Nakeeta will be making history by becoming the first Scottish-trained horse to tackle Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival and punters are backing him to go one step further by landing Flemington’s main race.
Iain Jardine’s horse wasn’t handed the kindest of barriers draw, which led to his odds to win the Melbourne Cup drifting from 16/1 to 25/1 with one bookmaker. Jardine didn’t seem too concerned however, saying: "It could be worse, it could be 24. He's had a good preparation and he is working nicely.”
Over the weekend, Nakeeta accounted for 16% of all bets on the Melbourne Cup, including a few three-figure bets at 25/1. Second favourite Marmelo has been the next most popular with 10% of bets and is still 9/1 with one bookie.
Nakeeta was last seen winning the Ebor at York back in August, winning £177,000 for connections. After landing Europe’s richest handicap, his owners could be set for another bumper pay day as the Melbourne Cup has a juicy £3.8 million prize fund.
Jardine’s horse is following a similar course as Heartbreak City, who won the 2016 Ebor and was then aimed at Cup. The Irish-trained horse finished a close second at Flemington last year, giving hope for Jardine’s six-year-old.
There’s also been plenty of support over the last few months for Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite, who returns to Victoria for another crack at the race. Max Dynamite is now as short as 12/1, however a few plucky punters managed to back the 2015 Cup runner-up at 20/1 last month.
Oddschecker spokesman, George Elek “Not even Iain Jardine himself could have hoped for the year that Nakeeta is having in 2017. He was a detached 10th when making his seasonal debut at Chester in May, but an Ebor and Melbourne Cup double would catapult the gelding to legendary status not just in Scotland, but around the world. He was well backed before winning at York, and punters are looking for the plucky 6 year-old to land the big odds again down under.”