run out Melbourne Cup journey.
Several experts have questioned whether Japanese visitor Mer De Glace can run out Melbourne Cup journey.

 

"He travelled so well for so long (in the Caulfield Cup), so he is obviously pretty sharp," Gately said.

"But sometimes those turn of foot horses just don't stay. We saw that with So You Think, who looked a good thing (in 2010), bit was just outstayed."

Racing and Sports' Gary Crispe said the distance was not the only area of concern for him about Mer De Glace, saying history was also against the Caulfield Cup winner producing another big performance at Flemington.

"Even if he does run the 3200m, he has got a big weight (56kg), and the record of Caulfield Cup winners with a penalty is not really good," Crispe said.

"The last 12 have all missed a place (in the Melbourne Cup)."

Some though are firmly in his corner. Pushing up for him is Sydney bookmaker Rob Waterhouse who said Mer De Glace is the obvious winner.

"The one thing for certain is 3200m will be right up his alley," Waterhouse said.

"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."

 

Mer De Glace and Damian Lane combine to take out the Caulfield Cup. Picture: David Caird
Mer De Glace and Damian Lane combine to take out the Caulfield Cup. Picture: David Caird

 

TAB's Nick Quinn also believes he's a champion and will prove too good for his rivals.

They are flying against the consensus with representatives from corporate bookmakers and some of the best known form experts in the land believing Mer De Glace is a risk.

BetSmart's Dan O'Sullivan also believes he's a query at the 3200m.

Bet Easy's Matthew Campbell said they would take the Japanese raider on believing 3200m would test him and they intended to take him on.

In an open Melbourne Cup only two runners are in single figures with TAB Sportsbet and they are Mer De Glace at $6.50 and Constantinople at $8.

Sportsbet's Simon Marshall believes Mer De Glace will struggle over 3200m as he looks too sharp for the distance.

"They'll have to sit on him until late and then use his turn of foot. If he gets exposed early I don't think he'll run out the 3200m."

I'd rather opt for a horse who can run the distance and to me Finche is the horse.

"He ran a great race to finish fourth in last year's Melbourne Cup and I think he's abetter horse after being with Chris Waller for 12 months.

"He loves Flemington. He runs out 3200m and he has a turn of foot. He has the same weight as last year."

BetSmart's Dan O'Sullivan believes Vow And Declare is the horse to beat.

"His Caulfield Cup second placing gives him the right lead up rating to be a key chance and everything about the run said to me he wants further.

"We saw how much he relished 3000m in the Tatt's Cup this June and the way he's built to this race in his last two starts suggests to me he could run a big new peak on Tuesday," O'Sullivan said.

 

 

WHERE THE EXPERTS STAND

 

LEO SCHLINK

1. Master Of Reality

2. Mer De Glace

3. Latrobe

4. Vow And Declare

Roughie: Il Paradiso

MICHAEL MANLEY

1. Vow And Declare

2. Cross Counter

3. Il Paridiso

4. Constantinople

Roughie: Latrobe

GLENN McFARLANE

1. Vow and Declare

2. Constantinople

3. Mer De Glace

4. Finche

Roughie: Latrobe

CHRIS VERNUCCIO

1. Southern France

2. Cross Counter

3. Constantinople

4 Il Paradiso

Roughie: Twilight Payment

NICK QUINN

TAB

1. Mer De Glace

2. Constantinople

3. Prince Of Arran

4. Cross Counter

Roughie: Il Paridiso

DAVID GATELY

Sky Racing/TAB

1. Constantinople

2. Vow And Declare

3. Il Paradiso

4. Finche

Roughie: Southern France

RON DUFFICY

Sky Racing

1. Il Paradiso

2. Surprise Baby

3. Vow And Declare

4. Master of Reality

Roughie: Raymond Tusk

MARK GUEST

Sky Racing

1. Cross Counter

2. Finche

3. Constantinople

4. Raymond Tusk

Roughie: Latrobe

 

David Gately, Gary Crispe and Stephen Brassel have Constantinople as their top selection.
David Gately, Gary Crispe and Stephen Brassel have Constantinople as their top selection.

 

GARY CRISPE

Racing And Sports Timeform

1. Constantinople

2. Finche

3. Vow And Declare

4. Downdraft

Roughie: Raymond Tusk

SIMON MARSHALL

Sportsbet

1. Finche

2. Il Paridiso

3. Prince Of Arran

4. Cross Counter

Roughie: Surprise Baby

MATTHEW CAMPBELL

Beteasy

1. Finche

2. Constantinople

3. Prince Of Arran

4. Il Paradiso

Roughie: Surprise Baby

BEN DORRIES

Racenet

1. Finche

2. Constantinople

3. Raymond Tusk

4. Vow And Declare

Roughie: Mirage Dancer

STEPHEN BRASSEL

Racenet

1. Constantinople

2. Il Paradiso

3. Southern France

4. Finche

Roughie: Raymond Tusk

RAY THOMAS

Daily Telegraph

1. Finche

2. Cross Counter

3. Mer De Glace

Roughie: Youngstar

NATHAN EXELBY

Courier Mail

1. Mer De Glace

2. Cross Counter

3. Finche

4. Constantinople

Roughie: Magic Wand

ROB WATERHOUSE

(Bookmaker)

1. Mer De Glace

2. Il Paradiso

3. Constantinople

4. Magic Wand

Roughie: The Chosen One

DANIEL O'SULLIVAN

(Betsmart)

1. Vow And Declare

2. Downdraft

3. Finche

4. Surprise Baby

Roughie: Prince Of Arran

News Corp Australia


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