Estimated Reading Time: <1 minutes
IT’S the crowning jewel of Australian thoroughbred racing.
It’s an event filled with history, excitement and hope.
It’s the Melbourne Cup – the race that stops a nation.
This Tuesday, 24 horses will endeavour to win the $6 million Group 1 and we have all the latest info, odds and tips.
Fame Game is the current hot favourite after running on well in the Caulfield Cup, but support is coming for the Chris Waller-trained Preferment.
The Europeans are well supported and this time Ed Dunlop brings a two-pronged attack. Three-time placegetter Red Cadeaux is back for another tilt at the Cup, but Dunlop also brings the highly-rated Trip To Paris.
Can the Australian-trained thoroughbreds hold off the international invasion, or will the Cup stay in the hands of the imports?
We not only have the Melbourne Cup covered, we have previewed every race on the card which features very big fields. The best thing about big fields? Big payouts, and exotic punters typically have a field day on the first Tuesday of November.
Sign up at CrownBet and if your Melbourne Cup Fixed Odds bet finishes second to 10th, you will get a $25 bonus bet.
The day starts with the juveniles in the Emirates Airline Plate at the early start time of 10.40am.
Race 1 – Emirates Airline Plate (1000m)
Missrock has been on the drift after opening as the $3 favourite. The Fastnet Rock filly for Robbie Laing has drifted out to $3.30, but it brings winning form into the race and it beat a very smart type on debut. The filly won the Listed Debutante Stakes at Caulfield when beating Pearl Congenial by 0.75 lengths and that form has been franked. Nice draw and it could go back-to-back
Prompt Response has been the best backed runner at $4. The Gai Waterhouse filly is on debut after winning its only trial and Damien Oliver is a key booking. The daughter of Beneteau has drawn wide down the Flemington straight which should suit it and we’re expecting its price to continue to drop. Plenty of unknown about it, but keep an eye on the market.
Infra Dig should be considered as the O’Shea stables have a very good strike rate in two-year-old events. The daughter of Exceed And Excel has trialed well enough and drawing barrier 15 should be fine early in the day. There was a fast lane on the rail on Saturday, but those problems should be fixed and the outside should be playing fairly. Has attracted moderate support at $8.50.
Race 1 Tip: Missrock to win ($3.30) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 2 – Tabcorp Trophy (1700m)
Precious Gem was a big flop last start at Moonee Valley, but its form prior was solid so it should be respected here. The Gwenda Johnstone-trained mare finished second in the Group 2 Let’s Elope just three starts back at Flemington and if it can put in a repeat performance it will likely win this. Craig Williams rides from a good draw so expect a much improved effort. Opened at $4 and currently sits at $5.
Zarzali looks a natural stayer and it should appreciate the rise in distance. The James Cummings-trained mare finished third last start at group 3 level and it put in a big finish late over the 1600 metres. It’s bred to stay and it was considered good enough to run in the Group 1 Oaks earlier this year. It has form in behind Winx in the Queensland Oaks and we know how franked that form is. Very good winning chance at $2.25 after opening at $2.80.
Mrs President has been close up in recent starts when third at Moonee Valley and Cranbourne last start. The Ellerton/Zahra-trained mare put back-to-back wins together earlier this year and after two runs in this campaign, it should be ready to fire. It has missed a placing on only one occasion from eight starts, so include for trifecta options at $6.50.
Race 2 Tip: Zarzali to win ($2.25) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 3 – J.B. Cummings Am Tribute Plate (2800m)
Pop ‘n’ Scotch wasn’t well favoured last start at Geelong, but it ran Zanteca to within a length and that form looks good after Zanteca finished second in the Lexus Stakes on Saturday. The Liam Birchley-trained gelding is a winner of four races from 22 starts and the increase in distance is ideal. It does mix its form so punters have a hard time trusting it, but it’s worth an each-way punt at $15 after opening higher at $19.
Four Carat is the current equal favourite at $6.50. The Chris Waller-trained gelding looks to have a decent future at this level after producing an easy 1.25-length win at Caulfield last start. The five-year-old by Montjeu defeated Gingerboy which has since performed well and based on breeding, this distance won’t trouble it at all. Drawn best of the favoured runners and it gets a nice light weight of 54kg.
