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The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation but is fast becoming the race that stops the world with a host of runners from overseas set to take their place in the two mile feature on the first Tuesday in November.

Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of the confirmed runners set to take their place in the Melbourne Cup 2018.

Cup Market 🏆💰: View the current Melbourne Cup odds

 

Best Solution

Breeding: Kodiac x Al Andalyya
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 21: 9-2-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1200m/2400m
Career Best Win: Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 20 2018, Caulfield, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 17: 6-1-3
Wet Track Stats: 4: 3-1-0
Target Race: Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: 2400m specialist and is in a rich vein of form.

Group l Preis Von Baden (2000m), September 2 2018, Baden Baden, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Concede it was a good win, another at the highest level, but did he win it, or did Atzeni on Defoe lose it? I’m leaning the way of the latter. He coughed up ground and momentum to get to the outside fence, nowhere near as much as Best Solution, and that was the difference between winning and losing. Yes, Best Solution won the race, but I wouldn’t be exactly jumping up and down.

 

Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 20 2018, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Mighty, mighty win. Tardy away but Cosgrove still somehow managed to get the 1/1 sit. Looked the winner a fair way out until James McDonald on The Taj Mahal took off and Cosgrove eased to go with him, sustaining a 600-700m sprint then fending off Homesman for a narrow but outstanding win. Two miles will be the question mark.

Final Summary: I had him marked down as a Caulfield Cup horse, but the stable are quite bullish about him being a chance in the Melbourne Cup, a race they have been trying to win for over two decades. I reckon his best chance would come in the Caulfield Cup given his record between 2000m-2400m, but always have to respect the stable, and a wet track certainly no issue.

 

 

Chestnut Coat

Breeding: Heart’s Cry x White Veil
Trainer: Yoshiti Yahagi
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 18: 4-5-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1800m/2400m
Career Best Win: Soshun Stakes, January 28 2018, Tokyo, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 16: 4-5-1
Wet Track Stats: 2: 0-0-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Fifth in a Tenno Sho…that’s good enough to be ultra competitive in the Cup.

Group ll Meguro Kinen (2500m), May 27 2018, Tokyo, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

I’d be willing to put a line through the run. They didn’t appear to go at a brutal speed in front which really set it up for those near the rail or on the pace, which Chestnut Coat wasn’t out wide with the white face and blue jacket. He stuck on well enough but really had no chance of winning given the tempo of the race.

Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 20 2018, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Prepared to forgive him from a Melbourne Cup perspective. He was wide throughout and just couldn’t sprint when The Taj Mahal took off after doing that work in the run. I think he’ll be much better suited at Flemington and at two miles.

Final Summary: I want to forgive him from the Caulfield Cup. Just did a bit too much work in the run and wass’t entirely happy on the wet ground. I think firmer footing, bigger track at Flemington and the two miles, he’ll be a threat for sure.

 

 

The Cliffsofmoher

Breeding: Galileo x Wave
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 17: 3-2-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1408m/2075m
Career Best Win: Mooresbridge Stakes, May 7 2018, Naas, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 1-2-2
Wet Track Stats: 7: 2-0-1
Target Race: Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: In a champion stable and Lloyd has let the moths out of the wallet to buy 50% of the horse.
Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 13 2018, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
He had no right to get as close as he did to Benbatl given the tempo of the race. He was out the back, Homesman had dictated and got a really good mid race breather, but this horse worked home strongly and produced some of the best splits from the race. Really good Australian debut.

Caulfield Cup (2400m), October 20 2018, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

To the eye, I thought Bowman rode the horse a treat and for a stride or two he looked the winner but he wanted to lay in and not run straight, proving a somewhat difficult ride late in the piece. Sound effort, good in defeat…but was it the run of a coming Melbourne Cup winner? I’m thinking no.

Final Summary: Lloyd has rarely misfired with his purchases in recent years when it comes to the Cups and he has a leading chance here. Personally, I have him as a risk at a strong two miles, especially after the Caulfield Cup.

 

 

Cross Counter

Breeding: Teofilo x Waitress
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 7: 4-2-0
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1700m/2400m
Career Best Win: Gordon Stakes, August 4 2018, Goodwood, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 7: 4-2-0
Wet Track Stats: 0: 0-0-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Lightly raced with a touch of x factor that could easily threaten.

Gordon Stakes (2400m), August 4 2018, Goodwood, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Broke the track record in spanking this field, but that aside, it was the manner in which he put them away and the turn of foot when Buick asked which was the impressive bit. Form has been okay with Sun Maiden placing at York. Visually, very impressive and the clock backed up the eye, which is always a good sign.

Great Voltigeur Stakes (2400m), August 22 2018, York, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Pretty gutsy effort from the gelding, having a great struggle with stablemate Old Persian in the straight but that horse just packed too many punches and clung on. Cross Counter did come again and would have won in another couple of strides. The only little niggle is that the overall depth of the field didn’t appear strong.

