With the Melbourne Cup less than a month away, punters around the world are stepping up their preparations as they begin to whittle down their favourite picks before going all-in on their selected horse.
One particular punter though has seen enough already and has stuck $10,000 on yet-to-qualify Surprise Baby to win the Melbourne Cup on the 5th of November.
Yes, that’s right, someone has parted with $10,000 so that they can bet on a horse that is not even guaranteed a start among the 24-horse field. This type of punt goes against all accepted wisdom when it comes to horse racing given that if you want to do well, you have to be ruthless with your selections and treat loyalty like the plague.
In most cases, loyalty isn’t necessarily a trait most successful seasoned horse racing punters possess and that in some ways, makes the sport so intriguing. Take football for example, where you have a team that you follow every weekend whilst enjoying a casual punt on them without fail, in the blind faith that they will win, this is the total opposite to betting on the horses.
🏆 That Cup winning feeling! 🏆
Congratulations to SA born Dean Holland and trainer Paul Preusker on winning the 2019 @tabcomau Group 2 Adelaide Cup with Surprise Baby!
A huge effort from a horse in only his 6th career start. pic.twitter.com/HFBq4iazmm
— TheRacesSA (@TheRacesSA) March 11, 2019
You have to stick to the flavour of the week and the horses that have a proven track record if you are keen on not having your fingers burned. With that said, the Melbourne Cup is the one exception as it entices the once-a-year betters to have a go. Most people who only get down to the track once a year will settle on a horse purely because of the name, a jockey’s colours or because they have the longest odds. This is, after all, the race that stops a nation, with everyone wanting a piece of the action when it comes around.
In the case of Surprise Baby, the $10,000 punt is really quite fascinating once you delve a little deeper into the history of this promising horse. For starters, at 20/1 to win the Melbourne Cup in horse racing betting, Surprise Baby ticks the box of having longish odds but he is by no means an outsider having won four of his last nine starts.
Should Surprise Baby go on to win The Bart Cummings and receive the golden ticket he needs to qualify, then that 20/1 for glory in Melbourne is likely to be slashed in half which makes you think that, in actual fact, the only thing holding this horse back from having very good odds on winning is that is it yet to qualify.
Then you also have to consider that Surprise Baby is a local horse and, with the Melbourne Cup becoming saturated with foreign winners like we saw last year when Cross Counter became the first horse ever trained in Britain to win, there could also be a sentimental attachment in backing him.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) November 6, 2018
Whether sentiment alone is enough to justify a $10,000 punt is another matter but it does seem that the potential to win just about outweighs any emotional connection on this one.
So there you have it, Suprise Baby, no pressure at all but a nation and, in particular, one extremely confident punter, turns its lonely eyes to you.