Geelong Cup Betting Odds

With the Victorian Spring Carnival in full swing, many forget the midweek Geelong Cup meeting, but not those in the know. Paul Bugeja explains why the Country Cup has such significance...

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While Caulfield and Flemington may dominate the Spring Racing Carnival, there's a race outside of metropolitan Melbourne that holds an important place in the Victorian racing calender.

Some 75kms down the Princes Highway from Melbourne lies Geelong, a thriving satellite city, home to Ford Australia, mighty modern Australian Rules Football titan the Geelong Cats and the annual Australian Group 2 thoroughbred race the Geelong Cup.

First run in 1872 over two miles, and won by Flying Scud, this 2400m mid-week open handicap is held in late October on the Wednesday after the Caulfield Cup at the Geelong Racecourse.

Although still considered a 'country' cup, albeit one of the country's strongest, the Geelong Cup tends to attract an excellent group of city entrants, in particular Melbourne Cup hopefuls.

And for good reason - the Geelong Cup has begun to become a striking guide for the Melbourne Cup in recent years, with Dunaden (2011) and Americain (2010) winning down south before heading up to Melbourne to take out the big one at Flemington on that first Tuesday in November. Numerous horses have also gone on to place in the Melbourne Cup also, including Crime Scene, Bauer and Zazzman. Dunaden also backed up his wins in the Geelong and Melbourne Cups with a win in the Caulfield Cup a year later.

(eds note: The great Damien Oliver was the first doubles winner in 2002, taking out the Geelong-Melbourne double on Irish-trained horse Media Puzzle.)

The common thread any eagle-eyed punter will see among these winners is their international breeding. The Geelong Cup tends to attract tougher horses in need of conditioning or testing their staying power for other Spring Racing Carnival races. Many international horse trainers use the race to assess the standing of their horses, in particular where they need to improve if they are to front up for a Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup run.

With up to $300,000 for grabs for the winning horse, the winnings are no small amount, and hence the interest in the Geelong Cup. The course itself has two long straights and two tight corners, offering up the possibility of exciting finishes as it gives the entire field the chance to make up lost ground in the home straight. The track is also always rated as 'good' due to the synthetic surface added alongside the turf in the mid-2000's, offering up an all-weather potential for races held at Geelong.

Eager punters will no doubt be across the fact that when it comes to form lead-up races, the most important for the Geelong Cup have proven to be the Group 1 Caulfield Cup and the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes, also run at Heath.

Regardless of whether you're a punter or not, the Geelong Cup is a great community event for locals and for avid racing fans wanting to get out of Melbourne to be a part of a day of high-quality racing, culminating in the Geelong Cup, where maybe those watching the race and cheering the winner home will be sneaking in a glimpse of the horse most likely to take out the Melbourne Cup a week or so later.

Betfair will have, as always, great Geelong Cup odds and great Horse Racing odds throughout the entire Spring Racing Carnival on both the Betfair Exchange and using our Tote products, including Best of 5, available at all the major meets including the Geelong Cup this Spring.

And don't forget to get in early with your Melbourne Cup Betting, with Betfair offering brilliant Melbourne Cup odds now!

Weird and Wonderful facts about the Geelong Cup.

1. The smallest and largest fields for the Geelong Cup were in in 1911, with only three runners, and 1948, when 22 lined up.
2. Prior to 1947, the Geelong Cup was run at different times of the year but after this found its place smack bang in the middle of the Spring Racing Carnival
3. The Geelong Cup was originally a two-day event but was consolidated back into one day in 2003
4. Only two horses have won the Geelong Cup twice: Camerine and Roseview
5. The Geelong Cup Quinella in 1984 (Chagemar 1st & Black Knight 2nd) went on to Quinella that years Melbourne Cup but in the reverse order (Black Knight 1st & Chagemar 2nd)
6. There have been three dead-heats (1880, 1939 and 1989)
7. The longest-priced winner was Purple Prince in 1950 (33/1), with the shortest-priced being Crete in 1911 (1/5f)

Last 10 winners

Year Horse Jockey

2012 Gatewood Glen Boss
2011 Dunaden Craig Williams
2010 Americain Gérald Mossé
2009 Leica Ding Danny Nikolic
2007 The Fuzz Craig Williams
2006 Mandela Craig Williams
2005 On A Jeune Kerrin McEvoy
2004 Pacific Dancer Brad Rawiller
2003 Zazzman Kerrin McEvoy
2002 Media Puzzle Damien Oliver

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