The 2017 Melbourne Cup Runner-by-Runner Analysis

2017 Melbourne Cup runner-by-runner analysis. Punters, it’s time! Here’s our runner-by-runner analysis for the race that stops the nation, the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Oddschecker
 | 
Sun, 5 Nov, 9:16 AM

 

The Track:

 

Flemington played nicely for the first day of the carnival last Saturday on Derby day. The weather forecast is fine leading up to this event. The predominance of winners came from lanes 1-5 on Derby day (in the circle races), so perhaps the inside sections will become slightly cut-up come the cup with the rail staying in the true position.

 

Jockeys in the straight races seemed to think the middle of the track was the place to be last Saturday, reluctant to split up into inside and outside rail groups.

 

All in all, every horse should get its chance. If pressed I’d say a slight advantage to those making their runs in lanes 6-12. Race tempo and shape should be far larger contributing factors.

 

The Map:

 

A typically tough Melbourne Cup map to sort out.

 

Gallante and Cistomtane will likely form the leading pair, driving across from their outside barriers. Boom Time, Wall Of Fire, Single Gaze and Hartnell will look to tuck in behind them – all mapping forward. To the extreme outside, both Tiberian and US Army Ranger could do some early work and find forward positions. Particularly US Army Ranger, turning it on for the other Williams runners.

 

Sitting mid-field will likely be Johannes Vermeer on the rails (could kick up further), Ventura Storm to his outside and Amelie’s Star looking in the 3-wide line. Almandin and Who Shot The Barman could look to tuck in with these.

 

Red Cardinal could show some toe from the outside gate and slot off mid-field to the outside, likewise Nakeeta and Tiberian. To their inside could be Marmelow, Wicklow Brave, Libran, Big Duke and Max Dynamite could find some trouble on the inside.

 

Can see Rekindling getting back with Stable mates Thomas Hobson and Bondi Beach to join Humidor.

 

Speed should be moderate to fast with Gallante and US Army Ranger holding the keys.

 

 

The Runners:

 

#1 Hartnell (57.5kg) (Barrier 12):

Best Odds: $31

Trainer: James Cummings

Jockey: Damian Lane

 

Seems like an afterthought for the Godolphin operation and a bit of a head-scratcher on form. The now 7YO gelding has been a bridesmaid this year, finishing second in 5 of his 8 starts during his last two preparations. Though 3 of these were behind Winx, he was undoubtedly travelling far better going into last year’s Cup where he finished a gallant 3rd as favourite.

 

You can build a case for forgiving his most recent run in the G1 Caulfield Stakes where he was significantly blocked for a run with only 200m to go. He has previously won over 3200m at Ascot after 41 days off, so the 3 weeks break into the Cup might not be an issue.

 

On his best performances this time last year, romping in the Chelmsford (1600m) by 7.8L, Hill Stakes (2000m) by 5.8L and Turnbull Stakes (2000m) by 3.25L he’d be right up to this. Barrier 12 will provide him with a tactical position, but worried about the end of a solidly run 3200m without the miles in his legs.

 

Tough to line-up with top weight and an odd preparation for a Melbourne Cup. Fringe top 10 chance or one for the wider exotics.

 

Map: 2.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 6.5/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#2 Almandin (56.5kg) (Barrier 14):

Best Odds: $9.5

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

 

The defending champion comes up as an early favourite for this year’s Cup. He’s held his place at the top of the betting for almost every day since last year’s race, hitting bottoms odds of $5 at some places after his decimation of the JRA Trophy field over 2500m at Flemington second-up this prep. This was on the back of a very good first-up run over 2040m, where he finished second under minimal urgings.

 

Only two negatives for this galloper are the jockey change from McEvoy in last year’s cup to Frankie Dettori and his last start run in the Bart Cummings. Have a feeling the Bart Cummings was more of a barrier trial to avoid the handicapper. He lobbed out close to last and was only shown the stick once in the straight.

 

Maps nicely from barrier 14 with stablemates to turn the speed on up front. Penning his last run. Produced some of the best performances on times this spring. Done it all before. Top pick.

