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The Japanese took the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Ireland took the Cox Plate (2040m). Will another international take out the race that stops a nation, the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), or will the locals keep it on Australian soil for the third year in a row? Justhorseracing has gone through each of the final 24 runners to help you find the winner. 

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Admire Rakti
Trainer: Tomoyuki Umeda
Jockey: Zac Purton
Weight: 58.5kg
Barrier: 8
3200m Record: 2: 0-0-0 
Career Highlight: 2014 Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m) win
Overview: I took him on in the Caulfield Cup and was left shouting scrambled eggs after he scored a fabulous win, coming from near last and scouting very wide to nail Rising Romance in the last few strides. Shot to clear favourtism for the race, but from a punting perspective, he does seem a tad short at $4, but is the horse to beat. Despite the lack of star power and quality in this race, there is history and it says he will do it tough. Only four seven year olds have won the race in the past 30 years, no horse has done the Cups double in over a decade, only one horse has carried 58kg or more to win the race in the last three decades, and the Caulfield Cup hasn’t produced the Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues in 2006, plus he has failed twice at the two miles. Plenty is against him, but he has to be hugely respected on his triumph last time out. 

Predicted Finish: 2nd

Cavalryman
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Jockey: Craig Williams
Weight: 57kg
Barrier: 3
3200m Record: 6: 2-2-0
Career Highlight: 2014 Goodwood Cup (3200m) winner.
Overview: No nine-year-old has ever won the Cup, but there is no more in form nine year old racing in the world at the moment with Group wins at Newmarket and Goodwood before a fourth at York over 3300m. He is a gutsy stayer who will run the two miles on his ear, and given that Godolphin have been so, so, so desperate to win this race, expect this entire to be really wound up. Top 10 finish for mine. 

Predicted Finish: 8th

 

Fawkner
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: Nick Hall
Weight: 57kg
Barrier: 9
3200m Record: 1: 0-0-0
Career Highlight: 2013 Caulfield Cup (2400m) winner
Overview: The main runner for Lloyd Williams who was so brave in the Cox Plate (2040m) a couple of weeks back when a narrow second to star colt Adelaide. He dragged the main contenders up to the speed 800m out and was entitled to fold up but just kept finding under pressure. The last two Melbourne Cup winners have come through the Cox Plate. This campaign has been all about him finding the line and grinding it out, whereas last year he showed an electric turn foot and then whacked away. In saying that, my theory has always been that if you fail in the Cup, you can’t come back and win it the following year. But Fiorente did it last year, and there is no reason why Fawkner can’t. 

Predicted Finish: 4th



Red Cadeaux
Trainer: Ed Dunlop
Jockey: Gerald Mosse
Weight: 57kg
Barrier: 15
3200m Record: 7: 0-3-1
Career Highlight: 2013 Melbourne Cup (3200m) runner up.
Overview: Runner up on two occasions and he just seems to love coming to Australia. His form probably isn’t where it used to be a couple of years back, but coming back to Flemington for the Cup, you could almost throw the form guide out for this horse because you know you will get a great run for your money. although I will say that $16 is way unders. 

Predicted Finish: 7th

 

Protectionist
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Weight: 56.5kg
Barrier: 11
3200m Record: First start
Career Highlight: 2014 Kergorlay (3000m) winner.
Overview: The flashing lights were there for nearly everyone with his eye catching fourth in the Herbert Power (2400m) behind Big Memory. The form out of that race does look suspect, and only one horse has come through the Herbert Power to win the Cup, and that was Shocking in 2009. He is yet to win a Group l and is giving some of his Group l winning rivals as much as 3.5kg in weight. Many think he is good enough to win the Cup. I don’t think so. 

Predicted Finish: 14th



Sea Moon
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: Tommy Berry
Weight: 56.5kg
Barrier: 18
3200m Record: 1: 0-0-0
Career Highlight: 2011 Breeder’s Cup (2414m) runner up.
Overview: Ran along in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and tired to run last. If you draw him in the Sweep, you’ll be a great chance because I think he will run last. 


Predicted Finish: 24th

 

Seismos
Trainer: Marco Botti
Jockey: Craig Newitt
Weight: 56kg
Barrier: 1
3200m Record: 2: 0-0-0
Career Highlight: 2013 Group l Grossier Preis von Bayern (2400m) winner.
Overview: Ran just okay in the Caulfield Cup, but was very one paced, and with the Melbourne Cup, as we have seen in recent years, you need a turn of foot. And he simply doesn’t have it, plus I think he will struggle running out a strong two miles, so I’ll let him go. 


