Favourite Jamelka

THE 2016 Melbourne Cup betting markets are interestingly yet to favour local runner Jameka, despite the talented mare drawing into the capacity field of twenty-four in the ideal barrier 3 on Saturday evening.

Jameka will leave from barrier 3 in tomorrow’s 2016 Melbourne Cup.

Jameka will carry winning form into the race that stops a nation after delivering a smart field a resounding three length defeat in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) a fortnight ago, but the four-year-old has drifted in Melbourne Cup betting markets with online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au to a quote of $8.

Capping a standout debut year with a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m), Jameka was unable to return to winning form through a smart Autumn Carnival preparation this year, but finished second in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) most notably.

Requiring a couple of runs to return to form this time, the Myboycharlie mare stamped herself as a serious Cups contender when she all but jogged home to win the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) in September.

Progressing to second behind Hartnell in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) in what was her only other start prior to the Caulfield Cup, Jameka will carry only 54.5kgs in the Melbourne Cup and will be partnered by regular hoop Nick Hall.

Trainer Ciaron Maher has been thrilled with the way his stable star has come through her Caulfield Cup run and said that he is confident she will only carry improvement into the Melbourne Cup 2016.

“We’re very happy with it, so it’s all up to Nick now,” Maher said at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw.

“I’ve just been thrilled with her preparation, she’s improved every start and I think she could improve. We really do think she’s trained on.

“She’s in super order, she looks better and she’s very bright. She worked super and I’m wrapped with her. I would imagine she’ll be in the first eight horses, without sort of going through the field too much and working out the speed maps.

“Nick’s just got so much confidence in this horse, I’m sure he’ll ride a positive race. There looks to be nice speed and he’ll probably just drop her in somewhere, get a bit of cover and hopefully she’s got the same turn of foot she showed in the Caulfield Cup.”

A Victorian local, Maher said that it would be a dream come true to saddle the 2016 Melbourne Cup winner.

“It would be absolutely everything. It’s the reason you take out your license, the reason you do anything to do with horses,” he said.

“As a trainer for me, growing up in Victoria the Melbourne Cup is everything, so it would mean the world.”

Jameka has posted five wins and eight minors through her nineteen career starts to date.

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