Final Summary: C Appleby as the trainer, rinse and repeat: Has to be respected. Can he win a Melbourne Cup? On current form, I’d say no, but he’s at Werribee and from all repors has thrived down under, as has so many Appleby runners in the past. He’s beautifully in at the weights and Kerrin McEvoy is a two time winner of the race.
 

 

Finche

Breeding: Frankel x Binche
Trainer: Chris Waller
Nationality: French/Australian
Career Stats: 9: 3-0-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2500m
Career Best Win: GP Mais-Laff, July 16 2017, Maisons-Laffitte, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 5: 2-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 4: 1-0-1
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Got world class form with Cracksman and has a win over boom horse Avilius.
Grand Prix De Chantilly (2400m), June 3 2018, Chantilly, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface
This was a hot race with Waldgeist winning, and he’s one of the best horses in France, and the race also had Rare Rhythm, a proven big time performer on the international stage. Pace was strong and I think Finche was just found wanting late, but certainly not disgraced in what looked a very strong event.
Prix De Reux (2500m), August 5 2018, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

I’m not sure what to make of the win. Yes, he led all the way, but you could see via the splits on the screen, he was able to get an absolute picnic in front and turn it into a 400m dash up the straight, which he won. Tiberian ran second in the race and he was beaten quite comfortably at his next start in a race I don’t think was overly strong.

Final Summary: Has run well behind Cracksman and has a win over Avilius. Those two names prick the ears. As does Waldgeist to an extent. I think this has come around too soon for him but the Geelong Cup run was quite encouraging. Is that the right form though? I doubt it.

 

 

Magic Circle

Breeding: Makfi x Minkova
Trainer: Ian Williams
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 21: 8-1-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2414m/3749m
Career Best Win: Chester Cup, May 11 2018, Chester, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 2-0-0
Wet Track Stats: 12: 6-1-1
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Corey Brown already booked is a good lead to suggest he’s one of the hardest to beat.

Chester Cup (3749m), May 11 2018, Chester, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Wowee, what a win this was. The turn of foot he showed over a staying trip…that’s been the ideal recipe for recent winners of the Melbourne Cup. Very impressive and the form out of this has been very good with a stack of subsequent placings, majority of which were in Listed company, so he gets another tick there.

Group lll Henry Vll Stakes (3264m), May 24 2018, Sandown (UK), Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This is why he is near the top of betting for the Melbourne Cup. He just made good stayers look very ordinary, including another Melbourne Cup aspirant in Red Verdon. Again, the turn of foot when Fran Berry asked for the effort was supreme and he won with something in hand to the eye in another dashing display.

Final Summary: Ian Williams has really transformed this stayer, who was okay when trained by Ralph Beckett but since going to Williams, he has spanked his rivals in two runs. Marwan Koukash has been desperate to win the Melbourne Cup for a number of years now and I think this is his best chance yet.

 

 

Marmelo

Breeding: Makfi x Minkova
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 16: 5-6-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2414m/3000m
Career Best Win: Chester Cup, August 20 2017, Deauville, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 12: 4-5-1
Wet Track Stats: 4: 1-1-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Beaten favourite last year when given every chance…but he’s been specifically set for the Cup.

Group ll Maurice De Nieuil (2800m), July 14 2018, Longchamp, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

To the eye, a pretty good win, but like the York win, I have reservations. The horse that ran second, Algometer, was well held by Marmelo at York but turned that form around some four+ lengths, but in saying that, Algometer does have really good overall form next to his name and is a quality horse. But with Marmelo, loved the way he found the line when challenged.

Kergolay (3000m), August 20 2018, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Beaten by a classy animal, but for mine I thought he had his chance to win. cost himself any chance of winning by doing a bit wrong in the run and most certainly cost himself in the straight when wanting to drift about under pressure with Soumillon not really getting a chance to be fair dinkum on the horse.

 

Final Summary: My theory with the Melbourne Cup is that if you’ve failed in the race, and by failure I mean not run top three, then try to come back and win it, you won’t succeed. That theory hasn’t failed for 30+ years. But then again, the first up in Australia theory was put to bed last year with Rekindling, and we know the best version of Marmelo is good enough.

 

 

Muntahaa

Breeding: Dansili x Qertaas
Trainer: John Gosden
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 15: 4-1-4
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2400m/2800m
Career Best Win: Ebor Handicap, August 25 2018, York, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 14: 4-1-4
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: I had put a line through him. Now I’m warming to him.
Group ll Arqana Racing Club Stakes (2400m), July 12 2018, Newmarket, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
Solid enough effort without being spectacular behind Best Solution, who is being touted as a live Caulfield Cup prospect. Settled off the pace throughout and looked to travel well but when it came to crunch time, he just lacked the dash to go with those in front but stayed on for a sound effort in fourth.
Ebor Handicap (2800m), August 25 2018, York, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This looked the winner a long way out. He was absolutely bolting in the run and once Jim Crowley asked his horse for the effort, he rounded up the stablemate Weekender quite quickly and put them away to win impressively. The depth/form behind him looks very suspect. Yes, Nakeeta was there, but that horse has done nothing since the Melbourne Cup last year. Visually, very good, but holding judgement.

