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The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation. For three and a half minutes, Australia stops to watch 24 horses race for glory and write their names into history.

The 2017 edition promises to be a beauty and here at Justhorseracing, weโ€™ve put together a preview of the 24 runners set to take their place in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

CUP ๐Ÿ† TIPS ๐Ÿ’ฐ:ย View our FREE Melbourne Cup TIPS

1. Hartnell

Breeding: Authorized x Debonnaire
Trainer: James Cummings
Jockey: Damian Lane
Barrier: 12
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 57.5kg
Career Stats: 36: 11-11-2
2400m Stats: 4: 1-0-1
Winning Max Distance: 3219m (Queens Vase), June 20 2014, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 21: 5-7-1
Wet Track Stats: 15: 6-4-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $27
Short Summary: Only here due to the possibility he could have faced Winx in the Emirates.

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group l Underwood Stakes (1800m), October 1 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Just a very, very odd ride/tactics. He is a horse who is best when rolling near the speed, but after jumping well, he was hooked back to last and just couldn’t come on well enough to run down Bonneval.

Last Start (9th)- Group l Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 14 2017, Caulfield- Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Not sure he was going to win, but he did get absolutely flattened by Riven Light halfway down the straight and from that point on, Glyn was very kind to the horse.

Final Thought: Ran a mighty race in the race last year, but well and truly held when running third. Definitely not going as well 12 months on, and as I said, stable only elected to go here to avoid Winx in the Emirates. Now she’s not running…just seems strange.

2. Almandin

Breeding: Monsun x Anatola
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Barrier: 14
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 56.5kg
Career Stats: 15: 6-4-1
3200m Stats: 1: 1-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 3200m (Melbourne Cup), November 1 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 5-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 5: 1-2-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $8
Short Summary: Best Australian trained chance in the race.

Second Last Start (1st)- Listed JRA Trophy (2500m), September 16 2017, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Visually, unbelievable win. But, keep in mind, the race was set up by the stablemate aka pacemaker, and he got the best run you could ever ask for under Oliver.

Last Start (4th)- Group lll Bart Cummings (2500m), October 7 2017, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

On face value, very disappointing considering everyone was expecting to stamp himself as the ruling Cup favourite. He looked to be bolting in the run and presented to blow them away, but he just didn’t ping at all. Form out of it has been suspect.

Final Thought: Lloyd Williams can’t be discounted in this race. His record speaks for itself. This is his best chance I think and on that basis, he’s right in this. Plus, his two efforts prior to last start were outstanding.

3. Humidor

Breeding: Teofilo x Zalika
Trainer: Darren Weir
Jockey: Blake Shinn
Barrier: 13
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 56kg
Career Stats: 21: 6-7-2
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2000m (Australian Cup), November 1 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 3-3-1
Wet Track Stats: 10: 3-4-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $9.50
Short Summary: Best horse ability wise…does he run 3200m?

Second Last Start (3rd)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Just a complete forgive/forget run from this boy. Ridden completely upside down against his pattern. Actually did a remarkable job to get as close as he did behind Boom Time.

Last Start (2nd)- Group l Cox Plate (2500m), October 28 2017, Moonee Valley, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

The racing world held it’s breath. He loomed large to beat the mighty mare but couldn’t quite get past. But, during this Winx streak, he is the only horse to come from behind her and make significant ground on the mare.

Final Thought: The Cox Plate run was unbelievable and that is usually a good guide to the Cup. Ridden upside down in the Caulfield Cup but 2400m is a stretch, so 3200m? Doubt it, especially when he does so much wrong.

4. Tiberian

Breeding: Tiberius Caesar x Toamasina
Trainer: Alain Couetil
Jockey: Olivier Peslier
Barrier: 23
Nationality: French
Weight: 55kg
Career Stats: 17: 6-4-0
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 3000m (Maiden), August 9 2015, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 3-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 9: 3-2-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $31
Short Summary: On his international efforts, he’s right in the game.

