Who wins the Melbourne Cup?

Here is the Melbourne Cup field. No doubt you have form guides scattered around the study (lounge room, loo, kitchen bench).

Thought you might like to start the discussion.

Mount a case for your selection:




AMERICAIN(15) Gerald Mosse 58.0 Alain de Royer Dupre


JUKEBOX JURY(6) Neil Callan 57.0 Mark Johnston


DUNADEN(13) 54.5 Mikel Delzangles


DRUNKEN SAILOR(8) (BLKS) Dwayne Dunn 54.0 Luca Cumani


GLASS HARMONIUM(23) Lisa Cropp 54.0 Michael Moroney


MANIGHAR(21) (BLKS) Damien Oliver 54.0 Luca Cumani


UNUSUAL SUSPECT(7) 54.0 Michael Kent


FOX HUNT(19) Silvestre De Sousa 53.5 Mark Johnston


LUCAS CRANACH(11) Corey Brown 53.5 Anthony Freedman


MOURAYAN(14) (BLKS) Hugh Bowman 53.5 Robert Hickmott


PRECEDENCE(2) (BLKS) Darren Beadman 53.5 Bart Cummings


RED CADEAUX(16) Michael Rodd 53.5 Ed Dunlop


HAWK ISLAND(18) Glyn Schofield 53.0 Chris Waller


ILLO(1) Jim Cassidy 53.0 Bart Cummings


LOST IN THE MOMENT(3) William Buick 53.0 Saeed Bin Suroor


MODUN(5) Kerrin McEvoy 53.0 Saeed Bin Suroor


AT FIRST SIGHT(10) Steven King 52.5 Robert Hickmott


MOYENNE CORNICHE(17) Brett Prebble 52.0 Brian Ellison


SAPTAPADI(22) Chris Symons 52.0 Brian Ellison


SHAMROCKER(24) Luke Nolen 52.0 Danny O’Brien


THE VERMINATOR(4) (BLKS) Craig Newitt 52.0 Chris Waller


TULLAMORE(12) Chris Munce 52.0 Gai Waterhouse


NIWOT(9) Dean Yendall 51.0 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes


OLDER THAN TIME(20) (BLKS) Tim Clark 51.0 Gai Waterhouse


About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Peter Flynn says

    My top four selections are:

    Dunaden (well in)
    Americain (strong athletic conveyance)
    At First Sight (will he improve off the Bendigo run?)
    Niwot (no weight and Flemington horse)

    Jukebox Jury is probably the best horse in the race. However it hasn’t raced here and is a leader. I’m prepared to risk it. That means back it.

  2. Illo

  3. no bet.

  4. It’s a completely bizarre build up for me, in that there is no build up here in London and I barely know what the mood is. Therefore, making an informed decision is incredibly difficult. So, I’m looking to history for my answer. I know that Godolphin are desperate to win but always fall short, so I’ve jumped on Lost in the Moment and Modun to place.

  5. Flynny I’m with you on Dunaden. I’m also having a piece of Red Cadeaux, Shamrocker, Niwot and Precendence. It will be wet and windy (apparently) one for the tough stayers.

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    This is a fairly tough cup to get a handle on with so much European form to assess.
    My first- four at the moment would be Americain and Dunaden on proven ability and their performances at the Valley and Geelong respectively.
    Unusual Suspect is a 2400m Gr 1 winner in the USA and went OK in the Caulfield cup.
    Shamrocker is a very good mare, lightly weighted, and I think Danny O’Brien has been playing funny buggers.

    Would like to include Jukebox Jury but will risk him for the same reasons stated by P Flynn above.

  7. I pass. The only winner of the Cup I backed was Red Handed in 67 ( during Nasho training ) after the CO of the Unit I was in gave me a days leave to go.That was the last favour he did me as I was posted to Vietnam soon after.

