Melbourne Cup 2023 market moves, betting plunges, favourite, dark horse tips, best bets, place, each-way, money held
Melbourne Cup 2023 market moves, betting plunges, favourite, dark horse tips, best bets, place, each-way, money held

The best Melbourne Cup lead-up runs | 05:10

Clinton Payne from Punters

Bookmakers have been betting on the Melbourne Cup since the conclusion of last year’s race - so which horse has been the biggest firmer ahead of the 163rd edition of Tuesday’s great race?

Eleven of the 24 runners have shortened significantly since started betting on the race 369 days ago, including the favourite Vauban.

The Willie Mullins-trained international raider was a $51 chance when originally priced for the Melbourne Cup, firming into $3.60 when acceptances for the race were declared on Saturday, and since drawing barrier 3, he has firmed again and is trading at $3.50 on Sunday morning.

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Vauban accounts for a whopping 17 per cent of TAB’s hold on the Melbourne Cup and 25 per cent of investments since the barrier draw.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip is another significant firmer.

He was quoted as the $18 favourite in the TAB market on November 2 last year but he is now the clear second pick in betting at $5.

Gold Trip accounts for nine per cent of the TAB’s book overall and since the barrier draw.

Vauban draws barrier 3 for Melbourne Cup | 00:45

The biggest firmer from the opening market is Herbert Power Stakes winner Military Mission which opened a $201 chance.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained galloper was a $41 chance after the field was declared and then firmed again into $34 when drawing barrier five.

The Gai Waterhouse factor has kicked in since the barrier draw with Military Mission’s name on four per cent of investments.

The Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight was installed as a $26 chance when he entered the market but he eased from $7.50 to $8 after drawing barrier 16, then punters have rallied for the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained galloper and he has firmed back into $7.

The second most popular horse since the barrier draw has been the Chris Waller-trained Soulcombe.

He accounts for 11 per cent of the wagering giant’s book since Saturday’s barrier draw after firming in from a final field quote of $12 to $10.

Three horses at or around the $21 mark that have been well fancied since the draw, Japanese raider Breakup, Vauban’s stablemate Absurde and 2019 winner and eight-year-old veteran Vow And Declare.

Breakup has been $19 into $17 and takes up six per cent of the TAB fixed odds hold since the barrier draw while Absurde has stayed at $21 but has received five per cent of investments with Vow And Declare accounts for four per cent of bets and is a $26 chance.