 

Map: 3.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 8.5/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#3 Humidor (56kg) (Barrier 13):

Best Odds: $10

Trainer: Darren Weir

Jockey: Blake Shinn

 

Comes into this after running Winx to less than one length in the Cox Plate. That’s some stellar form. It’s the second peak performance he’s produced this preparation, the other being his 3.25L romp in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600m. His two runs in between consisted of a disappointing 7.25L 3rd to Winx in the 2000m Turnbull Stakes and a 2.6L 5th in the Caulfield Cup.

 

The Caulfield Cup run was perplexing. Ridden upside down to sit right third up on the pace, then laid in under pressure once again. Could warrant a forgive. He obviously pulled through that well, peaking again next start. The Weir/Shinn combo is his biggest plus.  

 

The key to this galloper is mental. He’s often seen acting up in the parade ring, something a huge Flemington crowd could only exasperate. Being a Teofilo gelding, the 3200m is a genuine question mark. He has never run over further than 2400m and all his best performances have been over 1600m-2040m. Could simply be a 2000m weight-for-age galloper.

 

A bit of an enigma. If he gets 3200m and the good Humidor turns up then his price is justified. Doubtful of this, I don’t see much value in his current quote.

 

Map:3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 4.5/5

Form: 7/10

Value: 1.5/5

 

 

#4 Tiberian (55.5kg) (Barrier 23):

Best Odds: $34

Trainer: Alain Couteil

Jockey: Olivier Peslier

 

Arrives in Australia in winning form. Took out a G2 and G3 over 2500m in France at his last two outings in narrow but solid fashion. He showed enough early toe there to suggest he could find a tactical position for Olivier Peslier who’s ridden the stallion in his last 5 outings.

 

A good push for this runner came in the USA on Sunday morning, when Talismanic who Tiberian has beaten by 1 and 3 lengths over 2400m, won the G1 Breeder’s Cup (Turf) in Del Mar in a fast run 2400m contest. Talismatic also ties in well against key rival Marmelo, beating that galloper well by 1.3L in a French G2 over 2800m.

 

He has featured against a good yard stick in Order of St. George in the 2016 Ascot Gold Cup, beaten out of sight for 14th. However, he’s since been kept to the 2400m trip – doubt 4023m is his go. Furthermore, ignore his last G1 start in France when beaten 32.8L over 2400m, found to have issues post-race.

 

Maps awkwardly. One of the better value chances with some good overseas form. Goes in the exotics. 

 

Map: 2/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2/5

Form: 7.5/10

Value: 4/5

 

 

#5 Marmello (55kg) (Barrier 16):

Best Odds: $9.5

Trainer: Hughie Morrison

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

 

Rocketed into contention for the Cup after a flashing light run in the Caulfield Cup at his first Australian start. The 5YO Duke of Marmalade gelding came to Australian shores on the back of a win in a key lead-up race; The G2 Prix Kergolay over 3000m in France (winners from the race include Protectionist, Duneden and Americain). His win there was tradesman-like, leading the field up and refusing to give in.

 

Prior to the Kergolay run, a tick back against rival Tiberian can be found by taking a line through galloper Travelling Man. Marmelo beat this runner by 4.5L over 3000m in a French G3, however Tiberian only put up a margin of 1.2L on the same runner over 2500m.   

 

A more influential factor in his short price is his run in the Cualfield Cup. Avoided the handicapper in perfect fashion, winding up late in the piece to hit the line strongly in for 6th, going down by 2.7L. He only hit his top speed right on the line, suggesting the 3200m will be perfect. 

 

Ticks a lot of boxes and profiles well, but fairly-priced at $10. Grinding type that should enjoy the 3200m, goes in everything.

 

Map: 2.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 7.5/10

Value: 2.5/5

 

 

#6 Red Cardinal (55kg) (Barrier 24):

Best Odds: $21

Trainer: Andreas Wohler

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

 

Connections will be left feeling deflated after drawing barrier 24 of 24 on Saturday night. However, they have booked the best rider of stayers in the country and last year’s cup winning jockey, Kerrin McEvoy to take the reins. If anyone can get the job done from there it’s him.

