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The first Tuesday in November means Melbourne Cup Day and the most famous race in Australia, the 3200m contest that stops a nation, highlights a strong ten race program at Flemington on Tuesday. The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is out 3 metres for the entire circuit.

Cup Field ๐Ÿ†: View the Melbourne Cup Field and Barriers

Cup Odds ๐Ÿ’ฐ: View the odds for the Melbourne Cup

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Race 1. (10:50) Darley Ottawa Stakes 1000m

Back Me

6 La Girl (Bet Now: $16.00 TOP ODDS) is a daughter of Not A Single Doubt having start one for the Hayes/Dabernig team. This girl has had two Flemington jumpouts in readiness for her debut, the latest coming on October 11 when wide no cover on speed for the duration but looked to be going quite easily and looked to move well. Draws out, gets Nash on…she’ll do me in the opener.

Next Best

14 Unblushing (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) is a James Cummings trained Brazen Beau filly on debut. She’s had three jumpouts at Flemington to prepare, the latest coming on October 25 when given a good hit out on speed to run second. She’s had a strong enough grounding for start one and should get a sweet trip either on speed or perhaps just sitting off it. Have to respect the stable and their juveniles.


7 Marchena (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS) is on debut for the Maher/Eustace stable. This Deep Field filly trialled at Cranbourne on October 7 and really liked the way she closed off under a hold when a narrow second to Wild Cherry Road. Looks to be a bit of depth/quality to this contest, but stable is firing with their juveniles and in form Mark Zahra takes the ride from what looks an ideal gate.

Long Shot

13 Thala (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is well bred daughter of More Than Ready having start one for the Ellerton/Zahra stable. This girl has been seen at the Flemington jumpouts twice for her debut, the latest coming on October 18 and despite being pushed out, the good sign is that there was a good turn of foot displayed and looked a nice prospect, so keen to see how she goes.

Race 2. (11:30) Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy 1400m

Back Me

Keen to see 7 Phaistos (Bet Now: $2.20 TOP ODDS) resume for James Cummings. This guy kicks off his 4YO season after really putting it together towards the end of his 3YO season, highlighted by a dominant win at Rosehill and a placing at this track behind the then in form Twilight Run. Has had a couple of jumpouts in readiness for his return and to my eye has looked pretty sharp, forward enough to run well fresh.

Next Best

I think 5 East Indiaman (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) can measure up. Thought he was a touch disappointing fresh at Morphettville behind Kemalpasa, but keep in mind that horse has since won a Stakes race. He then raced during the Cranbourne Cup Carnival and scored a sharp win in a race which had depth to it, albeit not as strong as this, but third up, should just about be at peak fitness.


1 William Thomas (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) is racing as if 1400m will suit. John Price trains this gelding, who ran on Manikato Night over 1200m at the Valley and spotted them an impossible start but finished off with real purpose late when fourth to Parsifal. Unknown at 1400m, but is racing as if it will suit, he draws an inside and Olly can certainly take advantage of that.

Long Shot

6 Reflectivity (Bet Now: $18.00 TOP ODDS) is the interesting one. Team Hawkes trains this five year old, that is resuming. This bloke looks to be a pure dry tracker, which is what he should get here. Resumes off the back of two trials in Sydney where she has looked pretty good and the big tick for him is the Blinkers going on first up, telling me there is intent to run well first up.

Race 3. (12:05) TAB Trophy 1700m

Back Me

It’s been nearly a year since she has won, but this does look an ideal race for 2 One More Try (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS). She’s third up, so she should be just about at peak fitness. Resumed with a solid third behind Fabric at Caulfield before going to the Ladies Day Vase when a fast finishing fourth to Spanish Reef in a really encouraging run. Has gate one, Olly to steer…I think she’s the pony to bet on.

Next Best

Up in trip suits 11 Maracaibo (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS). She resumed over 1400m at Caulfield on Blue Sapphire in what was a real on pace domination and worked home strongly to run fifth to Usain Bowler. Has the ability to sit a touch closer in the run if need be and her form from the Autumn when a 3YO does read well for a race like this. Query being maybe she might need one more.


