The ‘race that stops a nation’ is almost upon us and we have been studying the form for months in anticipation for the race with many of the main chances coming from overseas. The current favourite for the race is the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain closely followed by last years winner and this years Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden but both runners will need to overcome big weights if they are to win their second Melbourne Cup. View our runner by runner Melbourne Cup preview and tips.
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1. DUNADEN – C Williams (12) 59kgs
Relishes his time in Australia, having had three starts here for three wins including last year’s Melbourne Cup and at his most recent start, an unbelievable effort from barrier eighteen, claimed the Caulfield Cup (2400m). He carried 54.5kgs in last year’s Cup and has been allocated 59kgs for Tuesday and should he be successful, will set a metric weight-carrying record. Off the back of his Caulfield Cup win and reports from the training track at Werribee, he’ll go very close to establishing the record.
2. AMERICAIN – D Oliver (12) 58kgs
Winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup and backed that up with fourth placing in last year’s edition of the race. Back with his original trainer after a brief Autumn campaign with Australian trainer David Hayes and, after his recent fourth placing in the Caulfield Cup, is a genuine chance of joining an elite group of five horses that have won the Cup more than once. Meets Dunaden 4.5kgs better than last year and to be ridden by Oliver who claimed the VRC Derby on Saturday
3. JAKKALBERRY – C O’Donoghue (19) 55.5kgs
Seven year old who won the Arlington St. Ledger (2800m) in the USA in August – his tenth win from 24 starts, before coming to Australia. His Australian debut was in the Caulfield Cup where he ran thirteenth of eighteen, beaten 6.6 lengths. Tackles the two miles for the first time in his career and whilst he carries the same weight as he did in the Caulfield Cup, he would have to improve significantly.
4. RED CADEAUX – M Rodd (18) 55.5kgs
Came agonisingly close to being crowned the 2011 Melbourne Cup victor but was nosed out in the closest Melbourne Cup finish in history. Since then, the Ed Dunlop trained gelding has raced six times for a win, in the G2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) and five placings – all at Group level. He hasn’t raced for sixteen weeks however, his trainer will have benefited too from last year’s experience and expecting him to be fit and ready.
5. WINCHESTER – J Mott (22) 55.5kgs
Former American galloper who had six wins from twenty-five starts, including three Group One victories, who joined John Sadler’s stable earlier this year. He has had four starts in Australia and, given a majority of his racing career had been at distances greater than 2000m, wasn’t expecting much from him in the G1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Turnball Stakes (2000m) where he finished ninth on each occasion, beaten 5.4 and 4.7 lengths respectively. Also finished ninth in the Caulfield Cup (beaten 4.7) closing well and had his final hit-out Saturday in the Mackinnon, finishing 2.9 behind Alcopop. One of the better roughies in the race.
6. VOILA ICI – V Duric (13) 55kgs
A former Italian galloper who has been under the guidance of trainer Peter Moody for the four starts he has had in Australia. Ran well first up in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) and backed that up with a second placing in the Underwood and a close up fourth in the Turnball Stakes however, capitulated after sitting on the pace in the Caulfield Cup and finished a well beaten last. He’s Impossible to have on his Caulfield Cup run.
7. CAVALRYMAN – L Dettori (6) 54kgs
This will be our first look at Godolphin’s 7yo by Halling. His last start was back in the UK in September when, as a 5/2 favourite, he ran second (beaten 2 ¼ ) in the Listed JC Rose Bowl (3219m). He was asked to carry 60kgs on that occasion and has only carried less than 57kgs twice in his career, so he won’t know himself here with 54. He has only won two of his last twenty starts but both of those wins have come in four starts since May this year.
8. MOUNT ATHOS – R Moore (8) 54kgs
Another import who will be stepping out under Australian race conditions for this first time and who has always been toward the top of the betting markets, despite not having had a run
since August. His Trainer, Luca Cumani has been a regular visitor to Australia and despite coming agonisingly close on a few occasions; is still searching for his first Melbourne Cup. He knows what it takes to win a Cup and has prepared this horse with this race in mind and it looks like the pieces are falling into place with a good barrier draw and a winnable weight. He is undefeated in three starts this year, including G3 Freer Stakes (2700m) under 60kg at his most recent start.
