4 Nov 2008

Aussie punters plunge on European gallopers

6:12 am on 4 November 2008

Australian bookmakers have been inundated by a surge of money wagered on foreign horses for today's Melbourne Cup.

While European horses have won the Melbourne Cup only twice, many regard this year's race as a European benefit, and most of the seven overseas raiders have been well backed.

The favourite Mad Rush would become the first English-trained horse to win the Cup, and other well supported Europeans are Profound Beauty, and Septimus, while Nom du Jeu is the best supported of the four New Zealand stayers.

The field of 24 has been reduced to 22 with the scratchings of the Australian mare Zarita and the English horse Yellowstone, whose Irish jockey John Egan was fined 8,000 dollars yesterday for describing VRC vets as "a couple of tin pot Hitlers".

The race starts at 5 o'clock.