1 Etana (Bet Now: $41.00 TOP ODDS) should be respected. She comes through the Tristarc first up at Caulfield in what was a real barrier trial pretty much given they walked in front, so forget Etana went around given she was near last in the run. Drops miles in grade here, 2/2 second up and given she’s a Stakes winner, I think she gets in really well at the weights. Hard to beat.

Long Shot

8 Temple Of Bel (Bet Now: $21.00 TOP ODDS) is sneaky going well I think. Late splits weren’t too bad two back behind Harbour Views before going to the mile last time out at Caulfield when back and slightly held up when building the revs nicely and for mine the run had plenty of merit behind Spanish Reef. She’s going well I suspect and is certainly one I wouldn’t entirely dismiss here.

Race 4. (12:40) The Macca's Run 2800m

Back Me

It looks a very tough meeting but the banker appears to be 3 Shared Ambition (Bet Now: $1.60 TOP ODDS), who is 2/2 in Australia, both wins coming at Caulfield in impressive fashion. The latest of which was at 2400m where he looked a bit lost at sea on the turn but once balanced up, he put them away and won well. 2800m at Flemington, upside, a winner…all points to him continuing his winning ways.

Next Best

10 Serenade The Stars (Bet Now: $21.00 TOP ODDS) is hard fit and rises in grade, but gee the Gelagotis team has him going well. Liam Riordan was in a tricky spot on him last start at the Valley before taking the lead and went on with the job to record a pretty sharp win, albeit in a race which had little to no depth. Yendall is back on, likely presses forward and 2800m should be fine.


Giving respect to 7 Gayatri (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS). She slogged it out best to win two back over 2400m at Rosehill before racing at the same track/distance in the Colin Stephen where Stampede got it easy in front and gave nothing else a look in, including Gayatri, who was disappointing, but had excuses. Think the tempo will be more genuine this time around, so giving her another chance.

Long Shot

13 Kentucky Diva (Bet Now: $17.00 TOP ODDS) is the x factor here. She looks a real one batter for Team Hawkes, as has been seen the past few runs where she has been really one paced when asked for an effort, the latest at Warwick Farm when pipped near the peg by Desert Path, but getting onto a big track are the blinkers going on first time are the big ticks going for her.

Race 5. (13:15) Schweppervescence Plate 1000m

Back Me

In the corner of 14 Athiri (Bet Now: $5.50) for James Cummings. The stable have continued to try and get her to run out a strong six furlongs, but her go in life is 1000m-1100m. Desperately unlucky here two back behind Wayupinthesky before going to the Blue Sapphire where she was far from disgraced behind Anaheed, who ran super in the Manikato. Back to 1000m, draws to get clear air and the blinkers are on.

Next Best

I’m interested in 4 Garner (Bet Now: $5.00) for Gordon Richards. He put together a couple of sharp wins to start the prep before going to Morphettville where he did work in the run but was no match for the impressive sustained on speed effort that Xilong produced. Draws the likely best part of the track and the form from those two wins has been quite encouraging.


2 Hawker Hurricane (Bet Now: $10.00) looks back on track for Michael Moroney. For the most part, he’s been terrible this time in, but he bounced back to positive form down the straight at Flemington last time out when on speed and giving a really good kick when beaten narrowly by Taraayef. He showed during his 2YO season he has quality, and now he has found form, hopefully he can go on with it.

Long Shot

11 Valley Of Hearts (Bet Now: $46.00) is the unknown for Symon Wilde. He was well backed when debuting at Murtoa where he sat back in the run before Yendall got him into clear air out wide and gee he let down hard to get the job done impressively. Not sure the depth was strong in that race but the manner in which he won was impressive, so keen to see how he goes.

