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2015 Melbourne cup

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Melbourne Cup
Tuesday 3rd November 2015
All Odds


Fame Game (7/2), Trip To Paris (15/2), Max Dynamite (10)in, Preferment (12)out, Criterion (16), Almoonqith (20)out, Bondi Beach (22)out, Our Ivanhowe (25), Red Cadeaux (25)in, The United States (25)in, Who Shot Thebarman (25), Excess Knowledge (28)in, Kingfisher (28)out, Gust Of Wind (33)in, Hartnell (40), Hokko Brave (40), The Offer (40)in, Snow Sky (50), Big Orange (66), Grand Marshal (66)out , Sky Hunter (66), Prince Of Penzance (100), Quest For More (100)in, Sertorius (200)

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Melbourne Cup Tips - Top 5 Chances

This is a lot easier said than done, but with Racenet’s 2015 Melbourne Cup tips and insider information you’re in with the best chance.When the Melbourne Cup rolls around on November 3, we all just want one thing – to back the winner.

Our comprehensive information offers you a professional suite of products that caters for ALL punters - particularly the once-a-year investor.

FAME GAME - Finished second in March 2015 in the Group I Tenno Sho over the Melbourne Cup distance of 3200 metres after winning his previous start in the Group III Diamond Stakes (2m2f), for the second time, at Tokyo in February. Last season he raced on six occasions, winning twice. His victories came in the Group III Diamond Stakes (2m2f) and the Group II Copa Republica Argentina Handicap (2m4-1/2f) in September, 2014. The Japanese gallopers have proven themselves time and time again in Australia’s biggest races and if this six-year-old caught the eye with a resolute run in the Group I Caulfield Cup (2400m).

TRIP TO PARIS - UK visitor prepared by Ed Dunlop, the trainer of Red Cadeaux, and appears a worthy travelling companion to the old warrior. Has won six races in the UK most at handicap conditions but proved himself against the best stayers in the UK at the Royal Ascot carnival in June by winning the Group I Ascot Gold Cup (4000m). Although his more popular stablemate Red Cadeaux may get all the attention, Trip To Paris isn’t to be underestimated, he’s a serious contender as seen by his second placing in the Group I Caulfield Cup (2400m).

PREFERMENT - Trained by leading conditioner Chris Waller and won the 2014 GI Victoria Derby (2500m). Went through an autumn campaign in Sydney only to hit a wet track in the Group I Australian Derby (2400m) when finishing down the track behind Mongolian Khan. A dead-set stayer and you won’t see his best until up to 2000m. A get back run on type that can rattle off a big finish and not to be underestimated. Will carry 1kg less than the last Victoria Derby-Melbourne Cup winner Efficient in 2007.

ALMOONQITH - Dubai import formerly trained by champion South African Mike De Kock, now prepared by the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig camp. Almoonqith first raced in France before starting in Dubai in early 2014 winning a handicap race over 1800m at Meydan on turf. In 2015 Almoonqith has won twice in Dubai winning a handicap event over a mile in January and the Group III Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2800m) in February before finishing midfield on Dubai World Cup night in the Group II Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) behind Brown Panther. His latest effort produced a scintillating win in the Geelong Cup (2400m) a proven source of Melbourne Cup winners.

MAX DYNAMITE - Emphatic winner of the Group II Lonsdale Cup (3300m) at York last start, defeating Trip To Paris, Big Orange and previous 2013 Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Simenon. Has reportedly settled into Australian conditions well and is adept on all types of ground. Can measure up in a Melbourne Cup providing he gets the race run to suit.

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Forget the real Melbourne Cup form guide. This is the guide for people who know nothing about racing

November 2

IT’S on again. The race that stops the nation getting any work done. Here’s the only form guide you need.


Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute. Jockey: Ryan Moore. Barrier: 16. Odds: $41

Like English food, English weather and English rugby, this English horse is very, very ordinary. A plodding type with a mind-numbingly boring personality, he will amble along somewhere in midfield and stay there the whole race. For some reason, the handicapper has given him the topweight of 58kgs, which suggests he’s the best-credentialed horse in the race. That’s the type of dry, ironic humour the horse’s British connections would understand only too well.


Trainer: David Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Jockey: Michael Walker Barrier: 4. Odds: $14

It’s the oldest refrain in Australian sport: Will he get the distance? Criterion is unquestionably one of Australia’s two or three best middle distance horses, but can he run the gruelling two miles of the Melbourne Cup? The experts who write proper form guides are unanimous in saying “distance a query”. Thanks, Einsteins. You spend your whole life writing about horse racing and the best you can say is “we have no idea”. In your next life guys, try politics. You’ll fit right in.


Trainer: Yoshitada Munakata. Jockey: Zac Purton. Barrier: 12. Odds: $4

This Japanese horse is the Melbourne Cup favourite on account of its fast-finishing sixth in the Caulfield Cup. Cynics believe it treated that race as a warm-up gallop instead of trying its hardest to win. Cynics of the cynics say they’re reading too much into it, and that Fame Game was merely blocked for a run. We just hope Fame Game finishes better than last year’s Melbourne Cup favourite, the Japanese horse Admire Rakti, which died during the race.


Trainer: Lee & Anthony Freedman. Jockey: Ben Melham. Barrier: 22. Odds: $22

Last year, this esteemed form guide predicted that the German horse Protectionist would win the Melbourne Cup in the same year as Germany won the FIFA World Cup. We were right too. So here we have another German horse. Can he win? Well, Our Ivanhowe ran a great third in the Caulfield Cup, then spent the ensuing fortnight blowing his prizemoney on beer and lederhosen while dancing the chicken dance. This has primed him beautifully for Tuesday.


Trainer: Michael Bell. Jockey: James Spencer. Barrier: 23. Odds: $51

This former French beast is now in an Irish stable and answers to the stable name “Ranga”. His Dad is a stallion called Duke of Marmalade, hence the citrus-themed name. Form-wise, this horse is a lemon. Big Orange has been running in jumps races, which is where really slow racehorses end up. So basically, Big Orange has about as much chance of winning this race as its novelty namesake in Berri in the South Australian Riverland.

Does this look like a Melbourne Cup winner to you? Pic: Tricia Watkinson

Does this look like a Melbourne Cup winner to you? Pic: Tricia WatkinsonSource:News Limited


Trainer: John O’Shea. Jockey: James McDonald. Barrier: 17. Odds: $35

Every year, Dubai’s Godolphin stable tries to win the Melbourne Cup and fails. It drives Dubai’s rulers mad that they can build palm trees in the ocean, ski slopes in the desert and a legal system the envy of comedians everywhere, yet they’ve finished second in the Melbourne Cup on three occasions. Hartnell is a decent horse trained by the stable’s man in Sydney. He’s got some hope if he runs on the Emirates schedule rather than the Qantas one where everything is 30 minutes late.


Trainer: Yasutoshi Matsunaga. Jockey: Craig Williams. Barrier: 20. Odds: $35

Why did kamikaze pilots wear helmets? Why is this horse in the Melbourne Cup? Both undertakings seem equally pointless. Hokko Brave ran a ponderous, uninspiring 10th in the Caulfield Cup, which tells you all you need to know. His Australian jockey Craig Williams is convinced the horse is better than that, but then Williams probably also believes he’s a frontrunner to be the main man in the next Bachelor series. Dreams are free. Losing bets aren’t.


