Flemington, Tuesday 1st November 2016: Melbourne Cup

Current Track Rating: Good 3

Rail: True

Weather Forecast: www.bom.gov.au

Tuesday 1st – Max 18, shower or two. 50% chance of rain (0-1mm)

R7 Emirates Melbourne Cup G1 3200m

Race Profile

  • 4 of past 5 winners 6yo Horses
  • 5 of past 5 winners have carried 56.5kg or less, 4 of past 5 winners 55kg or less
  • 5 of past 5 winners have had a lead up run of 2000m or further in Australia
  • 4 of past 4 winners have been 5th or 6th up
  • 3 of past 5 winners have drawn Barrier 10 or wider
  • 2 of past 5 winners SP favourites


Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

1st – Prince of Penzance 6 yo Horse – SP $101 53kg BR 1 – 6th up, 10 days 2nd Moonee Valley Gold Cup G2 2500 Moonee Valley

2nd – Max Dynamite – SP $13 55kg BR 2 – 1st up, 10 weeks 1st Lonsdale Cup G2 3300m York

3rd – Criterion – SP $19 57.5kg BR 4 – 4th up, 10 days 2nd Cox Plate G2 2040m Moonee Valley

1st – Protectionist 5 yo Horse – SP $8 56.5kg BR 10 – 2nd up, 3 weeks 4th Herbert Power G2 2400m Caulfield

2nd – Red Cadeaux – SP $21 57kg BR 14 – 3rd up, 8 week (let up) 7th September Stakes G3 2400 K Park UK

3rd – Who Shot Thebarman – SP $21 55kg BR 12 – 6th up, 2 weeks 13th Caulfield Cup G1 2400m Caulfield

1st – Fiorente 6 yo Horse – SP $7 fav 55kg BR 14 – 5th up, 10 days 3rd Cox Plate G1 2040m Moonee Valley

2nd – Red Cadeaux – SP $61 56.5kg BR 23 – 8th up, 7 wk freshen 4th Irish St Leger G1 2800m Curragh

3rd – Mount Athos – SP $13 54 kg BR 22 – 5th up, 10 week (let up) 2nd March Stks Listed 2800m Goodwood

1st – Green Moon 6 yo Horse – SP $20 54.5kg BR 5 – 5th up, 10 days 7th Cox Plate G1 2040m Moonee Valley

2nd – Fiorente – SP $31 53.5kg BR 2 – 6th up, 7 week freshen 4th Prix Foy G2 2400m Longchamp

3rd – Jakkalberry – SP $81 55.5kg BR 19 – 6th up, 3 weeks 13th Caulfield Cup G1 2400m Caulfield

1st – Dunaden 6 yo Horse – SP $8.50 fav 54.5kg BR 13 – 6th up, 2 weeks 1st Geelong Cup G3 2400m Geelong

2nd – Red Cadeaux – SP $31 53.5kg BR 15 – 9th up, 7 week freshen 3rd Irish St Leger G1 2800m Curragh

3rd – Lucas Cranach – SP $13 53.5kg BR 11 – 6th up, 2 weeks 5th Caulfield Cup G1 2400m Caulfield

Major Players 

1. Big Orange (UK): Fifth in last years’ Melbourne Cup, Big Orange led at a slow tempo which was potentially detrimental to his chances as he was not able to match his rivals when the sprint went on. He’s since raced well in Dubai and has won twice (both at Group 2) level back home in the UK. He’s a more seasoned horse, in good form but hard to come into any top weight for the Melbourne Cup.

2. Our Ivanhowe: He’s racing consistently well for a genuine stayer and the 3200m looks ideal for him. His last start sixth in the Caulfield Cup to Jameka would have been pleasing for connections with the 7YO finishing the race off with the second best closing sectionals in the race. Having said all that he prefers the cut out of the ground to show his best and that looks unlikely.

3. Curren Mirotic (Japan): You never want to dismiss a Japanese runner but this 9YO takes his place without a lead up run and with some long starting prices at his past two failures in Japan. Three starts back he run 2nd in the Group 1 Tenno Sho which has been a traditionally strong form reference for the Japanese horses but must be taken on trust after being well beaten since.

4. Bondi Beach (Ireland): Bondi Beach was sent to Australia for the 2015 Melbourne Cup as a Northern Hemisphere 3YO and had no luck in the race after racing wide and being buffeted in the straight. After a spell, Bondi Beach raced back home in Ireland taking out a Listed race by 2.8L and backed that up with a Group 3 win over 2816m by a length with an SP of $1.10. He’s raced twice since at Leopardstown (Ire) over 2414m at Group 3 level running third on both occasions. His 3YO form had him pinned as a potential star but he needs to jump sharply in rating here to win.