Second Last Start (1st)- Group lll Prix De Reux (2500m), August 6 2017, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Lovely ride on the front end to win. Looked strongly challenged halfway down but he found plenty when under pressure and kicked hard for a narrow win in a race which had depth to it, blacktype depth.

Last Start (1st)- Group ll Grand Prix de Deauville (2500m), August 27 2017, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Big tick for this win because it showed he can sit with cover and still be effective. Had the dream sit off the pace before peeling at the top of the straight and he took his time to get there, but I loved his final 50m. He was powering to the line and through it.

Final Thought: He is one of the form International horse coming down under I’d say. There is plenty to like about him. He can sprint, he can lead, he can take a sit, he handles all conditions, lightly raced and is proven at 3000m. Understandable why he is rated highly by international experts.

5. Marmelo

Breeding: Duke Of Marmalade x Capriolla
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Barrier: 16
Nationality: English
Weight: 55kg
Career Stats: 11: 3-4-1
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 3000m (Prix Kergolay), August 20 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 2-4-1
Wet Track Stats: 3: 1-0-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $10
Short Summary: If he naturally improves from the Caulfield Cup, he WILL be winning the Melbourne Cup.

Second Last Start (1st)- Group ll Prix Kergorlay (3000m), August 20 2017, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

American and Protectionist won this race before winning the Melbourne Cup. I’m not sure what to make of his win. He won it impressively, but let’s be honest- He absolutely walked them in front and dashed the final three furlongs. But, he was still good in winning, still getting the job done, and has definitely earned a ticket down under.

Last Start (3rd)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Thought his run was one of the better Melbourne Cup lead up efforts you will see. Yes, ridden colt in a fast run race, so he was entitled to run home, but keep in mind he was first up, the bias was against him and he was the only backmarker to make significant ground. Clocked the fastest final 600m of the race by over a length.

Final Thought: I’m jumping up and down because I’ve got him at 21s and 18s. That aside, it was a ripping effort for a horse who has enormous upside to come. Pretty sure Bowman will stick, which is a good lead, and that run showed he can be versatile pattern wise. He doesn’t have to be on speed. He ticks the boxes for me.

6. Red Cardinal

Breeding: Montjeu x Notable
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Barrier: 24
Nationality: German
Weight: 54kg
Career Stats: 10: 5-3-1
3200m Stats: 2: 2-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 3219m (Belmont Gold Cup), June 9 2017, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 5-3-1
Wet Track Stats: Untried
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $18
Short Summary: One of the best chances for the Cup to remain in Australia.

Second Last Start (1st)- Group lll Belmont Gold Cup (3219m), June 9 2017, Belmont, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

The fast tempo really suited this horse. Sat off it all the way before Pedroza gave him clear air on the turn and he pounced, hitting the front and holding on for a superb win at the two miles, and earning himself a start in the Melbourne Cup.

Last Start (5th)- Group ll Prix Kergorlay (3000m), August 20 2017, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Complete opposite of the Belmont Gold Cup. They absolutely crawled here and he was out the back, with no real hope behind Marmelo. He tried to make a run but by the time he go close, the leaders sprinted and he was gassed. Total forgive.

Final Thought: He’s a good horse. A really good horse. He’s got that similar profile to Protectionist, but I think Protectionist was a bit better than this bloke. Still, he has the form on the board and you always have to respect Andreas Wohler when he brings horses down under, along with Australian Bloodstock.

 

7. Johannes Vermeer

Breeding: Galileo x Inca
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ben Melham
Barrier: 3
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 54.5kg
Career Stats: 14: 4-3-3
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2011m (International Stakes), July 2 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 2-2-3
Wet Track Stats: 4: 2-1-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $10
Short Summary: Can Aidan O’Brien crack the Melbourne Cup puzzle and complete the CV?