Trainer: Willie Mullins. Jockey: Frankie Dettori. Barrier: 2. Odds: $14

Exploded onto the scene and blasted his way into Melbourne Cup contention with a good win in a thing called the Lonsdale Cup in Ireland. But this former French hay-muncher still looks to be several grades below the best horses in this field, and punters would be entitled to blow up big time if he wins. His jockey is a champion who has been trying to win this race for years, though it must be said his temperament is a little volatile.


Trainer: Ed Dunlop. Jockey: Gerald Mosse. Barrier: 8. Odds: $26

Life is unfair, racing doubly so. Ten-year-old marvel Red Cadeaux has run second three times in this race, the first time by a pixel in that unforgettable 2011 photo finish, most recently last year. His unlucky deeds are part of Melbourne Cup folklore, but the real tragedy is that Red Cadeaux should be every mare’s dream. Think about it. Who doesn’t want a lover who always comes second? Alas, Red Cadeaux is a gelding.

If Red Cadeaux had eaten just one more oat that fateful morning in 2011... AP Photo/Racing Victoria

If Red Cadeaux had eaten just one more oat that fateful morning in 2011... AP Photo/Racing VictoriaSource:News Limited


Trainer: Ed Dunlop. Jockey: Tommy Berry. Barrier: 14. Odds: $9

Have you long yearned to visit the city of lovers with a special somebody? Stroll arm-in-arm under the Eiffel Tower sharing a chocolate éclair, your cream-covered tongues drawing ever closer? Eeew, sorry about that. Point is, this horse could get you to Paris. It won the Ascot Gold Cup in England, then ran a strong second in the Caulfield Cup. Trainer Ed Dunlop, of Red Cadeaux fame, deserves some luck. But not as much as you deserve that chocolate éclair under the Eiffel Tower.


Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Blake Shinn. Barrier: 6. Odds: $21

This seven-year-old is in pretty good form and ran third in this race last year so he’s not the worst horse in the field. Unfortunately Victoria Police have worked out that it was in fact Who Shot Thebarman who shot the barman, and they plan to arrest him midrace in a daring sting operation in conjunction with the Australian Border Force, who’ve been looking for something useful to do since the aborted Operation Fortitude.


Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor. Jockey: William Buick. Barrier: 7. Odds: $51

As mentioned above, Dubai’s Godolphin stable is desperate to win this race in which they have finished second on three occasions. That makes it all the more perplexing why they would send over an animal as hopeless as this clumsy oaf. There’s a strong rumour Sky Hunter is actually a camel disguised as a horse. If it spits on Francesca Cumani’s dress in the mounting yard, you’ll know the rumour is true. Actually, we’d really like to see that for all sorts of reasons.


Trainer: Gai Waterhouse. Jockey: Damien Oliver. Barrier: 13. Odds: $41

Here is an offer anyone can refuse. This miserable plodding donkey with four left hooves is a product of the Gai Waterhouse stable, but is not worthy of raking up the horse manure of Gai’s 2013 winner Fiorente. The Offer won the Bendigo Cup last week but that’s like winning your school talent show and expecting to win an Oscar the following week. On the plus side, three-time Cup-winning jockey Damien Oliver takes the ride.

The Offer has one eye on the nation’s greatest racing prize. Picture Jay Town.

The Offer has one eye on the nation’s greatest racing prize. Picture Jay Town.Source:News Corp Australia


Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Jim Cassidy. Barrier: 15. Odds: $35

Retiring jockey Jim Cassidy holds a unique piece of Melbourne Cup history. He won this race coming from last-to-first on Kiwi in 1983, then led all the way on Might and Power in 1997. Can Cassidy go out with a bang? Unlikely. Grand Marshal is in good form, and won this year’s Sydney Cup over the same distance. But comparing those races is like comparing Sydney coffee to Melbourne coffee. Yes, we used this line last year. We’ll probably use it next year too.


Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Barrier: 11. Odds: $10

On Derby Day, which is the big raceday before Melbourne Cup day, jovial racegoers drink too much and indulge in an eight hour vomit-a-thon which showcases everything that’s wonderful about the Spring Carnival. Derby Day, you’ll be intrigued to learn, also has a horse race called the Derby. Who knew? Preferment won it last year and could easily win this year’s Melbourne Cup — just like Efficient did in 2006/07. Australia’s hottest jockey Hugh Bowman is another plus.


Trainer: Roger Charlton. Jockey: Damian Lane. Barrier: 21. Odds: $101

This Irish-bred stayer has had four starts over the Melbourne Cup distance of 3200m and never finished worse than third. Problem is, his recent form is appalling. Quest for Life secretly wants to be a sheep and hang out in paddocks all day doing nothing. His woeful 16th in last week’s Geelong Cup is evidence of this. Despite that poor run, his trainer still thinks he can win the Melbourne Cup. That’s because racehorse trainers are all certifiably insane.


Trainer: David Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Jockey: Dwayne Dunn. Barrier: 10. Odds: $17

Good horse, terrible Scrabble hand. This oddly named fellow just won the Geelong Cup, and quite impressively at that. He’s probably not in the very top bracket of horses in this year’s Melbourne Cup, but trainer David Hayes knows how to win a Melbourne Cup, having done so with Jeune in 1994. Geelong Cup winners have a good record in the Melbourne Cup in recent years too, so there is reason for confidence.

The mane man: James McDonald rides Almoonqith to the easiest of Geelong Cup wins. Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

The mane man: James McDonald rides Almoonqith to the easiest of Geelong Cup wins. Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Jockey: Colm O’Donoghue. Barrier: 9. Odds: $26

Kingfisher ran second to Trip to Paris in the Ascot Gold Cup, but has since put in a couple of shockers in Ireland, where he’s trained. In fact his recent form is laughable. As laughable, you might say, as a kookaburra, which the avian-minded among you will know is a type of Kingfisher. Sorry, terrible segue. But not as terrible as this horse, who should be sent home ASAP like Johnny Depp’s dogs.


Trainer: Darren Weir. Jockey: Michelle Payne. Barrier: 1. Odds: $81

Every year, there are always a couple of Melbourne Cup horses which couldn’t win the race with a 100m headstart and a jetpack on their rear fetlocks. Prince of Penzance has a good trainer, jockey and barrier. But if you draw him in your office sweep, your best bet is to swap tickets sneakily with the office drunk. Either that or quit your job.


Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Jockey: Brett Prebble. Barrier: 18. Odds: $21

This annoying hipster horse with a beard instead of a mane is just three years old and the youngest horse in the race. Trained out of Ireland and vetted by Dr Chris Brown, Bondi Beach will start Melbourne Cup morning with a surf, then spend three hours sipping kale smoothies served in jars, before totally forgetting to go to the races while it does nude Pilates. Not that it would want to compete in the Melbourne Cup anyway. It’s, like, sooooo mainstream.

That’s just wrong.

That’s just wrong.Source:Supplied


Trainer: Jamie Edwards. Jockey: Craig Newitt. Barrier: 5. Odds: $201

The pundits who write proper form guides for a living are all saying Sertorius “could run a race at big odds”. He’ll run a race, all right. He’ll just run it a minute slower than any other horse in the field. In fact he’ll probably still be running when the next race jumps. Maybe back him to be first past the post in that race.


Trainer: Robert Hickmott. Jockey: Joao Moreira. Barrier: 3. Odds: $19

Saddled with a debt of $18 trillion, this once great nation has assumed equine form to try to earn some foreign currency. Too bad about the Aussie dollar exchange rate, eh? Trainer Robert Hickmott is the only former AFL player to train a Melbourne Cup winner (Green Moon, 2012) but unfortunately, the United States will be outclassed by the internationals. That happens a lot these days.


