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Horse Racing Chat - Tuesday 2nd November (Melbourne Cup)


Darran
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This year sees just two horses from Europe head down for the race that stops a nation although there are plenty who started their careers over here. Due to that I don't think the race is as strong as it has been in recent years, but what we might see is one of the best horses to ever win the race with Incentivise a short price favourite to land the Cup. Here are my thoughts on every runner in race and just to note that Delphi and Future Score need to be cleared by the vet before 7.30am Australian time.
 
Twilight Payment - It is very hard to win a Melbourne Cup from the front especially when you set a really strong gallop, but Twilight Payment did just that last year. No doubt he will try and do the same thing again and you have to say that he is in good form again as he won the Irish St Leger Trial in August and was then 2nd in the race itself a month later. The problem is he now has 12 more lbs to carry and no horse his age has ever won the Melbourne Cup. Given the depth to this isn't as strong as it usually is though he has a fair chance of hitting the frame again.
 
Incentivise - Started his career just over a year ago finishing 9th at Ipswich and then had a break until March when he finished 6th and then a well beaten 8th at Toowoomba. I think it's fair to say no one saw him as a future Melbourne Cup winner at that stage. He has since won 9 races on the bounce as he has risen through the grades in Queensland and Melbourne. It is 3 Grade 1's on the bounce as well after impressive wins in the Makybe Diva, the Turnbull and the Caulfield Cup. It really was a devastating performance at Caulfield last time and he never looked in a moments danger. I have seen it suggested that he isn't bred to stay the trip and that he is bred to stay it so who knows what to believe on that front. He certainly wasn't stopping over 1m4f at Caulfield and although this is likely to be a strongly run 2m he looks like he might well stay. The fact this isn't a strong Melbourne Cup depth wise will help him as well and I certainly think he would have won the Cox Plate last week. The fact his trainer decided to wait for this suggests he thinks he will stay as well. He is set to start the shortest price favourite since Phar Lap in 1930, but he deserves to be the price he is on form. He was only given a 4lb penalty for winning at Caulfield and I think that was generous. It is hard to see how those who finished behind him at Caulfield can reverse the form and he will ultimately be very hard to beat.
 
Spanish Mission - The only UK trained runner in the race and the only other horse to be in single figures in the betting. There certainly isn't any question marks about his stamina having won the Yorkshire Cup in May before finishing 3rd in the Gold Cup. After that he pushed Stradivarius close in the Lonsdale Cup and he clearly has the class to run very well in this. He has a great chance of hitting the frame I think, but he will need a strong pace so it turns into more of a staying contest as for me that will be his only chance of beating the favourite.
 
Verry Elleegant - Last year's Caulfield Cup winner and the horse who has enjoyed some great battles with Addeybb in the last couple of years. She was disappointing when only 4th to Incentivise in the Turnbull, but she bounced back to finish 3rd in the Cox Plate last week. She had to come from a long way back that day and did it round the outside compared to the front two who were on the inside. I think you could easily argue that she was the best horse in the race and that 1m2f at Moonee Valley probably wouldn't see her at her best. She was 7th in this last year, but she was finishing to great effect having been 19th 4f out and 16th 2f out. She doesn't have a great draw in 19, but you would hope that James McDonald would be able to sit closer to the pace this time around. People think she needs soft ground to be at her best, but the track was a Good 3 last year as it is likely to be this year so that doesn't worry me at all. I'm not sure she will reverse form with Incentivise, but she is better than she showed that day and I think she has a great chance of hitting the frame. 
 
Explosive Jack - Won 3 derbies earlier in the year so stamina shouldn't be an issue and he also ran OK in the Turnbull, but he was awful in the Caulfield Cup last time so it is hard to give him much of a chance here.
 
The Chosen One - Was a very good 4th in this last year after finishing 3rd in the Caulfield Cup, but this year he was only 14th at Caulfield. Damian Lane felt that wasn't his true running though and he does seem to do better on a better surface. He was a good 2nd to Delphi in the Herbert Power the time before and it could be he didn't handle the 7 day back up. The problem I have though is he didn't quite see it out last year so I find it hard to see him improving on that run this time around.
 
Delphi - I was very impressed with his Herbert Power win, but he was very average in the Caulfield Cup a week later. He had the same run as Incentivise as well so there was no real excuse apart from he didn't handle the 7 day back up. I fancied him at Caulfield, but can't really have him here.
 
Ocean Billy - Landed the Auckland Cup in March and ran OK in the Caulfield Cup when running on into 9th. He probably isn't good enough to win, but we know he stays the trip and he gets the ground enjoys here which he didn't at Caulfield. An unlikely winner, but if he finished in the top 6 it wouldn't be the biggest surprise.
 
