The Betfair Insider: Early Melbourne Cup Preview

THE BETFAIR INSIDER

Melbourne Cup Preview

Profiling the race we learn the following:

  • 4 of past 5 winners 6yo Horse
  • 5 of past 5 winners have carried < 56.5kg, 4 of past 5 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
  • 4 of past 5 winners have drawn Barrier 10 or wider
  • 2 of past 5 winners SP favourites

 

Past race winners & Lead up result:

2014 – Rail True, Good 3

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

 

2013 Rail True, Good 3

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

 

2012 Rail +2m, Good 3

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

 

2011 Rail +3m Good 3

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

 

2010 Rail +3m, Soft 6

1st – Americain 6 yo Horse – SP $13 54.5kg BR 11 – 6th up, 2 weeks 1st Geelong Cup G3 2406m Geelong

2nd – Maluckyday – SP $9 51kg BR 5 – 6th up, 3 days 1st Lexus G3 2500m Flemington

3rd – So You Think – SP $3.00 fav 56kg – 6th up, 3 days 1st Mackinnon G1 2000m Flemington

 

MAJOR PLAYERS:

 

Fame Game (Japan) 6YO Horse

16 Starts: 5 wins 2 placing’s

Prizemoney: $2,798,484
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2000/3400     1st Up: 6:0-1-0    2nd Up: 5:2-0-1
Firm: 6:2-1-0     Good: 10:3-0-1     Soft: 0:0-0-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 57.0   International Rating: 117      Key Race: Tenno Sho Spring JPN 2nd G1 3200m 3/05/2015

Overview:

Fame Game is the favourite for both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.  His profile being not too dissimilar to last year’s Caulfield Cup winner, the ill-fated Admire Rakti.

Fame Game appears to be coming to Australia at the peak of his powers. At his latest start he was a fast finishing (and unlucky) 2nd in the Tenno Sho Grade 1 over 3200m where Admire Rakti who could only manage a 7.5L 13th the year prior.

His Tenno Sho run was first up after 10 weeks and has regularly performed well with two run preparations.

Over 2200-2400m is no issue with wins and fast finishing efforts in Grade 2 and 3 events at this distance range.

The majority of his starts has been on firm tracks and is someone what unknown on the wet. He looks a typically versatile and tough Japanese horse and deserves his place at the top of the market carrying 57kg for the Caulfield Cup, 1kg less than Admire Rakti.

 

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup:

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

Hokko Brave (Japan) 8YO Horse

29 Starts: 5 wins 10 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,821,169
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2200/2600     1st Up: 10:2-2-2    2nd Up: 9:0-2-3
Firm: 23:2-4-4     Good: 5:3-0-1     Soft: 1:0-1-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 55.5       International Rating: 114      Key Race: Nikkei Shi JPN 3rd G2 2500m 28/03/2015

Overview:

Hokko Brave is currently 3rd pick on the exchange, unlike his Japanese counterpart Fame Game, he is a little more exposed with an additional 13 starts to his name.

Both horses met each other in the Tenno Sho (3200m) where Fame Game was a much more appealing run to the eye although the margin between the two was only 1.5L.

He has form behind Admire Rakti in Japan which does put him right in his race however I couldn’t have him in front of Fame Game who did towel him up with they met ‘the Melbourne way’ on the 9th of November 2014 in the Copa Republica G2 over 2500m. He does have a 1.5kg weight advantage over Fame Game if that counts for anything over 2400m.

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup:

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Max Dynamite (Ireland) 6YO Horse

14 Starts: 3 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $379,647
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2200/3300     1st Up: 4:2-0-1    2nd Up: 3:0-1-1
Firm: 1:0-0-0     Good: 5:0-2-1     Soft: 10:3-0-0     Heavy: 2:0-1-1    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 55.0   International Rating: 117   Key Race: Lonsdale Cup UK 1st G2 3300m 21/08/2015

Overview:

Max Dynamite is an interesting runner in the fact that the majority of his racing has been done over the hurdles! At first that is a turnoff, however Vintage Crop did have a similar profile and was able to take out a Melbourne Cup.

Max’s last campaign were in races all over the 2 miles so whatever he does in the Caulfield Cup, he is sure to improve into the Melbourne Cup.

At around the $34 early on the exchange you couldn’t be keen on him however, if he happens to hit the line hard he would be firming up for a Melbourne Cup.

