Melbourne Cup: Japanese star backed at $151
THERE'S still two months until the Melbourne Cup, but the first bet was placed just hours after last year's race was won.
Before the dust even had time to settle following Rekindling's extraordinary victory, one punter was already banking on the then Irish-trained horse going back-to-back in 2018, with a $10 each-way wager at $21 with TAB fixed odds.
But the Lloyd Williams-owned galloper won't be defending his title and is no longer in the market, with this year's Melbourne Cup nominations to be confirmed this Thursday.
However, Team Williams unveiled another Cup prospect last Saturday in Our Venice Beach, with his price trimming from $34 after his second at Moonee Valley in his Australian debut.
Kings Will Dream is the early favourite at $13 after his eye-catching fourth in the PB Lawrence Stakes, but the biggest firmer has been Japanese star Chestnut Coat.
He is now a $17 chance, but one shrewd punter jumped on at $151 with a $100 wager on May 14, before his price tightened to $51 on the same morning following news he was heading to Australia.
Another is eyeing a potential $127,500 collect after taking odds of $127.50 on Kings Will Dream and Chestnut Coat in a Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.
A bet of $2000 at $26 on Tosen Basil, a Japanese import now with Darren Weir, could return $52,000.
Surprisingly, one of more popular runners is English stayer Stradivarius - with a $1200 bet at $21 placed over the weekend after his Lonsdale Cup win in York - even though he is unlikely to travel to Australia.
Lonsdale Cup second placegetter Count Octave was added to Melbourne Cup market.