Emirates Melbourne Cup
Tuesday 1st November, 2016 at Flemington
The race that ‘stops the nation’ will be underway at 3pm local time tomorrow, the 1st November at Flemington racecourse in Victoria. The Emirates MELBOURNE CUP has been raced since Archer won the inaugural race in 1861; it has a purse of almost $6.2m with $3.6m going to the winner along with the prestige, glory and of course the Cup itself which alone is worth $150k and is awarded to the trainer of the winning horse. It’s a fabulous day for Australians, the pomp and ceremony is mainly about having a good time with plenty of offices stopping for a drink and a sweepstake whilst a huge crowd will watch the action unfold live at Flemington – many millions more will join in via their local club, bar, course or by watching on the TV.
So, who will win? Well it is a Group 1 Handicap and raced over 3200m; it’s the richest flat handicap staying race in the world and history shows that the favourites don’t always have it their own way. There are a lot of international horses over for this race again and it really is a wide open contest this year.
There are plenty of analyses all over the ‘interweb’ so you can check form, opinion and so on anywhere – I’ve done the usual research and had a think and have come up with these selections:
Heartbreak City – drawn very wide and hasn’t had a run here but otherwise, looks the one to me; has had a protected handicap and gets in nicely with 54k; Ebor winner (57.5k that day) and has been mixing some successful hurdling in too – will handle the trip no problem and have some speed to pick them off if he manages to get a good position from the gate (barrier 23 urgh) – either wins or comes nowhere. Add in the super jockey and I really think this one is more than capable and if all falls into place, they will turn up and pinch the cup! touching 20s on BF and that represents very good value
Almandin – good recent wins so the prep looks terrific – will handle the trip hopefully (has just 52k which really helps) and has McEvoy on board so have to include this one. Price of 13.5 on BF right now so attracting support and rightly so – good shout for a place
Qewy – expect this one to do a fair bit of work and then still find some more at the death; tough stayer who will be involved throughout and could hang on for a place – impressive win in the Geelong Cup of course and with Williams onboard and just 51.5k, could be a reasonably strong roughie – 32 on BF appeals a lot as Qewy will relish the 2 miles.. could sneak that frame at a big price
Wicklow Brave – drawn in the old ‘car park’ and hasn’t run here this year so question marks temper my enthusiasm a bit – Dettori may have learned a bit from previous failures – can’t be keen on the win but should be thereabouts at the end as he is a strong stayer, really does need to be well-placed and get some luck in running for sure but have a nice feel about this top quality stayer
Secret Number – query pick as not much to go on but worth keeping an eye on; trip could be a test too far and with such limited racing over career, it really is a bit of wild stab if you back this one but has had some good performances/results in those 7 races, and can’t get away from the fact that this one seems set on the occasional big race only
Bondi Beach – had the ‘never won’ barrier 18 last yr and got knocked about a bit – just have a feeling BB will position well and get involved although doubt the win is there; odds aren’t great but may be worth including in trifectas/first fours. Can’t ignore the trainer and jockey here basically!
Thus, I’m ignoring Hartnell and Jameka as although it won’t be a surprise if they win, I’m not keen for various reasons and don’t think they represent value. Hartnell is better unleashing off a slowish tempo for me and with a good pace, plus the pressure, I think he will suffer; Jameka would do so well to follow up here and with that weight, another tough ask. Oceanographer has been excellent and will be popular after great recent efforts but another I’m drawing a line through.
Gallante I was keen on and tempted to ignore that shocker at the Valley the other night, but as its going to be (likely) dry and good ground, then I can see Gallante stringing them along with Big Orange but both being picked off down the business end of the race.
Heartbreak City looks the one for me – hoping for that good start and nice position, then a decent finish of course, pipping the durable Qewy, Almandin, Wicklow Brave and possibly Bondi Beach. Obviously it seems I’m picking a few international raiders this year and it would be sensible to sprinkle in home hopes Hartnell and Jameka in trifectas/first fours perhaps as they are strong chances although not strong enough and too short price-wise in my view.
Secret Number and Exospheric I’m not so hot on but have feelings that they could do well- you could chuck in a fair few others too in this year’s edition!
Heartbreak City 20 on Betfair
Wicklow Brave 17.5
Bondi Beach 11
so these are my value picks – good luck all