Punters have plunged the Adam Durrant-trained Mr Moet into a $3.50 favourite to break two modern-day records following the shock scratching of original $3.80 favourite and stablemate Chester Road for today's $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot.
Durrant's heartfelt sympathy yesterday went to owner-breeder Andy Phelan, who was searching for his third Perth Cup with Chester Road, after winning WA's iconic race with Ullyatt in 1986 and Ros Reef (1995).
Durrant, the State's premier trainer, was forced to scratch Chester Road yesterday morning when he noticed the five-year-old had heat in his nearside front leg.
Scans revealed a 2cm tear to the tendon.
"Andy puts a lot into his horses and he is gutted," Durrant said.
"I feel very much for him. He loves breeding stayers.
"The vets say the tear on a scale of 10 is a five.
"It's going to be workable to get him back, but he is going to need a long time out."
Durrant said Mr Moet and other runners had been kept comfortable in his Karnup stables by a south-westerly breeze.
"It has been quite decent down our way with the temperature around 34C when it was 40C in the city," Durrant said.
"The breeze has blown in and kept the horses comfortable. Mr Moet has done really well and I am really happy with him. He has a big weight to overcome, but he couldn't be going any better."
Mr Moet, who was bred by his part-owner Jim Smith, will create a new weight benchmark if he wins carrying 59kg today.
Durrant trained the biggest weight carrier since the metric system was introduced in 1972 when Lords Ransom carried 55.5kg in 2010. Adelaide mare Saratov carried 55kg in 1989.
A Perth Cup win would also mean the Mosayter five-year-old becomes the first horse in more than 100 years to win the Railway Stakes-Perth Cup double in the same season.
"Mr Moet had attracted significantly more betting interest than Chester Road even before his scratching," Player's Ben Roberts said.
Leading Perth bookmaker Ian Lenton predicted punters to rally for Mr Moet and Sydney stayer Cantonese, who is making his first appearance outside NSW.
"Mr Moet is still going to be at attractive odds and now there are no split loyalties," Lenton said.
"I see more money coming for Mr Moet as I think the Cox Stakes is where the form for the cup is.
"Cantonese I see really being strong especially with money from the east."We saw it earlier in the carnival with Academus (in the WA Guineas) with his price smashed from $7.50 into $4.40 by the eastern States' punters."
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