Trainer: Gai Waterhouse. Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy. Barrier: 24. Odds: $26

Won the Lexus Stakes on Saturday by a nostril hair to qualify at the last minute for this race. Trainer Gai Waterhouse subsequently declared in her typically understated way that he would run in the Melbourne Cup and that he’d win. Lexus Stakes winners do have a great record in the Melbourne Cup in recent years, so be sure to turn the sound down on the telly if Excess Knowledge wins because a gushing Gai Waterhouse is something no man or woman should be forced to listen to.


Trainer: John Sargent. Jockey: Chad Schofield. Barrier: 19. Odds: $26

This mare has raced just nine times and looks to have a breezy future. The problem is, her three wins have all come in NSW, where they race clockwise. In Victoria, where they race the other way, Gust of Wind has never run a place. She did run a good fourth in the Caulfield Cup though, so she’s not all hot air. Anyway, just watch the video below. It was a minor race at Scone in NSW, which is no guide to a horse’s Melbourne Cup chances. All the same, you won’t believe the way Gust of Wind storms down the outside to win.



1. Be nice to your mother

2. Don’t bet too much

3. If you are having a bet, try Trip to Paris, Preferment, Our Ivanhowe or Criterion. In days gone by, you looked for horses finishing midfield in their races which were clearly crying out for the extra distance of the Cup. But that doesn’t seem to work anymore. Melbourne Cup winners in recent years have all had strong form on the board in the immediate lead-up runs, and that’s why we remain just a touch sceptical of race favourite Fame Game. Good luck!

Edited by Tedthewolf
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Melbourne Cup field 2015: your guide to the race that stops a nat

SNOW SKY – Owned and bred by Saudi Arabian Prince Khalid Abdullah, the man who also raced and bred a couple of handy plodders called Frankel and Danehill. His trainer's last Melbourne Cup experience was in 2005, when Distinction hardly ran up to his name, finishing 19th. Finished fifth in the Caulfield Cup and would have been closer with a touch of luck. Unlikely to make it into the Bureau of Meteorology's four seasons forecast tip for Cup day, but can win.

CRITERION  –  A favourite among punters at the many Criterion hotel's across the country with his owner preferring that moniker to schooner, pot or pony. Spends a lot of time on the horse shrink's couch not really knowing whether he is a Kiwi or Aussie, being foaled and owned in NZ  but having been trained in Australia all his life, although he does not let it get him down on race day. He's proven himself across the world over the past year and it took an outstanding performance to beat him in the Cox Plate and that race has provided several cup winners in recent years.

Favourite: Fame Game is put through his paces by Zac Purton at Werribee Racecourse.

Favourite: Fame Game is put through his paces by Zac Purton at Werribee Racecourse. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

FAME GAME  – One of the few horses that apparently best suited when surrounded by others. A slight problem when there are horses left right and centre of him and the winning post is not far away but that is how connections say he races best. The only hitch is that it often does not help his winning chances, as happened with an unlucky fifth in the Caulfield Cup.  His form at home in Japan is just as good as 2006 Cup winner Delta Blues and punters are confident he can get the job done. If he's unlucky again they can play the Fame Blame Game, also a favourite among racing's stewards. 


OUR IVANHOWE – He's attempting to become the second German-bred Cup winner after Protectionist last year. Apparently named after the Melbourne suburb by owners who struggle with their spelling but at least they got "our" correct. Good enough to run in an Arc and Japan Cup and before the imports arrived, a Caulfield Cup placing was as good a form as you could get for the Melbourne Cup.  A win would give Lee and Anthony Freedman their sixth Cup win and first since Makybe Diva in 2005. The youngest kid on track that day probably won't remember her winning but being 10 now, should have a better memory of how Ivan goes.

BIG ORANGE – What were they thinking naming a horse after an oversized fruit although his half-brother Big Apple has been a star on the New York racing circuit. Big Orange, the equine was an impressive winner in the 3200m Goodwood Cup two runs back, beating several of his fellow cup contenders, before failing on soft ground last start. As long as it stays dry he in this right up to his navel as long as his jockey can squeeze through the gaps and peel out at the right time in the straight.

HARTNELL  – An imported member of the Darley team but Australia-based rather than one of the many who have flown in specifically for the race and failed over 20-odd years. He was unplaced in the Sydney Cup earlier this year when a long odds on-favourite, and comes into this race off a lighter preparation, having not raced past the 2040m of the Cox Plate last week (where he finished off reasonably). He appears destined to provide Sheikh Mohammed with another beaten Cup runner.


HOKKO BRAVE – His jockey Craig Williams picked him out as his Cup ride many months ago but his Caulfield Cup run was only just a pass mark and he has hardly had track watchers at Werribee excited since then. The longer trip is certainly in his favour but the Melbourne Cup is a tough race for a horse to break back into the winning list after not saluting since October 2013. The post-race comment is likely to be "Hokko brave but not brave enough".

TRIP TO PARIS – The pilot apparently overshot Charles de Gaulle Airport but at least the Werribee Quarantine centre is at the Paris end of Bulban Road. He might have been dismissed as a plodder after winning over 4000 metres in the Ascot Gold Cup but showed with an outstanding run for second placing in the Caulfield Cup that he has the zip needed to be successful in Australia. Trained to the minute by the fastidious Ed Dunlop team, he won't be getting tired in the straight. 

RED CADEAUX – Post Bart Cummings, he's the horse that the once a year punters will latch onto as he returns for his fifth attempt at the Cup, having run second three times. He has not won a race in nearly three years but having picked up more than $4.5 million in minor prizemoney since, it's no wonder trainer Dunlop always manages  a smile after being beaten. Recent form is only fair but he thrives in Australia and if the 10-year-old can remember where the winning post is he has to be the first horse to go into the quinellas.

MAX DYNAMITE – Don't forget most of us laughed off the chances of Vintage Crop because he was a hurdler. His trainer says Max can't jump too well but it has not hurt his flat form and he relished the soft ground last start to beat a good field over 3300m in the Lonsdale Cup. He competed in G1 company at three in France, and Willie Mullins brought out another jumper Simenon to finish fourth in the Cup in 2013. He may not be able to blow his rivals away but can get into the finish at odds.

WHO SHOT THEBARMAN – Just another to add to the Victoria Police list of unsolved shootings around town of late and we thought being the bouncer was the dangerous gig.  A former New Zealander that ran really well in 2014 but found two of the opposition a little too good for him.  Still, an extra year in the Chris Waller yard can only have benefited him and he loves racing in handicaps at Flemington. Can get into the placings again but punters are unlikely to be drinking a toast to him.

Who Shot Thebarman during a trackwork session at Altona Beach.

Who Shot Thebarman during a trackwork session at Altona Beach. Photo: Vince Caligiuri

THE OFFER – He did not make it to the Melbourne Cup last year after being the early favourite. With racing officials looking for a new "Cups King" this horse just may be it, after adding the Bendigo Cup last week to his bounty of Sydney and Ballarat Cup wins. Trainer Gai gave a great Cup winning dress rehearsal for Tuesday at Bendigo and  bookies slashed his price to a still generous $41/1 after that win but even at those odds we are happy to refuse.