Second Last Start: (2nd)- Group l Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 14 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This was one of the runs of the day for mine. Got back, was wide on the turn, had many lengths to make up and got very close to knocking off the well backed Gailo Chop. This was an outstanding effort.

Last Start (3rd)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Thought this was an excellent run in defeat behind Boom Time. Just got slightly held up on the turn and had to change course from Sir Isaac Newton. It cost him ground. Did it cost him the win? 50/50. You could make a case both ways. Effort was still very good.

Final Thought: He’s been beaten both times now at 2400m, albeit unlucky in the Caulfield Cup. He might be a risk at running a strong 3200m, but one box he does tick is that he has a turn of foot, something that the last few Cup winners have had. And weights wise, he’s at the right place.

 

8. Bondi Beach

Breeding: Galileo x One Moment In Time
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: Michael Walker
Barrier: 1
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 54kg
Career Stats: 13: 4-3-2
3200m Stats: 2: 0-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2814m (Curragh Cup), June 28 2015, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 2-2-2
Wet Track Stats: 3: 2-1-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $67
Short Summary: It’ll be one of the all time great form reversals to win the Cup.

Second Last Start: (9th)- Handicap (2000m), August 5 2017, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

There was market support to suggest he would run well here, but gee he was ordinary for a horse who had come here with some huge wraps aided by a world class CV when trained by Aidan O’Brien. Group l Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 14 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good SurfaceGroup l Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 14 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
Thiswas one of the runs of the day for mine. Got back, was wide on the turn, had many lengths to make up and got very close to knocking off the well backed Gailo Chop. This was an outstanding effort.

Last Start (11th)- Listed JRA Trophy (2500m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Not much you can say about this run. Out the back, tried to make a move but as soon as Katelyn Mallyon gave him clear air, he was under pressure and absolutely plodded to the peg.

Final Thought: He’s done bugger all this prep, but if you listen to Team Williams, they are bubbling with confidence that he’ll run well. Still, he has failed in the Cup before, so I am putting a line through him.

9. Max Dynamite

Breeding: Great Journey x Mascara
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Zac Purton
Barrier: 2
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 54kg
Career Stats: 23: 4-4-3
3200m Stats: 9: 1-4-0
Winning Max Distance: 3419m (Handicap), August 24 2017, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 0-3-2
Wet Track Stats: 15: 4-1-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $16
Short Summary: Surely not, but the market says otherwise.

Second Last Start (9th)- Hurdle (3228m), August 3 2017, Galway, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Difficult to find a replay, but we found one if you clicked the yellow tv on the right for the Galway race. This was his first run in 14 months, so I am happy to overlook it, and this Hurdle race did have a bit of quality about it with Tigris River getting the job done and that is one very good horse.

http://www.attheraces.com/form/horse/Max-Dynamite/FR/2756331

Last Start (1st)- Handicap (3419m), August 24 2017, Killarney, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

This convinced Mullins to bring him back. Visually, very good. But to put it in perspective, he was against nothing and this was a race for Qualified/Amateur riders, so it was like a picnic race. Still, he won with absolute ease, as he was expected to do.

http://www.attheraces.com/atrplayer-replay-popup/VOD/1004959

Final Thought: $16, on recent form, is very short. But he did run a beauty in the 2015 Melbourne Cup. But again, my rule is that if you’ve had a crack at the race and you’ve failed, I put a line through you.

 

10. Ventura Storm

Breeding: Zoffany x Sarawati
Trainer: David-Ben Hayes/Tom Dabernig
Jockey: Glen Boss
Barrier: 6
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 54kg
Career Stats: 17: 6-2-1
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2500m (Prix De Reux), August 7 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 13: 4-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 4: 2-0-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $35
Short Summary: Off the Caulfield Cup run, no. But, he does get G Boss steering.