His final run before spelling was a dominant display. He destroyed Melbourne Cup rival Trip to Paris by over 10L that day with a 4.5L win in the G2 Lonsdale Cup over 3299m.

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup:

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Trip To Paris (Ireland) 6YO Horse

Prizemoney: $775,548
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1408/4023     1st Up: 3:0-0-0    2nd Up: 3:2-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 12:3-2-1     Soft: 3:1-0-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 3:2-0-0

Weight: 55.0    International Rating: 113  Key Race: Ascot Golf Cup 1st G1 4000m 18/06/2015

14 Starts: 3 wins 4 placing’s

Overview:

A stablemate to Red Cadeaux, the Ed Dunlop trained Trip to Paris put his name on the map with an impressive victory against the highly touted Kingfisher over 4,000m at Ascot.

His form at the shorter trips is less than impressive and was well beaten by Max Dynamite (a Melbourne Cup contender) when dropping back to 3299m.

At $27 on the exchange, it is most likely that Trip to Paris will be going first up into the Melbourne Cup. Does he have the turn of foot to win a Melbourne Cup? I’d say no but who am I to argue with Ed Dunlop…

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Snow Sky (Great Britain) 5YO Horse

14 Starts: 5 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $819,932
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1609/2816     1st Up: 4:1-1-1    2nd Up: 3:2-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 10:4-1-2     Soft: 3:0-1-0     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 58.0     International Rating: 122     Key Race: Hardwicke Stakes UK 1st G2 2400m 18/06/2015

Overview:

Snow Sky finished 3rd, well ahead of Hartnell in the Ladbrokes St Ledger (G1 2937m) in September 2014 when tried over a longer distance than what he had previously raced at. It was a sound performance but his run had well and truly peaked at the 200m. Snow Sky was then sent to Sha Tin for a run but was disappointing which is worth noting as he may not be a good traveler.

He resumed after that and put in two impressive runs at 2800m & 2400m before failing to handle the soft ground (also 2400m) and was spelled.

Snow Sky heads to Australia with his first run now expected to be the Caulfield Cup. What’s interesting and more so puzzling is that they originally planned to go first up into the Melbourne Cup. Thankfully owner Khalid Abdullah has now changed course which makes him very hard to beat in the Caulfield Cup with Damien Oliver booked to ride.

If he wins the Caulfield Cup he will probably weight himself out of winning the Melbourne Cup.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Quest For More (Great Britain) 6YO Gelding

18 Starts: 6 wins 7 placing’s

Prizemoney: $395,340
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1710/3219     1st Up: 5:1-1-1    2nd Up: 4:2-1-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 15:6-4-3     Soft: 0:0-0-0     Heavy: 1:0-0-0    Synthetic: 2:0-0-0

Weight: 53.5     International Rating: 109          Key Race:  Goodwood Cup 2nd G2 3200m 30/07/2015

Overview:

Quest For More is likely to go first up into the Melbourne Cup after a number of ‘handy’ staying performances over in England.

He held off the fast finishing Max Power in the Heritage Handicap (3,236m) at Newcastle (UK) in a bunched finish and went on to run a bold second in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3,200m).

As mentioned he looks a handy type but may lack that turn off foot that is now required to win a Melbourne Cup. Prefer to see him in a lead up run before the Melbourne Cup.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup (2400m), into the Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Mongolian Khan (NZ) 4YO Horse  

11 Starts: 7 wins 0 placing’s

Prizemoney:  $1,934,512
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1710/3219     1st Up: 2:1-0-0    2nd Up: 1:0-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 7:3-0-0     Soft: 4:4-0-0     Heavy: 1:0-0-0    Synthetic: 2:0-0-0

Weight: 55.0    International Rating: 188     Key Race: ATC Derby 1st G1 2400m 6/04/2015

Overview:

Up and coming Kiwi star with an outstanding race record.  The winner of the Group 1 NZ and ATC Derby this horse can stay all day and has the ability to sprint when it counts.

His first up run in the Makybe Diva Stakes was outstanding 1.5L 7th which was off a 23 week break.

After his run in the Underwood Stakes he’s now 6th favourite on the Exchange to win the Caulfield Cup. His stable keep saying the Melbourne Cup is his target but they still have not ruled out the Cox Plate.

Third up into Caulfield Stakes he ran a slashing 3rd behind Criterion after being shuffled back along the fence. His last 200m the fastest of the race in 11.24. He drops 3kg from WFA to Handicap conditions and is now favourite on The Exchange. He will take a World of beating but if he wins the Caulfield Cup the penalty might stop him winning the Melbourne Cup.

