The most iconic week of racing in Australia is Cup Week at Flemington and it begins this Saturday with arguably the best day on the Australian racing calendar, Derby Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Cup 🏆: View our Melbourne Cup Tips
Cup day TIPS 💰: View our Melbourne Cup day Tips
Race 1. (11:45) Tab Stakes 1200m
I think a nation will be roaring for a hero in the shape of 4 Zoutori (Bet Now: $2.15 TOP ODDS). He has been outstanding in both runs back from a break, resuming with a brilliant win in the Bobbie Lewis before going to the Gilgai where he ran third to Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane, which is A1 for this, loves racing down the straight…he might well be one of the better bets for Cup Week.
Up to 1200m suits 3 Viridine (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS), who comes through the Schillaci from three weeks ago where he tried hard and worked to the line strongly without being a real winning threat when fourth to Trekking, who of course ran out of his skin in the Everest, so that form reads very well for this and I think the big tick for this bloke is the step up to the six furlongs.
6 Order Of Command (Bet Now: $9.00 TOP ODDS) looks to have had the ideal prep for this race. In need of the run fresh behind William Thomas prior to going to the Caulfield Village when working to the line nicely from off the pace behind Haunted. He’s a straight track specialist who is third up now, so he should be hard fit, ready to go, and Olly remains on. Definite threat.
Race 2. (12:20) Wakeful Stakes 2000m
Just has to tick the 2000m box and 1 Flit (Bet Now: $2.45 TOP ODDS) wins I think. She comes here after winning the Thousand Guineas, where the slow tempo was clearly against her, but in the end, class got her home, just. Hopefully the tempo is more genuine this time around and she looks as though she will appreciate a rise in trip. Has the extra weight but has a bit on these in terms of class.
Been hot on 3 Foxborough (Bet Now: $21.00 TOP ODDS) for the Oaks since the start of the Spring and hoping she can stamp her credentials here. She is still a maiden but is a Group l placegetter having ran third to Funstar in the Flight. Yes, beaten as fav in a Newcastle maiden last time, but the race shape was just totally against her and she had no hope. She’ll eat up the big track and 2000m and then 2500m on Thursday provided her form warrants backing up.
12 Palumbo (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) is a progressive filly for Grahame Begg who deserves a chance at this kind of race. Thought she was very good two back over 1400m at Bendigo before going to the mile under the lights at Pakenham when put into the race early on speed and from the 400m onwards, it was a painless watch if you were on. Looks like a rise in trip will be fine and has plenty of scope.
Race 3. (13:00) Carbine Club Stakes 1600m
5 Heirborn (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) on top. Anthony Freedman trains this three year old, who resumed in the Gothic two weeks ago at Caulfield and was the real eye catcher, warming to the task late in the piece to run third to Alabama Express, looking like a horse screaming out for the mile, which he gets here, and the Gothic has been a key form race for this event in recent years. Happy to be in his corner.
Class will carry 1 Dalasan (Bet Now: $3.40 TOP ODDS) a long, long way towards victory, but what upside is left? His Caulfield Guineas effort was very good I thought considering he was wide no cover for the trip yet fought on really well to run fifth. Draws a bit better this time around, Bowman remains on and on prior form, he wins. Just depends if there’s any petrol in the tank.
7 Hilo (Bet Now: $8.00 TOP ODDS) has had a ripping prep for James Cummings. Far from disgraced in the Guineas Prelude behind Alligator Blood before going to the Gothic where he copped some heat on speed and gave a good kick despite wanting to do a bit wrong but was nabbed near the peg by Alabama Express. I think if he’s to be effective at 1600m, he needs to get a soft run on speed.
Race 4. (13:40) Lexus Hotham Stakes 2500m
8 The Chosen One (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) can be a big improver here. Sharp winner of the Herbert Power, ensuring his spot in the Caulfield Cup where he got back to last from the wide gate and worked home okay late behind Mer De Glace in a solid enough effort. Can sit much closer in the run from the inside gate, Zahra on and this is a considerable drop in depth/grade.
1 Downdraft (Bet Now: $4.40 TOP ODDS) is on the cusp of a start in the Cup but does need to win here. He ran last Saturday in the Moonee Valley Cup where the tempo was just too slow for him. He doesn’t have the turn of foot to sprint late, but stuck on and was game in defeat when third to Hunting Horn. Hopefully the tempo is more genuine this time around and has gate one.
7 Sir Charles Road (Bet Now: $12.00 TOP ODDS) is racing well this time in for Tony Pike. Placed in the Metropolitan before going to the St Leger where he was really no hope given the tempo of the race but found the line well enough I thought in restricted room behind Hush Writer. Not sure what upside he has got left, but if he maintains his form, he’s a definite knockout chance.
Race 5. (14:20) Empire Rose Stakes 1600m
3 Aristia (Bet Now: $16.00) is sneaky flying I reckon. She comes through the key lead ups, including the Tristarc. She got back in the run that afternoon in what was a real on pace dominated affair, but she worked home with real purpose. Now hard fit, up in trip, on her home track, she has the potential to sit much closer in the run and recent past editions of this race have suited those on speed/rail.
1600m on a big track does look the A1 set up for 10 Nettoyer (Bet Now: $16.00), who is flying for Wendy Roche. She was very good from the back in the Epsom before backing up in the Angst where she got a ripping steer from Bossy and was too good for them in a tight go. Amangiri franked that form last Saturday and she’s a mare who is very effective when getting her toe in.
