WE LOVE to hate the Barmy Army come the first ball of the Ashes series, but Coast punters are showing plenty of love for an English raider in this year's Melbourne Cup.
Ubet data shows English stayer Marmelo is favourite for locals having a flutter, with more than 11% of all bets in the Sunshine Coast being laid on the $8 favourite.
Jockey Hugh Bowman was this week talking up his chances aboard the stayer, after it ran home strongly to nab sixth place in the Caulfield Cup.
Last year's Melbourne Cup victor Almandin ($9 chance) is the next best thing for locals, with 8% of bets being places on the eight-year-old gelding.
Almandin and Marmelo both scored tough barrier draws, but that hasn't phased punters to-date.
It's another overseas chance that we have next trusted with our hard-earned, with Irish six-year-old Red Cardinal ($18 chance) picking up 7% of all bets from the Sunshine Coast.
The gelding has won five of 10 starts, all on dry ground though, and is two from two at 3200m.
Red Cardinal's German trainer Andreas Wohler was the brains behind 2014 Cup winner Protectionist and 37-year-old jockey Kerrin McEvoy is no stranger to Melbourne Cup success.
He rode Brew to victory in 2000 and steered Almandin to glory in last year's race that stops a nation.
But Ubet's Nick Curry had some sage advice for those looking to go all-in on a favourite.
"The Melbourne Cup is one of the hardest races to pick because of the size of the field, the 3200m journey and the presence of so many unsighted international runners," he said.
"And that means plenty of weird and wacky ways punters try to pick their winner. Colours are always popular, as are lucky numbers and horses with people's names in them.
Alex Surf Club general manager Ashley Robinson was gearing up for one of their biggest days of the year today.
He said the introduction of their Ubet terminal, while not a fully-fledged TAB, had added another element for punters.
"I've always been amazed how successful our Cup days are even without a TAB," Mr Robinson said.
He said their luncheon had been sold out "for weeks" in advance.
As for any hot tips, Mr Robinson said he was putting Almandin and Marmelo in his trifecta, but warned he'd probably ended their hopes by backing them.
"Because of my punting prowess, that'll stop both of them," he said with a laugh.
"My tip is don't follow what I'm backing."
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