9. SANAGAS – N Hall (4) 54kgs
A former American galloper who came to the stables of “Cups King” trainer Bart Cummings with an impressive record of seven wins from eleven starts, including the G1 Hollywood Cup
(2414m). He has had four starts in Australia but been unimpressive in each of them. His most recent start being tenth in the Caulfield Cup and it is hard seeing him turning the tables on those who finished in front of him then – despite the Cummings factor.
10. ETHIOPIA – R McLeod (14) 53.5kgs
The AJC Derby (2400m) winner from April this year at fifth career start and three starts later, remarkably, is taking part in a Melbourne Cup. He hit the line well two starts back in the G1 Turnball Stakes (2000m) behind Green Moon and the surprised most a fortnight ago when taking a forward position in a truly run Cox Plate. He stuck on tenaciously in the Cox Plate and drops four kilos on that run and will have no troubles with the two mile trip. Not the roughest of hopes.
11. FIORENTE – J McDonald (2) 53.5kgs
Another who is only lightly raced, this son of Monsun is lining up for his tenth career start and will be looking to reverse the fortune of his trainer’s – Gai Waterhouse – frustrating Spring campaign. This will be his first Australian start after having since finishing fourth of five (beaten 7.3) in a G2 event at Longchamp behind quality stayers Orfevre and Joshua Tree. Prior to that start though, he did beat Joshua Tree (and Red Cadeaux) on Slow ground. He has drawn well, has never carried less than 56kgs and meets Red Cadeaux (quoted at $10.00) two kilos better on their last clash. Bit of rain will assist but regardless, the $21 should be closely looked at.
12. GALILEO’S CHOICE – P Smullen (11) 53.5kgs
Dermot Weld, trainer of Melbourne Cup winners, Media Puzzle and Vintage Crop is eyeing off his third Cup with a lightly raced 7yo by Galileo who has won six of his nine starts in the past two years. He hasn’t started since winning a Group 3 race over 2414m carrying 61kgs in early August but make no mistake, this trainer will have him ready. His jockey shares a good association with the horse, having won on him five times in ten starts. Another who will appreciate any rain.
13. CLENCADAM GOLD – T Berry (7) 53.5kgs
A former import now with the Waterhouse stable who in four successive wins, went from a mid-week Restricted event at Canterbury to claiming the G1 Metropolitan Handicap. That form saw him installed 7/2 favourite for the Caulfield Cup but after leading, capitulated from the turn and wound up nine lengths off Dunaden. Drawn well but it is hard to see him turning around his Caulfield Cup run and being competitive here.
14. GREEN MOON – B Prebble (5) 53.5kgs
Won the G1 Turball Stakes at his third run up this preparation and that saw him top the markets not only for his scheduled next start in the Cox Plate, but also in the Cup markets available at the time. He has eased since then after having run a disappointing seventh (beaten 6 lengths) in the Cox Plate to his current quote of $15.00 He has drawn well, has world-class jockey and drops 5.5kgs in weight however, given his last start in the Cox Plate and his only attempt over 2400m was a disappointing event, find it hard to include him.
15. MALUCKYDAY – J Cassidy (9) 53.5kgs
The son of Zabeel ran second to Americain the Cup of 2010 who has only had eight starts since with the last two, very pleasing efforts. At only his third run back from a twelve month spell, he ran second to Tanby in the Listed Bart Cummings (2500m) and backed that up with a fifth (beaten 3 lengths) in the G3 Geelong Cup in a race not run to suit. He drops 5kgs on that effort and will appreciate the true tempo of this race. He also has a Melbourne Cup winning Jockey on top and from a ‘local’ point of view, is the leading contender.
16. MOURAYAN – J Bowman (3) 53.5kgs
One thing that we want have to guess with this Robert Hickmott trained galloper, will be his ability to get the distance. He is a tough-as-teak stayer who is capable of running a cheeky race given his recent form. His last start was a tough win in the G3 Craven Plate where he accounted for Western Symbol and Dare to Dream (who was good on Saturday) under the steadier of 59kgs. Will appreciate the weight he has been allocated here and drawn to get a good run throughout.