Selino - Won the Sydney Cup earlier in the year and ran OK in the Bert Cummings when 4th behind Grand Promenade. He wasn't so good in the Caulfield Cup last time though and he's hard to fancy.
 
Johnny Get Angry - Won the Derby here a year ago, but has basically been hopeless since. Apparently did work well with all the gear he had been running in after being well beaten in the Geelong Cup, but even so its hard to make a case for him.
 
Knights Order - Impressively won the Brisbane Cup earlier this year and likely to be up with the pace, but he's been pretty rubbish since was easily beaten by Great House on Saturday.
 
Persan - Was a very good 5th in this on the back of a tough prep so reason to think he might be capable of better this time around now he has been aimed at the race. The problem is he had every chance in the Caulfield Cup last time and although he was 3rd you would be hard pushed to think he could reverse the form with the winner. He does enjoy Flemington though so can see another good performance.
 
Carif - Would be a very surprising winner although does stay the trip.
 
Master Of Wine - 3rd in the Bart Cummings stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of his form and he wouldn't be for me.
 
Pondus - 2nd in the Curragh Cup on his last start in Ireland before moving to Australia permanently having had a couple of starts last year when still with Joseph O'Brien. Ran a really solid race 1st up in the Bart Cummings when 5th, but I was a bit disappointed with him in the Moonee Valley Cup last time albeit was a messy contest. This race might suit him better though and could hit the frame.
 
Grand Promenade - Landed the Bart Cummings last time ahead of a few of these which saw him gain entry for this. He has a very good record at this track and does have a similar profile to his stablemate Persan. The question mark though is if he will be good enough as he has never been above G3 company yet and he is usually a front runner which could be tricky from his stall. He does have the right man on top though in Kerrin McEvoy so a bold showing wouldn't surprise although I would be a bit surprised if he was good enough to win.
 
Miami Bound - Hard to make any case for her.
 
Port Guillaume - An example of an European who has seemingly gone backwards since moving to Australia. Was lame after the Caulfield Cup so at least had some sort of excuse for the poor effort, but he hasn't done a great deal to think he will suddenly win this.
 
She's Ideal - Didn't run too badly in the Caulfield Cup last time when 7th as she was probably racing in the worst of the ground. Did have a good win a over 10f 3 starts back in a G3 at Randwick and was 4th in the Sydney Cup when staying on well after missing the start. I can see her running a decent enough race, but I struggle to see her being good enough.
 
Future Score - Was purchased from the very shrewd Horse Watchers after winning at Pontefract for them back in 2018 to run in this contest. Although he didn't make to this race before this year he was done pretty well over in Australia and he looks like he has been crying out for 2m. The problem is he doesn't look as good as he was and has been no more than average in his starts so far this prep. I'd love to see him run well as I've followed him closely since his move to Australia, but he just hasn't been running well enough to make me want to back him even at a huge price.
 
Tralee Rose - Has been in good form so far this prep and was a good winner of the Geelong Cup last time after finishing 2nd to Grand Promenade in the Bart Cummings. Her only try over 2m was in the Adelaide Cup and she was 4th at odds on, but there is every chance she had enough for that prep and needed to spelled.  The Geelong Cup wasn't a strong race this year, but she only has 8-0 to carry, has a very good record at Flemington and looks to be peaking at the right time.
 
Floating Artist - Got up to a mark of 105 in the UK when with Richard Hannon, but I do think he has improved since moving to Australia and won his first 3 races in the country. He probably really ought to be unbeaten as he hasn't been given the best of rides the last twice especially in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last time where he just failed to get up having got no sort of run. Usually that race doesn't stack up in this, but in a weaker than usual year he could well run well with no weight at all on his back. There is a slight query about the trip, but if he has improved from his UK form, which I think he has, then that might not be a problem.
 
Great House - Has been very busy since coming to Australia, but has carried on improving and continues to run well. He was a good 5th in the Caulfield Cup and then was well on top at the line on Saturday in the Hotham, despite the small winning margin. That was not a strong race at all and although the double has been done before and Prince Of Arran was placed after winning the contest in 2018, its never an ideal prep. I think connections only ran on Saturday to make sure they got in this and ideally they would have skipped it. Even so he looks like the trip will be ideal and he has no weight so wouldn't be a shock winner.
 
Sir Lucan - Northern Hemisphere 3yos have a good recent record in this contest and although he wouldn't appear to be as good as those two winners he doesn't have to carry as much weight as they did. He was awful in the St Leger last time, but the ground was pretty bad that day and every chance he didn't enjoy that. The rest of his form certainly gives him a chance off a weight like this.
 