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group l Turnbull Stakes (2000m), October 7 2017, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

No disgrace running second to the mighty mare, and to the eye, it was an outstanding Caulfield Cup trial. Beat the rest comfortably and it looked to be a lovely tune up for the Caulfield Cup.

Last Start (13th)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Mixed bag this effort. Yes, he didn’t get the greatest of luck, but I think he was out in time to show something but he didn’t. Didn’t pull up 100% post race either so there were excuses all round.

Final Thought: Forgive a good horse for one poor run they say. In that case, I have to. He does look better suited at Flemington, I think the two miles won’t be an issue, and G Boss has an unbelievable record in the race, putting aside his three wins on Makybe Diva.

 

11. Who Shot Thebarman

 

 

12. Wicklow Brave

Breeding: Beat Hollow x Moraine
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Stever Baster
Barrier: 8
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 54kg
Career Stats: 38: 10-4-5
3200m Stats: 19: 7-1-2
Winning Max Distance: 3420m (County Hurdle), March 13 2015, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 18: 2-4-2
Wet Track Stats: 20: 8-0-3
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $51
Short Summary: Hopefully won’t see the outside fence for the entire 3200m. The $41 is severe unders.

Second Last Start (4th)- Group l Irish St Leger (2816m), September 10 2017, Curragh, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Trucked up behind Order Of St George most of the way and looked a minor threat when he popped out, but the beast just careered away and scored a dominant win. Wicklow Brave had his heart broken but stuck on gamely for fourth.

Last Start (12th)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Seemingly looked to be going well under Moreira but when push came to shove, the horse was a big flop and didn’t show any zip at all, finishing well backed behind Boom Time.

Final Thought: He is a high class horse. Is he going as well as what he was 12 months ago? Definitely not, and my rule with the Cup is if you’ve previously failed in the Cup, you can’t come back and win. He can improve up in trip and if you are a believer, the $61 is overs.

 

13. Big Duke

Breeding: Raven’s Pass x Hazarayna
Trainer: Darren Weir
Jockey: Brenton Avdulla
Barrier: 5
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 53.5kg
Career Stats: 19: 7-4-3
3200m Stats: 1: 0-0-1
Winning Max Distance: 2600m (St Leger), October 14 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 12: 4-3-1
Wet Track Stats: 7: 3-1-2
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $21
Short Summary: He’s right in this up to his ears.

Second Last Start (1st)- St Leger (2600m), October 14 2017, Randwick, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Looked a good thing on paper and that is how it panned out. Put into the dream spot by Avdulla and once he got the split before the top of the straight, it was game over, and he was dominant in getting the job done.

Last Start (4th)- Group ll Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), October 28 2017, Moonee Valley, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

I know he has won and raced well at the Valley before, but I really don’t think it his track and this was just a nightmare if you were on. They walked in front, he was boxed in, had no luck. Not sure he wins, but it was a messy race.

Final Thought: Two miles on a big track does look perfect for him. The form around him? Recently I’d say it’s poor, but there were excuses at the Valley. Happy to look elsewhere re betting wise, but he’s on watch.

 

14. US Army Ranger

Breeding: Galileo x Moonstone
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Barrier: 22
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 53.5kg
Career Stats: 12: 2-3-2
3200m Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2474m (Chester Vase), May 5 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 7: 1-2-1
Wet Track Stats: 6: 1-1-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $67
Short Summary: 2016 form, big yes. 2017 form, hell no.

Second Last Start (8th)- Group l Goodwood Cup (3218m), August 1 2017, Goodwood, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Just plugged away behind them in what was a brutally run Goodwood Cup. Far from disgraced despite being well beaten but this is high class form and it has stood up.

Last Start (6th)- Group lll Enterprise Stakes (2414m), September 9 2017, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Sat outside Spanish Steps and was a beaten horse at the top of the straight, running terribly in last spot. Nothing said in the Stewards Report. Just a bad day at the office.

