Top 10 Wins from the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival
We look back on a massive 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival and rank our top 10 winning performances.
10. Vow and Declare
Race: TCL TV Stakes (8th November)
One of the most unexpected yet determined wins of the week. Runner up Junipal looked all over the winner within the final 200m as he put up half a length on Vow And Declare. But jockey Damien Oliver lifted his mount and pegged back the margin in the dying stages to beat Junipal by the barest of margins.
9. Trap For Fools
Race: Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (10th November)
This win could be considered the ultimate upset of the carnival. After having his Cox Plate nomination knocked back as his form “wasn’t good enough”, the gelding was out as a despised $26 chance in the penultimate event of the day. He jumped, lead and staved off challenges from world class gallopers including Irish Derby winner Latrobe to take out the final Group 1 of the carnival.
8. Osborne Bulls
Race: The TAB Stakes (3rd November)
Set the tone for what would be a massive carnival for the Godolphin team. Slow away Hugh Bowman never panicked and produced the gelding to the outside and within a few bounds he put the race to bed. With a record of 14:9-2-2, he’s a genuine line chaser and we believe a Group 1 winner in waiting.
Race: Jim Beam Black Stakes (6th November)
This filly really stamped herself as a 3yo going places courtesy of this dashing last to first victory, taking her to 2 wins from 2 starts as a 3yo. It was a perfectly timed ride from James Doyle that unsurprisingly saw her produce some fast splits. Should there be rain around in Sydney come Autumn, don’t leave this girl out of your calculations.
6. Santa Ana Lane
Race: VRC Sprint Classic (10th November)
Settled at the rear of the field in the running line of well-backed favourite Redzel. When Redzel was taking him nowhere Zhara stayed cool under pressure and found a way through with around 300m to go. The gelding then exploded in the 4th fastest last 400m sectional of the day to grab his 4th Group 1 win.
Race: Queen Elizabeth Stakes (10th November)
Drifted late in the Hotham handicap when just missing A Prince Of Arran. That galloper well and truly franked the form in the Cup, yet bookies were letting you on this 6yo at $5 early doors. It looked as if the overs gods would spite the early shoppers once again as Sully moved up to take the lead inside the furlong. However, Jaameh dug deep and stuck his neck out where it counted to score one of the most determined wins of the week.
Race: Watch Racing.com Springtime Stakes (10th November)
A fast tempo allowed this 3yo to unleash down the middle of the track in sub-11 second splits each furlong except the first. The near last-to-first victory was a popular one for punters as he was one favourite who didn’t disappoint. Watch out for this bloke in the Australian Guineas, possibly the Sandown Guineas on the quick back-up.
Race: Coolmore Stud Stakes (3rd November)
She’s all heart this filly. Did all the work early leading the field up with Written By. She was placed under pressure rather early as the well-backed favourite Zousain peeled off her back after getting the suck run. But she never gave in and held Zousain to 0.2L on the line. This is always a hot form race and this year looks no different.
Race: Empire Rose Stakes (3rd November)
This ride of James McDonald only affirmed why he’s one of, if not the, most talented young riders in the business. After settling 12th in the field of 16 on the fence McDonald had a lap full of horse and nowhere to go as those on pace started floundering inside the 400m mark. He sliced his way up along the rails, saving a stack of ground to win by 1.25L under her own steam.
1. Cross Counter
Race: Melbourne Cup (6th November)
It’s only fitting that the winner of the biggest race of the year sits atop this list. The European 3yo came to Australia without any runs beyond 2414m, without any runs of rain affected ground, sustained an injury in quarantine and overcame all of that to win the race that stops the nation in scintillating fashion. Settling last McEvoy saved every centimetre of ground he could, picking up gaps towards the outside of the field and ran straight past the 22 other gallopers in 11.20s for the final 200m, the fastest final 200m split of the day!