Lexus Melbourne Cup Day has finally arrived and what an outstanding punting program we have at Flemington! The Cup is one of the most open in years so finding the winner won’t be an easy task, however, we are banking on a local trainer to secure success in the great race. Outside of that, our two stronger selections for the day will feature in the middle pegs of the card so hopefully, they can fill our pockets heading into the big one.
Flemington is racing on a Good 4 with the rail out 2m the entire circuit.
NOTE: showers are forecast for Melbourne so it may pay to keep an eye on those who like Soft conditions too.
Hard to go past CHAMPAGNE BOOM in the opener. Was ultra impressive winning the Debutant at Caulfield on October 13, coming from near last and unleashing a great turn of foot to race away and beat Biscara which has since placed again. Deserving favourite.
1st: No1 CHAMPAGNE BOOM; 2nd: No11 Sisstar; 3rd: No12 Still Single; 4th: No3 Song Brocade
In a very open race we are going for a bit of value in SAMOVARE. The five-year-old hasn’t had the best of luck since resuming from a spell four runs ago, however, she is working her way up to a win. Comes into this with some hot form after finishing 3.5 lengths off Best Of Days and Mask Of Time in the Coongy, with the latter winning the Group One Kennedy Mile over the weekend! Eachway ticket.
1st: No2 SAMOVARE; 2nd: No5 Mamzelle Tess; 3rd: No10 Shokora; 4th: No1 Mrs Gardenia
An absolute lottery but having a shot at the stumps with QIJI PHOENIX. The four-year-old was an eye-catching run first-up, sitting fourth in the run and hitting the front midway down the straight at Geelong before being collared by Princess Of Queens and Satori late. Has won his only start second-up and has a Listed win to his credit back in NZ. Value.
1st: No15 QIJI PHOENIX; 2nd: No10 Fifty Stars; 3rd: No4 Suncraze; 4th: No9 Éclair Calling
Very difficult race to get a gauge on. Having a shot at the stumps here and picking SHRAAOH from the Chris Waller stable. The six-year-old is having his first run in Australia since arriving from the UK where he has won twice and placed on four occasions from 13 starts. Won at Goodwood two starts ago, tracking into the race from the rear before unleashing a strong, sustained run to overpower his rivals. Flemington should suit this guy.
1st: No10 SHRAAOH; 2nd: No12 Steel Prince; 3rd: No11 Azuro; 4th: No9 Shimrano
ROOSEVELT (NEXT BEST BET) is our top pick in this. The James Cummings-trained colt was unplaced as favourite in the Brian Crowley last start behind Diplomatico, with that horse then running around in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on the weekend. Suspect Roosevelt didn’t like the Heavy track conditions on that occasions. Gets a firm surface here and should be thereabouts at the finish.
1st: No5 ROOSEVELT; 2nd: No1 Nomothaj; 3rd: No3 Legend Of Condor; 4th: No6 Chabreet
INTO THE ABYSS (BEST BET) should now be peaking third-up coming into this race. Was terribly unlucky behind Beauty, who she meets again her, last start at Moonee Valley in the Crockett when jumping as favourite. Was travelling well behind the leader but couldn’t get a clear crack at them until it was too late, eventually finishing fourth beaten less than a length. Finishing fifth to Sunlight first-up and we saw what that horse did in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on the weekend. Hard to beat with luck.
1st: No9 INTO THE ABYSS; 2nd: No5 Beauty; 3rd: No1 Enbihaar; 4th: No11 I’m So Sweet
In what shapes to be the most open Melbourne Cup for many years, AVILIUS is our on top selection for the race that stops the nation. The James Cummings-trained runner has been sensational in five runs in Australia since coming from the UK. Won first three starts in Sydney by coming from back in the field and displaying a great finishing sprint to overhaul his rivals. Deliberately bypassed The Metropolitan (which it was likely to win) before winning The Bart Cummings in very quick time at this track nearly a month ago. Wound up for the Cup with a fourth in the Cox Plate to champion mare Winx. His winning time in The Bart Cummings was nearly two seconds quicker than Almandin’s in 2016 and he went on to win the Cup at his next start. Drops to 54.5kgs for this and is drawn 11, giving Glyn Scofield plenty of time to find a good spot in running. Top pick.
1st: No10 AVILIUS; 2nd: No9 Marmelo; 3rd: No11 Yucatan; 4th: No23 Cross Counter
Expect big improvement from MURAAQEB in this. The four-year-old was second last in the big field of 17 in the Toorak Handicap last start and never got into the race, but despite that, still found the line okay to finish 10th to Land Of Plenty. Shillelagh, fourth in the race, won the Group One Empire Rose on the weekend. Prior to that outing, Muraaqeb was an outstanding fifth in the Epsom Handicap after racing on the speed throughout. Should be in the first five or six in the run from barrier two and is capable of winning this.
1st: No11 MURAAQEB; 2nd: No4 Sovereign Nation; 3rd: No1 Stampede; 4th: No2 Duca Valentinois
TREKKING was heavily backed last start but was luckless and is worth backing up on here. He comes into this having finished ninth to Brave Song in Listed company on October 17, when Kerrin McEvoy had him travelling sweetly fourth in the run but was then blocked for a run all the way up the straight. Meets Brave Song 2.5kgs better here and from barrier four, McEvoy gets the chance to repay the punters. Will be on the speed and gets his chance to atone.
1st: No6 TREKKING; 2nd: No5 Brave Song; 3rd: No11 Moonlover; 4th: No1 Comicas
Reckon we have found one at a bit of value at the end of a big day at headquarters - FUHRYK. The Hayes, Hayes & Dabernig runner hasn’t had a great deal of luck since resuming but from barrier four, maps to get a nice cosy run close enough to the speed. Missed the start last time out in the Group Two Tristarc Stakes, coming widest of all to finish sixth beaten just over three lengths. Distance suits and so does the Good track. Worth a ticket in a wide open affair.
1st: No11 FUHRYK; 2nd: No12 Savatiano; 3rd: No2 Ellicazoom; 4th: No16 Split Lip