- Many racing experts predict Vauban will win 2023 Melbourne Cup
- One proposed bet of $400,000 with $5 odds wasn’t taken by bookmakers
- Decorated Irish stayer has never raced previously in Australia
- Last favourite to win the Melbourne Cup was Fiorente in 2013
Irish stayer Vauban is the expert tip to win the Melbourne Cup – and one fearless punter attempted to lay down $400,000 on the nose at $5 odds – only to find no bookmakers willing to accept the bet.
The six-year-old gelding, trained by Willie Mullins, has firmed into $4.60 favourtism ahead of the race that stops a nation.
Another racing enthusiast will be delirious if Vauban salutes over 3200m after a bet of $320,000 – split with odds of $4.80 and $4 – was taken.
Prominent owner Nick Williams – who has Serpentine and Cleveland in this year’s race – believes the pre-race favourite will take some stopping.
‘I think it’s as good a thing as I’ve seen in the Melbourne Cup, that I can remember,’ he said.
‘He is a tough, older horse. Properly seasoned and beautifully conditioned.’
Irish stayer Vauban is the expert tip to win the Melbourne Cup – and one fearless punter attempted to lay down $400,000 on the nose at $5 odds, only to find no bookmaker willing to take the bet
The six-year-old is the short-priced favourite of the Melbourne Cup – but has never raced in Australia previously
Experienced jockey Ryan Moore – who won the Cup in 2014 on board Protectionist – will be tasked with riding Vauban at Flemington
Leading Australian trainer Ciaron Maher – who alongside David Eustace has five runners contesting the 2023 Cup – couldn’t have been more impressed after watching Vauban gallop in trackwork last weekend.
‘Both horses [Vauban and stablemate Absurde] looked in great order,’ Maher said.
‘He’ll [Vauban] definitely make his presence felt.’
Mullins is quietly confident of winning his first Melbourne Cup, with his star performer to be ridden by Ryan Moore.
‘He’s the best chance we’ve ever had and will ever have,’ he said of Vauban.
‘Everything has gone right…the quarantine, even the draw.
‘We just need to break [jump] now and get into a position, but I’ll leave that to the jockeys. They know the track and opposition better than I do.’
But punters beware: before you race to put a bet on, favourites are far from a certainty in the Cup.
Only one short price chance since Makybe Diva’s 2005 run has won the race – the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente in 2013.
The Melbourne Cup will be staged at 3pm on Tuesday.