Final Summary: The big question mark on him would be how would he handle the trip over. From the sounds of things, the noise out of Werribee has been nothing but positive and the smart punters are keen to have something on him. The mounting yard will tell you how he’s going because he can be a hot head.

 

 

Prince Of Arran

Breeding: Shirocco x Stormng Sioux
Trainer: Charlie Fellowes
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 28: 5-6-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/3200m
Career Best Win: Lexus Stakes, November 3 2018, Flemington, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 22: 5-5-3
Wet Track Stats: 6: 0-1-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Got some good form behind world class horses…he’s in the game off the Lexus win.

Group ll Belmont Gold Cup (3200m), June 8 2018, Belmont (USA), Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

This was one of the weaker editions of the Belmont Gold Cup in recent years but the winner Call To Mind does have form around Stradivarius, who is world class horse. Prince Of Arran loomed to win the race but just couldn’t quite finish it off. The tick though for him here is that the race was run in track record time.

Northumberland Plate (3256m), June 30 2018, Newcastle (UK), Anti-Clockwise Direction, Synthetic Surface

Thought this was a really good effort in a time honoured race behind a talked up Cup chance in Withhold. For the most part, this field contained a bunch of scrubs, but finishing back in 14th was Nakeeta, who of course ran fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year. To my eye, those behind were paddlers so the strength of the form is suspect but the run of Prince Of Arran was more than sound.

Final Summary: He’ll have no trouble running two miles, that’s one box we know he’ll tick. He seems to be loving life in Australia, as shown in the Herbert Power and then on Saturday in the Lexus to get his way into the Cup. If he handles the back up, he’s a serious top five chance.

 

 

Rostropovich

Breeding: Frankel x Tyranny
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 13: 4-2-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1408m/2414m
Career Best Win: Futurity Stakes, August 20 2017, Curragh, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 3-2-1
Wet Track Stats: 4: 1-0-1
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Has to be respected with very good overseas form. 3200m the query.
King George Vl & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m), July 28 2018, Ascot, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
Crystal Ocean and Poet’s Word are two high class animals so being beaten off by them is nothing to sneeze at. The tempo was just too hot that he set. He was pressured throughout and was left a sitting shot for the class animals who had the suck run behind.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTmyfqy8EX0
Paddy’s Rewards Club Stakes (2414m), September 15 2018, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

There are two schools of thought when it comes to this race and the win. First school of thought is that he showed very good ticker to edge clear late when he was challenged and seemingly in trouble. He dug in when it counted. The negatives is that the time was very slow relative to the meeting and the horses he beat, outside Giuseppe Garibaldi, are camels.

 

Final Summary: He did run second to Latrobe in the Irish Derby and I was really keen on that horse running a bold race in the Melbourne Cup. This horse, off the recent win, should be okay at the two miles, but whether he’s got the brilliance to win it I’m not so sure, and that was evident with just an average effort in the Cox Plate.

 

 

Sound Check

Breeding: Lando x Sky Dancing
Trainer: Michael Moroney
Nationality: German/Australian
Career Stats: 17: 7-2-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/3200m
Career Best Win: Oleander-Rennen, May 20 2018, Hoppegarten, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 4-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 9: 3-1-0
Target Race: Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Learned my lesson to always respect German horses with top shelf form from that part of the world.
Grosser Preis von Berlin, (2400m), August 12 2018, Hoppegarten, Clockwise Direction, Good SurfaceMuch like last time, you can make a case he should have won. He loomed as the winner and looked as if he’d go straight past them but he wanted to have his head to the side and sort of half turned it up, with Best Solution dashing through to claim the win. Put a little margin on the rest though which is a good sign.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czHnRHnxERQCaulfield Cup (2400m), October 20 2018, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Total forgive IMO. The tempo was a crawl and he was pulling his head off out the back. Then coming to the home turn he looked completely drunk and had no idea. Once he balanced up, he wasn’t too bad late and I think it was a sneaky solid Melbourne Cup trial.

Final Summary: If you have to respect Best Solution, you have to respect this horse, and bear in mind he gets a significant weight pull on that horse in the Cup. Michael Moroney and his team have got the horse now and while he’s in both Cups, I think the Melbourne Cup looks his go. Got the right weight, got 3200m form, strong 3200m form and has gears. He’s very likeable. Just forget the Caulfield Cup.
 
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