Sentimental favourite The Cleaner and Leebaz are the best backed runners for the $1 million feature Emirates Stakes over the mile on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.


After finishing ninth in the Cox Plate, The Cleaner opened at $7 for the Emirates before drifting to $13 then the punters stepped in. One customer has had $500 at $13 and another $3,200 for the Tasmanian gelding to place at $2.87. It’s now $8 along with Leebaz.


Leebaz has moved in from $14 for Team Hawkes with one bet of $500 at the $13 mark.


“It seems Leebaz is no longer flying under the radar for this race”, TAB’s Gerard Middleton said.


“He’s unbeaten from three starts second-up, has won three out of four at 1,600 metres and was unlucky fresh, but he’s just one of many chances in the last Group One of the Carnival.”


The favourite is Contributer, which firmed from $7 to $4.80, where a bet of $700 was placed, before easing to $5.


Money has also flowed for Crystal Mile winner Hooked ($9 into $7), runner-up Bull Point ($14 into $8), and of the roughies Rhythm To Spare ($41 into $13) and Smokin Joey ($31 into $21).




World class sprinter Slade Power has attracted $7,500 bets at $8 and $7 and has firmed to $6.50 to take out the 1,200-metre Group One Darley Classic.


“Provided he can deal with his barrier issues, this horse can’t be ignored considering its last two runs are wins in the July Cup and Diamond Jubilee Stakes”, TAB’s Matt Jenkins said.


“They’re two of the premier sprint races in the northern hemisphere and we know horses from that part of the world are having a great time here this Spring.”


Favourite Chautauqua has attracted $2,000 bets at $2.40 and $2.25, and has eased slightly to $2.30.


The money has come for Lankan Rupee. One punter had $1,000 on the Manikato Stakes winner at $5.


Of the roughies, runner-up to Deep Field on Derby Day, Driefontein, has firmed from $31 into $21.


**In other betting news**


-          Noble Protector continues to be all the rage for punters in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After finishing 2nd in the Coongy in its Aussie debut at Caulfield, the former British stayer has firmed from $4.20 into $3.20, including a bet of $1,200 at $4.20.


-          Second favourite Scratchy Bottom is the best backed runner in the Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes ($11 into $6).


-          Kiwi mare Telepathic has been supported from $7 into $3.50 for the final race, the Emirates Airline Handicap over 1,400 metres.