Annus Mirabilis has been well supported since arriving in Australia and it ran on well behind Zanteca last time out at Geelong. The Robert Hickmott-trained gelding gets the services of international rider Colm O’Donoghue and its breeding suggests it will just keep on running. It drops down in weight from 57 to 54kg and that could turn the tables on some of these. An each way chance at $8.50.
Race 3 Tip: Four Carat to win ($6.50) at Bet365.com.au
Race 4 – Lavazza Short Black R90 (1400m)
Drawing barrier 13 will make it tough for Hugh Bowman, but Good Project’s form warrants favouritism. The Chris Waller-trained horse was an easy rating 92 winner at Randwick where it defeated Foreign Prince by 1.25 lengths. Its best run to date was a seventh in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas behind surprise winner Jabali and it has placed an amazing six from seven starts at this distance. Wouldn’t go nuts at the $3.80 price, but it has winning credentials.
Peter Moody had a quite start to the carnival, but he lines up Weinholt here which looks like a winning chance. The five-year-old beat a small, but handy field at Geelong and it increases in distance to where it has won and placed from five starts. It has been hard to follow throughout its career and it has promised plenty, but this is an even field and it could sneak into the money at nice odds. $12 available with most bookmakers.
Durendal has been specked in from $10 to $9 after winning handsomely at Pakenham last start. The talented son of Medaglia D’oro has form around horses such as Sabatini and Mohave, so the level of racing has been there and it looks well placed in this. Rising in distance won’t pose any problems and it should get all favours from barrier five. Looks a very nice each way bet.
Race 4 Tip: Durendal to win ($9) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 5 – Schweppes Flemington 3YO (1000m)
Spill The Beans has a very impressive form line and it should pay dividends. The Gerald Ryan-trained sprinter beat the high-priced colt Emaratee on debut by two lengths before beating a handy field at Randwick to stay unbeaten. It then took on the good horses in the Group 2 Roman Consul where it finished sixth behind Exopshere, but it returned to form last start when second behind Counterattack. The class in this race isn’t close and the $3.20 won’t last long. Good bet.
Ability has plenty and it was last seen running third behind Keen Array at Moonee Valley. The Robert Smerdon-trained colt won over 1105 metres by three lengths at Sale and it wasn’t far behind the likes of Bassett at Caulfield the start following. A senior jockey takes over the riding now and the $5.50 suggests bookmakers think it can upset the favourite.
Viceroy looked the winner last start at Moonee Valley, but it just couldn’t pick up the winner. The Tony McEvoy-trained gelding is better suited at Flemington and it defeated a handy field two starts back at Ballarat. It has always had potential, but its inconsistency is a worry for punters which is why it’s currently at $7. An each way chance with some luck.
Race 6 – Lexus Hybrid Plate (1400m)
Don’t Doubt Mamma made some late ground last start at Flemington, but it was the win at Caulfield that stands out in the form guide. The Tony McEvoy-trained filly beat Sacred Eye by a half-length and it has subsequently won a very nice race. The daughter of Not a Single Doubt is bred for speed and punters are keeping it within reach at $8 after opening at $7.50.
Valley Sweetheart produced an eye-catching run for second last start behind Lake Geneva. The Peter Moody-trained filly flew home which suggested the extra distance is ideal for this and jockey Glen Boss only needs some early luck from the wide barrier. Punters are climbing aboard and have bet it into $5 after opening at $6. Looks a nice type in the making.
Raggle Varr is a drifter in the market, but it opened at a short quote. The Stephen Brown-trained filly opened at $6 and has since drifted to $8, but its 3.75-length debut win was very impressive. It wasn’t fancied on that occasion and it was only a maiden race at Cranbourne, but it won with style. From a good draw with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, it should have an each way chance.
Race 6 Tip: Valley Sweetheart to win ($5) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 7 – Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m)
Gust Of Wind ranks as a nice each way bet at $34 for the win and $9.50 for the place. The John Sargent-trained mare hasn’t done anything wrong to justify those odds and despite drawing wide in barrier 19, it has the ability to go forward or sit back. The four-year-old has won three from nine which included the Group 1 ATC Oaks at Randwick where it defeated Winx by 2.5 lengths. Its most recent efforts have all been in preparation for this so include in your multiple bets for value.