 

Trainer Andreas Wohler knows what type of horses to bring down under, having produced 2014 winner Protectionist. This galloper boasts a very impressive win in the G3 Belmont Gold Cup over 3219m, where he put the sword to Wicklow Brave and Wall Of Fire who he meets here. This was his second win on the trot over the Cup distance and saw him installed as an early favourite for the Cup.

 

Favouritism did not last long, as it was a run later in the G2 Prix Kergolay over 3000m where he was sent around at a short quote ($4.70) and disappointed for a 6.3L 6th behind rival Marmelo. Wohler has subsequently stated the gelding had a skin infection and that the track did not suit, warranting forgiveness for that effort. Could have just been a barrier trials for this. Would have loved to see a lead-up run, but the track gallops look very impressive.

 

If you put a line through his last run, the $17 looks great value. Barrier the knock but best jockey on board. Key chance.

 

Map: 1.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 4.5/5

Form: 8/10

Value: 3.5/5

 

 

#7 Johannes Vermeer (54.5kg) (Barrier 3):

Best Odds: $11

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

Jockey: Ben Melham

 

Possibly the most polarising runner of the field. On his overseas form there’s nothing to suggest he’ll be competitive over 3200m, however since coming to Australia he has looked like a key contender. The stallion had only competed over 2400m+ once in Ireland, where he finished 2nd by a nose in a G3. The form out of that race hasn’t exactly stood up, with the winner Spanish Steps going on to be beaten 28.5L at his next start to one of the best middle distance horses around in Cracksman and then running 5th of 6 in an Irish Stakes race.

 

Conversely, his two Australian starts have seen him motor home from the back in the Caulfield Stakes to miss Gailo Chop by a nose and produce a similar run in the Caulfield Cup for third. The Caulfield Cup was truly run courtesy of his stable mate Sir Isaac Newton, suggesting the stable have no issues with a strong 2400m. 3200m is a different ball game. He is out of the right sire in Galileo and possesses the right racing style for an Australian staying contest.

 

On the fence with the 3200m. Probably look to chop out if he wins. Better value chances around.

 

Map: 3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2.5/5

Form: 7.5/10

Value: 2/5

 

 

#8 Bondi Beach (54kg) (Barrier 1):

Best Odds: $91

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

Jockey: Michael Walker

 

Something must’ve happened to this gelding between his April and August preparations last year because his form has seriously tapered off since. Prior to last year’s Melbourne Cup he boasted some of the best form from an international we’d seen in a while. This included a 0.1L victory over Order of St. George, running Storm the Stars to 0.5L and finishing 2nd in the 2015 Irish St. Ledger.

 

His 2015 Melbourne Cup may as well be forgotten as he copped some significant interference at a critical stage then worked to the line soundly. The 2016 Melbourne Cup run was no better, settled back in the field, saved ground along the inside but did not hit the line and ran 13th. Was beaten 2L by US Army Ranger in Ireland prior to that effort.

 

He’s since been transferred to Robert Hickmott and had two extremely disappointing Australian runs. Finishing 9th of 10 in a 2000m handicap at Flemington and 11th of 13 in the JRA Trophy over 2500m at Flemington.

 

Shadow of his former self. Just a number for team Williams.

 

Map: 1.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 3/10

Value: 2.5/5

 

 

#9 Max Dynamite (54kg) (Barrier 9):

Best Odds: $16

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Jockey: Zac Purton

 

Last seen on Australian soil, running second in the 2015 Melbourne Cup to rank outsider Prince of Penznace. He could be considered unlucky that day as Frankie Dettori barged his way through the field to get him out, causing significant interference to about half the field. Not an event the form has stood up out of given a mad rails bias on the day.

 

He’s subsequently had 4 runs back home. The gelding’s most recent preparation consisted of a 3228m hurdle event, where he made no impression, finishing 9th by over 17 lengths. Then last time out he put a very average field away as a $1.40 favourite over 3419m. He showed that the turn of foot is still here at least.

 

Those involved say that he’s thriving coming to Australia for the second time without a lead-up run. He’ll need to be to match it with the classier imports. Undoubtedly going far better prior to his last trip down under when he won the G2 Lonsdale Cup over 3300m.

