The Awapuni Gold Cup in April is to blame for the miserly odds TAB bookies are offering for Livamol Classic favourites Beauden and Prise De Fer tomorrow.
The pair drew the two worst barriers, 16 and 15 respectively, yet opened $3.50 for Beauden and $4.50 for Prise De Fer, which seems remarkably short for horses who theoretically have to give all their rivals a start.
But astute TAB bookmaker Stephen Hunt says the lack of depth in the race and the fact the pair quinellaed the Gold Cup at Awapuni back in April are key factors in their skinny odds.
"The Awapunu Gold Cup was similar to this in that while it wasn't weight-for-age, being set weights and penalties, it was actually a stronger race over 2000m.
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"That day Beauden came from well back over the 2000m and bolted in beating Prise De Fer who also came from well back in the field.
"Callsign Mav finished third that day and he would clearly be favourite here and with the lack of depth in the field we think their prices are about right.
"We think Beauden is in the right race at the right stage of his campaign and he has been heavily backed in both starts this campaign.
"So while he don't expect to take a lot of action on him at $3.50 until raceday we can't risk having him any longer."
Beauden has won four of 10 starts at 2000m and while Prise De Fer has yet to win at the trip he was a Derby contender at three, has won over 1800m and ran well in this race last season and when fifth in a strong Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie 18 months ago.