Final Thought: On his 2016 form, where he was a gun three year old, he’d be the one to beat. But his six runs in 2017 have been just plain compared to last year. Happy to watch him go around.

15. Boom Time

Breeding: Flying Spur x Bit Of A Ride
Trainer: David-Ben Hayes/Tome Dabernig
Jockey: Cory Parish
Barrier: 9
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 53kg
Career Stats: 32: 7-2-7
3200m Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2500m (Handicap), December 17 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 28: 7-2-5
Wet Track Stats: 4: 0-0-2
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $27
Short Summary: Why not?

Second Last Start (4th)- Group ll Herbert Power (2400m), October 14 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

I thought he ran enormous in defeat. Had to run near that brutal speed they went, hit the front far too soon and was left a sitting shot for those behind. Did a great job to hang on like he did.

Last Start (1st)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Prince Of Penzance-esque this win in terms of shock. He’s a good horse…but a Caulfield Cup winner? Well it happened, and afforded a dream ride from Cory Parish. Strong to the line as well.

Final Thought: They wanted a good gate, they’ve got it. He can push forward and slot in three/four pairs back, put to sleep and have his chance. Is he good enough? I’d say no, but after the Caulfield Cup, you can’t say no.

16. Gallante

Breeding: Montjeu x Crazy Volume
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: Michael Dee
Barrier: 18
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 53kg
Career Stats: 19 4-1-3
3200m Stats: 2: 1-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 3200m (Sydney Cup), April 9 2016, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 0-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 9: 4-1-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $91
Short Summary: Wants an Ellerslie-like heavy track to be even remotely considered.

Second Last Start (Last)- Group ll Naturalism Stakes (2000m), September 23 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Visually, it was disgusting, but jockey Katelyn Mallyon said post race he didn’t appreciate the very firm surface this day and couldn’t let down at all on it, so for mine, a forgive.

Last Start (7th)- Group lll Geelong Cup (2400m), October 25 2017, Geelong, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Improved run but still disappointing. Looked to have every chance in the run under Mallyon and appeared to travel right up into the race on the turn but he just couldn’t quite finish it off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVLMgQt9TRs

Final Thought: You are well and truly a thrill seeker if you are tempted to back this horse. $101 rank outsider and rightfully so. The only positive is that he’s in the right yard.

17. Libran

Breeding: Lawman x True Crystal
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Dwayne Dunn
Barrier: 7
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 53kg
Career Stats: 29: 9-3-1
3200m Stats: 2: 0-1-0
Winning Max Distance: 2600m (Chairmans Handicap), April 2 2016, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 17: 7-1-0
Wet Track Stats: 12: 2-2-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $46
Short Summary: Top 10 chance.

Second Last Start (5th)- St Leger (2600m), October 14 2017, Randwick, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Not helped by the bias this day, but I thought still, he had his chance to run on a bit better, and jockey Hugh Bowman said as much post race. Okay run, but expected more behind Big Duke.

Last Start (2nd)- Group ll Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), October 28 2017, Moonee Valley, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Nice Cup trial from him here. Just looked a little lost on the turn under Olly but he picked up once he balanced up and was really good to the line and through it behind stablemate Who Shot Thebarman.

Final Thought: Got a good record at staying trips on big tracks. He’s weighted well, he should get a lovely run from the gate…he does tick a few boxes. Does he have the turn of foot? Not sure. But a top 10 chance.

18. Nakeeta

Breeding: Sixties Icon x Easy Red
Trainer: Iain Jardine
Jockey: Glyn Schofield
Barrier: 9
Nationality: Scottish
Weight: 53kg
Career Stats: 31: 5-8-3
3200m Stats: 1: 0-1-0
Winning Max Distance: 2816m (Handicap), September 5 2015, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 21: 2-5-2
Wet Track Stats: 10: 3-3-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $34
Short Summary: Ebor winner who has to go up a few levels.

