Melbourne Cup Betting: Bondi Beach main Ballydoyle Hope of Winning Race
September 29, 2016
Leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is currently six-handed in his attempt to win a first Emirates Melbourne Cup in five weeks’ time. Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George, unlucky odds-on St Leger favourite Idaho, Bondi Beach (runner up in the final classic of 2015 only to get the race in the stewards’ room before losing it again on appeal), Houses of Parliament, Sword Fighter and Kilimanjaro all feature among the entries for ‘the race that stops a nation‘. However, in reality, the master of Ballydoyle may well rely on last year’s narrow St Leger runner-up, who is ante-post market leader, with most British bookmakers for the valuable two-mile handicap at a top price 16-1 with Bet365 and Betway (You can read more about the odds on our Melbourne Cup Betting Guide page).
O’Brien has not enjoyed the best of luck in trying to win Australia’s national institution with Mahler’s third place behind Efficient and Purple Moon in 2007 the nearest he has come to emulating Ireland’s Dermot Weld who has taken the prize on two occasions with Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle. Leading until well inside the final furlong the mount of Stephen Baster whetted the appetite of O’Brien who was three-handed the following year courtesy of Septimus, Honolulu and Allesandro Volta.
The outcome of the race won by Viewed from the Luca Cumani-trained Bauer can only be regarded as a disaster for the Irishman as all three horses finished the race either lame or in a distressed state due to the fast ground. In fact, the three jockeys concerned were questioned by the stewards regarding their tactics of which O’Brien (himself later asked to explain the front-running exploits of the trio) stated that he should have withdrawn his runners who failed to act under such extreme conditions.
With the venture leaving something of a bad taste in the mouth Ballydoyle failed to have another runner in the race until 12 months ago when represented by both Bondi Beach and the four-year-old Kingfisher. Finishing sixteenth and nineteenth respectively the chances of victory for the former in 2016 would not appear obvious on the bare form but unlike last year the son of Galileo has enjoyed a much easier campaign with a trip Down Under very much at the back of the minds of connections.
Allocated a weight of 8st 9lb Bondi Beach does not look over-burdoned for a horse capable of going close in a Classic and has been brought along slowly with a repeat bid to the forefront. Successful in a couple of minor events during the early part of the season the colt was given a mid-summer break reappearing at Leopardstown in August when finishing a never-nearer third in the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes. Occupying the same position five weeks later at the same venue behind the fast improving Zhukova and Epsom Derby runner-up US Army Ranger should have put Bondi Beach spot-on for his journey to the other side of the world, giving one of the greatest trainers of the modern era every chance of adding yet another important race to an already impressive career c.v.
O’Brien is not the only Irish trainer who will be harbouring thoughts of success at Flemington Racecourse as breathing down the neck of Bondi Beach in current betting exchanges is general 16-1 chance Wicklow Brave – recent surprise winner of the Irish St Leger and in the hands of National Hunt maestro Willie Mullins. Throw in easy Ebor handicap winner Heartbreak City (33-1) for the shrewd Tony Martin and there is every reason to believe Irish eyes could be smiling on the first Tuesday in November.