Our expert dissects the main fancies in the Emirates Melbourne Cup and thinks he has found the one to follow this Tuesday afternoon.
There are several internationals that look the real deal heading into the Cup including WALL OF FIRE, THOMAS HOBSON and MARMELO just to name a few. Defending Cup champion ALMANDIN looks to have had the perfect preparation for Robert Hickmott and Lloyd Williams while it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility for BOOM TIME to complete the Cups double.
The gelding has only had three runs since taking out the famous race last year but all have been full of merit. His second run back on September 16 in the JRA Plate was the one though. Lumping 61kgs, he blew his rivals away with a sensational turn of foot down the Flemington straight to win by nearly three lengths untouched. With world class jockey Frankie Dettori on board he is a big chance of going back-to-back.
Who didn’t see him storming home from the rear in the Caulfield Cup? The Hughie Morrison-trained runner has strong form in Europe and has two wins over 3000 metres at his past five starts. One of those was in the Kergorlay which is a good trial for this. The five-year-old gives Hugh Bowman a top chance of securing his first Cup.
The Hugo Palmer-trained runner was the eye-catcher in the Herbert Power behind Lord Fandango with many spruiking his Cup chances after that. Drops 5kgs off that run and has won up to 2900 metres. His last run over 3200 was against Red Cardinal in the Belmont Gold Cup where he finished down the track.
The Belmont Gold Cup winner. Has five wins from 10 starts and his two most recent wins were over the Melbourne Cup distance. The gelding goes into the race having not raced since August when fifth to Marmelo in the Kergorlay, a race which didn’t suit him as there was little speed on. Last year’s winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy takes the ride.
Twelve months ago this horse started favourite for the Cup but is now a $21 chance. Interestingly, new trainer James Cummings was quoted as saying Hartnell is racing more like a handicapper than a weight-for-age performer these days. Will have to carry 57.5kgs in this but put a huge effort to finish third last year. Rises 1.5kgs this year.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and co-owned by Lloyd Williams. Johannes Vermeer rattled home at his first aussie start when second to Gailo Chop in the Caulfield Stakes. Was then held up at a vital stage in the Caulfield Cup but still ran third. Has to be respected.
Can the Caulfield Cup winner spring another upset? It would be a huge step up for both horse and jockey considering the Caulfield Cup was their first Group One successes. Not sure he is as well weighted this time around with the 53kgs compared to some of the others around that mark.
This horse is a lightly raced stayer who won the Curragh Cup back in July. Has had two runs since then including a second to former Melbourne Cup favourite Order Of Stgeorge. Another of the Lloyd Williams team and is really well handicapped with 51.5kgs.
Has won a few Group Ones for trainer Darren Weir including the Australian Cup. Was tough in the Caulfield Cup when fifth after doing work, which isn’t his go, and then ran a cracking race off the speed to push champion mare Winx in the Cox Plate. The in-form Blake Shinn takes the ride.
I just can’t get the run of ALMANDIN in that JRA Plate out of my head. Yes, he didn’t beat much that day but his turn of foot with that huge weight was something else. He is top pick. For second, MARMELO will run a huge race while RED CARDINAL won’t be far off them. If you are looking for a few roughies for the exotics, SINGLE GAZE and WHO SHOT THEBARMAN will be popular after their stunning last-start performances.