Melbourne Cup Betting

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Gris Caro's Gritty Naturalism Win

Trainer Jake Stephens of Alcopop fame will have another runner in the Caulfield Cup after French import Gris Caro held on for a narrow victory in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.

Holding off strong hopefuls Entirely Platinum and Bonfire, Gris Caro has now shortened from $101 to $31 in Caulfield Cup betting.

Stephens was looking for a new horse to replace his star runner, who was an unlucky second in the Caulfield Cup 2 years ago, beaten only by star Dunaden. And although he had to look overseas, it wasn't a big dent in the bank balance.

“He was a cheap horse ­compared to others. He was ­rejected by most of the good judges as he’s a funny type,” Stephens said.

He's the one laughing now as Gris Caro goes straight into the big Group 1 race on October 17.

Lucia Valentina is the current favourite at $11 after strong performances in the Tramway and George Main Stakes in Sydney.