SKY HUNTER – Lightly raced six-year-old aiming to give Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor a long-awaited Melbourne Cup win. Showed his class with a placing in the French Derby but is yet to win past 2400m. The Cup has been a long-time target and he arrived in Australia on the back of a solid placing over 2200m at Newbury. Should have plenty of improvement to come and he has done well since his arrival. However the Godolphin Cup record says he's not in the hunt as far as winning is concerned.

GRAND MARSHAL – He won on Cup day last year albeit in the very much weaker 2800m restricted race. Showed his liking for the 3200m trip with a boilover win in the Sydney Cup earlier this year. His lead-up form has been far from inspiring and was safely held in the Caulfield Cup. That he is trained by Chris Waller is about the only fact that lends any credibility to his chances and he looks likely to be 'hollering for a Marshall' in the run home. 

QUEST FOR MORE – Had been racing in the best form of his career before heading to Australia. Ran second to Big Orange and beat home Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris in 3200m Goodwood Cup and defeated Max Dynamite over 3200m before that. However his local debut was poor, beating just one runner home in the Geelong Cup after racing wide without cover. He is better than that but appears capable of taking home only small change in his the quest for Aussie dollars.

PREFERMENT – One of the best staying three-year-olds of last season, he has gone to another level as a four-year-old, with highly impressive wins in Melbourne and Sydney at WFA and set weights. He missed the Caulfield Cup to concentrate on this race and don't be fooled by his Cox Plate failure, where the pattern of the day was against him. He's trained by Chris Waller, is a Victoria Derby winner and is by Zabeel. How could a punter prefer anything else?

KINGFISHER – Yet another runner part-owned by Lloyd Williams. His key form reference is an unlucky second placing behind Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip to Paris in the Ascot Gold Cup over 4000m three runs back. His past two starts have been uninspiring, having been beaten by a total of 59 lengths. But if Williams and genius Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien can overlook those efforts who are we to argue? He'll be flying home but the question is how quickly and it is hard to see him winning.

ALMOONQITH – Much travelled American-bred galloper that has won up to 2800m in Dubai. Highly impressive when defeating a quality field in the Geelong Cup. That race has proven to be a great guide to the Melbourne Cup in recent years with Americain, a horse by the same sire, completing the double. Unlike his brother Sheikh Mohammed, Almoonqith's owner Sheikh Hamdan has already won two Melbourne Cups and he looks to have the better chance of retaining bragging rights again.

PRINCE OF PENZANCE – This is the race he has been aimed at and he showed he is starting to run into his best form when running a good second in the Moonee Valley Cup last. His trainer Darren Weir has produced a runner-up and fourth placegetter from only a handful of Melbourne Cup runners so has a fair idea of what is required to win the Cup. He will start at a princely price and with a nice weight he's just the sort to throw into the multiples.

SERTORIUS – An Australian-bred son of the world's leading sire Galileo, he has always been a just a shade below top class. His trainer has always been very patient with him but as an eight-year-old his best may be past him as far as being a genuine Cup contender in the modern era.  His lead-in form has been ordinary and he appeared to have every chance in Geelong Cup. His name may rhyme with victorious but it is unlikely to be heard in the same sentence on Tuesday afternoon.

THE UNITED STATES – He had been progressing nicely through the grades this preparation, before charging into the Cup off the back of strong finishing effort to win the Moonee Valley Cup and gets in with a nice weight even after a 2.5kg penalty. The longer trip should not be a problem and with a good run he comes into calculations. If Air Force One is seen arriving at Tullamarine on Tuesday morning get on.

SECRET NUMBER – The name of the game in winning handicaps is getting into a race with a light weight. Saeed bin Suroor has managed it with this horse and just snuck him into the field. He is only lightly raced for a six-year-old and has had only one start since September 2014. That was in September this year when he was impressive in winning a listed event over 2500m at Chester. Capable of racing handy and with his nice weight must be numbered among the chances.

BONDI BEACH – After losing, then winning and then losing again in the English St Leger, this three-year-old to northern hemisphere time may well carry emotional baggage with him to Australia. He's one of Aidan O'Brien's first Cup runners since that dark year in 2008 for the O'Brien clan when local Danny O'Brien chipped in with Barbaricus to help out his distant Irish cousin to fill the last four placings.  He looks a staying star in the making and with Brett Prebble jetting in from Hong Kong to ride him he's unlikely to let the big boys kick sand in his nostrils.

GUST OF WIND – Finished more like a hurricane to score an unbelievable maiden win at Scone earlier this year en route to an Australian Oaks victory where she beat a handy filly named Winx. Good effort to finish just behind the placegetters in the Caulfield Cup and should be better suited on the bigger track at Flemington.  Like many, an unknown at the trip but with a nice run in transit she may be able to breeze past a few and get into the placings. 

EXCESS KNOWLEDGE – Import which forced his way into the Cup with a tough win on Saturday in the Lexus over 2500m and then withstood a protest. That was his best win in Australia but he did start at just $5.50 when finishing down the track in English St Leger prior to coming to Australia. He's by the same sire as Gai Waterhouse's first Cup winner Fiorente but does not boast the same form. A little knowledge might be dangerous but an excess is unlikely to scare his rivals and place claims appear best.


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/horseracing/melbourne-cup-field-2015--your-guide-to-the-race-that-stops-a-nation-20151031-gknlcv.html#ixzz3qH6cvRh4

Edited by Tedthewolf
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Melbourne Cup form guide 2015: Every Cup runner in full detail, with expert analysis from Michael Manley for the race that stops a nation

Waterhouse's horse Excess Knowledge survives protest to win Lexus Stakes



WHY wait until the last second to find your Melbourne Cup horse.


Our ultimate form guide will help you sort the contenders from the pretenders ahead of the race that stops a nation.

It’s the deluxe guide when it comes to all the vital statistics, exposed form and expert analysis to help you in your search for that elusive Cup winner.




Group 1 (3200m)

1 SNOW SKY (GB) Sir M Stoute R Moore (16) 58kg

2 CRITERION (NZ) D Hayes & T Dabernig M Walker (4) 57.5kg

3 FAME GAME (JPN) Y Munakata Z Purton (12) 57kg

4 OUR IVANHOWE (GER) L & A Freedman B Melham (22) 56kg

5 BIG ORANGE (GB) M Bell J Spencer (23) 55.5kg

6 HARTNELL (GB) J O’Shea J McDonald (17) 55.5kg

7 HOKKO BRAVE (JPN) Y Matsunaga C Williams (20) 55.5kg

8 MAX DYNAMITE (FR) W Mullins F Dettori (2) 55kg

9 RED CADEAUX (GB) E Dunlop G Mosse (8) 55kg

10 TRIP TO PARIS (IRE) E Dunlop T Berry (14) 55kg

11 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) C Waller B Shinn (6) 54.5kg

12 SKY HUNTER (GB) S Bin Suroor W Buick (7) 54kg

13 THE OFFER (IRE) G Waterhouse D Oliver (13) 54kg

14 GRAND MARSHAL (GB) C Waller J Cassidy (15) 53.5kg

15 PREFERMENT (NZ) C Waller H Bowman (11) 53.5kg

16 QUEST FOR MORE (IRE) R Charlton D Lane (21) 53.5kg

17 ALMOONQITH (USA) D Hayes & T Dabernig D Dunn (10) 53kg

18 KINGFISHER (IRE) A O’Brien C O’Donoghue (9) 53kg

19 PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ) D Weir Ms M Payne (1) 53kg

20 BONDI BEACH (IRE) A O’Brien B Prebble (18) 52.5kg

21 SERTORIUS J Edwards C Newitt (5) 52.5kg

22 THE UNITED STATES (IRE) R Hickmott J Moreira (3) 52.5kg

23 EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB) G Waterhouse K McEvoy (24) 51kg

24 GUST OF WIND (NZ) J Sargent C Schofield (19) 51kg


1. SNOW SKY — 58kg


Jockey: Ryan Moore Barrier: (16)

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Career: 15: 5-2-2. Prizemoney: $919,932

Breeding: Nayef-Winter Silence

5YO bay horse

Biggest win: 2015 Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at Royal Ascot.