Fame Game produced a good run for sixth in the Caulfield Cup after getting way too far back in the running. The Japanese runner flew home and therefore had the blinking light on for the Melbourne Cup. The Yoshitada Munakata-trained horse has class through its form line with a win in the Group 2 Copa Republica in Tokyo. It then ran second in the highly-regarded Group 1 Tenno Sho behind Gold Ship and that form reads extremely well. It has been absolutely hammered in the betting and after opening at $4.80 last week, it’s now into $3.20. Best winning chance.
It is tough to overlook Trip To Paris after what it showed in the Caulfield Cup. The Ed Dunlop-trained gelding cut into Mongolian Khan’s lead and only narrowly went down by a half-length. It has moderate form in Europe with a win in the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot and a placing behind Big Orange at Goodwood. The concern is that it finished behind Max Dynamite in the Lonsdale Cup and Trip To Paris is paying less than it in this race. Can’t ignore the most recent effort however, so stick with it. $9 available with bookmakers.
Melbourne Cup Tip: Gust of Wind each way ($34/$9.50) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 8 – James Boag’s Symphony Stakes (1800m)
Tall Ship has progressed nicely in three runs this campaign and now it’s ready to strike. The Darren Weir-trained import won the Terang Cup and Warrnambool Cup last season, before being put out for a spell. It is stepping back up in distance to where it’s best suited and it should test most of these runners. It opened at a ridiculous price of $9, but punters have slammed it into $6.50.
The current favourite is He Or She at $4 after winning last start at Caulfield. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained gelding was an easy 1.75-length winner and it has faced some very handy fields this campaign. It has run close up behind the likes of Charmed Harmony, Iggimacool and Kenjorwood, so the form reads well. Drawing barrier 19 isn’t what the connections wanted, but it drops right down in weight and looks a strong winning chance.
Have to respect Sadler’s Lake after running fourth in the Group 3 Coongy last start behind Group 1 winner Stratum Star. The Chris Waller-trained gelding put back-to-back wins together to kick off the campaign, before running ninth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap behind Winx. It’s an adaptable gelding which can sit anywhere in the field and still produce a nice finish. Must be included at $7.50.
Race 8 Tip: Tall Ship to win ($6.50) at Bet365.com.au
Race 9 – MSS Security Sprint (1200m)
Charmed Harmony is on the quick back-up after finishing fourth in the Group 3 Chatham Stakes on Saturday. The ride caused Opie Bosson to cop a suspension, but he’s engaged again here and he is in good riding form. The John Sadler-trained gelding is twice a winner at Flemington and three times a winner at this distance. It has beaten the likes of Extra Zero and Pago Rock already this campaign so include here at a nice price. $8 with bookies.
Kuro has been very disappointing and punters are getting restless. The Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained horse has started under $7 in its last four starts and its best result was a third placing behind Ball Of Muscle. It was only fair behind Lumosty at Caulfield last start and it will have to improve a few lengths to deserve its favouritism tag here. $6 isn’t the worst price in the world, but we can’t trust it yet.
Griante took on Australia’s best sprinters in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes last start and it held its ground. The David Brideoake-trained mare finished eighth, but it wasn’t disgraced and its form prior was solid enough for this. It finished third behind Fell Swoop and second behind Politeness, which has since won again, so that form looks handy here. Drawn barrier 18, but that won’t matter down the Flemington straight.
Race 9 Tip: Griante to place ($3.50) at WilliamHill.com.au
Race 10 – Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m)
Wawail is a quality runner that just isn’t getting the luck it needs. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained mare finished second behind Politeness last start and it had no room in behind Politeness the start prior. Since winning the Group 2 Kewney at Flemington five starts back, nothing has gone right for it and this is its chance to atone. It has some serious class and the opening price of $5 has been backed into $4.50.
Sultry Feeling has suffered the same bad luck as Wawail, but making the switch to Flemington will help its cause. The James Cummings-trained mare gets back in the field and has to pick a path in order to fully produce, but the tighter tracks in Sydney haven’t been helping, It wouldn’t mind a hot speed and if it gets it, look for it to be finishing off stoutly in the straight. Hugh Bowman returns to the saddle and he was able to win aboard the mare four back at Rosehill.
Nayeli was a nice winner last start at Randwick and it has been relatively well supported in the market at $9. The four-year-old mare has a good winning record of four wins from 10 starts and it has the breeding to suggest it will continue winning. Barrier 13 wasn’t ideal, but it should be fighting out the finish and in-form jockey Ben Melham takes the ride.