THE ''Whingeing Pom'', as he has been so lovingly labelled by many Aussies, could well be ready to gain revenge in the lead-up to Tuesday's Foster's Melbourne Cup. London-based Ladbrokes, the world's biggest bookmaking firm, have opened a book on the Cup, installing Irish-trained Vintage Crop as a 7-1 favourite and dual-Ascot Gold Cup winner Drum Taps as low as 10-1. But feedback that Mike Dillon, the Ladbrokes' representative, has received at the firm's Harrow-on-the-Hill headquarters, leads him to declare the Australians are running scared regarding the European challengers - not to mention hedging their bets - with only days remaining before Australia's greatest race. ''The Whingeing Pom is known the world-over,'' admitted Dillon, whose own bloodlines, incidentally, show him to be a Mancunian of Irish stock. ''But lately, I'm beginning to think there is another, stronger 'moaning' strain of individual being developed - the Whingeing Aussie,'' he declared. ''Just listen to the excuses some of the Aussie trainers are making in the press down there.'' Dillon was referring to the comments attributed to Bart Cummings, Australia's legendary ''Cups King'', and Lee Freedman, the relatively fresh, new face in the ranks who has already won two Cups, with Tawriffic and last year's hero Subzero. ''Four weeks ago, when Vintage Crop and Drum Taps were both ready to go into quarantine, the Aussies all said the owners and trainers were mad for even trying to go for the Melbourne Cup. ''Both Cummings and Freedman declared in print that they had no chance,'' Dillon recalled. ''Now, as the race is approaching, they are saying they are thrown in at the weights. Why didn't they say so at the time? The weights have been out since the end of July.'' Drum Taps has equal top-weight of 129 pounds, while Vintage Crop, Mick Kinane's mount, has 122 pounds. On their best efforts in Europe, both are certainly well-treated. But most experts agree they would need to be well-treated in order to counter the affects of the long journey and four-week quarantine period they have endured. Dillon said Ladbrokes opened their ante-post book on the Cup several weeks early due to the direct European interest for the first time. ''We always bet on the race, with most of the interest coming from the Earl's Court area. But this year, punters up and down the country know more about the race.''