 

An exotics hope for the faithful.

 

Map: 3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2.5/5

Form: 4.5/10

Value: 2/5

 

 

#10 Ventura Storm (54kg) (Barrier 6):

Best Odds: $35

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig

Jockey: Glen Boss

 

Was identified a long time ago as a leading contender for the Cup since coming to Australia with some nice form. He was very competitive in the 2016 G1 Doncaster St. Ledger over 2917m, running second by 0.8L to Harbour Law. Harbour Law was last seen running third (by 6L) to Big Orange and Order of St. George in the G1 Ascot Gold Cup over 4014m.

 

His Australian form was solid, seemingly improving both on the track and in the yard with every run. This culminated two starts back when he ran second by 6.5L to the queen of the turf in Winx over 2000m at Flemington in the G1 Turnbull. He beat Humidor quite easily in that affair. The major knock is his run in the Caulfield Cup last start, running 13th of 17. He took up a good position and had every chance, but weakened badly late – found to have a bruised heel.

 

If you can put a pen through his last start he’d be one of the leading local hopes. One for the wider exotics at best.

 

Map: 3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3.5/5

Form: 6.5/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#11 Who Shot The Barman (54kg) (Barrier 20):

Best Odds: $61

Trainer: Chris Waller

Jockey: Tommy Berry

 

A grand old campaigner who’s going around in his 4th consecutive Melbourne Cup. He really comes into his own over the 3200m journey, having a record of 8:1-2-1 all in G1 company. These placings include a 3rd in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and a 5th in last year’s addition.

 

He has been tracking along soundly this preparation, running two good 4th placings in the G3 Kingston Towm over 200m and the G1 Metropolitan over 2400m at Randwick before enduring a wide run without cover in the 2600m St. Ledger and failing to make an impression into 9th.

 

The 9YO is off a last-start win in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m), where he quickened nicely off a slow tempo to defeat Libran by 0.5L and Cismontane by 0.6L, two runners he meets here. Suggesting he has some of the locals covered at the trip but might find some of the more fancied runners a bit too classy.

 

You know he’ll get the trip and give it his all, one for the wider exotics.

 

Map: 1.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 5.5/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#12 Wicklow Brave (54kg) (Barrier 8):

Best Odds: $71

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Jockey: Stephen Baster

 

Many gave this gelding a huge chance in last year’s Cup before he drew barrier 24 and Frankie Dettori took him so wide out of the gates he could’ve high-fived the crowd. However, that run came on the back of a win in the 2016 G1 Irish St. Ledger Stakes over 2816m. This year he has competed in the same event and was beaten out of sight (over 14L) by Order of St. George who was given the top weight on nominations for this year’s Cup – a nice move to compress the weights from team Williams.

 

Absolutely no doubt about him getting the 3200m trip, could even want longer having won his last race in a G1 Champion Hudles event over 3218m. He was only 2.25L off Red Cardinal and beat Wall Of Fire by 4L on a rock-hard track in a fast-run Belmont Cup (3219m) 5 starts back. Both of these gallopers are given good chances in this.

 

He’s had the lead-up Australian run in the Caulfield Cup here he was checked prior to the turn, but continued to hold his ground in 12th. However, 2400m is the shortest distance he’s run over in more than 4 years.

 

At $81 he’s worth considering for the exotics. Has got ability and had the lead-up run in Australia.

 

Map: 2.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2.5/5

Form: 5/10

Value: 3.5/5

 

 

#13 Big Duke (53.5kg) (Barrier 5):

Best Odds: $31

Trainer: Darren Weir

Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

 

Had a stellar first Australian preparation last Summer/Autumn, recording 5 wins and finishing no further back than 4th in 9 starts. This culminated in him being sent out as a warm $3.70 favourite in this year’s Sydney Cup over 3200m, where he attacked the line late to finish 0.7L from the winner and 0.5L behind Who Shot The Barman.