17. MY QUEST FOR PEACE – C Brown (1) 53.5kgs
He was ridden a treat (by Brown) in his first Australian start and courtesy of that ride, looked set to figure in the finish of the Caulfield Cup but just held his spot in the run to the line, finishing only 1.6 lengths of Dunaden. He was well supported in the Caulfield Cup and firmed into 15/2 and think the two mile will suite him better given that run, so find the $21 on offer here about him attractive. Jockey and Trainer teamed up for a nose second with Bauer in the Cup of 2008.
18. NIWOT – D Dunn (15) 53.5kgs
8yo who won the Sydney Cup over this trip in April this year and he ran eighth (beaten 3.8 lengths) in last year’s Cup so there’s no queries about him over the trip. The query on him this year is that his form in the lead up to this race, isn’t has strong as that of last year. Any cut out of the track would improve his chances.
19. TAC DE BOISTRON – O Doluze (21) 51.5kgs
Drifted from 7/1 to 10/1 when making his Australian debut in the Geelong Cup but in a slowly run race, he was unable to get warm after settling toward the tail of the field. Prior to coming over to Australia, he did win a G2 race in France over 2800m accounting for Shawardi who was very good when winning the Herbert Power at Caulfield. The key to this horse seems to be in the weather with his five career wins all being on Slow or Heavy tracks.
20. LIGHT OF HEAVEN – L Nolen (17) 53kgs
A five year old mare from the Peter Moody yard who has been delivering on the potential shown early in her career with her latest run a cracking third in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) She was afforded her chance in the run during the Caulfield Cup and despite drawing awkwardly here is going as well as she possible can. Is that enough to win the Melbourne Cup?
21. PRECENDENCE – B Shinn (20) 53kgs
Bart’s second runner who is lining up for his third attempt at the Melbourne Cup after having ran eighth in 2010 and eleventh last year. Since that run in the 2010 Cup, the now 7yo son of Zabeel has had twenty starts for only the one win. That came four runs back at his favourite track, Moonee Valley in the Open Class event. Had better credentials leading into his previous Cup runs.
22. UNUSUAL SUSPECT – G Schofield (23) 53kgs
He ran ninth in this race last year but has struggled to capture anything resembling that form after a brief stint in Dubai earlier this year. His been well held in his latest two starts, the Cranbourne Cup and Moonee Valley Cup and on top of that, he has a horror draw to contend with.
23. ZABEELIONAIRE – C Newitt (24) 52kgs
A young stayer who as a 3yo last season, claimed the G1 SA Derby (2400m) and ran a good race in the Queensland equivalent before a brief spell. Returned to racing in some smart races (Underwood Stakes, Turnball Stakes) before a pleasing event under handicap conditions in the Caulfield Cup (sixth, beaten 2.9 lengths). Draw the inside gate on that occasion but as the opposite situation facing him here today with the outside gate and that’s going to make his and his jockey’s job, a difficult one.
24. KELINNI – G Boss (10) 51kgs
Gained his spot in the Melbourne Cup field courtesy of a solid win in Saturday’s Lexus Handicap. That win was reward for his consistency – he hasn’t ran worse than fourth in sixteen Australian starts and just keeps stepping up to the mark when required. His a tough type and 51 and Boss on his back are all positives.
A fantastic edition of Australia’s greatest race with Amercain holding favouritism at ($5.00), over Dunaden ($7.00). There’s no doubting the above two horse’s performances in Australia have been outstanding and there’s no reason to think that one of them, will be able to add a second Melbourne Cup to their CV despite the weight assigned to them. But it’s that weight that makes it worthwhile to look a little further afield and there seems to be some horses at double figure odds worth taking a close look at. Fiorente -. would’ve have preferred to see him have raced in Australia but has drawn well, drops in weight and, given that he beat Red Cadeaux comfortably two starts back, there seems to be a discrepancy in their current quote. My Quest For Peace – it looked a staying effort in the Caulfield Cup and think he’ll appreciate the two mile trip. Another who has drawn well and can envisage him getting a nice run throughout and his jockey has a good recent record in this race.