Grade Group 1
Track Rating Good 4
2017 winner Rekindling ($15)
This year's edition of the Melbourne Cup is likely to be plundered by the overseas horses, much in the same vein as the Caulfied Cup a few weeks back.
On that occasion the foreigners filled the first four places.
The internationals are typically bred to run a staying journey, as opposed to many of our local staying hopes who are more often than not milers on pedigree.
Look for the northern hemisphere horses to dominate this year's
Flemington Track Traits
Flemington is currently rated a Good 4 with the rail out 2m the entire circuit.
The same surface raced well on Saturday for the Derby day meeting, although it appeared that on, and up the rail held a slight advantage.
In light of this pattern, the VRC curators' decision to move the rail out 2m for Cup day makes sense and should provide for an even and fair racing surface for the nation's most famous race day.
As always, a close watch of early racing is advised to determine the presence of any track bias.
Cross Counter has come in for strong support in early betting, firming from an opening quote of $11 to now trade at $9.00.
Yucatan is on the drift after drawing barrier 23, out to $6.00 from $4.50.
#1 Best Solution $13
Caulfield Cup winner who sets up beautifully for this.
He's being asked to carry 57.5kg as Cup top weight, but looks to be treated well at this weight.
The European raiders have impressed again this year and it would take a brave punter to ignore them.
Their breeding is shaped around the classic and cup distances, hence on blood alone they hold a distinct advantage.
They didn't go all that fast in the Caulfield Cup when this gelding raced close-to-speed and he left many flat footed after being allowed to take off.
Expect more speed to be present here, which will make it more challenging for him to dictate again.
Can't underestimate however. Top hope.
Best Solution Source: AAP
#2 The Cliffsofmoher $16
Was brave in the
Caulfield Cup when good enough to run-on strongly off the slow tempo, to grab third behind Best Solution.
Expect there to be a much improved performance here with a far more genuine tempo present, which will allow him to run home harder.
Last start he was solid enough in early betting markets and on the day, suggesting he is very good out to these longer staying trips.
Willing to be forgiving, especially now the mugs have dropped off him and at the price ($16) which appears great value.
Is an excellent each-way play and must go on top. Yes
#3 Magic Circle $9
Another highly credentialed international raider, who has been pitched straight into the Cup without an Australian run.
He brained a field last start in the Group 2 Henry II Stakes when winning by 6 lengths.
Markets have kept him very safe at around the $9 mark in early betting and any market push on race day should be respected.
Will run this 3,200m contest right out. Leading hope.
#5 Muntahaa $11
Trained by one of Europe's finest in John Gosden, who knows the right horse to send down here.
This gelding is another that comes straight into the Cup without an Australian lead up run, however he does come via a traditional lead up race in the Ebor handicap.
The Ebor has become an excellent guide on the ability of the international raiders, and he won it well.
He has not won beyond 2,800m so there will be question marks around his ability to run this trip right out. Happy to take on trust following the Ebor domination. Can figure.
#9 Marmelo $16
Returns for another tilt at the Cup following last year's effort when he jumped the $7 favourite and could only manage 9 of 23.
The stable opted to bypass the Caulfeld Cup this year and go straight into this after an 11 week break.
I love the fresh profile especially when associated with the European raiders and there is no doubt the team would have poured the work into him in preparation for this.
Looks great value at $16 and is one that the professional syndicates are likely to attack late, as liquidity builds in betting markets. Watch betting.
Marmelo Source: AAP
#10 Avilius $13
Gun stayer who has impressed all throughout this Spring, where two back he locked down a Cup ticket when winning the Bart Cummings impressively.
The stable wraps are enormous and they will expect him to be in the finish.
However, it does feel that he has now been up for an eternity and would be very close to being over the top.
The arduous schedule including the
Cox Plate run last start is likely to take its toll.
The mug punter will love him, however others look much greater value. No.
#11 Yucatan $4.50 > $6.00
Brained them last start when winning the Group 2 Herbert Power effortlessly (eased right down on the line).
He looks the one here who will stay all day and although drawn out in gate 23, does have tactical speed to position wherever the rider chooses.
That will likely be midfield in the running line and from there, expect this to be a "push button" job for J Mac.
Although well exposed now and rock bottom odds in betting, he looks very smart and could just blow them away. Yes.
Yucatan Source: AAP
#23 Cross Counter $11 > $9
Gets into the Cup field with no weight (51kg), however he's had a slight setback since arriving at Werribee which has forced him to miss a key lead up run.
He has plenty to overcome, including a wide gate (19) and having never being out beyond 2,400m.
Looks way under the odds and a great lay at the current $9.00 in betting. No.
Of The Others
#22 Youngstar ($16) looks to be the forgotten runner here.
She has Winx form and the one bad run last start in the Caulfield Cup can be forgiven.
The mugs like to drop off very quickly after a loss and they can be burnt here by this high class mare at odds.
If bookies bet $20+, do as much as you can. Yes.
Best Racing Tips
1 st The Cliffsofmoher
2 nd Best Solution
3 rd Yucatan
4 th Magic Circle