Predicted Finish: 16th



Junoob
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Weight: 55.5kg
Barrier: 7
3200m Record: First try
Career Highlight: 2014 Metropolitan (2400m) winner.
Overview: Metropolitan (2400m) winner who was very good I thought in the Caulfield Cup when seventh to Admire Rakti. He sort of hit a flat spot on the turn and looked as if he was going to drop out, but came again and was actually pretty solid through the line. Weight wise, he doesn’t look well in, but he is in form and has the Waller polish. 

Predicted Finish: 11th

 

Royal Diamond
Trainer: Johnny Murtagh
Jockey: Steve Arnold
Weight: 55.5kg
Barrier: 6
3200m Record: 4: 1-2-0
Career Highlight: 2012 Irish St Leger (2816m) winner.
Overview: Tough, grinding stayer for former champion jockey Johnny Murtagh. His form in recent times hasn’t been so great, but with the forecast for rain, he does into calculations as an outside chance at very best, because he will run 3200m and can handle a track with some give in it. He could well be the surprise packet. 

Predicted Finish: 10th



Gatewood
Trainer: John Gosden
Jockey: William Buick
Weight: 55kg
Barrier: 22
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2014 Prix De Reux (2500m) winner.
Overview: Had a crack at the Cup in 2012 but failed to qualify, but with wins over in Europe, he is qualified for 2014. His form doesn’t look too flash, despite winning. He hasn’t beaten much, and the depth here is much stronger than when he was here a couple of years ago, so I couldn’t possibly see him winning. 

Predicted Finish: 21st

 

Mutual Regard
Trainer: Johnny Murtagh
Jockey: Damien Oliver
Weight: 55kg
Barrier: 12
3200m Record: 5: 2-2-0
Career Highlight: 2014 Ebor Handicap (2800m) winner.
Overview: He is the main one here for Johnny Murtagh after a strong win in the Ebor Handicap (2800m), the best long distance handicap over in the UK, and has been a good guide to the Cup in the past. The form from that race has been franked, with the runner up, Lord Van Percy, running well in the Herbert Power. However, is that form good enough to win a Melbourne Cup? I think not. 

Predicted Finish: 18th

 

Who Shot Thebarman
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Glen Boss
Weight: 55kg
Barrier: 13
3200m Record: 2: 1-0-0
Career Highlight: 2014 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner.
Overview: Forgive and forget his Caulfield Cup failure when 13th to Admire Rakti. He got stuck wide for the entire trip, then copped nasty bumps approaching the turn and lost all momentum. He wasn’t too bad through the line, but he will be a different horse here. Is a dominant winner over two miles from the Autumn, loves Flemington, Bossy has already won three Cups, and this horse has a stack of upside. 

Predicted Finish: 5th

 

Willing Foe
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Jockey: James McDonald
Weight: 55kg
Barrier: 17
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2014 Goodwood Cup (3200m) winner.
Overview: The second Godolphin runner in the race. He is the one who is on the up out of the pair, but he was well beaten last time out by Brown Panther, and that horse ran seventh in the Cup last year. From all reports, he has been working well at Werribee, but it’s his first try at 3200m and the form he has doesn’t stack up well enough to win a Melbourne Cup. 

Predicted Finish: 12th



My Ambivalent
Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
Weight: 54.5kg
Barrier: 4
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2013 Pretty Polly Stakes (2012m) winner.
Overview: Scratched from the Caulfield Cup due to injury and the camp have had to play catch up ever since. She is over her injury, and from all reports is in fine order in trackwork, but history says that you need to have a run on Aussie soil before running in the Melbourne Cup. The only international to win the Cup at their Australian debut was Vintage Crop in 1993. Can’t have her here.  

Predicted Finish: 20th



Precedence
Trainer: Bart & James Cummings
Jockey: Michael Rodd
Weight: 54.5kg
Barrier: 20
3200m Record: 5: 0-0-0
Career Highlight: 2013 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2500m) winner.
Overview: It just isn’t a Melbourne Cup without a Cummings runner. He gets his runner in the race, and it’s a great effort too to get him in the field, and it will be James’ first official Cup runner. But he isn’t going well enough to win, but he will beat a few home. 

Predicted Finish: 17th



Brambles
Trainer: Peter Moody
Jockey: Luke Nolen
Weight: 54kg
Barrier: 21
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2012 Queensland Derby (2400m) winner.
Overview: 2012 Queensland Derby winner who has been solid this Spring. He ran a beauty in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) behind Lucia Valentina before being solid in the Caulfield Cup. He ran just fair I thought on Saturday in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), but he is looking for two miles. Can he win this? On his Mackinnon run, no. But he raced like he wants further. 