Second Last Start (4th)- Handicap (2816m), June 10 2017, Newmarket, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Unfortunately no link to the replay, but I can tell you that Nakeeta did pull hard in the run and wanted to overrace quite bad. Loomed to win once he got clear air but the early work told and he faded late. There have been two subsequent winners from this race.

Last Start (6th)- Ebor Handicap (2787m), August 26 2017, York, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

This was some ride from apprentice Callum Rodriguez. Had the horse parked behind the speed, put to sleep. Had to take some balls to shove into the clear with the rump around him but he did and finished best. Ride won the race. The worry for him here is that there have been something like 15 subsequent runs out of this race for no wins.

Final Thought: Visually, very good win in the Ebor. But as I said, I think a tad flattered by the ride, and to be fair, I think that was one of the weaker editions of the Ebor I’ve come across. I’ll be surprised if he wins.

 

19. Single Gaze

Breeding: Not A Single Doubt x Redaluca’s Gaze
Trainer: Nick Olive
Jockey: Kathy O’Hara
Barrier: 11
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 53kg
Career Stats: 27: 5-6-3
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2200m (O’Shea Stakes), June 3 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 20: 3-6-2
Wet Track Stats: 7: 2-0-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $46
Short Summary: This is the fairytale horse…who has winning claims big time.

Second Last Start (4th)- Group l Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 14 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Sat behind an even speed and battled away really well as she always does in what was ultimately a lovely Caulfield Cup trial behind Gailo Chop, who was brave behind Winx in the Cox Plate.

Last Start (2nd)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Outside Marmelo, this was the best run in the Caulfield Cup. Had to do the donkey work of dragging the field up to Sir Isaac Newton, who was 10+ lengths in front. Took care of him, kicked, looked home, but Boom Time had the softer trip and had last say. Outstanding effort.

Final Thought: Off the Caulfield Cup run, she’ll have no issues with 3200m in my eyes. She relaxes, doesn’t use energy in run and she is just a warrior. I think the $41 is a silly price. Should be half that at best.

 

20. Wall Of Fire

Breeding: Canford Cliffs x Bright Sapphire
Trainer: Hugo Palmer
Jockey: Craig Williams
Barrier: 15
Nationality: English
Weight: 53kg
Career Stats: 14: 4-3-0
3200m Stats: 2: 0-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2920m (Handicap), September 9 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 2-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 5: 2-1-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $13
Short Summary: 3200m, big track, good speed…big ticks.

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group lll Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2716m), August 19 2017, Newbury, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Excellent run in defeat I thought. Should have gone close to winning given he got cut out for a run halfway down the straight and had to change course. Defoe has since finished down the track in the English St Leger, but it’s still good form.

Last Start (2nd)- Group ll Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), October 14 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Outstanding Australian debut and an ideal lead up to the Cup. Got back off a hot speed, presented on the turn despite being under pressure but his last 200m was excellent. And that form of course was well and truly franked in the Caulfield Cup.

Final Thought: Has been beaten both times at the two miles, but both were high quality races being the Belmont Cup and the Dubai Gold Cup. He can go through his gears, he has versatility riding pattern wise. He gets a few ticks. Interesting note the stable are rolling the dice I think and going in without another run. 31st in order of entry as it stands now. But he’s just behind Marmelo as the leading international.

21. Thomas Hobson

Breeding: Halling x La Spezia
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Joao Moreira
Barrier: 21
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 52kg
Career Stats: 24: 9-4-2
3200m Stats: 5: 2-1-0
Winning Max Distance: 4200m (Novice Hurdle), January 16 2016, Heavy Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 3-2-1
Wet Track Stats: 13: 6-2-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $16
Short Summary: The 2017 version of Heartbreak City.

Second Last Start (7th)- Group ll Lonsdale Cup (3269m), August 25 2017, York, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Just did a bit too much work on speed and I am not sure leading at that sort of tempo is his go. This race had high class depth to it and he just petered out of it the final 200m. Definite pass mark.

