Many punters will be expecting a French winner of the Melbourne Cup, but it may pay to oppose favourite Americain and side with Dunaden instead.
Americain beat a field including the now Aidan O’Brien-trained So You Think to win the Melbourne Cup last year and is returning to Flemington to defend his title.
It is 7/2 in the horse racing betting that American accomplishes this feat and given the way he won the Drake International Cup success at Moonee Valley on his latest start, he is certainly bang in form.
However, only five horses have ever managed to win the Group One on more than one occasion and horses returning to defend their crown have a notoriously bad record.
Four in five of the returning champions fail to even make the places, with only five of the latest 51 claiming back-to-back victories and a further five finishing among the each-way places.
Another negative against Americain is the weight that he has been allocated for the 2m showdown.
Americain will carry 9st2lb and only two horses have ever triumphed in the Melbourne Cup off this weight or more.
The statistics may be against Americain, but fellow French runner Dunaden looks to have a lot in his favour and 7/1 looks great each-way value at worst in the Melbourne Cup betting.
Dunaden is treading the same path as Americain last year by winning the Geelong Cup ahead of arriving at Flemington and will also appreciate the likely fast pace in the Melbourne Cup.
He also holds two victories over Americain already this season, with the only potential negative being that coming from off the pace, he may be forced to run wide for the most part or get cramped for room when looking to make his challenge.
Dunaden’s chances will also be slightly dented by the news that Geelong Cup jockey Craig Williams is set to miss the Melbourne Cup because of a suspension.