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2816-1609m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $35 Opening price: $21 Best price: $26

FORM: Accounted for Brown Panther winning the G2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) then won the G2 Hardwicke Stks 2414m (beating Postponed and Red Cadeaux) at Ascot before beating one home in 7 len 6th of 7 (3) $4.00 (60.5) Postponed 2414m G B — Ascot G1 King & Queen Slow July 25. Was disappointed for a run before finishing 4-3/4 len 5th of 18 (3) $9 (58.0) Mongolian Khan 2400m G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: On-pace English stayer who impressed in his Australian debut in the Caulfield Cup. Took up a good position, was left a little flat-footed when the sprint went on but also missed a run so effort to finish fifth was sound. Won the Hardwicke Stakes easily at Royal Ascot. Should run a great race.

2. CRITERION — 57.5kg

Jockey: Michael Walker Barrier: (4)

Trainer: David Hayes and Tom Dabernig

Career: 31:7-7-5. Prizemoney: $6,743,869

Breeding: Sebring-Mica’s Pride

5YO chestnut horse

Biggest win: 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 4:0-1-0 Win range: 2400-1100m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $14 Opening price: $35 Best price: $61

FORM: Fresh from two starts in England when finished hard to score 1/2 len win of 8 (7) $7.50 (59.0) Happy Trails, Mongolian Khan 2000m C’field G1 Caulfield Stks Good (3) Oct. 10. No match for the winner when 4-3/4 len 2nd of 14 (7) $6.00 (59.0) Winx 2040m M Valley G1 W.S Cox Plate Good (3) Oct. 24.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Tough as nails but also has more than a touch of class. Top effort to pick himself up after being flattened on the point of the turn to finish second in the Cox Plate finishing on resolutely. ATC Derby winner over 2400m. First attempt at 3200m which is the query.

3. FAME GAME — 57kg


Jockey: Zac Purton Barrier: (12)

Trainer: Yoshitada Munakata

Career: 17: 5-1-1. Prizemoney: $2,873,484

Breeding: Heart’s Cry-Hall Of Fame

6YO brown horse

Biggest win: 2014 Group 2 Copa Republica (2500m) at Tokyo

Distance: 2:0-1-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 3400-2000m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $3.20 Opening price: $26 Best price: $26

FORM: Just missed when nk 2nd of 17 (14) $22.60 (58.0) Gold Ship 3200m Jap — Kyoto G1 Tenno Sho Good May 3. Caught the eye late when 4-3/4 len 6th of 18 (1) $10.00 (57.0) Mongolian Khan 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Japanese star who turned in the best Melbourne Cup trial in the Caulfield Cup. Shuffled out to last and charged home despite not having a lot of galloping room. Stewards queried the ride. Two starts ago he finished second to local superstar Gold Ship in one of Japan’s biggest races over 3200m. Has won over 3400m. The one to beat.

4. OUR IVANHOWE — 56kg

Jockey: Ben Melham Barrier: (22)

Trainer: Lee & Anthony Freedman

Career: 14: 5-2-1. Prizemoney: $786,973

Breeding: Soldier Hollow-Indigo Girl

6YO bay horse

Biggest win: Group 1 Von Bayern (2400m) in Munich

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2400-2200m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $22 Opening price: $21 Best price: $26

FORM: Stuck to his guns when 1-1/4 len 2nd of 16 (1) $9.00 (60.0) Let’s Make Adeal 2520m F’ton G3 Bart Cummings Good (3) Oct. 4. Toughed it out when 1/2 len, 1-1/4 len 3rd of 18 (13) $26.00 (56.0) Mongolian Khan, Trip To Paris 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Dual German Group 1 winner really finding his form in Australia. Took the race up to Mongolian Khan in the straight in the Caulfield Cup but just tired in the closing stages. Trainer has prepared five Melbourne Cup winners and will have him ready to peak on the day.

5. BIG ORANGE — 55.5kg


Jockey: James Spencer Barrier: (23)

Trainer: Michael Bell

Career: 13:5-1-0. Prizemoney: $549,822

Breeding: Duke Of Marmalade-Miss Brown To You

5YO bay gelding

Biggest win:2015 Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3200m), downing Quest For More and Trip To Paris.

Distance: 3:1-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 3219-2012m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $51 Opening price: $51 Best price: $51

FORM: Outstayed rivals to score nk win of 11 (1) $7.00 (61.0) Quest For More, Trip To Paris 3219m G B — Goodwood G2 Goodwood Cup Good July 30. Safely held when 14-1/4 len 7th of 8 (6) $5.50 (58.5) Max Dynamite 3299m G B — York G2 Lonsdale Cup Dead Aug. 21.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Fast running lightly raced English stayer who has a good strike rate. Put together back to back Group 2 wins in strong races at Newmarket and Goodwood. In the Goodwood Cup he relegated Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris to third. Big chance.

6. HARTNELL — 55.5kg

Jockey: James McDonald Barrier: (17)

Trainer: John O’Shea (Godolphin)

Career: 20: 7-4-1. Prizemoney: $1,595,499

Breeding: Authorized-Debonnaire

5YO bay gelding

Biggest win: Group 3 The BMW (2400m/WFA) at Rosehill in March.

Distance: 2:1-0-0 Track: 1:0-0-0 Win range: 3219-1609m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $35 Opening price: $26 Best price: $26

FORM: Blew the start when 1-1/2 len 6th of 15 (13) $5.50 (57.5) Preferment 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct. 4. Was inconvenienced near the 600m before finishing 101/2 len 5th of 14 (3) $16.00 (59.0) Winx 2040m M Valley G1 W.S. Cox Plate Good (3) Oct. 24.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Stuck to his task in the Cox Plate in the manner of a horse screaming out for more ground after good Turnbull Stakes run. English import who won The BMW last autumn at Rosehill before failing as odds on favourite in the Sydney Cup. Respect.

7. HOKKO BRAVE — 55.5kg


Jockey: Craig Williams Barrier: (20)

Trainer: Yasutoshi Matsunaga

Career: 30: 5-5-6. Prizemoney: $1,896,169

Marvellous Sunday-Hokko Memory

8YO bay horse

Biggest win: 2013 October Stakes (2400m) at Tokyo

Distance: 2:0-0-1 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2600-2200m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $35 Opening price: $51 Best price: $51

FORM: Experienced Japanese stayer who wasn’t far away when 1-3/4 len 6th of 17 (6) $32.00 (58.0) Gold Ship 3200m Jap — Kyoto G1 Tenno Sho Good May 3. Always in a similar spot when 5-3/4 len 10th of 18 (15) $16.00 (55.5) Mongolian Khan 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Japanese stayer who held his spot in the Caulfield Cup. Finished close-up in the Tenno Sho in top field two starts ago at Kyoto over 3200m a race he finished third in the year before. Will be strong at the end of the 3200m.