Last Start (2nd)- Group ll Doncaster Cup (3599m), September 15 2017, Doncaster, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Led them up again and looked to travel sweetly under Ryan Moore. He gave a really good kick but the talented three year old Desert Skyline, who had the suck run behind them, surged hard late to grab the the win.

Final Thought: He doesn’t have the turn of foot that Heartbreak City has, but what he has got is that outstanding form over the jumps and the miles in the legs that will toughen him right up for the Melbourne Cup. Doubt he wins, but trifecta/first fours, yes.

22. Rekindling

Breeding: High Chaparral x Sitara
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: Corey Brown
Barrier: 4
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 51.5kg
Career Stats: 9: 3-2-0
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2816m (Curragh Cup), July 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 2: 1-0-0
Wet Track Stats: 7: 2-2-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $15
Short Summary: He’s the X-Factor.

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group lll Irish St Leger Trial (2816m), August 19 2017, Curragh, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Far from disgraced in running second to Order Of St George, who is one of the best stayers in world racing right now. That is high/world class form. Stuck on and comfortably beat Wicklow Brave.

Last Start (4th)- Group l St Leger (2921m), September 16 2017, Doncaster, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Thought his run here was great. Just got slightly held up when those in front were getting full momentum. Probably cost him a tiny margin, but certainly not the race. And this is the St Leger, a world class horse race.

Final Thought: He really is the unknown. On his form he’s one of the hardest to beat. Just all depends how he has settled into Werribee, and I haven’t heard anything positive/negative about him at this stage. But on form, a massive chance.

23. Amelie’s Star

Breeding: Testa Rossa x Zazita
Trainer: Darren Weir
Jockey: Dean Yendall
Barrier: 10
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 51kg
Career Stats: 18: 6-2-2
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2500m (Bart Cummings), October 7 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 4-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 7: 2-2-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $17
Short Summary: She’s the Australian X-Factor for sure on her best form.

Second Last Start (1st)- Group lll Bart Cummings (2500m), October 7 2017, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

The staying beast that is Amelie’s Star showed her true colours here with an outstanding win, spanking the reigning Melbourne Cup winner Almandin by6-7 lengths and she ran through the line with purpose, booking herself a spot in the Caulfield Cup.

Last Start (11th)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 21 2017, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

You just have to put a line through this run. Williams gave it no hope. I mean yes, he put her in the race, but it was totally against her pattern and against instructions. She folded up and rightfully so.

Final Thought: Flemington 3200m looks absolutely perfect for her and there is early market support that agrees. Right down in the weights, Yendall steers, and you only have to look at that Bart Cummings win to let you know she’s a live chance here. She goes in everything.

 

24. Cismontane

Breeding: High Chaparral x Viviane
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott
Jockey: Beau Mertens (a)
Barrier: 17
Nationality: Australian
Weight: 50kg
Career Stats: 19: 5-5-4
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2500m (Lexus Stakes), November 4 2017, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 3-1-3
Wet Track Stats: 10: 2-4-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $51
Short Summary: He’ll lead and give a sight..that might be it.

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group ll Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), October 28 2017, Moonee Valley, Anti-Clockwise Direction, GoodSurface

Had every chance I thought on speed under Steve Baster. Controlled things beautifully in front and gave a good kick but just lacked the turn of foot/momentum to win. Still, a strong effort behind Who Shot Thebarman.

Last Start (1st)- Group lll Lexus Stakes (2500m), November 4 2017, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

I don’t know what to make of this win. All credit goes to him because he did all the donkey work on speed and for the last 600m, he was under pressure and there to be beat, but he just kept finding.

Final Thought: Started this prep back in June in a Kembla Grange Class 3 over 1400m and look where he is now. Remarkable effort by the stable. He’ll lead, run along, give his all…I think that’s where the positive vibes stops.

 
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