Predicted Finish: 6th



Mr O’Ceirin
Trainer: Ciaron Maher
Jockey: Mark Zahra
Weight: 54kg
Barrier: 19
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2013 Grafton Cup (2350m) winner.
Overview: Finished a tiring seventh last start in the Cranbourne Cup (2025m)…$101 on offer seems generous. 

Predicted Finish: 22nd



Au Revoir
Trainer: Andre Fabre
Jockey: Glyn Schofield
Weight: 53.5kg
Barrier: 23
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2014 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) place getter. 
Overview: Attempted to lead all the way in the Moonee Valley Cup but just couldn’t quite hold off the finishing bursts of Prince Of Penzance and Le Roi. That was a solid enough first up run, but I doubt he has the necessary improvement to win the Cup, so I’ll let him go. 

Predicted Finish: 19th



Lidari
Trainer: Peter Moody
Jockey: Ben Melham
Weight: 53.5kg
Barrier: 10
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2014 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) runner up.
Overview: Peter Moody stayer who has some really good form behind. Three back he ran a close fourth to Foreteller in the Underwood Stakes (1800m), then was runner up to Lucia Valentina in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before a really solid sixth in the Caulfield Cup (2400m). Seems to be getting better as the distances increase, and he wasn’t far off them at Caulfield. Distance is the query, but he is racing quite well. 

Predicted Finish: 13th

 

Opinion
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Tye Angland
Weight: 53.5kg
Barrier: 14
3200m Record: 1: 0-1-0
Career Highlight: 2014 Sydney Cup (3200m) runner up.
Overview: This horse is my best roughie for the Cup. All five of his runs this time in have been very good, in particular two back in the Metropolitan when narrowly beaten by his stablemate Junoob. He then went to the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) and had no hope with the way the race was run. The leaders crawled in front and he was out the back. He couldn’t sprint, but he was good through the line. Two miles at Flemington looks perfect, and any rain will improve his chances big time. 

Predicted Finish: 3rd



Araldo
Trainer: Mike Moroney
Jockey: Dwayne Dunn
Weight: 53kg
Barrier: 24
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2013 Bart Cummings (2520m) winner.
Overview: Finished third behind Junoob and Opinion in the Metropolitan (2400m), then really caught the eye in the Caulfield Cup when a fast finishing fifth. He was once known as a horse who wasn’t genuine, he wanted to put his head to the side and not race truly, but the trip to Sydney has appeared to really spark him on. I’d be a bit surprised though if he won, but his form says he could run a really cheeky race here. 

Predicted Finish: 15th

 

Lucia Valentina
Trainer: Kris Lees
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Weight: 53kg
Barrier: 2
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2014 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) winner.
Overview: Looks very hard to beat IMO. She was stunning when resuming with a win in the Tramway Handicap (1400m), then had good closing splits in the George Main Stakes (1600m) behind Sacred Falls before being a brilliant winner of the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) then was a narrow third to Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup (2400m). She will be much better at Flemington, racing as if the 3200m suits, and if any rain comes, she will really have the advantage over Admire Rakti. 

Predicted Finish: 1st

 

Unchain My Heart
Trainer: David Hayes and Tom Dabernig
Jockey: Dean Yendall
Weight: 51.5kg
Barrier: 5
3200m Record: 3: 2-0-0
Career Highlight: 2014 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) winner.
Overview: Nope. 

Predicted Finish: 23rd

 

Signoff
Trainer: Darren Weir
Jockey: Joao Moreira
Weight: 51kg
Barrier: 16
3200m Record: First Try
Career Highlight: 2014 Lexus Stakes (2500m) winner. 
Overview: Got his spot in the field thanks to quite a dominant win in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Saturday at Flemington. The race has been an okay guide in recent years, with Shocking doing the double in 2009 and Maluckyday ran second in the Cup 12 months later after winning the Lexus. Tumbles down to 51kg which is a big plus, but the way the race was run on the weekend, he had to win, and duly did. Big leap in class here, but should run well. 

Predicted Finish: 9th



My Melbourne Cup Finishing Order


1. Lucia Valentina
2. Admire Rakti
3. Opinion
4. Fawkner
5. Who Shot Thebarman
6. Red Cadeaux
7. Brambles
8. Cavalryman
9. Signoff
10. Royal Diamond
11. Junoob
12. Willing Foe
13. Lidari
14. Protectionist
15. Araldo
16. Seismos
17. Precedence
18. Mutual Regard
19. Au Revoir
20. My Ambivalent
21. Gatewood
22. Mr O’Ceirin
23. Unchain My Heart
24. Sea Moon

 
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