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Well-known Kiwis pick Melbourne Cup winner

Media Release

2 November 2009

Well-known Kiwis pick Melbourne Cup winner

The New Zealand trained horse Daffodil is being tipped by the politicians to win Australasia’s richest race – the 2009 Emirates Melbourne Cup tomorrow – whereas New Zealand sporting personalities are divided on their picks.

Daffodil is New Zealand's best rated chance to snatch victory in the big race after winning two Group 1 races this year and finishing fourth in the Caulfield Cup three weeks ago. She’s paying New Zealand TAB Fixed Odds of $15.00.

The TAB asked New Zealand politicians and personalities for their picks for the Cup. Here’s what they had to say:

Prime Minister John Key: “Spring is in the air so I will be backing Daffodil.”

Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff: “I’m picking Daffodil. It's in with a real shot. However, I’m wary of Bart Cummings' horses and quite like the look of Alcopop too.”

Minister for Racing John Carter also likes Daffodil: “Daffodil is the pick of the New Zealand-trained horses, is capable of going the distance and looks to have a decent shot at the Cup.”

Tana Umaga (former All Black captain and coach of Toulon in France) has gone for last year’s third place getter C’est La Guerre: “I like the sound of C’est La Guerre. It’s New Zealand bred with a bit of a French feel and I like the name! ‘It's a War’”.

Bernice Mene (former Silver Fern captain): “I am going to go with Master O'Reilly - I see he is New Zealand bred and I like that he has a good sprint and it just feels like a gut choice!”

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Danyon Loader (Olympic gold medallist): “I always look at a coach but never want to go for the favourite as they are always under too much pressure so I will go for Roman Emperor, who is trained by Australian master trainer Bart Cummings and is also New Zealand bred.”

Christian Cullen (former All Black) on Newport: “Paying Fixed Odds of $41, why not. Good speed down the straight, hopefully will be in the mix to come storming home. A proven stayer. Great return if comes in. Each way for me.”

TAB Bookie Stephen Hunt has gone for Viewed: “He’s the defending champ whose lead-up form has been first class. Even though he’s the top weight, this year’s race doesn’t seem to have the same depth as last year’s.”

Leading New Zealand jockey Samantha Spratt is going for Daffodil and Gallions Reach: “I’ll go for Daffodil based on its run in the Caulfield Cup where she put in a good effort for fourth. Her breeding might not point to running out the distance but her relaxed racing style suggests she will get the two mile (3200m) distance. I’ve also got a soft spot for Gallions Reach after riding him to some big wins last season.”

Trackside presenter Brendan Popplewell: “Number 11 Alcopop is my pick. He was an impressive winner last start in the Herbert Power race at Caulfield, defeating race rival Shocking. His jockey Dom Tourneur has never ridden at Flemington before. Three starts ago Alcopop won the Balaclava Cup, a race that in not traditionally a Melbourne Cup guide. Before winning that race, he was at odds of 300 to 1 but has now moved up to be second favourite for this year’s Cup. If he wins, it will be a real fairytale story.”

To view the full field and the latest odds for the 2009 Melbourne Cup visit:

The 2009 Emirates Melbourne Cup Background and Talking Points:

• 24 horses will take to the track for the 149th running of the Melbourne Cup at 5.00pm (NZ time) on Tuesday 3 November.

• The 2009 Emirates Melbourne Cup is the richest race in Australasia. This year’s prize money totals A$5.5 million. First prize is A$3.3 million. It is run over 3200 metres.

• There are five New Zealand trained horses and 11 New Zealand bred horses in this year’s race.

• New Zealand’s best rated chance is Daffodil, who won the AJC Australian Oaks in April, the Windsor Park Plate in August and finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup three weeks ago.

• Shocking won Saturday’s The Lexus Stakes to qualify for the Cup.

• Scenic Shot won the MacKinnon Stakes on Saturday, a good pointer for the Cup.

• New Zealand-bred horses have won 28 of the last 50 Melbourne Cups with Ethereal the most recent in 2001.

• Viewed won the 2008 Melbourne Cup and also won the Caulfield Cup three weeks ago.

• One of New Zealand’s most successful jockeys Noel Harris will ride the New Zealand trained Capecover in the Melbourne Cup tomorrow. He rode in his first Melbourne Cup in 1973 as an 18-year-old when he finished second on Glengowan.

• Australian horse trainer Bart Cummings has won the Melbourne Cup 12 times, the first being Light Fingers in 1965 and the last being Viewed in 2008. He has three horses in this year’s race – Viewed, Roman Emperor and Allez Wonder.

• Bart Cummings has never won the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup in the same year and will be attempting to achieve that feat this year after Viewed won the Caulfield Cup and So You Think won the Cox Plate. The TAB is offering a special option on whether a Bart Cummings trained horse will win this year’s Melbourne Cup. Yes is paying $3.10 while No is paying $1.33.

The Melbourne Cup and the TAB: Facts and Figures

• The Melbourne Cup is the TAB’s biggest betting race of the year – with about 4.5 times as much bet than on the next biggest race, the NZ Trotting Cup.

• Last year, 10 per cent of all New Zealanders had a bet on the race.

• New Zealanders bet a total of $17.1 million on Melbourne Cup Day last year, with $7.6 million bet on the race itself, the second highest total ever.

• The record of $8.1 million bet on the Melbourne Cup race itself was set in 2005, when Makybe Diva made history by winning her third Melbourne Cup in a row.

• There were 153 Kiwis who picked the elusive Trifecta of Viewed, Bauer and C'est La Guerre at last year's Melbourne Cup, which was worth $28,994.90.

• The TAB pays around 82 per cent of the turnover back to customers in the form of winnings.

• About $14 million in dividends was paid out on Melbourne Cup Day last year – $6 million on the Melbourne Cup itself.

• Betting on the race reaches fever pitch in the hour leading up to race. Last year more than 40 per cent of turnover was done on the Cup in the last hour.

• Trifecta is the most popular bet type on the Melbourne Cup.

• Last year the TAB sold 700,000 bets on the Cup. The average bet was $10.60


© Scoop Media

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