Race 6. (13:50) Jim Beam Stakes 1400m

Back Me

4 Sweet Scandal (Bet Now: $3.50) is an absolute beauty for Chris Waller. Surprised many with a first up win at Randwick in a race which has been a good form race. She then went to the Northwood Plume when just off the speed and tried hard but no match late for the finale produced by Tofane. Third up now, she should just about be at peak fitness and this is a winnable race.

Next Best

3 Bella Martini (Bet Now: $8.50) is going well I think. Tempo was against her first up and last start, with the run in between coming in the Gilgai when down the track and outclassed behind Sunlight. If Tommy can get her out and put her into a decent spot from the good draw, this time last year she wasn’t far off them in the Empire Rose, so she has class/quality.


What to do with 9 Victory Kingdom (Bet Now: $8.50). The ability is there, but for the most part, she just hasn’t put it together this prep. Comes through the Alinghi when on speed and tiring late behind Humma Humma in a disappointing effort. She gets the services of the Magic Man Joao Moreira and the blinkers going on, hopefully to relax her. She gets one more chance.

Long Shot

5 Kingsbrook (Bet Now: $14.00) loves Flemington and the distance. She has won her last two starts over 1400m at Flemington and she finds another winnable race here over the same course and distance. Her first up run was pretty disappointing hence her price in this but i am happy to forgive her and at the price she must be included as she looks the blowout hope.

Race 7. (15:00) Melbourne Cup 3200m

Back Me

A stayer with a turn of foot…always a recipe to run a positive race so with that in mind I’m with 2 Mer De Glace (Bet Now: $9.00). The Caulfield Cup in the straight was somewhat messy but you can’t deny that Mer De Glace was dominant and did it despite wanting to lay in under pressure. He has the change up of speed, and really, how can you ignore what the Japanese have done this Spring. He should be able to get clear running from the barrier and he would have tightened up from the Caulfield Cup and be rock hard fit for the Melbourne Cup. The one to beat.

Next Best

The each way bet at odds for this race for me is clearly 20 Il Paradiso (Bet Now: $14.00). Got within a length of Stradivarius two back before going to the St Leger where he chased the pace maker and was a beaten horse 300m out but battled away really well in defeat behind Logician, a rising star of UK racing, so that form just reads so well for this and two miles will be no issue.


It was hard to miss the run of 19 Constantinople (Bet Now: $9.00) in the Caulfield Cup. I think you can make a good case that he should have won, but just had no luck at all, combined with a lack of initiative from the steer by Nolen. He should eat up the two miles at Flemington and if there’s any hint of improvement from that run, he is sure to take some beating here.

Long Shot

13 Raymond Tusk (Bet Now: $23.00) is another that looks value. The Ebor is the race most want to jump up and down about, but in recent years, it’s been a rubbish form race for the Cup. In saying that, his run was full of merit and you could make a case that he should have won. Just had no luck at all when wanting to get clear. 3200m is fine, draws to stalk Mer De Glace and should be strong at the end.


Boxed Trifecta: 1, 2, 5, 11, 13, 19, 20, 23


Boxed Quinella: 2, 13, 15, 20

Race 8. (16:00) Furphy Plate 1800m

Back Me

Beyond a mile as a three year old, 17 Junipal (Bet Now: $4.00) struggled somewhat, but the Maher/Eustace stable have him going really well at the moment and I think up to 1800m will suit him. No real luck in the Epsom two back before racing again at the Randwick mile when unlucky again and really, should have won I think when a close up third to Cascadian after getting held up. Gets a soft run from the gate and on the minimum, he’ll take some beating.

Next Best

8 So You Win (Bet Now: $5.00) has been knocking on the door in his last few runs and this race looks very winnable for him. He loves the distance and i think he will relish the Flemington track. Chris Waller would have earmarked this race out for him and there is no better trainer in the country at the moment so he has to be respected.