She’s a star 2 Melody Belle (Bet Now: $3.80) and will go close for sure. She is four weeks between runs since contesting the Livamol Classic at Hastings where she was just far too good for them and is becoming one of the greats of the modern era in NZ. The worry with her is that she is beating scrubs, for the most part, and is coming back in trip. Couple of negatives, but she’s high class.
1 Invincibella (Bet Now: $16.00) has that Shillelagh look about her in the sense that she saves her best for the big tracks. She comes through the Tristarc where I thought Walker put her into a sweet spot just off the speed but when the sprint went on, she couldn’t go with them, but stayed on and was sound in defeat. Now at the mile on the bigger track, she’s a big improver.
Race 6. (15:00) Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m
Been hot on 12 Libertini (Bet Now: $4.80) for this race for a few months, so my eyes will mainly be on her. She has been freshened up since the Tea Rose where she just couldn’t quite see out the 1400m when beaten a lip by Funstar, who of course ticked that form off in dominant fashion in the Flight. Freshened up for this race and has had a jumput down the straight to get familiar with the course.
He’s a very good colt 6 Exceedance (Bet Now: $3.80). The problem with him is a couple of things. Firstly, he has an awful racing pattern of sitting back off them. The other negative is that he hits a serious flat spot when the sprint goes on and that costs him dearly. His Golden Rose effort was full of merit behind Bivouac and off that run, I think 1200m fresh will be fine, and his jumpout with the blinkers on was sharp.
I’m very wary of 10 Ruuca (Bet Now: $34.00) for the Edmonds camp. He still looks very raw and new to the caper, but he’s got a huge engine I think. He won last Friday night at the Valley when held up until the final 100m when Olly shoved into clear air and he savaged the line to win impressively. Draws to get clear air and stalk the good horses and up to 1200m looks a big tick. A win wouldn’t shock.
Race 7. (15:45) Victoria Derby 2500m
I’m keen on 1 Shadow Hero (Bet Now: $3.20). Mark Newnham has had this horse targeted for the Derby since the Brisbane Winter. He comes here off the back of a strong win in the Spring Champion at Randwick, fending off Castelvecchio, who of course ran the race of his life in the Cox Plate. That form is heads and shoulders above everything else here. Only bad luck beats him.
I think there were a couple of good runs from the Vase. 2 Soul Patch (Bet Now: $4.60) won and the blinkers clearly did the trick with him. He powered to the line and through it in what was a very impressive win and stamped his Derby claims. Off that, 2500m should be fine for him and the Vase hasn’t been a bad form reference for the Derby in recent years. Hard to beat.
11 Relucent (Bet Now: $17.00) is still a maiden but it’s a near similar prep to the one that Preferment had prior to his Derby win. Relucent comes through the Geelong Classic when on speed and fighting on strongly to run third to Long Jack. He was 1600-2200m that afternoon so now has that hard run under the belt and from the inside gate. Bowman can put him to sleep and be strong late.
Race 8. (16:35) Kennedy Cantala 1600m
5 Royal Meeting (Bet Now: $9.50) looks perfectly set up for this. Had his first run in nearly 12 months in the Moonga at Caulfield when wide no cover for the trip yet stuck to the task really well in defeat behind Streets Of Avalon. He’s fitter, he gets to the mile and the big tick is that he gets onto a bigger track, which suits given he looks a big striding horse who needs room to move.
13 Rock (Bet Now: $9.50) is a talented animal for Team Hawkes who has been given a freshen up since the Epsom where he just got too far back but found the line pretty well behind Kolding, and that form has turned out to be super, with two winners as well as Te Akau Shark running a ripper in the Cox Plate. The recent Flemington jumpout was below par, but he’s in the right stable.
The horse from the Toorak has to be 8 Night’s Watch (Bet Now: $6.50). A bad start cost him dearly and you could argue it cost him the win. He was bolting for a run but J Mac couldn’t get clear when he wanted to and by the time he did, Fierce Impact was off and gone for the prize. He is better suited at Flemington I suspect and looks one of the hardest to beat here.
2 Land Of Plenty (Bet Now: $27.00) is set up to run a beauty I think. Was keen on him running well in the Moonga first up but just wanted to lay in a touch under pressure but was good late behind Streets Of Avalon. He is a real second up specialist and has plenty of options from gate one, plus if we do get some juice in the track, that will only help his chances more.
Race 9. (17:15) Furphy Sprint 1100m
3 Resin (Bet Now: $15.00) goes on top for me. This James Cummings trained mare is third up after a couple of solid runs back from a break. Resumed in the Bobbie Lewis when far from disgraced behind Zoutori before going to the Northwood Plume at Caulfield when making up ground late behind Tofane. If the forecast for rain is right, I think she’s one of the hardest to beat with some decent form next to her name.
The unknown is 4 Pippie (Bet Now: $5.00), who was so impressive early on in the Spring prior to starting odds on in the How Now when a beaten horse at the top of the straight when beating one runner home behind Manicure. Freshened up and had a jumpout at Mornington. Draws to get clear air from the outset wide and drawn wide, Olly has all the options at his disposal.
5 Humma Humma (Bet Now: $7.00) is absolutely flying for John McArdle. Let down hard to win first up over 955m at the Valley before going to the Alinghi at Caulfield where she got a ripping steer, cold, with cover, before angling wider into clear air and finished hard over the top of her rivals to win. Her lone run down the straight came on Oaks Day last year when ridden close to the speed. Giving her another look down the straight now they’re riding her cold.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race One Number 4 Zoutori
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 1 Shadow Hero
LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 3 Aristia
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 6, 10, 12
Leg Two: 1, 2
Leg Three: 2, 5, 8, 13
Leg Four: 2, 3, 4, 5
$50 Investment = 31.25% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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