8. MAX DYNAMITE — 55kg


Jockey: Frankie Dettorie Barrier: (2)

Trainer: Willie Mullins

Career: 18: 3-3-2. Prizemoney: $379,647

Breeding: Great Journey-Mascara

6YO bay gelding

Biggest win: 2015 Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m) at York, beating Trip To Paris and Big Orange.

Distance: 7:1-3-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 3299-2200m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $10 Opening price: $17 Best price: $17

FORM: Toughed it out when 2-1/4 len 2nd of 20 (0) $11.00 (64.0) Quick Jack 3219m Ire — Galway Galway Hrdl Good July 30. Dominated his rivals to score 4-1/2 len win of 8 (2) $9.00 (58.5) Mizzou, Hidden Gold 3299m G B — York G2 Lonsdale Cup Dead Aug. 21.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Irish stayer who booked his ticket here with an easy win in the Lonsdale Cup. Been mixing flat and hurdles. Three starts ago he finished second to the well credentialed Quest For More, who also contests this race.

9. RED CADEAUX — 55kg


Jockey: Gerard Mosse Barrier (8)

Trainer Ed Dunlop

Career: 53: 7-13-7. Prizemoney: $8,108,268

Breeding: Cadeaux Genereux-Artisia

10YO chestnut gelding

Distance: 8:0-4-1 Track: 5:0-3-0 Win range: 2816-2400m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $19 Opening price: $51 Best price: $51

FORM: Eased out of it when 51-1/4 len last of 7 (1) $34.00 (57.5) Snow Sky 2414m G B — Ascot G2 Hardwicke Stks Good June 20. Just plugged away when 5 len, 4-1/2 len 3rd of 6 (2) $15.00 (59.5) Agent Murphy, Windshear 2671m G B — Newbury G3 Geoffrey Freer Dead Aug. 15.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: The sentimental favourite. English stayer who has been adopted by the locals due to his amazing record in this race of four runs for three seconds and an eighth. Has run well in the Freer Stakes in 2013 and 2014 before finishing second at his past two Melbourne Cups. Showed he’s on track again with another sound performance in that race.

10. TRIP TO PARIS — 55kg


Jockey: Tommy Berry Barrier: (14)

Trainer: Ed Dunlop

Career: 18: 6-2-1. Prizemoney: $775,548

Breeding: Champs Elysees-La Grand Zoa

5YO bay gelding

Biggest win: 2015 Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4000m)

Distance: 2:1-0-1 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 4023-1408m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $9 Opening price: $35 Best price: $35

FORM: Safely held when 11-1/2 len 5th of 8 (3) $8.00 (60.5) Max Dynamite 3299m G B — York G2 Lonsdale Cup Dead Aug. 21. Stormed home late for 1/2 len 2nd of 18 (4) $31.00 (55.0) Mongolian Khan 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Red Cadeaux’s stablemate who garnered Melbourne Cup attention with fast finishing effort to finish second. The further the better for him as he won the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup over 4023m four starts ago. Great each-way hope.


Jockey: Blake Shinn Barrier (6)

Trainer: Chris Waller

Career: 24: 8-3-1. Prizemoney: $1,423,020


Breeding: Yamanin Vital-Ears Carol

7YO bay gelding

Biggest win: Group 3 Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington last October.

Distance: 4:1-1-1 Track: 4:2-0-1 Win range: 3200-1600m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $17 Opening price: $51 Best price: $51

FORM: Stuck to his guns when 2 len 8th of 15 (4) $9.50 (56.5) Preferment 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct. 4. Kept working to the line when 5-1/4 len 7th of 18 (17) $26.00 (54.5) Mongolian Khan 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Before the international invasion has the form which would see him as favourite. Finished on strongly for third in last year’s Melbourne Cup. Got to the line solidly in the Caulfield Cup in a good Melbourne Cup trial. Should be in the finish.

12. SKY HUNTER — 54kg


Jockey: William Buick Barrier: (7)

Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor

Career: 11:6-1-1. Prizemoney: $585,150

Breeding: Motivator-Pearl Kite

6YO bay gelding

Prizemoney: $585,150

Biggest win: 2015 Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold (2400m) at Meydan

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2414-1950m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $71 Opening price: $35 Best price: $41

FORM: Made it two in a row with 1-3/4 len win of 10 (7) $3.00F (57.0) Sheikhzayedroad, Umgiyo 2410m Dubai G2 City Of Gold Good Mar 7. Returned from a break with 1-1/2 len 2nd of 5 (4) $6.50 (61.0) The Corsican 2217m G B — Newbury G3 Legacy Cup Dead Sept 19.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Lightly raced Godolphin stayer with good strike rate. Battled on well for second at Newbury last start in solid effort after two impressive wins at Newbury and Dubai. French Derby placegetter in 2013 so can mix it at the top level.

13. THE OFFER — 54kg

Jockey: Damien Oliver Barrier: (13)

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse

Career: 27: 8-2-3. Prizemoney: $1,442,379

Breeding: Montjeu-Valdara

7YO bay gelding

Biggest win: Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick in April 2014.

Distance: 2:1-0-0 Track: 1:0-0-0 Win range: 3200-1600m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $31 Opening price: $26 Best price: $81

FORM: Was 5th in the Newcastle Cup before even 1-3/4 len 4th of 10 (10) $8.00 (61.0) Ruling Dynasty 2400m R’wick LR City Tatts Cup Good (3) Oct. 17. Back in the winners circle on Wednesday posting 3/4 len win of 11 (7) $7.50 (59.0) Divan, Kirramosa 2400m G3 Bendigo Cup Good (3) Oct. 28.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Big effort to win the Bendigo Cup impressively last Wednesday with big weight. Has returned to his best this campaign and easily won the 2014 Sydney Cup on a wet track. Comes right into contention if track is rain affected.

14. GRAND MARSHAL — 53.5kg

Jockey: Jim Cassidy Barrier: (15)

Trainer: Chris Waller

Career: 25:7-5-2. Prizemoney: $1,431,792

Breeding: Dansili-Margarula

6YO brown gelding

Biggest win: Group 1 Sydney Cup at Rosehill in April.

Distance: 1:1-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 3200-1609m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $35 Opening price: $35 Best price: $61

FORM: Did his best work late when 5-3/4 len 5th of 10 (1) $16.00 (59.0) Complacent 2000m R’wick G3 Craven Plate Good (3) Oct. 3. Passed a couple late when 6 len 11th of 18 (5) $51.00 (53.5) Mongolian Khan 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Could be the best outsider. Was charging home in the Caulfield Cup before he ran into a dead-end with 100m to go so should have finished closer. Only start over 3200m he ran home strongly to defeat his stablemate Who Shot Thebarman in the Sydney Cup.

15. PREFERMENT — 53.5kg

Jockey: Hugh Bowman Barrier: (11)

Trainer: Chris Waller

Career: 15: 3-4-1. Prizemoney: $1,503,405

Breeding: Zabeel-Better Alternative

4YO bay horse

Biggest win: Group 1 Victoria Derby

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 2:2-0-0 Win range: 2500-2000m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $10 Opening price: $35 Best price: $35

FORM: Made it two in a row with sht hd win of 15 (9) $11.00 (56.5) Royal Descent, Set Square 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct. 4. Overraced in the early stages before finishing 12-3/4 len 9th of 14 (9) $14.00 (57.5) Winx 2040m M Valley G1 W.S. Cox Plate Good (3) Oct. 24.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Brilliant four-year-old who has had two starts at Flemington for two wins — the VRC Derby and the Turnbull Stakes two starts ago when he swooped over the top of his rivals. Finished off in good style in the Cox Plate. Looking for 3200m and carries the Waller polish.

