Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow....

Last Updated: 06.11.2017

Monday, 6th November 2017

Where my contrarian money is going tomorrow….

In the early hours of tomorrow morning at Flemington in Australia (04.00), they go to post for the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops a nation....

A huge field of 23-runners go to post over the 2-mile trip. The race is always run at a frenetic pace. You need a horse that can travel strongly throughout the early stages before finding some grit to kick on in the closing stages....

No horse trained in Britain has managed to win the race in its 156-year history. A few – Red Cadeaux (a 3-time runner-up), Heartbreak City (last year) and Purple Moon (in 2007 for Luca Cumani) have gone close but no cigar....

That’s a hoodoo that British trainers will be keen to break, and I think this is the year it can happen....

  • The horse to end the hoodoo....

I’m going to back Iain Jardine’s NAKEETA each-way at the prices. This morning the 6yo is as big as 33s with bet365 and 25s generally.

I think that’s a big price about an Ebor winner who is reported to be bouncing....

The Ebor and the Melbourne Cup are very similar races – handicaps that tend to attract Group-class horses. Form can transfer well from one race to the other.

Purple Moon won the Ebor before finishing 2nd in Australia in 2007. Heartbreak City pulled the same trick last year.

It was Heartbreak City’s exploits down under last year that inspired and encouraged Nakeeta’s participation this time round. And Jardine’s charge can go one better....

It won’t be straightforward, of course. Travelling thousands of miles to Australia takes something out of a horse. So too does the quarantine experience.

And the horse must deal with unfamiliar surroundings, the new handlers looking after it, the new routines and the foreign climate. Then on race-day, there are the different conditions, the occasion, the crowd....

It’s a lot to overcome. And Nakeeta hasn’t been blessed with the best of the draw. He’s in stall 19. That’s wider out than you’d hope for. But I’m not going to let that stop me going in. Plenty have run big races from wide draws – including Heartbreak City last year.

And, on the upside, reports about the horse from Australia are nothing but positive. The 6yo is said to be bouncing and preparations have gone well.

Such is his freshness and well-being, he had an unscheduled spin up the gallops at his Australian base last Wednesday.

I don’t think he’ll be 25s come the off. I suspect he’ll attract money. The horse is at the right end of the handicap and he has the services of a local jockey who knows the track. Both those facts are important.

The horse wouldn’t be here if connections didn’t think he had a real chance. If he reproduces his Ebor performance, he goes close. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow morning….

In the Melbourne Cup (04.00 @ Flemington)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – NAKEETA each-way (33s bet365 & 25s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for today.

I’ll be back in your inbox on Wednesday.

Until then. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd