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Melbourne Cup tips 2019: a brutally honest preview

A brutally honest assessment of every Melbourne Cup horse

You will read a lot of positive comments about every runner in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. However, the reality is there are only a handful of horses that have a genuine chance of winning.

To cut through the noise and get to the gist, we have rated each runner and provided you with a brutally honest assessment of your horse's chances in the big race.


Cross Counter  1. Cross Counter (5)

The dominant winner of last year's Melbourne Cup.

He's strengthened significantly since then and has maintained his form.  

However, he'll be forced to carry an extra 6.5kg this time around which is a significant weight increase. 

He's drawn perfectly and can sit just forward of mid-field. Ticks plenty of boxes and is a ridiculous price! 


Bookies Price: $14

Rated Price: $8

Cross Counter


Mer De G 2. Mer De Glace (2)

The Caulfield Cup winner and current favourite has drawn far better this time around, but that looks the only positive. 

He's never run beyond 2400m and is a genuine risk at the distance.

His best runs have come on Firm and a Good 3 surface, with his only Soft track run resulting in 7.3 length 6th in a three-year-old Sweepstakes race. 

On a Soft track over 3200m, he's a huge risk and looks well under the odds! 


Bookies Price: $6.50

Rated Price: $21


Master of Reality 3. Master Of Reality (1)

Ran a strong 1 length third over 4014m in the Group One Gold Cup in the UK earlier this year, which suggests he'll eat up the 3200m. 

Handles rain affected going and gets superstar Frankie Dettori to ride. 

Dettori will get an economical ride from barrier 1 and if the breaks come, he'll be running on strong. 


Bookies Price: $26

Rated Price: $21


Mirage 4. Mirage Dancer (13)

Ran a strong third in the Caulfield Cup, but must conqeur the 3200m at his first attempt.  

Unfortunately, his best runs have come on dry tracks and he won't get that this year. 


Bookies Price: $35

Rated Price: $35


Southern France 5. Southern France (14)

Finished in a different postcode to Cross Counter in the Goodwood Cup over 3219m three runs back, but then turned the tables on him last start. 

His record on a Soft track is favourable and there was a lot to like about his closing run in the Irish St Ledger. 


Bookies Price: $21

Rated Price: $17


Hunting Horn 6. Hunting Horn (11)

He went into the Moonee Valley Cup with 2 wins from 22 and on paper, looked like a genuine plodder.  

Aidan O'Brien weaved his magic however and the galloper proved too good for them. That form has since been franked after place-getter Downdraft's victory in the Hotham Handicap on Saturday.

However, he now meets Downdraft 3kg worse off at the weights and has never run beyond 2500m.

Those form lines are well below what it will take to be competitive here.  


Bookies Price: $51

Rated Price: $51


Latrobe 7. Latrobe (22)

Ran second in last year's Mackinnon Stakes and has been set for the 2019 Melbourne Cup for some time. 

Unlike most of his European counterparts, he's never run over 3200m and beyond and has battled at the end of 2800m previously. 

His run in the Irish St Ledger was average and you'd think he'd need to produce a big form reversal to be competitive here. 


Bookies Price: $26

Rated Price: $51


Mustajeer 8. Mustajeer (6)

The winner of the Ebor over 2787m, who ran a solid 6th in the Caulfield Cup. 

In a good push for his chances, champion jockey Damien Oliver retains the ride and is looking for his fourth Cup win. 

He's a three-time winner on Soft tracks and if he handles the step-up to 3200m, he can be competitive. 


Bookies Price $18

Rated Price $21


Rostroprovic9. Rostroprovic (12)

Ran an honest 5th in the 2018 Caulfield Cup off the back of solid Cox Plate run. 

He has to carry an extra 4kg in this year's Cup and given his form this preparation has been awful, he'd need a major form reversal to run top-10.


Bookies Price: $81

Rated Price: $201


Twilight Payment10. Twilight Payment (19)

This seven-year-old has a win over Latrobe to his name and has been competitive against Master Of Reality, Mustajeer and Southern France. 

If you give those horses a chance, then this guy must also be included in your numbers. 

He's a genuine two-miler, has never missed a place over the distance, is trained by gun Aiden O'Brien and gets one of Australia's best jockeys Hugh Bowman to ride. 

The rain affected surface is a tick for the son of Teofilo and if there was to be a blow out winner, he could be the one. 


Bookies Price: $51

Rated Price: $21


Finche 11. Finche (4)

The leading hope for Chris Waller, who had an awful run from the wide draw in the Caulfield Cup. 

His effort to finish 1.6 lengths 5th, was nothing short of excellent.

For an on-pace runner, he's drawn perfectly in barrier four and the addition of Kerrin McEvoy would fill any punter with extreme confidence. 

He ran a strong fourth in this race last year coming off one run in the Geelong Cup and you'd only expect him to improve after a full season in Australia. 

The step up to 3200m is a positive and he relishes all conditions. 

The Waller stable is flying and so is this galloper. It wouldn't surprise to see him demolish this field this time around. 


Bookies Price: $10

Rated Price $7.50



Prince of Arran 12. Prince of Arran (8)

He ran third in the Cup last year under similar conditions and will only carry an extra kilo from that run. 

His front running effort with 59kg in the Geelong Cup was super. 

He's an on-speed horse, who like Finche will be out of trouble. He's run the 3200m out previously and handled the rain affected surface with ease last year. 

The prince has never missed a place in his four runs down-under and is genuine winning chance. 


Bookies Price: $18

Rated Price: $10



Raymond Tusk 13. Raymond Tusk (3)

Ran a nice fourth in the Ebor after being held up for a run in the straight. Once clear he produced a decent turn-of-foot, closing the gap on Mustajeer. 

He has previously run second at the distance and off the Ebor run, the step-up to 3200m doesn't appear to be an issue 

He's drawn well in barrier three and should get a cosy run mid-field. If the breaks come, he will be running home well. 

He's unproven on rain affected tracks, which looks the only concern for punters.  


Bookies Price: $21

Rated Price: $21


Downdraft14. Downdraft (15)

Impressed at his second-Australian start, with a win in the Hotham Handicap on a Soft track last Saturday. 

Punters shouldn't get carried away with his last start win however, given he beat up a bunch of mid-range stayers.   

He clearly looks to have settled in well and if he can run a strong 3200m he can finish top 10.


Bookies Price: $21

Rated Price: $31



Magic Wand 15. Magic Wand (24)

She led them up in the Cox Plate, only to compound late and finish fourth. 

The step-up to 3200m is huge concern, as is barrier 24. 


Bookies Price: $27

Rated Price: $51


Neufbosc 16. Neufbosc (23)

He's failed to run a place at five Australian starts and that won't change here. 

Has drawn terribly and even a career best run wouldn't see him run top 10.

To be fair, he is lucky he's even in the field. 


Bookies Price: $201

Rated Price: $501


Sound 17. Sound (10)

Ran 18th under similar conditions in this race last year. 

Has since been unplaced in his last six runs and looks ready for retirement. 

He's just far too slow to be competitive against this quality field. 


Bookies Price: $126

Rated Price: $201


Surprise Baby18. Surprise Baby (20)

The winner of the 3200m Adelaide Cup, defeating some very lowly rated gallopers. 

His win in the Bart Cummings was good, but he didn't beat much. 

From barrier 20, he'll be forced to sit near last and will have a stack of work to do on turning for home. 

Looks out-classed and maps terribly. 


Bookies Price: $15

Rated Price: $51


Constantinople 19. Constantinople (7)

After having a handful of gear changes thrown at him, he managed to run an unlucky fourth in the Caulfield Cup 

With even luck, he could have won the race and his closing effort suggests he'll handle the step-up to 3200m. 

He's a lightly raced European who profiles like previous Cup winners and if he brings his A-game, he'll be in the finish. 


Bookies Price: $8.50

Rated Price: $12


Il Paradiso 20. Il Paradiso (17)

Another lightly raced European who profiles well. He's proven over the 3200m and handles the rain affected going. 

Aiden O'Brien knows what it takes to win down-under and you'd suspect he'd be on the mark once again. 


Bookies Price: $15

Rated Price: $15


Steel Prince 21. Steel Prince (16)

Couldn't get near Prince Of Arran in the Geelong Cup and despite being one of Australia's top stayers, he has next to no chance here. 

The barrier draw is awful and without a tonne of luck, he'll be forced to race wide throughout. 

Will be spotting the leaders too big a margin and doesn't have the ability to catch them. 


Bookies Price: $71

Rated Price: $71


The Chosen One 22. The Chosen One (18)

Ran 3.2 lengths off them on Caulfield Cup and then produced an average run on a rain affected track in the Hotham Handicap. 

Has drawn poorly and is another who faces a monumental task of running a strong 3200m for the first time. 


Bookies Price $81

Rated Price: $101


Vow and Declare 23. Vow And Declare (21)

Nearly won the Caulfield Cup and looks like a galloper who will relish the 3200m at Flemington. 

He'll need a tonne of luck from the wide draw, but if he gets it he can finish top 5. 


Bookies Price: $13

Rated Price $21


Youngstar 24. Youngstar (9)

The second of Chris Waller's gallopers, who was flying leading into this race last year where she ran a nice sixth. 

She's struggled to win races in recent times and looks out of form. 

You can't underestimate the Waller stable, but gee this would be one of the greater form reversals in recent history if she was to win. 


BookiesPrice: $34

Rated Price: $71


Horse Racing Tips Best Bets

1st   Prince of Arran 

2nd  Finche 

3rd  Constantinople 

4th  Il Paradiso

Every punter and tipster from Australia's racing media who posts Melbourne Cup tips appears on our dedicated page ranked by their profit.

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Author Biography

Michael Gannon

Michael Gannon

Michael is a life-long punter who enjoys the challenge of unearthing value buried within betting markets. The ex golf pro knows a thing or two about performing under pressure.

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