16. QUEST FOR MORE — 53.5kg


Jockey: Damian Lane Barrier: (21)

Trainer: Roger Charlton

Career: 19: 6-4-3. Prizemoney: $395,340

Breeding: Teofilo-No Quest

5YO bay gelding

Biggest win: 2015 Northumberland Plate (3200m) at Newcastle, holding off Max Dynamite.

Distance: 3:2-1-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 3237-1670m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $101 Opening price: $35 Best price: $61

FORM: Just missed when nk 2nd of 11 (5) $5.50F (61.0) Big Orange 3219m G B — Goodwood G2 Goodwood Cup Good July 30. Caught wide throughout when 8-1/2 len 16th of 17 (15) $6.00 (59.0) Almoonqith 2400m Geelong G3 Geelong Cup Good (3) Oct. 21.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: English stayer who flopped in the Geelong Cup when fancied. Went forward and was beaten a long way out. Drops 5.5 kilos on Geelong and he’s much better suited over 3200m. Also his English form ties in with several of his rivals in this who are shorter than him in the betting. Capable of running a big race at huge odds.

17. ALMOONQITH — 53kg

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn Barrier: (10)

Trainer: David Hayes and Tom Dabernig

Career: 21:5-3-1. Prizemoney: $476,225

Breeding: Dynaformer-Bohemian Lady

6YO bay horse

Biggest win: Group 3 Geelong Cup on October 21, Group 3 Nad Al Sheda in Dubai in February.

Distance: 1:0-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2810-1600m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $17 Opening price: $101 Best price: $101

FORM: Made some late ground when 4-1/4 len 7th of 13 (12) $11.00 (55.5) Magic Hurricane 2400m R’wick G1 The Metro Good (3) Oct. 3. Overcame a wide gate to score 1-3/4 len win of 17 (14) $10.00 (55.5) Dandino, Manndawi 2400m Geelong G3 Geelong Cup Good (3) Oct. 21.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Couldn’t have been more impressive sprinting home to win the Geelong Cup in powerful fashion. That race has proven to be a good guide for the Melbourne Cup in recent years. Has to be included in the chances.

18. KINGFISHER — 53kg


Jockey: Colm O’Donoghue Barrier: (9)

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Career: 15:3-2-2. Prizemoney: $726,780

Breeding: Galileo-Mystical Lady

5YO bay horse

Biggest win: 2015 Listed Saval Beg Stakes (2800m) at Leopardstown

Distance: 3:2-1-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2800-1609m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $26 Opening price: $35 Best price: $35

FORM: Beaten a long way when 7-1/2 len, 8-1/2 len 3rd of 5 (2) $3.50 (61.0) Order Of St George, Sea Moon 2816m Ire — Curragh G3 St Leger trial Slow Aug. 23. Safely held when 43-1/4 len 8th of 11 (1) $21.00 (62.0) Order Of St George 2816m Ire — Curragh G1 Irish St. Leger Good Sept 13.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Emerging former English stayer who couldn’t have been more impressive winning the Herbert Power Stakes. Charged around the field with 1000m to go and just kept on going winning easing up by three lengths. Looks in the zone and is a definite winning chance.


Jockey: Michelle Payne Barrier: (1)

Trainer: Darren Weir

Career: 23:6-6-2. Prizemoney: 2500-1300m

Breeding: Pentire-Royal Successor

6YO bay horse

Biggest win: Moonee Valley Gold Cup in 2014

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 6:1-3-0 Win range: 2500-1300m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $51 Opening price: $61 Best price: $81

FORM: Passed a couple late when 7-3/4 len 8th of 13 (12) $10.00 (59.0) Amralah 2400m C’field G2 Herbert Power Good (3) Oct. 10. Toughed it out when 1/2 len 2nd of 10 (4) $6.00 (57.0) The United States 2500m M Valley G2 M.V. Cup Good (3) Oct. 24.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Returned to form with brave attempt to lead throughout to win the Moonee Valley Cup only to be overhauled in the straight by The United States. Carries the Weir polish and he’s confident he’ll run a big race.

20. BONDI BEACH — 52.5kg


Jockey: Brett Prebble Barrier: (18)

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Breeding: Galileo-One Moment In Time

4YO bay horse

Career: 5:2-3-0. Prizemoney: $438,897

Biggest win: 2015 Group 3 Curragh Cup (2816m)

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 0:0-0-0 Win range: 2816-2414m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $35 Opening price: $35 Best price: $35

FORM: Ran on late for 1/2 len 2nd of 7 (1) $3.80F (57.0) Storm The Stars 2414m G B — York G2 Voltigeur Stks Dead Aug. 19. Lost the race on appeal when hd 2nd of 7 (7) $3.00 (57.5) Simple Verse 2937m G B — Doncaster G1 St Leger Stks Good Sept 12.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Lightly raced Northern Hemisphere three-year-old colt with great credentials. Five starts suggest he’s well above average. Also a member of the worlds’ leading stable of Aidan O’Brien.

21. SERTORIUS — 52.5kg

Jockey: Craig Newitt Barrier: (5)

Trainer: Jamie Edwards

Career: 41:10-10-4. Prizemoney: $1,269,422

Breeding: Galileo-Pretty Penny

8YO bay horse

Distance: 1:0-0-1 Track: 6:1-2-1 Win range: 2400-1200m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $151 Opening price: $101 Best price: $201

FORM: Made some late ground when 6-1/2 len 6th of 13 (5) $12.00 (59.0) Amralah 2400m C’field G2 Herbert Power Good (3) Oct. 10. Safely held when 6-1/2 len 9th of 17 (4) $14.00 (56.5) Almoonqith 2400m Geelong G3 Geelong Cup Good (3) Oct. 21.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Solid stayer, who although he’s been well held, has been finishing off his races this time in the manner of a horse looking for 3200m. One start over 3200m for a well beaten third in the Sydney Cup. Could run a race at big odds.

22. THE UNITED STATES — 52.5kg

Jockey: Joao Moreira Barrier: (3)

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

Career: 12:5-2-1. Prizemoney: $349,022

Breeding: Galileo-Beauty Is Truth

6YO chestnut horse

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 1:0-0-0 Win range: 2500-1408m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $19 Opening price: $26 Best price: $101

FORM: Got too far back when 2 len 6th of 9 (2) $2.70F (55.5) Escado 2040m M Valley G3 Jra Cup Firm (2) Oct. 2. Finished strongly for 1/2 len win of 10 (5) $3.60F (56.0) Prince Of Penzance, Bohemian Lily 2500m M Valley G2 M.V. Cup Good (3) Oct. 24.

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Another emerging stayer who goes into this as an impressive last-start winner. Surged home to win the Moonee Valley Cup against the pattern impressively after a series of luckless runs. Another who can’t be disregarded.


Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy Barrier: (24)

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse

Career: 18: 5-5-2. Prizemoney: $535,747

Breeding: Monsun-Quenched

6YO brown horse

FORM: Kept coming when 3 len 2nd of 13 (13) $5.00 (57.5) Amralah 2400m C’field G2 Herbert Power Good (3) Oct. 10. Trapped three deep and Dunn let him go before turn and stayed on strongly (surviving protest) for sht 1/2h d win of 13 (9) $4.40 fav (56.5) Zanteca 2500m Flem. G1 Lexus Soft 5 on Saturday.