The little bit of cushion in the track looks ideal for 6 Plein Ciel (Bet Now: $10.00), who is third up and should just about be at peak fitness. He comes through the Cranbourne Cup and as the day went on, it was apparent that those on speed were advantaged, which pretty much sealed his fate, but I thought he ran really well in defeat. Big track, juice in the ground and noteworthy that J Mac sticks.

Long Shot

Back to the 1800m is the little unknown with 4 Kiwia (Bet Now: $16.00), but I reckon he’s in this up to his ears. He comes through the Coongy at Caulfield when getting back in the run and looming large to win but couldn’t quite finish it off when third to Wolfe, who was far from disgraced in the Caulfield Cup. Does he want more ground? Or is back in trip ideal? Only time will tell.

Race 9. (16:40) MSS Security Sprint 1200m

Back Me

Fitter and up to 1200m are big ticks for 2 Tactical Advantage (Bet Now: $6.50), who is third up for Kris Lees. He comes through the Caulfield Sprint where Miss Leonidas really dominated proceedings from the front and gave nothing from behind a look in but found the line well, clearly looking like a horse that wants more ground, which he gets here. Definite chance.

Next Best

1 Royal Symphony (Bet Now: $5.00) is the market/yard watch of the entire Spring. If he’s right, he should be far too good for this lot, but it’s just a matter of how fit he is. He hasn’t raced since the 2017 Cox Plate when a very good fourth to the champion mare Winx and you could make a case that with clear air and luck in running, he runs third. Now with Team Hawkes, his jumpouts have been good…he wins if right, but the market will tell you if he’s right.


12 Lagerfeld (Bet Now: $20.00) is in a real purple patch for the Maher/Eustace stable. Gave a good kick to win two back over 1100m at Geelong before stepping up to 1200m at the Valley when again on speed and kicking hard under Meech to get the job done. Creeping up in depth, but he’s hard fit and in super form and has the right racing pattern. He’ll be in it for a long way.

Long Shot

Can you trust 10 Smart Coupe? (Bet Now: $10.00) She resumed a couple of Wednesdays back on Geelong Cup Day in the Mares race where she had a suck run off the pace before angling into clear air and under hands and heels, she was far too good for her rivals in a good return. Didn’t beat much, but is trained on the track and her confidence should be up. Her best is clearly good enough.

Race 10. (17:15) HKJC Stakes 1400m

Back Me

I think 6 Betcha Flying (Bet Now: $5.00) is a key chance here. Chris Waller trains this filly, who comes through the Reginald Allen from two weeks ago where I thought Bowman rode a poor race on her. Rode for luck instead of conceding ground and getting to the outside so she can build momentum. Getting held up cost her the blacktype win. Better luck here and I think she goes close.

Next Best

The unknown/x factor is 5 Xilong (Bet Now: $3.50) for the McEvoy team. She is 2/2 this time in, both coming at Morphettivlle where she has led all the way each run and has run good time in doing so. She likely leads this field and will look the winner for a few strides…does she have the class/quality to run out a strong 1400m against some very handy gallopers.


4 Pretty Brazen (Bet Now: $6.00) is starting to put it together for the McEvoy stable. Sharp turn of foot saw her win two back at Bendigo before going to 1400m at Caulfield when getting a lovely steer from Mick Dee and once she was presented clear, she was far too good for them and won impressively. Tricky draw again, but if she gets three wide cover, hard to beat.

Long Shot

1 Ready Set Sail (Bet Now: $34.00) could be the blowout. Too far back fresh in the Scarborough behind subsequent Manikato winner Loving Gaby before going to the Pretty Brazen race mentioned above when trucking behind the speed but when Dunn was probing for clear air, it didn’t eventuate and that was her race done and dusted. Draws out, so should be clear from the outset.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Four Number 3 Shared Ambition

NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 2 One More Try

LONG SHOT: Race Ten Number 6 Betcha Flying


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One:ย  2, 5, 11, 13, 19, 20

Leg Two: 4, 6, 8, 17

Leg Three: 1, 2, 10, 12

Leg Four: 1, 4, 5, 6, 17

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