97 runners since Vintage Crop (1993) have tried to win the Melbourne Cup in their 1st Australian start. 97 (100%) have failed. This has proven a great tool for GAMBLOR in finding a winner over the years as it takes out a solid percentage of the market. This run will no doubt be broken (and this year looks distictly possible) but as you will read, I risk those horses.
I have done a quick note on each horse so you know what you’re potentially in for when watching your sweep horse or if you like to have a punt.
NOTE: This is just a guide. Don’t let me (or anyone) talk you out of a horse you like. Nothing worse than going off one to follow someone else’s tip to see you original selection salute.
3rd last year. Weird prep this time in. Not going as well as 12 months ago. No from me. Top 10.
Winner last year. Looked amazing 2 starts ago. Only okay last time but I reckon they took it easy on him with this very much in mind. Enjoys Flemington. Up in weight but may be a staying star. Is in my 1st four. Can win back to back.
Ridden poorly in Caulfield Cup 2 starts back but was enormous behind Winx last start. Loves Flemington but is a genuine worry at the trip however and can do things wrong in his races. Class could get him home or his grand final was the Cox Plate and he’ll drop out. Hardest horse for me to place. I’m risking him. Top 10.
Best story of the Cup by a mile. He’s Dad (sire) is a “teaser pony”. His job in the breeding process is to get the mare “up and about for action” for the stallion to do his thing but the teaser got pro active and threw it in there himself and here is his boy. Overseas form is fine but I have a rule that if you haven’t had a run in Australia, I rule you out, so it’s a no from me.
I was soooo keen on this horse until I heard that every man and his dog is picking it. Ideal prep for an international. Progressive type and has had the one run in Australia where it made ground against the bias at Caulfield. Looks like the 3200m will be ideal. My joint top pick.
6 Red Cardinal
Another highly touted international from a gun stable and has gun jockey but barrier 24 and the fact he hasn’t had a prep run in Australia rules him out for me.
7 Johannes Vermeer
Hasn’t put a foot wrong since arriving from Ireland a few months ago. Unlike most internationals that run in Australia pre Melb Cup, he has had 2 runs and both were full of merit. Little unlucky in Caulfield Cup last start. Hasn’t run over the trip previously but gives every indication that from a good gate and B Melham ride it will be able to see it out. In my top 4. Huge show!
8 Bondi Beach
Lovely place but it’s a no from me
9 Max Dynamite
Bizarre prep from gun Irish trainer Willie Mullins. Last start was in the lovely town of Killarney Co Kerry in what effectively was a picnic race. Was runner up 2 years ago where his jockey tried his best to knock over as many horses as possible abut no Aust start so I’m risking him here.
10 Ventura Storm
Was all over this guy a month ago for this race but copped trouble and pulled up lame in the Caulfield Cup and am extremely loathe to back horses in this race that haven’t had an ideal prep. If you are the forgiving type
He is a huge chance. If you know me, I hold grudges so it’s a no from me but maybe next year.
11 Scratched (No thats not a name of a horse)
12 Wicklow Brave
An international who did have a prep run when back in the field in the Caulfield Cup. Can improve sharply so include in all exotics but can’t see him winning. $71 is overs.
13 Big Duke
This big bastard cost me a fortune last start at Moonee Valley as it is still waiting for a run on the inside. Goodness me. While that was in inferior company to what he finds here, I reckon he is a rough chance. A top 5 chance at big odds.
14 US Army Ranger
I can say with some confidence that I have no idea about this horse. Prepared to risk.
15 Boom Time
Caulfield Cup winner when suited massively by the track. Can’t see him doing the double but he’ll run well. Top 1/2.
Will almost definitely cross the winners line 1st…in lap 1. Not so keen on lap 2. No
Dead set stayer so the trip won’t be an issue but doesn’t have the class to compete with these. If I got fit I reckon I could win a staying race in Sydney. No from me.
A Scottish entrant who won the Ebor in England last start, a race in which the form tends to play well for this. Again, unraced in Aust this prep so a no from me.
19 Single Gaze
Runner up in the Caulfield Cup last start and has been set for this all along. Could Kathy O’Hara be the 2nd female jockey in 3 years to win the big race? Probably not.
20 Wall Of Fire
This animal arouses me greatly (from abetting proposition of course). Meets my criteria from an international in that it has had one solid prep run in Aust. Hit the line hard over 2400m. Another progressive type and with C Williams on board will be given every possible. Joint top pick. Hopefully we don’t get “Willowed”.
21 Thomas Hobson
Another international spruik horse from Willie Mullins. While it’s doesn’t meet my criteria (no run in Australia) I have a vibe that this horse will go okay. Distance certainly not an issue.
Young horse that has pretty good form in the UK. Looks super progressive and seemingly meets the profile of a winner and with light weight but again, no run in Australia so can’t have him. I’m nervous about him.
23 Amelia’s Star
The longer the race, the better this girl goes. Great win at this track 2 starts back, beating Almandin etc.. but was “Willowed” in the Caulfield Cup. I know I’m not the forgiving type but with a cheap run from the good gate will be hitting the line better than most. May think she’ll be better in 12 months though. Top 6.
Won on Saturday to get his spot. Will be battling with Gallante to lead 1st time around but a few will go past him down the straight the second time. Tough as old boots so will stick on but cannot win.