Melbourne Cup Preview: Can the Cummings story continue?

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Happy Cup Day to all,


An outstanding day of racing on Derby Day is the prelude to the great race.  Unfortunately the rest of the cup day card is not as strong, however the races are competitive and to find a winner will be tough.  The great race itself  is pretty wide open once you get past the favourite.  My thoughts and selections first up, followed by opinion on the entire field.







Race 7 – The Melbourne Cup (G1, 3200m, Hcp)


Not sure we have seen many better lead up runs for the Melbourne than that of Yucatan (11) in the Herbert Power, Protectionist put in a great trial in that race prior to winning the cup a few years ago.  The poor draw should provide better odds, this race should always be about $7 the field.  No doubt a great winning chance, however I am sticking with GSOB to emulate his grandfather and finally put Godolphin on the board through Avilius (10).  Brought from France with one race in mind only defeated once here in the Cox Plate which was really a pipe opener, would have liked him to be a bit stronger through the line but was never a winning chance there.  Rekindling’s win has presented the handicapper with a challenge – was he just very good or is the scale wrong?  Something Greg Carpenter has indicated as a concern.  If the scale is wrong thenCross Counter (23) and Rostropovich (24) are in with big chances, not sure about the Rostro form and some concern about the disruption to Cross Counter (23).  If the stable is right and the disruption is negligible then he is right in this.  Youngstar (22) is a real wild card here, probably the best run of the back markers in the Caulfield Cup but 4yo mares have not made a big impression on this race for many a year.  She just might be above the ordinary and a real threat for mine.  Toward the top of the weights Muntahaa (5) was superb in the Ebor which has often been a good guide and appears a great hope, some concern that the trainer not prepared come down for the race though.