Verdict - I have it down to 9 horses who I think are capable of running into the first 4, Twilight Payment, Incentivise, Spanish Mission, Verry Elleegant, Pondus, Tralee Rose, Floating Artist, Great House and Sir Lucan. As for the winner, quite simply if Incentivise sees out the trip then I don't see anything beating him and he has to be the main selection. I'm very surprised that Verry Elleegant seems to have been overlooked by everyone and no one seems to fancy her, but she ran a huge race last year and in the weaker renewal I think she can hit the frame. Her trainer has come out and said it is a myth she needs a wet track and I agree with him. Floating Artist could easily be coming into this looking for a 6th consecutive win and I'm pretty certain he has improved since going to Australia. He has no weight and looks a decent chance. Tralee Rose just misses out as I am going to make Sir Lucan the 4th pick. The record of 3yos from the UK and Ireland has been strong and as I mention in the preview he's not as good as the two winners, but his weight reflects that and connections have been very happy with him since he arrived in Australia.
 
1st Incentivise @ 2/1 with William Hill and Betfred
2nd Verry Ellegant e/w @ 16/1 with William Hill (5 places) or 14/1 with Paddy Power for 6 places
3rd Floating Artist e/w @ 12/1 with Boylesports (6 places) and same price with bookies who are 5 places
4th Sir Lucan e/w @ 20/1 with Betfred (5 places) or 16/1 with Paddy Power for 6 places
 
NB If placing your bet with Bet365 they use Australian place terms so they are only the first 3. As per usual they do have a UK book to 4 places and it is well hidden. If you go to International on the horse racing page and then click on Tuesday the UK place terms market is there.
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good write up there Darren well done .on twilight payment myself think  they will have the horse bob on for the race this year and the horse  will be able to carry the extra weight to victory think it will rattle home myself  .good luck in the race though always a good race to watch looking forward to the race 

Edited by azzybear
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I've had a look at the other races on the card leading up to the Melbourne Cup if you are staying up like I am. These are the ones I will be backing to small stakes.

R1 - Mainly 2yo newcomers so skipping this one

R2 - Those of you who read my Australian jumping previews might remember a horse called Wil John who I was a huge fan of over after he really impressed me winning a maiden hurdle. He is a classy horse over hurdles, but has improved his flat form as well as he won a good race at Caulfield last month. This is tougher, but I think he can win again.

R3 - This is a race just for grey horses and I will cover Excelman, Naval Envoy and Address Melbourne.

R4 - Lord Vladivostok, Milton Park and a small e/w bet on the outsider Hang Man.

R5 - The front two against the field for me, Frankie Pinot and Blondeau.

R6 - Profiteer and Super Thief in the race before the big one.

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7 hours ago, Darran said:

I've had a look at the other races on the card leading up to the Melbourne Cup if you are staying up like I am. These are the ones I will be backing to small stakes.

R1 - Mainly 2yo newcomers so skipping this one

R2 - Those of you who read my Australian jumping previews might remember a horse called Wil John who I was a huge fan of over after he really impressed me winning a maiden hurdle. He is a classy horse over hurdles, but has improved his flat form as well as he won a good race at Caulfield last month. This is tougher, but I think he can win again.

R3 - This is a race just for grey horses and I will cover Excelman, Naval Envoy and Address Melbourne.

R4 - Lord Vladivostok, Milton Park and a small e/w bet on the outsider Hang Man.

R5 - The front two against the field for me, Frankie Pinot and Blondeau.

R6 - Profiteer and Super Thief in the race before the big one.

Good morning so far. Wil John was disappointing, but had the first two in the next, the winner in the 4th, 2nd and 3rd in the 5th and the winner in the 6th. Hopefully bodes well for an hours time.

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9 hours ago, The Equaliser said:

No Trixie today

1.55 Ex Moonlighter 0.5 pt win at 10/1

2.10 Red Barshaa 1.0 pt win at 11/2, Dubai Souq 1 pt win at 16/5

2.55 Ex Engarde 0.5 pt win at 7/1

3.245 Ex Pogo I Am 1.0 pt win at 9/2; Martha Brae 1 pt win at 11/4

Total stakes = 5 points

 

RESULTS UPDATE

Two winners today, chose the wrong one for my Nap in the Comp ?.  The net return was 7.95 points.  Hence +2.95 profit = Nov +2.95.  Adj loss B/Fwd from 1.1.21 = -240.59 pts

Six class 3 races in the UK tomorrow so that will be my starting point

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