 

This preparation has been solid, finishing 2nd in the G1 Metropolitan over 2400m providing a platform to subsequently take out the St. Ledger over 2600m, going straight past Cismontane by 3.6L. The tables then turned last time out when Big Duke failed to figure in the finish of the Moonee Valley Cup over 2500m.

 

A review of the Moonee Valley Cup footage would no doubt make the backers of the $1.95 favourite Big Duke slightly sick. He struggled to see daylight for any of the short straight and was hardly under and strong urgings, likely just a barrier trial for this.

 

Putting a line through his last run, place claims at best.

 

Map: 3.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 4/5

Form: 6/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#14 US Army ranger (53.5kg) (Barrier 14):

Best Odds: $151

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

Jockey: Jamie Spencer

 

Another import for Joseph O’Brien and Lloyd Williams, appearing for his first Australian start. Hit form mid last year, winning the G3 Chester Vase at Chester over 2472m before finishing (a slightly unlucky) 1.5L to Irish Derby winner Harzand in the G1 Epsom Derby over 2414m.

 

His subsequent campaigns have left much to be desired however. His lastest has been him being beaten out of sight in both the 2414m G3 Enterprise Stakes and the 3218m G1 Goodwood Cup. In the latter event, he mapped nicely, tracked up behind the leaders into the straight but began back pedalling quickly 400m out as the leader Big Orange kicked away.

 

He’s run in some quality races, but his best may be behind him. Slight case to finish top 10.

 

Map: 2.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2/5

Form: 2/10

Value: 2.5/5

 

 

#15 Boom Time (53kg) (Barrier 9):

Best Odds: $31

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig

Jockey: Cory Parish

 

The $51 Caulfield Cup winner last start. That SP was identified by many to represent good value after being the best of the on-pacers in the G2 Herbert Power over 2400m the start prior. He had the absolute dream run in the Caulfield Cup, sitting 6th on the back of a hot speed, got an ideal split and proved too strong for a gallant Single Gaze.

 

Prior to that his form was just solid, running 3rd over 2040m in the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley after again receiving a nice run in transit. Not out of this completely, but would need to go to a new level to figure in the finish. Does give his all and looks to get a tactical position closer to the speed. A Flying Spur Gelding out to 3200m is an unknown – negative.

 

Not often you can put a line through a Caulfield Cup winner, but I struggle to see him figuring in the finish here. Top 10 chance perhaps.

 

Map: 3.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 6/10

Value: 2.5/5

 

 

#16 Gallante (53kg) (Barrier 18):

Best Odds: $151

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

 

A potential candidate to assume the role of team Williams pace maker. He has failed to show anything in his two runs since last year’s Cup where he finished 20th, beaten 18.4L. These two runs came in the G3 Naturalism Stakes over 2000m, where he raced keenly early up on the pace, then went backwards inside the final 400m to finish last. He then improved last time out to get within 4L of the winner in the Geelong Cup over 2400m.

 

Only box he ticks is a 3200m distance win. This came in the 2016 Sydney Cup where he lead the field around in rain-effected conditions.

 

Form not good enough, does draw intrigue from a speed map point of view.

 

Map:  2/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 1/10

Value: 2/5

 

 

#17 Libran (53kg) (Barrier 7):

Best Odds: $51

Trainer: Chris Waller

Jockey: Michael Dee

 

Sprinted nicely late off a slow pace last start in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) and just missed Who Shot The Barman by 0.5L. Don’t believe this year’s edition of the Moonee Valley Cup will provide the A-Grade form.

 

He has competed in two 3200m contests prior to this; running second in the 2016 Sydney Cup behind Gallante then failing to finish this year’s Sydney Cup, pulling up lame. One could make the argument that he gets the trip, will be fit and doesn’t map too badly from gate 7.

 

Not up to this.

 

Map: 2/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2/5

Form: 3/10

Value: 2/5

 

 

#18 Nakeeta (53kg) (Barrier 19):

Best Odds: $41

Trainer: Iain Jardine

Jockey: Glyn Schofield

 

Carrying the weight of Scotland on his shoulders, being the first Scottish trained galloper to line up in the great race. He comes to Flemington first-up after a fighting victory in Europe’s richest handicap race, The Ebor (Green Moon won through this race and Heartbreak City 2nd last year). He mapped close enough to the speed in this event and kept coming late to just wind in Flymetothestars by a head over the 2787m journey.

