Emirates Melbourne Cup
Tuesday 3rd November, 2015 at Flemington
The race that ‘stops the nation’ will be underway at 3pm local time tomorrow, the 3rd 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; the Japanese have returned for the first time since 2006 (due to quarantine rules) and it looks to be reasonably open this year although there are a few popular picks at the top of the market with plenty down the field who aren’t attracting much support currently.
My preference is for Trip To Paris with Preferment not quite getting up and Who Shot Thebarman making the places again
The field has been finalised with the addition of Excess Knowledge who won the Lexus on Saturday to sneak into the field. The weather is dull and with a bit of rain around but not much (1-2mm forecast) and Tuesday looks to be dry. The track is currently a good-3 and likely to remain so.
Bondi Beach has the short straw with Barrier 18 as no winner has ever come from that one; could it be the first?! Gust of Wind is the sole mare in the race and will have her work cut out to improve the poor stats for mares (even with Makybe Diva bolstering them). Being 4 to 6 years old is ideal, with no horse older than 8 ever having won either. Faves haven’t been over impressive in recent times and just 6 horses have ever started sub $4 and won.
TRIP TO PARIS – this one gets the nod for me over the favourite who is clearly very good but just looks too short for me at his current price. This 5-yr old hails from the same stable as Red Cadeaux so the yard know how to perform here. Has the right profile for me with age, weight, form etc all making TTP a stand-out pick. An Ascot Gold Cup win and a 3rd in the Goodwood Cup giving away plenty of weight bode well and has had the crucial lead-up runs on this continent.
Ran well in the Caulfield Cup when finishing very quickly, beaten only be the excellent Mongolian Khan that day – has won over further than this (Ascot Cup over 4000m) and has drawn well too. Should go really well, placed nicely near the rear when the outsiders push the pace early, and then picking up well in the latter stages and with the speed shown in the C/Cup, can pick them off in the closing straight.
Form of 2,1,3,5,2, the weight of 55k, barrier 14, ground good > all looks good to me and with Fame Game steady at around $4, this means the price for Trip To Paris is a juicy $8 (8.8 on BF) and that’s great value to me
PREFERMENT – local with the best chance, has raced here twice and won both times including the 2500m Victoria Derby last year. Has the in-form Hugh Bowman on board and this tough stayer showed some good speed when winning the Hill & Turnbull Stakes recently – didn’t appreciate the track (MV) when 9th in the Cox Plate. If he runs to the best of his form and can handle the trip, then has a real shout at winning this, especially with the drop back to 53.5k here under the handicap.
WHO SHOT THEBARMAN – ran well last year when 3rd and can repeat that this year; has won here twice and also has won over this trip – Chris Waller will have him well-tuned for this and preparation looks to have been all about getting it right in this one – outside chance of the win but I like the place claims, currently an attractive $25 on BF
FAME GAME – the hot favourite is obviously very good but I just have a feeling he isn’t a $4 shot – likes to sit back and then pick his way through gaps but when he accelerates he may find others have already got away and he can’t catch them. If he can win then fair play but not one for me at that price.
At this stage, I am expecting:
1 – Trip To Paris, has all the required boxes ticked and a decent price to boot
2 – Preferment – looks best of the locals and the weight is great
3 – Who Shot Thebarman, can repeat last year’s effort
4 – Fame Game – quality horse but may just be pipped
Quest For More isn’t the worst $100 shot – has form and can handle the trip, if ignoring the blowout recently in the Geelong Cup then may attract some e/w punters
Big Orange could be a good roughie with that Goodwood Cup win albeit 2k worse off with Trip To Paris now – had a poor run at York but excused that and should go well on this track; no lead-up run worries me and drawn wide – still worth looking at considering the price of $70 on BF (possible IR trade)
Almoonqith and Our Ivanhowe will no doubt be popular too and could make the top 6 or so
Good luck to all!
Last year’s winning tip > 2014 Tips