Anybody doubting the Inter Dominion’s continued aura need only spy TAB’s opening markets for next month’s Group 1 Victoria Cup to know how much weight the revered series still holds.
That’s because 2015’s two ID champions, Lennytheshark and Beautide, head prices for what once again looms as the race of the season at Tabcorp Park on Saturday, January 30.
Despite opening with nothing between them at $4, home-state hero, Lennytheshark has cleared out as the early Vic Cup popular-elect given Beautide has drifted to $5 since markets were framed.
In fact, the top end of betting is notable for the number of horses with injury, form or commitment issues hanging over their head as we approach the first of Victoria’s two Summer of Glory features.
Beautide ($5) hasn’t raced for more than eight months, Philadelphia Man ($9) ended his ID campaign with an injured back and Our Sky Major ($15) has been well below his best in recent runs.
Throw in the fact that Arden Rooney ($18) remains far more committed to the Hunter than Victoria Cup and Devendra ($26) remains in WA and it soon appears that there is some value down the page.
One local well found since markets were framed has been Tabcorp Park 2240m track record holder, Keayang Cullen, who opened at $31 but is already into $26.
Sunshine State warhorse, Avonnova, is the other horse at longer odds to receive some support, in from $31 to $26 since Tuesday afternoon.
The Hunter Cup is a different beast altogether with both Lennytheshark and Beautide not nominated and the market dominated by Victorian or Kiwi commodities.
Defending champion, Arden Rooney, holds the early call in partnership with the horse he narrowly defeated in November’s New Zealand Cup, Smolda, at $5.
They are followed by Chariots of Fire king, Our Sky Major ($7.50) and fellow NZ’er, Tiger Tara ($9) while Messini, Philadelphia Man, Barimah and Mossdale Conner complete those under $20.