There is a sense of deja vu about the Melbourne Cup with European bookmakers agreeing with their southern hemisphere counterparts that the trophy will once again be heading to France.
Last year’s winner Americain confirmed his favouritism for a repeat with a stirring victory in Saturday’s Moonee Valley Cup (2500m).
Earlier in the week his compatriot Dunaden created a huge impression with his win in the Geelong Cup to put himself firmly in the mix.
Dunaden will have the advantage of in-form rider Craig Williams in the Cup.
Williams won the Caulfield Cup on Southern Speed and Saturday’s Cox Plate on Pinker Pinker with Dunaden’s Geelong Cup win sandwich between the two.
TAB Sportsbet has Americain at $4.60 with English bookies slightly longer at between $5 and $6 with Dunaden $8 as he is here.
Former German horse Lucas Cranach is at $9 while another ex-German Illo is at $15.
Illo had his first start for the Bart Cummings stable in the Moonee Valley Cup and finished third to Americain.
Americain’s Australian owners Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford also have a half share in the Mark Johnston-trained Jukebox Jury ($14).
Godolphin pair Modun ($31) and Lost In The Moment ($41) will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy and William Buick respectively.
John Moore’s Melbourne Cup dream is over for this year with the trainer sending Mighty High home to Hong Kong along with stablemate Silver Grecian who was unplaced in Saturday’s Crystal Mile.
That frees Darren Beadman to ride the Cummings-trained $31 chance Precedence in the Cup.
Cummings and Gai Waterhouse may well be the flag bearers for southern hemisphere bred horses with Precedence and Tullamore.
The Waterhouse-trained Tullamore finished second to Americain on Saturday and is a $19 chance for the Melbourne Cup.
Second declarations for the Cup will be taken on Monday morning.