 

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup (2000m), into Melbourne Cup 3200m)

Protectionist (GER) 6YO Horse

16 Starts: 5 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $4,170,160
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/3200     1st Up: 6:1-2-1    2nd Up: 4:1-1-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 8:2-2-0     Soft: 7:2-1-1     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 58.0     International Rating: 120       Key Race: Melbourne Cup 1st G1 3200m 4/11/2014

Overview:

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner is looking to defend his title which has proven a tough ask for many before him.

Protectionist looked ‘on track’ last campaign with a bold effort when only beaten 2.2L to Hartnell in the BMW, but true believers were left shattered after he failed in the Group 1 Sydney Cup 3200m, eased down to be beaten 16L on that day.

Since resuming he’s been just OK, second up beaten six lengths in the George Main Stakes. It was the performance of a dower stayer who needs every bit of 2400-3200m.

He had a charmed run in the Turnbull Stakes but couldn’t sprint when asked too. He gave in quickly after a slight bumping dual with Happy Trails and I couldn’t back him to win either Cup at this stage.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup.

 Bondi Beach (IRE) 4YO Horse

5 Starts: 3 wins 2 placing’s

Prizemoney: $438,897
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2414/2816     1st Up: 1:1-0-0    2nd Up: 1:0-1-0
Firm: 1:0-1-0     Good: 2:1-1-0     Soft: 1:0-1-0     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 52.5      Key Race: English St Leger 1st G1 2900m 12/9/2015

Overview:

The most lightly raced runner in betting and is full of untapped potential.

Bondi Beach is another of Aiden O’Briens runners who has been put into quarantine for a tilt at our richest race and he looks almost as lethal as Order of St George.

At his latest outing at Doncaster we won the Group 1 British St Ledger Stakes (2937m) in a controversial protest decision after a 300m long bumping duel with eventual runner up Simple Verse (result has since been changed). Prior to that he ran a bold second placing in the Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2) with five lengths back to third place.

Weighted to win with 52.5kg this an up and comer with serious staying potential and could be right in the finish if he travels well. The $29 on offer appears short given he’s had 5 career starts and looking to defy all records and logic.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up into the Melbourne Cup.

 Preferment (Aus) 4YO Horse

14 Starts: 3 wins 5 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,503,405
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2000/2500     1st Up: 3:0-0-0    2nd Up: 3:1-0-1
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 8:2-3-0     Soft: 5:1-0-1     Heavy: 1:0-1-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 57.5    International Rating: 116    Key Race: Victoria Derby 1st G1 2500m 30/10/2014

Overview:

Chris Waller’s Preferment is progressing nicely to a crack at the spring staying features.

The VRC Derby winner appears to have made that next step after taking out the Group 2 Hill Stakes over 2000m last weekend. It was a good staying performance fighting back off the canvass to Magic Hurricane after clearly being headed at the 200m.

He followed that performance up winning the G1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington stamping himself as a knockout contender for the Cox Plate and a genuine chance to win the Melbourne Cup. Hugh Bowman will ride him in both races.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Cox Plate, into Melbourne Cup.

 Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) 7YO Horse

22 Starts: 8 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,338,021
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/3200     1st Up: 5:1-1-0    2nd Up: 5:1-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 12:6-1-1     Soft: 7:1-2-0     Heavy: 3:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 54.5      International Rating: 114      Qualifying Race: Sydney Cup 2nd G1 3200m 11/04/2015

Overview:

A former Kiwi, Who Shot Thebarman was transferred over to the Waller stable in 2014 and progressed nicely through the grades. In just his first preparation in he made it all the way through to the Melbourne Cup, finishing a brilliant 3rd to Protectionist and Red Cadeaux.
He was then spelled and resumed his next campaign culminating in great runs in the BMW (Hartnell) and then going down in a photo finish to Grand Marshall in the Sydney Cup.

This time in he’s been more than satisfactory for a horse that excels between 2400-3200m. He is a more seasoned horse this season and his last ‘quiet’ run in the Turnbull Stakes would have topped him off nicely for the Caulfield Cup which he will drop 2kgs from that performance.

He may lack the class to win the Melbourne Cup but he’s right on target.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup , Melbourne Cup.

