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Can an International horse win the 2016 Melbourne Cup?

The 2016 Melbourne Cup is just around the corner and as is the case every Spring, the international brigade are here and they mean business, with several leading chances in the most famous handicap race in the world.

Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of the unseen international runners set to take their place in the Melbourne Cup 2016.

Have Your Say: Who will win the Melbourne Cup? – Leave a comment below.

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Oceanographer

Breeding: Sea The Stars x Que Puntual
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Nationality: English
Weight: 51kg
Career Stats: 12: 5-1-1
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2500m (Lexus Stakes), October 29 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 5-0-1
Wet Track Stats: 3: 0-1-0
Melbourne Price @ Sportsbet: $7.00
Short Summary: The Lexus win…wow

Second Last Start (3rd)- Geelong Cup (2400m), October 19 2016, Geelong, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Just a huge run in defeat really. It was an afternoon where making ground was a near impossibility, but his closing sectionals were some of the best of the day. Had no right to finish as close as he did the way the track played.

 

Last Start (1st)- Lexus Stakes (2500m), October 29 2016, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Similar to the Geelong Cup. Given where he was on the turn, which was near last, he was giving Tom Melbourne 10+ lengths at the top of the straight, but he really flattened out and wanted to win, and he just savaged the line to win like a horse who deserves to be near the top of the betting for the Melbourne Cup.

https://www.racing.com/form/2016-10-29/flemington/race/4/results

Final Thought: The Lexus/Cup double is a hard one to do, but history in recent years suggests that the Lexus winner always runs a very good race in the Cup. 3 runs in 13 days on rock hard tracks isn’t really the norm for these overseas runners, but this horse and the way he is going…gee he’ll make sure his rivals know he is there.

 

Beautiful Romance

Breeding: New Approach x Mazuna
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Nationality: English
Weight: 53.5kg
Career Stats: 10: 3-0-3
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2335m (August Stakes), August 29 2015, Soft surface
Dry Track Stats: 6: 2-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 4: 1-0-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $67
Short Summary: Stable desperate to win the Cup…can this girl provide it?

 

Second Last Start (Last)- Group l Nassau Stakes (2000m), July 10 2016, Goodwood, Clockwise direction, Good surface

Beaten a long way but was beaten by a world class filly in Minding, who from this race has since placed in the Irish Champion behind the subsequent Arc winner and then won on Champions Day at Ascot. That’s world class form. Problem is Beautiful Romance was beaten 20 lengths.

Last Start (3rd)- Listed Nayef Stakes (2414m), September 23 2016, Newmarket, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Better effort, but still a bit plodding. Had the nice sit behind the leader and eventual winner Journey. When that horse sprinted, Beautiful Romance really struggled to pick up and could only just whack away for a battling third, beaten convincingly.

Final Thought: Those efforts have been poor, but admittedly with big weights. Gets down to 52.5kg now, which should help her cause. Highly doubt she can win, but prior she ran well behind Treve and Highland Reel, which is world class form. $101 does seem overs to me.

 

Big Orange

Breeding: Duke Of Marmalade x Miss Brown To You
Trainer: Michael Bell
Nationality: English
Weight: 57kg
Career Stats: 18: 7-2-1
3200m Stats: 6: 2-1-0
Winning Max Distance: 3219m (Goodwood Cup), July 28 2016, Good surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 6-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 7: 1-0-1
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $17
Short Summary: Had a picnic in front last year. Won’t get that this year.

 

Second Last Start (1st)- Group ll Princess Of Wales Stakes (2414m), July 7 2016, Newmarket, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

This was just an absolute procession for the gelding. Ridden an absolute treat by James McDonald, the six year old controlled the race from the front and was gifted some very soft early fractions before Macca increased the tempo from the 800m, winding the horse up and holding the rivals at bay, running the final 600m in sub 35.

Last Start (1st)- Group ll Goodwood Cup (3219m), July 28 2016, Goodwood, Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Similar to the Princess Of Wales, he was allowed to control the race from the front run in atrocious conditions. For several moments down the straight, he looked gone but the soft lead allowed him to kick back and get the win. Form has held up with Wicklow Brave winning of course and KInema ran fourth in the Geelong Cup last Wednesday.