Selections – 10-11-23-22-5-24-3-6-1-13


# Br Horse Jockey/Trainer Wgt Comments
1 6 Best Solution S Bin Suroor/P Cosgrave 57.5 With winners of lesser races penalised it is bemusing not to see the Caulfield Cup winner not get one.  Suspect the handicapper does not believe he can win.  The distance will be a test, but he has won his last four.  Would be rated one of the best ever to win both cups carrying the number one saddlecloth.  Not sure he is necessarily the best solution.
2 9 The Cliffsofmoher A O’Brien/R Moore 56.5 Some concern for a European that has not run beyond 2400m for this race, did hang in at the end of the Caulfield Cup.  What he has done is put in a couple of excellent runs here already so he should be primed for the big one.  Can win if he runs the trip, but one I can risk
3 17 Magic Circle A William/C Brown 56 No doubt about this bloke running the distance won the Chester Cup over 3749m and with a booming finish.  Used to worry about the internationals not having had a run here, but Rekindling put paid to that.  Hasn’t had a run for a while but 4 from 7 first up.  Can win.
4 4 Chestnut Coat Y Yahagi/Y Kawada 55.5 A solid 5th in the Tenno Sho is good form for this, the weather gods are not being kind though.  Wants a fast track unlikely to get that with rain forecast.
5 13 Muntaha J Gosden/J Crowley 55.5 Has been touted as a weight special – not so sure about that, relative weights might be against him.  However his win in the Ebor last start was super impressive – started from a wide gate eventually crossing over to run 3 wide with cover and bounded across the line.  Bit of a risk being first up and will not want it too wet but a huge chance and my 5thselection.
6 16 Sound Check M Moroney/J Childs 55.5 Throw the Caulfield Cup run away was never a chance the way it was run.  Has won at the distance and will not mind the rain, the wetter the better.  The best of those outside $30.
7 18 Who Shot Thebarman C Waller/B Melham 55.5 The Sydney Cup winner and gets a hefty weight.  Melbourne Cup is much deeper and does not have the brilliance required, the tougher the conditions the better for him.  Unlikely winner, will still be going at the end to finish in the top ten.
8 22 Ace High D Payne/T Angland 55 Put in a shocker in the Caulfield Cup after good lead up form.  Against the scale think he is poorly treated – like many of our 4yo – compared to the European 3yo who are only 6 months younger.  No help with the barrier draw either.
9 10 Marmelo H Morrison/H Bowman 55 Last year’s favourite will have to break two of the rules if he wins.  First up internationals don’t win – till Rekindling last year.  The vanquished don’t win – till Fiorente.  So the rules can be thrown out.  Didn’t see out the distance last year and thought he peaked on his run in the Kergolay last start.  Could be good enough, not for me though at the trip.
10 11 Avilius J Cummings/G Scholfield 54.5 GSOB as prepared this horse as if it were his grandfather’s.  Plenty of metres in the legs and a finish off with a run around in the Cox Plate.  Importantly he is a winner and has a good turn of foot.  Has been my number one selection since the Bart Cummings and have not waivered yet and my 1st selection.
11 23 Yucatan A O’Brien/J McDonald 54.5 OK so this one does have me waivering a little.  The horror either knocks him out or gets you better odds.  Could not have been more impressive in the Herbert Power, as good a lead up trial as you will see.  The penalty might have some effect, for many seeing is believing a clear winning chance and my 2nd selection.
12 1 Auvray R Feedman/T Berry 54 Other in this race he has been running against are going much better.
13 15 Finche C Waller/Z Purton 54 Reasonable effort in the Geelong Cup.  First go out to 3200m is a query, by Frankel whose progeny do seem to be capable at a trip.  Engagement of Purton as the pilot also positive, not in my top five but not without hope.
14 5 Red Cardinal D Weir/D Oliver 54 Ran home OK in last year’s renewal, form this time in is pretty ordinary.  Ollie jumping on with the withdrawal of Red Verdon helps a bit and blinkers going on might spark him.
15 2 Venguer Masque M Moroney/P Maloney 54 Last win in last year’s Lizzie and a consistent performer since then.  Doubt he has the brilliance for this but will be whacking away at the end.
16 7 Ventura Storm Team Hayes/M Zahra 54 Best runs are at Flemington, won the MV Cup with a peach of a ride from M Zahra.  Two runs at the distance without getting close makes it hard to see him as a threat.
17 20 A Prince of Arran C Fellowes/M Walker 53 The trainer promised a win in the Hotham Hcp and he delivered, can he go on and be a force in the big one?  Would suggest no from the last few years going back to Shocking to be last to complete the double, though a few winners since have run well on the Tuesday.  Was the best of them on Saturday, think there are better ones in this.
18 3 Nakeeta I Jardine/R Bayliss 53 5th last year, not going nearly as well this year.
19 14 Sir Charles Road L O’Sullivan-A Scott/D Dunn 53 3rd in this year’s Bendigo cup is not a good enough lead up for this.  Distance not an issue so should pick up the tail and possibly get into the top ten.
20 24 Zacada M Baker-A Forsman/D Lane 53 Out of form, the committee would have been justified to use their discretion.
21 12 Runaway G Waterhouse-A Bott/S Baster 52 Having one Gai’s in will provide a leader, not many better front running riders than S Baster.  Would be very surprised to see him leading the second time past the post.
22 8 Youngstar C Waller/C Williams 51.5 4yo mares don’t have a great record in this race.  This 4yo mare is pretty good though.  Close to Winx in the Turnbull, good finish in the Caulfield Cup and the polish of CJW.  Do think she could be a young star and is my 4th selection.
23 19 Cross Counter C Appleby/K McEvoy 51 Blimey the northern hemisphere 3yo are well treated with the weights!  Lightly raced but won 4 from 7.  Star trainer and star hoop, some concern about missing some work but the stable indicate it should not be an issue.  Thrown in at the weights and my 3rd selection.
24 21 Rostropovich A O’Brien/W Lordan 51 Another northern 3yo.  Not sure the Cox Plate run was conclusive, happy to treat it as a pipe opener.  The wide draw is against him as he will try and be up on the speed.  If he can slot into a good spot will be in it for a long way and doesn’t mind a fight.  Could be another Rekindling and provide the handicapper a few questions in the future.



Quaddie Time


As usual Cup Day provides challenges in more races than just the cup!  How do find the quaddie and get a decent collect?  So we will have two quaddie strategy one going very wide in the cup and only a couple in the other legs and another more balance across every leg.  It all depends on what you can afford!


Quaddie 1 – Just get the cup baby!


Leg 1 – 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24

Leg 2 – 3, 7, 13

Leg 3 – 5, 6, 14

Leg 4 – 4, 12 (expecting 3 and 9 to be scratched after running Saturday)


270 Combinations a $14 investment will return 5% of the dividend


Quaddie 2 – Spreading the load


Leg 1 – 1, 3, 10, 11, 22, 23, 24

Leg 2 – 3, 7, 11, 13, 14

Leg 3 – 5, 6, 14

Leg 4 – 2, 4, 12 (expecting 3 and 9 to be scratched after running Saturday)


315 Combinations a $36 investment will return 11.4% of the dividend


Have a great cup day,


Go Avilius, Go GSOB,


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Cup thoughts. Top five. 23-11-3-5-24
    Roughie 15. Also like a few elsewhere on the card 2#8 4#10, 6 #12. Seems like a few with booms on them elsewhere today.

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