Racing: Crop favourite for Melbourne

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The Independent Online
STATIONED in foreign quarantine quarters after a 10,000- mile flight, Vintage Crop may not feel ready to run for his life, writes Richard Edmondson. But one firm of bookmakers expects that in 13 days' time Dermot Weld's gelding, along with Drum Taps the first European-trained horses to contest the Melbourne Cup, will have recovered sufficiently to win.

The Irish St Leger winner has been installed as the 6-1 favourite by Ladbrokes following Saturday's Caulfield Cup in Australia, which was won by the former Harry Thomson Jones-trained Fraar. That winner did not get near Vintage Crop's heights yet he will be asked to give the six-year-old weight on 2 November.

Lord Huntingdon's Drum Taps, who, like Vintage Crop, is housed at Sandown, one of Melbourne's four courses, is rated a 14-1 chance.

MELBOURNE CUP (Flemington, 2 Nov): Ladbrokes: 6-1 Vintage Crop, 7-1 Great Vintage, Our Pompeii, The Phantom & Veandercross, 10-1 Air Seattle, Subzero & Tennessee Jack, 12- 1 Cavallieri & Silk Ali, 14-1 Drum Taps.