Final Thought: He brings near identical form in the 2016 Cup than what he did 12 months prior. The worry I have with him is the pressure he’ll get on speed because there are several speed runners engaged here, and I keep coming back to the rule that he has failed in the Cup previously.

 

Bondi Beach

Breeding: Galileo x One Moment In Time
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 56kg
Career Stats: 10: 4-3-2
3200m Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2816m (Vintage Crop), May 15 2016, Good surface
Dry Track Stats: 7: 2-2-2
Wet Track Stats: 3: 1-2-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $9.00
Short Summary: Failed last year, but is back for redemption.

 

Second Last Start (3rd)- Group lll Ballyroan Stakes (2414m), August 4 2016, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

I’d say this was a pass mark without being glowing. He sat back on the rail most of the way before Heffernan tried to poke his way through for the run. It appeared in time but he just couldn’t let down at all and plodded away for third to Stellar Mass, who did run third in the Irish Derby earlier this year, so that form is pretty good. Bondi Beach’s effort was a tad suspect.

Last Start (3rd)- Group llll Enterprise Stakes (2414m), September 10 2016, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Another pass mark for mine. Again sat on the rail near last in the run and again he got held up a touch before angling clear 350m out and presented to be a threat but the turn of foot just wasn’t there and again just whacked away for a well beaten third behind a classy mare in Zhukova. To watch a replay, go to around 3:40 in the link down below.

Final Thought: Just not sure what to make of this horse. On potential, he is a serious winning chance, but as a rule, horses who have previously failed in the Melbourne Cup don’t come back to win it in subsequent attempts. Plus he rises 2.5kg from last years Cup and IMO he isn’t going as well. Happy to risk him.

 

Curren Mirotic

Breeding: Hearts Cry x Star Mie
Trainer: Osamu Hirata
Nationality: Japanese
Weight: 56.5kg
Career Stats: 37: 6-6-6
3200m Stats: 2: 0-1-1
Winning Max Distance: 2000m (Kinko Sho), November 30 2013, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 36: 6-6-6
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $26
Short Summary: Should be a 1 in front of the 26.

 

Second Last Start (11th)- Group l Takarazuka Kinen (2200m), July 26 2016, Hanshin, Clockwise direction, Good surface

Pace of the race didn’t quite suit the horse, but in saying that, he was beaten off about 700m and couldn’t really pick up at all in the straight and plodded away for 11th, beaten around 10 lengths. He is number 10 with the red/white/black colours and yellow cap.

Last Start (9th)- Group ll All Comers (2200m), September 22 2016, Nakayama, Clockwise direction, Good surface

Not sure whether to forgive him or not. He had no cover chasing a brutal tempo set by the tearaway leader. He was beaten before the turn and under hard riding and rightfully dropped out but the other horse near him in terms of chasing the speed fought on for a close up foirth.

Final Thought: Only respected in the market because he comes from Japan I think. But here are the facts. His last win was November 2013 and since then he has placed four times in 15 runs. In saying that, two of those placings did come over 3200m. He seems to be a bit of a mood horse. If he is in the right frame of mind, he can be a threat, but more often that not he isn’t. I can’t see a 9YO winning a Melbourne Cup.

 

Exospheric

Breeding: Beat Hollow x Bright And Clear
Trainer: Lee & Anthony Freedman
Nationality: British/Australian
Weight: 56kg
Career Stats: 11: 4-0-3
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2414m (Jockey Club Stakes), April 30 2016, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 3-0-3
Wet Track Stats: 3: 1-0-0
Melbourne Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $20
Short Summary: Has the right stable training him. Can he race truly and bring his A-Game?

 

Second Last Start (5th)- Group l Juddmonte International (2080m), August 17 2016, York, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Trucked up along the inside most of the way before getting behind Highland Reel in the straight and ducking back to his inside. The turn of foot wasn’t there but he stayed on alright, though beaten a fair way by a world class horse in Postponed. Both Highland Reel and Postponed went on to run super in the Arc, so the form has stacked up big time.

