3 Nov 2008

Melbourne Cup punters ignore economic gloom

8:21 am on 3 November 2008

There's no sign of the gloomy economic times on the eve of the Melbourne Cup.

But some big spenders will be holding their breath after taking plunges on the favourite.

Two weeks ago one punter wagered 400-thousand dollars on the champion Irish stayer Septimus to win 1.6 million dollars, and there was an earlier bet of 180-thousand dollars to win 1-million after Septimus won the Irish St. Leger last month by 13 lengths.

But one of Septimus' part owners has threatened to scratch the horse from tomorrow's race if the track remained as firm as it was on Saturday.

The Victoria Racing Club says it won't be preparing the track at the request of any trainer, although Flemington was going to be lightly watered last night, and again today if necessary.

Three New Zealand stayers have made the final field - Nom du Jeu, Boundless and Prize Lady.