 

His profile through races like the November Handicap (2nd by 0.5L to Golden Spear is a solid reference), the Chester Cup and the Grand Cup probably sits a level below the top grade. Despite rising 7 years of age, the Ebor win could suggest this galloper is on an upwards spiral.

 

Winner of a key lead-up race in the Ebor and used to the big fields. Lacks the Australian lead-up run. Chance for the exotics.

 

Map: 2/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2/5

Form: 6/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#19 Single Gaze (53kg) (Barrier 11):

Best Odds: $61

 Trainer: Nick Olive

Jockey: Kathy O’Hara

 

Arguably unlucky not to be a Caulfield Cup winner as the tear away leader Sir Isaac Newton fell back into her lap rounding the turn. The 5YO mare fought on bravely after sitting on-speed to hold on for second over Johannes Vermeer.

 

Similar tales in all her lead-up runs. She was on pace in the G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and kept plugging away to hold on for 4th without looking a major winning chance two back. Then three runs back she drew level with the lead 400m out in the G1 Underwood (1800m) before succumbing to those with a sharper turn of foot late, sticking on for 4th. 3200m unknown, racing like she may get it but it’s a big ask.

 

Gallant run in the Caulfield Cup. If you can trust she’ll get the distance, she’s a hope for the exotics.

 

Map: 3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2/5

Form: 6/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#20 Wall of Fire (53kg) (Barrier 15):

Best Odds: $14

Trainer: Hugo Palmer

Jockey: Craig Williams

 

Polarising galloper for Huge Palmer and Craig Williams. His first-up effort in Australia, running second in the G2 Herbert Power was very eye-catching. He settled right back last in a race that was run to suit the backmarkers and hit the line very strongly to fall short of Lord Fandango by 1L.

 

The Herbert Power form has stood up, with Lord Fandango running a good race for 4th in the Caulfield Cup and third place getter Gallic Chieftain subsequently running a good race for 2nd behind Vengeur Masque in the Geelong Cup. The knock is that Vengeur Masque struggled to get past Cismontane when every chance in the Lexus.

 

His overseas form is solid at absolute best. Running 2nd in the G3 Geoffrey Freer over 2716m by less than a length (did beat Frontiersman by 3.5L which bodes well) and 8th by 6.25L in the Belmont Gold Cup (well-beaten by Red Cardinal and Wicklow Brave). Excuses could be made for Wall Of Fire in the latter as he had to drag the field up to a tear-away leader.   

 

Sitting on the fence slightly with this galloper. Caulfield run was quality but he’s been well-beaten by key rivals overseas. Can mount a case that he’ll be right in the finish. 

 

Map: 3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 6.5/10

Value: 2.5/5

 

 

#21 Thomas Hobson (52kg) (Barrier 21):

Best Odds: $19

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Jockey: Joao Moreira

 

Another interesting international for great trainer Willie Mullins. By All reports this galloper has been thriving since settling into the Werribee quarantine centre. But he’ll need to be to justify the short-ish quotes available at present.

 

Two preparations ago saw him competing in group level hurdle races over distances up to 4248m, so the 3200m won’t be an issue at all. Back over the flat saw him romp in a rating 100 race by 6L over the 4014m. Solid performance but well below this level. He then went on the beat out US Army Ranger by 1.7L for a 2nd placing over 4355m.

 

His most recent outing was a 2nd in the G2 Doncaster Cup over 3599m to Desert Skyline. Desert Skyline subsequently went on to be beaten 9L in the Irish St. Ledger. Taking a line through that race, there could be better value internationals here.

 

Distance will not be a query at all, good jockey on board. Overseas form not a stand out, $17 is around the mark.