 

Last Start (3rd)- Group l Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 15 2016, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Very good in defeat. Had a nice sit off the speed before trucking up to be a threat on the turn, but the turn of Jameka and co was too good for him, then he wanted to do plenty wrong in the straight, wanting to lay in and having the head to one side. Still quite encouraging.

Final Thought: Those antics in the Caulfield Cup will make sure he doesn’t win the Melbourne Cup. You can’t do those things and get away with it. If Team Freedman can iron out those traits from his system, he will be a threat for sure.

 

Grey Lion

Breeding: Galileo x Grey Lilas
Trainer: Matt Cumani
Nationality: French
Weight: 52kg
Career Stats: 12: 4-2-2
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2500m (Handicap), March 4 2016, Synthetic Surface
Dry Track Stats: 5: 2-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 7: 2-1-1
Melbourne Price @ Sportsbet: $31
Short Summary: Needs to improve form wise and perhaps a risk at 3200m.

 

Second Last Start (Last)- Group ll Kergorlay (3000m), August 21 2016, Deauville, Clockwise direction, Firm surface

He sat on speed outside the leader most of the way and looked to be going okay, but when the leader sprinted, he was left behind and just couldn’t match it with them. Bit outclassed also.

 

Last Start (2nd)- Group lll Geelong Cup (2400m), October 19 2016, Geelong, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Really encouraging Australian debut from this bloke. He sat outside Qewy most of the way and those two settled down for a brilliant clash over the final 600m with Qewy holding on for the win, but Grey Lion was far from disgraced in defeat.

Final Thought: The Geelong Cup has proven to be a Melbourne Cup form reference in the past. I doubt it will be in 2016, but he ran a pretty solid race and he’ll get a rolling tempo in the Cup, which will suit.

 

Heartbreak City

Breeding: Lando x Moscow Nights
Trainer: Tony Martin
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 54kg
Career Stats: 22: 6-0-3
3200m Stats: 6: 2-0-1
Winning Max Distance: 3319m (Rating 100 Handicap), August 19 2015, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 4-0-0
Wet Track Stats: 12: 2-0-3
Melbourne Price @ Sportsbet: $15
Short Summary: A hurdler winning the Melbourne Cup? Cmon now.

 

Second Last Start (1st)- Galway Hurdle (3200m), July 29 2016, Galway, Clockwise direction, Good surface

Settled midfield in the run before tracking up nicely into the race towards the turn. Then it looked like it was going to be tough viewing, but he eventually got the split and what I really liked was his turn of foot over the final 150m. I don’t care if it was a jumps race, that turn of foot was very impressive.

Head to Tab.com.au and follow the replay links to watch the replay.

Last Start (1st)- Ebor Handicap (2816m), August 20 2016, York, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Not sure about the depth, but all you can is wow…that turn of foot once again came to the fore and when he was asked to let down, the race was simply over and he was increasing the margin with every stride. One of the more dominant Ebor wins you’ll see.

Final Thought: History says it’s very hard for an international to win the Cup at their Australian debut…but from what I’ve seen replays wise, he will run 3200m easily, he handles all conditions, he has a turn of foot and is well weighted. If he has settled into Werribee nicely, then he is the clear pick of the internationals.

 

Qewy

Breeding: Street Cry x Princess Nada
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Nationality: British
Weight: 51.5kg
Career Stats: 23: 4-4-5
3200m Stats: 3: 0-1-2
Winning Max Distance: 3319m (Hurdle), February 7 2015, Soft Surface
Dry Track States: 9: 1-1-2
Wet Track Stats: 14: 3-3-3
Melbourne Price @ Sportsbet: $21
Short Summary: Tough, tough, tough and stays all day.

 

Second Last Start (2nd)- Summer Stakes (2816m), July 26 2016, Goodwood, Clockwise direction, Good surface

He was game in defeat with the big weight, chasing Elidor hard down the straight but couldn’t quite get the job done. The worry here is that Elidor has been awful in two subsequent runs.