5. Exospheric: First seen for his new trainer (L & A Freedman) in the Caulfield Cup, he ran a pleasing third for connections. He’s yet to be tested over the 3200m with the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup being a ‘stretch’ on his previous distance form. He recorded the fifth best final section of the Caulfield Cup so prefer others at this distance.

6. Hartnell: The Cup favourite, Hartnell has taken all before him this time in. He won the Chelmsford by 7.5L hard held, the Hill Stakes just as dominantly and then put 3.3L on Jameka in the Turnbull, also under hands and heels riding to the line. He controversially skipped the Caulfield Cup (a dominate favourite) to have his third consecutive start at 2000m (give or take the additional 40m of the Cox Plate) where he finished second to the champion mare Winx.

He steps up the 3200m for the third time in Australia. At his first attempt he raced too keenly in the Sydney Cup when failing at the $1.70 favourite. At his next attempt in the 2015 Melbourne Cup you could argue that he wasn’t the same horse and finished a disappointing 15th. Without doubt he is in much better form this time around but he still does race a little keen and the question will be how much that will take out of him over the 3200m. I have great respect for him but is well found.

7. Who Shot Thebarman: Racing consistently well, ran second to Grand Marshall in last weeks Moonee Valley Cup. Lacks the X-factor to win a Melbourne Cup.

8. Wicklow Brave (Ireland): He broke through for a much deserved Group 1 win last start in the Irish St Leger (2816m) holding off challenges from Order Of St George and Trip To Paris over the concluding stages. That’s top quality European staying form and carried 62kg on that occasion. His best form appears to be on the soft ground and if he can handle a dry track he’s one of the main dangers to Hartnell.

9. Almoonqith: He closed the Caulfield Cup with the fastest final sectional indicating the step up to 3200m looks ideal this time in. He had no luck in the 2015 Cup and appears to be in better form this time around. Drawn 19, he’ll be charging from the rear but looks a good chance to fill the top 4 at good odds.

10. Gallante: Winner of the 2016 Sydney Cup, Gallante needs to bounce back off a last start 13.8L seventh in the Moonee Valley Cup. Not for me.

11. Grand Marshal: Winner of last weeks Moonee Valley Cup when really stretching out nicely to defeat Who Shot Thebarman. Like many, was severely hampered in the 2015 Melbourne Cup and then ran a huge race when finishing well to Gallante in this years Sydney Cup. He drops 3.5kg from his last run has drawn perfectly in barrier 9 and looks a real smokey to run a big race on Tuesday. The $41 on offer now is value.

12. Jameka: A dominate 3L winner of the Caulfield Cup, Jameka was able to overcome a mid race ‘anchor drop’ where she threw her head around when the speed dropped before surging away from her rivals over the concluding stages. The step to 3200m is a question mark, but judging by the arrogance of her Caulfield Cup victory I don’t see it as a major issue. She looks a great chance should she switch off and a definite top three player as the market has suggested.

13. Heartbreak City (Ireland): He’s won his past three races in Ireland and England. His last start victory was in the Ebor Heritage Handicap by an impressive 4L and is certainly a horse on the rise over in Europe. He’s a lightly raced 7YO and although mixing his form across the flat and hurdles he looks to arrive here in peak form. Joao Moreira has been booked to ride and looks weighted to win.

14. Sir John Hawkwood: Didn’t do enough for mine in the Caulfield Cup so happy for him to go around with out me here.

15. Excess Knowledge: Gai Waterhouse and her ‘bone & muscle’ training style will see Excess Knowledge peaking on the day however he is very one paced and wasn’t able to match it with the likes of Grand Marshal in last weeks Moonee Valley Cup. Prefer others.

16. Beautiful Romance (UK): A lightly raced 5YO mare, she finished fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes behind the talented Dartmouth and Highland Reel, defeating the likes of Wicklow Brace and Exospheric. The distance is a query with most of her form over 2400m and below.

17. Almandin: The lightly raced 7YO is in top form having won the Harry White Classic (Listed) and the Bart Cummings (G3) at his past two starts. On both occasions he really ran through the line, which would be very pleasing for connections heading into a Melbourne Cup. He loses Oliver but is replaced by McEvoy and is value at $18 mark.

18. Assign: A tough on pace stayer, he won the Herbert Power at his last start over 2400m but the step up to 3200m appears unfavourable.

19. Grey Lion: Chased Qewy all the way in the Geelong Cup and was brave but he had Oceanographer bearing down on him hard and I cant see him holding off that horse on Tuesday.