TAB Fixed odds (current): $26

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Won his way into Melbourne Cup with narrow but gutsy win in the Lexus. Shaping as if 3200m will be right up his alley. Looks a great lightweight chance.

24. GUST OF WIND — 51kg

Jockey: Chad Schofield Barrier: (19)

Trainer: John Sargent

Career: 9:3-0-0. Prizemoney: $849,900.

Breeding: Darci Brahma-Starrystarrynight

4YO bay mare

Distance: 0:0-0-0 Track: 2:0-0-0 Win range: 2400-1400m

TAB Fixed odds (current): $26 Opening price: $35 Best price: $35

FORM: Looked unlucky when 2-1/2 len 11th of 15 (5) $26.00 (54.5) Preferment 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct. 4. Stuck to his guns when 3-3/4 len 4th of 18 (9) $21.00 (51.0) Mongolian Khan 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct. 17.

TAB Fixed odds (current): $35

MICHAEL MANLEY SAYS: Conqueror of Winx in the Australian Oaks last April. Showed she’s on track for a forward showing with strong effort in the Caulfield Cup. Lightweight chance.

d427f69df532321021a415f17854da18?width=6Excess Knowledge (left) narrowly clinches the final spot in the Melbourne Cup with victory in the Lexus Stakes. Picture: Wayne Ludbey
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BONDI BEACH  —Ran a cracker in the st ledger i think it will get this trip fair chance but jockey is on the other trainers runner Small win for me

 KINGFISHER ~ I got a feeling this 33/1 rag from the o'brien camp will outrun its odds has run well over 2m 4f in the past so 2 miles here should be fine. e/w bet for me 

 HARTNELL~One of two runners for the boys in blue imo this is there best chance now trained in oz upped to 2 miles will suit has won over it when trained in he uk  e/w for me

MAX DYNAMITE~Frankie wouldnt be my fav jockey but having a dream year this would be the icing on the cake Trainer willie Mullins hasnt brought the horse all this way for the sunshine. Win Bet for me

SKYHUNTER~The 2nd godolphin runner has been cash  for but  it will it get the trip? Small win bet for me.


......of the others  you could do worse than back 100/1 shot QUESTFORMORE has beaten max dynamite in the past  had a quiet run ltoto is is much better than  that.

Edited by Tedthewolf
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Our Ivanhoe has a similar profile to last years winner Protectionist except this one is a dual Group 1 winner rather than a Group 2 winner. Only raced up to 12f but this is a stoutly bred German type who will relish the step up in trip and I'm sure his new owners had the Melbourne Cup in mind. He finished an excellent 3rd in the Caulfield Cup last time out and goes on all sorts of ground so hopefully he'll be there at the finish. 20/1 at Ladbrokes looks decent.

Kingfisher has been disappointing since the Gold Cup but he was really unlucky not to win that day. I think the ground may have been against him on his subsequent to starts which explains the poor form but unfortunately there's been a bit of rain in Melbourne recently. Even so, off 8-5 he's very nicely weighted and if the ground is ok I'm sure he can run a big race. I'm taking the 40/1 at 365.

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It looks a wide open race in my mind. Nonetheless you see some mad short prices in the betting market. That says I can't have the Japanese runner Fame Game at all. He may have a good draw and some big form, but how does this translate into the race the Melbourne Cup is? 4/1 or shorter seems a mad price in my mind. 

Trip To Paris is second favourite, currently a 7/1 chance. He has not the kindest of draws but it could have been worse. He impressed me in the Caulfield Cup and I really like him. He's a tough, genuine stayer. But hardly value at his current price. Unfortunately.

I really don't understand why a National Hunt horse is a short 7/1 third favourite to land the Melbourne Cup. Sorry. Willie Mullins is a great trainer and Max Dynamite an excellent horse under both codes, he has strong form in the book but had an absolute dream run in the Lonsdale Cup this is a completely different ball game, in my mind. I can't see it happening.

Last years Victoria Derby winner Prefermant is hot on the machines. I don't wanna pretend to know him well. Could be anything potentially, depending on whether he stays the trip. Class is there it seems, good draw too. But at 10/1? Not for me.

I absolutely loved the way Almoonqith won the Geelong Cup recently. But that was only a Group 3 and much more is required here. He might be found out for class. Same could apply to The United States. Formerly a Group 3 winner in Ireland, he landed the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Others are better treated.

Criterion has been in top form lately but the trip should find him out off a big weight. Multiple German Group 1 winner Our Ivanhowe had a great preparation to the big race since arriving in Australia. A wide draw and doubts over this stamina let me shy away from him.

Now, there is one horse that stands out of the crowd in my mind: Bondi Beach. When this lightly raced stayer won a Group 3 at the Curragh earlier this year, a day I was there and saw him in flash battling hard with stable mate Order Of St. George who subsequently landed the Irish St Leger in brilliant style, I thought this lad is the real deal if is about a staying prospect.

He subsequently lost two big races in the stewards room, most importantly the English St Leger after appeal weeks after the actual race. That doesn't take much away from the fact he is a proper Group 1 stayer, proven in fact. Now he has to take on older horses but you can argue that he weight he receives doesn't stand in the right context to his class and what he should actually carry.

There aren't too many proper Group 1 horses in this race, and less than a handful are Group 1 stayers anyway. Bondi Beach is. At 16's he looks a massive price still. Granted he gets a run. The draw isn't ideal and he'll need luck. But favoring that into the price I still don't get my head around this price tag.

Bondi Beach @ 16/1 Paddy Power - 5pts Win

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Fame Game 4/1 paddy power

Trip to Paris 7/1 paddy power

Max Dynamite 8/1 paddy power

Preferment 10/1 paddy power

Almoonqith 14/1 paddy power

Bondi Beach 20/1 paddy power

The United States 20/1 paddy power

Wel this is a race that i always seem to win money on the placings but not on the winner so hopefully i do better this time Fame Game is the best horse in the race and should come close Trip to Paris has had a great season and did well in his prep race also the distance wont worry him so he has a chance  and Max Dynamite has Frankie Dettori and Willie Mullins as trainer so this could come close and Preferment loves these conditions and has form and Almoonqith did well in the prep race and was impressive as well and the distance wont worry him Bondi Beach is a class horse and can win this but the distance could be a bit much for him and The United States is racing in Group one company for the first time but will last distance

Edited by owenclass
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Trainer: Darren Weir. Jockey: Michelle Payne. Barrier: 1. Odds: $81

Every year, there are always a couple of Melbourne Cup horses which couldn’t win the race with a 100m headstart and a jetpack on their rear fetlocks. Prince of Penzance has a good trainer, jockey and barrier. But if you draw him in your office sweep, your best bet is to swap tickets sneakily with the office drunk. Either that or quit your job.


Funny game at times!

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Interesting video analysis from the birds eye perspective: https://www.racing.com/videos/2015-11-03/cup-analysis-from-chopper-shot

Strange race this can be. The winner missed the kick but ended up in a good position turning for home nonetheless. Thought Trip To Paris got the perfect ride and when he emerged with his red cap prominently entering the home straight I thought that's it - but this Flemington home straight can be longer than one can imagine sometimes...

Thankfully Red Cadeaux is fine. I think many where shocked when he was pulled up before the finish line and the screens went up. Happy retirement old boy. You really deserve it!

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