Herbert Power Stakes winner Yucatan remains a dominant favourite for the Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) despite drawing barrier 23 in the 24-horse field.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained stayer eased slightly after the draw, from $ 4.20 to $ 4.50 (TAB), but is still a clear top elect ahead of Godolphin international Cross Counter ($ 9).
The only other runner under double figures is UK raider Magic Circle ($ 9.50).
Yucatan’s part-owner Nick Williams didn’t seem too fazed by the wide draw.
“I must say I’m of the view that barriers don’t matter in this race,” Williams said.
“You’ve got five furlongs (1000m) before you have to turn. They sort themselves out by the time they get there.
“It is what it is, there’s no point worrying about it.”
Magic Circle’s flamboyant owner Marwan Koukash also didn’t seem too bothered after his charge drew barrier 17.
“We are not the quickest away anyway and I would have been worried with a low draw because we would have been shuffled right to the back,” he said.
“At least from where we are we have other options, so I’m quite happy. I’m not disappointed.”
Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution firmed from $ 15 into $ 13 after drawing gate six. One punter placed $ 5,000 on the Godolphin-owned galloper on Saturday afternoon.
The TAB were quick to shorten A Prince Of Arran from $ 34 into $ 13 after he booked his place in the Cup with victory in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes.
However, the Charlie Fellowes-trained stayer is now out to $ 17.
In his only other Australian run, A Prince Of Arran finished third (beaten 1.65L) behind Yucatan in the Herbert Power Stakes (2500m).
Melbourne Cup market as of 7.30pm AEDT Saturday night (TAB)
Yucatan $ 4.50
Cross Counter $ 9
Magic Circle $ 9.50
Muntahaa $ 11
Avilius $ 13
Best Solution $ 13
The Cliffsofmoher $ 16
Marmelo $ 16
Youngstar $ 16
A Prince Of Arran $ 17
Finche $ 26
Rostropovich $ 26
Ventura Storm $ 26
Runaway $ 34
Chestnut Coat $ 34
Sound Check $ 34
Who Shot Thebarman $ 61
Vengeur Masque $ 61
Ace High $ 61
Red Cardinal $ 71
Auvray $ 71
Nakeeta $ 81
Sir Charles Road $ 101
Zacada $ 151
Compare all the odds for the Melbourne Cup runners👇