 

Map: 1.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3.5/5

Form: 5.5/10

Value: 2/5

 

 

#22 Rekindling (51.5kg) (Barrier 4):

Best Odds: $14

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

Jockey: Corey Brown

 

A lightly raced High Chaparral 4YO for team Williams. Brings some top line form to Australia through the Doncaster St. Ledger where he finished 4th to Capri over 2921m by only 1.5L. One can take a line through the third-place getter Stradivarius who ran Order of St George to 1L over 3200m at Ascot in the Long Distance Cup and also put 8.75L on Wicklow Brave and 11.25L on US Army Ranger in the Goodwood Cup.

 

Draws very nicely in barrier 4 with Corey Brown to steer. Brown won the 3200m Sydney Cup on Polarisation this year, so knows how to handle the trip. You can be sure the Williams team will tailor the speed to his liking, giving him every possible chance. Only knock is that lack of a lead-up Australian run, but it’s well advertised that team Williams don’t like conceding handicap penalties, so perhaps that was the angle.

 

Boasts form around some of the best stayers going around at present. Maps nicely, price ok. A leading chance.

 

Map:3/5

Jockey/Trainer: 2.5/5

Form: 8/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#23 Amelies Star (51kg) (Barrier 10):

Best Odds: $21

Trainer: Darren Weir

Jockey: Dean Yendall

 

Seemingly a confusing runner for the bookmakers with prices ranging between $15-$26 after the barrier draw. This mare had been building an excellent platform for a race of this nature until disappointing in the Cualfield Cup last start, floundering within the final furlong. However, she was ridden upside down last time out from barrier 13 (of 17) and draws better here. Not an ideal lead-up none the less.

 

Her other lead-up runs include a solid 4th in the G3 Naturalism (2000m) where she settled near the rear of the field to work home stoutly out wide. The Testa Rossa mare sprung off this platform to produce her most dynamic performance to date, winning a key lead-up race in the Bart Cummings over 2500m at Flemington by 2L at her next outing.

 

This 2L romp was at her third career run over 2400m (now 4th after the Caulfield Cup) or further, the other two resulting in wins of 3.30L in the 2015 Colin Stephens over 2400m and a 7.8L gap-job in a BM75 over 2400m the start prior. Couldn’t say she beat much in the later two, but it’s enough to suggest this mare really comes into her own over the 2400m+.

 

One of the better local hopes, drawn nicely, weight will help her get the trip. Goes in the exotics.

 

Map: 3.5/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3.5/5

Form: 7/10

Value: 3/5

 

 

#24 Cismontane (50kg) (Barrier 17):

Best Odds: $61

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Jockey: Dean Yendall

 

Coming off a fighting win in last weekend’s Lexus Stakes over 2500m at Flemington where he was sent around as a $16 chance. He was headed some 250m out but showed a tremendous will to win and fought back to get up by a head on the line. This year’s addition of the Lexus was not particularly strong and a double figure SP will ensure some long odds here.

 

The start prior saw the 5YO go down by less than 1L to Who Shot The Barman and Libran after leading at his leisure (possibly too slow) over 2500m on an on-pace biased surface. This will be his 12th start this preparation, so if he’s not flat, this is his chance to get 3200m with the featherweight to boot. 

 

Intriguing runner from a speed map point of view. Will likely try to cross and lead form barrier 17 and might get caught in a speed battle with some more classy gallopers. This could prove detrimental to his chances of running out the trip.

 

Form inferior, but you can’t doubt his fitness and will to win.

 

Map:2/5

Jockey/Trainer: 3/5

Form: 3.5/10

Value: 2/5

 

 

 

Selections & Exotic Numbers:

 

Top 4:

#2 Almandin $9.5

#6 Red Cardinal $21

#22 Rekindling $14

#5 Marmelo $9.50

 

Value Runners:

#4 Tiberian $31

#12 Wicklow Brave $81

#18 Nakeeta $41

 

Trifecta Numbers:

1st: 2,4,5,6,22

2nd: 2,4,5,6,7,20,22

3rd: 2,4,5,6,7,12,18,20,22,23

$48 = 20%.

 

First 4 Numbers:

1st: 2,5,6,22

2nd: 2,4,5,6,20,22

3rd: 2,4,5,6,7,12,18,20,22

4th: 2,4,5,6,7,12,18,20,22

 

$48 = 5%.

 

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