Head to Tab.com.au and follow the replay links to watch the replay.

 

Last Start (1st)- Group lll Geelong Cup (2400m), October 19 2016, Geelong, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

This was tough from Qewy. He led them at a solid gallop and really was there to be beaten on the turn and in the straight, but McEvoy lifted him hard when it mattered and I thought it was a super win, though the time was nothing special.

Final Thought: He will stay longer than your mother-in-law. He handles all conditions, he is versatile in terms of riding tactics and he comes through a race where it has been fruitful in regards to winning the Melbourne Cup.

 

Secret Number

Breeding: Raven’s Pass x Mysterial
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Nationality: English
Weight: 52kg
Career Stats: 13: 5-2-2
3200m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2475m (Stand Cup), September 12 2014, Soft Surface
Dry Track States: 7: 2-1-2
Wet Track Stats: 6: 3-1-0
Melbourne Price @ Sportsbet: $34
Short Summary: Weighted to figure prominently and ran okay at Flemington last year.

 

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group ll Queens Cup (2600m), November 7 2015, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise direction, Soft surface

Got away well to sit second outside a very slow tempo. Looked to travel well in the run but as soon as the pressure came on he was under pressure and was quickly beaten off by Dandino. Came again on the line but was well and truly beaten, and the form out of the race has been awful.

Last Start (1st)- Listed Doonside Cup (2012m), September 15 2016, Ayr, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Pretty good training effort by Saeed Bin Suroor to win his sixth Doonside Cup with this horse, its first run in 10 months. He had a sweet trip nearer the tempo before cruising to the front 400m out and safely holding his rivals at bay and won impressively. Form out of the race has been poor though.

Head to Tab.com.au to watch the replay. It is race seven on the card.

Final Thought: I’m just not sure how strong his overall form, and the fact he has only raced twice in in 12 months. In saying that, he only has 51kg, a turn of foot and the stable have ticked every box in world racing. This is the one final box.

 

Wicklow Brave

Breeding: Beat Hollow x Moraine
Trainer: Willy Mullins
Nationality: English
Weight: 56kg
Career Stats: 29: 9-3-5
3200m Stats: 15: 6-1-2
Winning Max Distance: 3420m (Country Hurdle), March 13 2015, Soft Surface
Dry Track States: 13: 2-3-2
Wet Track Stats: 12: 7-0-3
Melbourne Price @ Sportsbet: $21
Short Summary: Out and out stayer…rain dances aplenty.

 

Second Last Start (3rd)- Group ll Lonsdale Cup (3319m), August 19 2016, York, Anti-Clockwise direction, Soft surface

Really tough conditions to race on and he whacked away strongly. Was well held, but if you watch the final couple of strides, he was coming again and strong through the line. Problem is that the winner, Quest For More, did very little in the Melbourne Spring last year.

 

Last Start (1st)- Group l Irish St Leger (2816m), September 11 2016, Curragh, Clockwise direction, Soft surface

This is a ride Franke Dettori will put into the scrapbook. It was an absolute pearlier. He sent the horse to the front and controlled the race from the front. Pushed the button at the right time and got Order Of St George to chase and he couldn’t reel him in for a high class win.

Final Thought: He handles all conditions, but I think in order to win a Melbourne Cup, the track needs to have significant give in it. If it remains firm-ish, I think he is a top 10 chance. The weather will determine his winning chances.

 

So…can the unseen internationals win the Melbourne Cup?

As I said in the Caulfield Cup, it all comes down to the how they settle into Werribee. From all reports, Scottish had settled in very well and he was enormous in the Caulfield Cup. In terms of this lot, there are several unknowns, whether it be form, fitness or whether or not they can adapt to the pressure cooker that is the Melbourne Cup.

If I had to pick one here, it would clearly be Heartbreak City. Don’t be worried by the fact he is mainly a jumper. His turn of foot is very good, as we have seen at his past two starts. I could certainly entertain him, as I could for a speck each way on Beautiful Romance.

Photo source: rwwa.com.au

 
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