The race that stops a nation is run at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne at 4am Tuesday morning UK and Irish time. I really liked Red Verdon for this contest but unfortunately he picked up a knock and can’t run. Instead, I am keeping the faith with the horse I tipped up last year as I cannot believe he can be backed at triple figure odds in some places.
|Nakeeta ran a huge race from a poor draw last year.|
Nakeeta ran a cracker off the same weight to fly home for 5th from stall 19 in the 2017 Melbourne Cup but this year he has been handed a far better draw in stall 3. He is available at odds of 100/1 with a couple of firms at the moment but I have backed him at 66/1 for 6 places each way.
The only reason this son of Sixties Icon is such a massive price is because his last couple of runs have been far from inspiring. However, the trip of 12f was never going to suit him for his prep run and his jockey was very easy on him once his chance was gone. He was in the process of running well on his last UK start too but he was hampered at a crucial time.
His sole run on turf at 2 miles this season was his best one and it came when he finished well off a strong pace at Newbury back in July. He was only beaten 3.75L by Stratum, to whom he was conceding 9lb, off a mark of 106. He had Cleonte in behind (conceding a stone) and that horse went on to win next time and go close in the Cesarewitch.
I think Nakeeta has been trained all year for a repeat bid in the Melbourne Cup and his trainer Iain Jardine is well capable of readying one. The step back up in trip will suit, he handles the track, he has a great draw in stall 3 and his young jockey, Melbourne Cup debutant Regan Bayliss, knows the track well. I think 66/1 for 6 places about Nakeeta is a monster price, and he is a pretty confident each way selection.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: MELBOURNE CUP-NAKEETA E/W @ 66/1 6 PLACES