 Kingfisher (NZ) 5YO Horse

15 Starts: 3 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $726,780
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/3200     1st Up: 4:0-0-1    2nd Up: 3:3-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 11:2-2-1     Soft: 4:2-0-1     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 53.0   Key Race: Ascot Gold Cup 2nd G1 4000m 18/06/2015

Overview:

Part of the Aiden O’Brien contingent, Kingfisher heads to Australia on the back of a mixture of bad luck and poor runs. He was beaten by 16L by Order of St George before a 43L defeat by the same horse in the Irish St Leger.

The camp feel that the horse doesn’t put in on wet tracks, but until we see it put in you couldn’t possibly get him in your numbers at this point in time.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up into the Melbourne Cup.

big orange Big Orange (GB) 5YO Horse

13 Starts: 5 wins 1 placing’s

Prizemoney: $549,822
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2012/3219     1st Up: 4:1-1-0    2nd Up: 4:2-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 5:3-0-0     Soft: 5:1-0-0     Heavy: 1:0-0-0    Synthetic: 2:1-1-0

Weight: 55.5     Key Race: Goodwood Cup UK 1st G2 3200m 30/07/2015

Overview:

Big Orange comes through the same staying form from the UK with the likes of Max Dynamite and Trip To Paris. He won the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3200m) on a dry surface before failing on the wet in the Lonsdale Cup (won by Max Dynamite).

If you excuse his latest failure where he started second pick in the market you can make a good case for him. He’s in the right weight range for the profile of a Cup winner.

He’s lightly raced and appears to be moving into the prime of his career. $50+ available on the exchange.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up into the Melbourne Cup.

  Our Ivanhowe (Ger) 6YO Horse

13 Starts: 5 wins 1 placing’s

Prizemoney: $561,973
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2200/2400     1st Up: 6:3-1-0    2nd Up: 3:1-0-0
Firm: 1:0-0-0     Good: 9:3-1-0     Soft: 3:2-1-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 56.0     International Rating: 120     Key Race: Grosser von Peris Bayern GER 1st G1 2400m 1/11/2014

Overview:

Lee Freedman trains this former German galloper. He won the Group 1 Bayern (3200m) back in November 2014.

Lee’s astute and most importantly has found his love for training again. Freedman knows what it takes to win the Cup and gave the galloper a couple of trials and one run last prep just to keep the horse in good condition.

His run in the G3 Bart Cummings carrying 60kg was the ideal 2nd up conditioning run. He will drop 4kgs into the cup. He profiles like the winner.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup,  into Melbourne Cup.

 

 Sky Hunter (GB) 6yo Gelding

11 starts: 6 wins 2 placeings

Prizemoney: $585,150

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1950/2418     1st Up: 6:3-1-0    2nd Up: 3:2-0-0

Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 5:3-0-0     Soft: 5:2-1-1     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 54kg                                               Qualifying Race: City of Dubai Gold Cup UAE 1st G2 2400m 7/03/2015

Overview:

Last start 2nd carrying 61kg in the G3 Legacy Cup at Newberry behind The Corsican (58.5kg) with Eagle Top (58.5kg) in 3rd place. That form ties in OK with Eagle Top finishing 2nd to Snow Sky at his start prior in the G2 Hardwicke Stakes.

Has won twice on a Good surface beyond 2000m and was placed in the G1 French Derby beaten 2.3 lengths to Intello (GR) in 2013.

Already in the field at position 23 in the latest Melbourne Cup Order Of Entry. Fits the profile of the winner being a 6yo to carry only 54kg. Stable desperate to win the race but the query is being 1st up into the race.

 

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up into the Melbourne Cup.

 

 Secret Number (GB) 6yo Horse

11 starts: 4 wins, 3 placings

Prizemoney: $511,908

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/2475     1st Up: 4:3-1-0    2nd Up: 1:0-0-1

Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 7:2-1-2     Soft: 4:2-0-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 52.5kg                                        Qualifying Race: Stand Cup UK 1st LR 2500m 12/09/2015

 

Overview:

A recent Winner of the Listed Stand Cup at Chester over 2475m off a 53 week break in early September. A year ago runner up in September Stakes G3 to Prince Bishop (IRE) at Kempton Park.

Looking further back in 2013 he ran 6th beaten 3.8 lengths in the G1 St Leger at Doncaster behind Leading Light (IRE) over 2900m.

With only 2 starts in as many years and no wins beyond 2400m he must be a big query of running out a strong 3200m at Flemington.

 

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Needs a penalty to jump from 36 in the current order of entry.