20. Oceanographer (UK): Has quickly rocketed into second favourite after a strong showing in the Geelong Cup before backing that up 10 days later in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes where reeling in the tearaway leader Tom Melbourne. He has a lovely long action which looks very suitable to the 3200m and a turn of foot. He was no match for the likes of Heartbreak City back home but appears to be flying down under. A genuine threat as the market has predicted but three runs in 13 days is a big negative for mine.

21. Secret Number (UK): We’ve seen him once in Australia and that was an impressive second to Dandino in the Queens Cup at Flemington. He had almost a year off and returned with a listed win over 2012m by a length and a half. The stable looks to have set him up for this race with a taste of Australian racing back in 2015. I like the preparation for him and he’s a knockout runner at $41.

22. Pentathlon: Not going well enough and is outclassed here.

23. Qewy (UK): Winner of the Geelong Cup, he was ridden on speed and pulled out plenty to hold off Grey Lion and the fast finishing Oceanographer. I don’t think he’ll be ridden as aggressively on Tuesday and although Oceanographer was coming at him hard at Geelong, I think he can stay just as well when ridden quietly and there shouldn’t be such a gap in their prices. A good chance at odds.

24. Rose Of Virginia: The old saying “is running around for the members tickets” comes to mind! Beaten 15L on Saturday by Oceanographer and looks no hope on turning that margin around.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Almandin – 2 units at $15 or more.

 BACK (WIN) Heartbreak City – 2 units at $15 or more

 BACK (WIN) Wicklow Brave – 1 unit at $20 or more

R9 MSS Security Sprint Listed 1200m

Race Profile

  • 2 of 5 winners had their lead up run within 2 weeks
  • 2 of 5 winners came through the 1200m Hcp at M Valley Friday night before Cox Plate
  • 5 of 5 winners have carried 56kg or less

Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Sea Lord – SP $21 54kg BR 3 – 3rd up (6wk fresh), 10 days 7th HCP 100k 1200m M Valley

Reparations – SP $31 55.5kg BR 5 – 1st up, 19 weeks 15th Stradbroke Hcp G1 1200m E Farm

Richie’s Vibe – SP $8.50 54kg BR 8 – 4th up, 10 days 5th HCP 102k 1200m M Valley

Unpretentious – SP $3.60 fav 54kg BR 17 –  2nd up, 4 weeks 1st SHOW 72 30k 1100m Ballarat

Facile Tigre – SP $11 56kg BR 13 – 3rd up, 3 weeks 1st HCP 100k 1200m Caulfield

Major Players

1. Faatinah: Sat outside the lead facing the breeze in the Caulfield Sprint and fought on OK. He was poor up the straight prior to that when he had a very soft lead. Won in his personal best 3 starts ago up the straight with a bias favouring the outside rail. I’m always prepared to forgive one failure but he rises up to 58.5kg in this against the profile of the race which is enough to put me off at the price.

6. Secret Agenda: Held up on the point of the turn last time out behind Sheidel but only fair to the line thereafter failing to break 12 seconds for the last 200m when 7 of his last 13 opponents did. Her PB is up the straight but I’m happy to say no to her.

9. Reuttiger: Comes out of the same race as Faatinah when he was held up in behind before powering to the line to be beaten 1.25L by him. With a 3.5kg weight variance between the two it is easy to make a case for why Reuttiger should be closer to the same price as Faatinah even though the SP profile from last start was $14 compared to $5.00. Drawn towards the inside and mapped to be at the tail of the field but a chance if the inside is ok.

11. Sir Bacchus: Sydney runner who was off the bit a long way from home last start at the Valley but overwhelmed his opposition to win well and take his record to six wins from 12 starts. Still only a 4YO who has plenty of upside but another who will be back and towards the inside. I’m expecting a small market drift but if he gets the $8 he’d become value.

13. Ravi: Another up and coming 4YO with some excellent Sydney form behind her before producing a long sprint from near last to finish fourth beaten 1.2L by Sheidel last start. The handicap conditions mean that she is not well weighted compared to most of her rivals however having only had the nine starts she is likely going to finish a much higher rated horse so this is less of a concern. Gets the perfect run off the pace and looks the hardest to beat in an open race.

19. Lord Von Costa: Did enough first up after winning the listed Creswick stakes on his way out to his spell. OHC rating of 75 is well out of the handicap but his three best career runs are all up the straight and that fourth first up was the first time he has finished out of a place. Drawn to be able to get to the outside of the field which I think may be the place to be. Huge price but a race that can throw up a roughie.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Ruettiger – 2 units at $8 or more.

 BACK (WIN) Sir Bacchus – 2 units at $8 or more

 BACK (WIN) Lord Von Costa – 0.5 unit at $30 or more

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