  8. David Downer says

    Dunaden easily on top for me – backed him at Geelong and not jumping off now. Was a long sustained run rounding the field, very impressive. He fits the Americain “profile” from last year – winning the Geel Cup and heads to the Melb Cup with 54.5kg. He did also beat Americain earlier in the year in the “presumably time-honoured” Barbeville by 3.5 lengths over 3000m, PLUS has a 5.5kg turnaround on him tomorrow from that race. The other key lead-up, the Kergolay in France (won by Jukebox Jury), Dunaden actually sat 4 or 5 deep the entire trip (you won’t see that on the snippets on TVN/Sky), and was then hampered as he began his run up the straight. I’ve got him stalking Americain in the run – but just who will be riding him could be an issue. If you get $8 and Williams is still riding, you’re doing well.

    As for who fills the minor placings …throwing plenty in a flexi first four. There’s just too many formlines to sift through with any confidence – Australian, French, English/Irish, a mix of those two, and then keep the Germans safe. There’s a joke about walking into a bar there somewhere.

    Americain obviously goes in, no need to dissect. Probably have to include Lucas Cranach given the “unknown” – we’ve seen him but had a question mark going into the Caulfield Cup, so may have improved further, I’m a little sceptical but won’t risk. Unsure on Illo, sounds like Bart hasn’t had enough time to wield his magic.

    Of the “locals”, throw in Niwot and Lloyd’s two. Dominant Hotham winners who drop weight (Brew, Shocking, Maluckyday) run well, so Niwot ticks that box. He eats up Flemington, has won over 3200. Mourayan is the other who ran well in the McKinnon and beat Niwot home in the Bart Cummings. I’ve been riding At First Sight for a while also, had a setback, but wowee flew home at Bendigo with 58kg chasing home Tanby who was close-up to Dunaden at Geelong. Rand second to the awesome Workforce in the Epsom Derby as a pacemaker last year.

    Gets more interesting with the English/Irish formlines. Jukebox Jury is a star on-pacer whose been dominant in both France and Ireland. But as the other boys mention, yet to race here. If he’s on his game and pinches some cheap sectionals up front, and the one’s crossing from the outside don’t go completely mad, he’ll be in it for a long way. Relative weights might be an issue though. Red Cadeaux has good form around Jukebox, and on weights has a 4.5kg turnaround on him tomorrow from those European runs. From trainer musings sounds like the wetter the better.

    The other English horses have form around each other and seem to mix their results (not unlike our WFA season). The Ebor winner Moyenne Corniche will be better at Flemington, and his stablemate Saptapadi at 100-1 gets weight turnarounds and has been unlucky in Australia thus far. They’ll both sit back. Fox Hunt drops a whopping 8kgs from the Ebor and was hampered in that run, so on weights and measures, can’t leave him out either! He will probably push forward.

    The Godolphin and Cumani horses (like Drunken Sailor that’s beaten J.Jury and drops weight on him here) are around those marks also, but can’t fit them all in!

    So Dunaden on top. Then box up half the rest! …1,2,8,9,10,12,17,18,19,23 (brave I know).

    And of course – even that’s subject to change…

  9. I think we’re all in danger of being ‘Barted”. Everyone is going on about Dunedin and Americain and Illo etc, meanwhile there is a plodder in the field that couldn’t possibly win. Its running poorly, has an ordinary recent track record and is being talked down. Its called Precedence.

    Barrier 2, 53.5 kgs, trained by JB Cummings. Look out! Reminds me a lot of another nag that was written off in 2008, called Viewed.

  10. For mine it’s there’s a clear demarcation between six runners and the rest. Usually like to take couple to win and fields for the minors to nab the Zazzman/Mercator big divvies, but this year I’m going to box six and chuck two extras in for minors.

    Couple of observations re American and Dunaden:

    – In the Kergolay Americain’s nose hits the deck on jumping, and you can see he’s quite unsettled for the first 300 to 400m after this.

    – The diff b/w their Geelong Cup wins is that Americain showed he wasn’t field shy by bursting through the pack at the 200, accelerating off a ‘standing start’, whereas Duneden looped them with a sustained run. So jury’s out on whether he’ll be OK with our tight racing style if he has to take splits.

    – The other thing about American is that in his three wins here, he’s been running away from them at the post, whereas I thought Dunaden held them safely rather than ran away.

    – Don’t think the 58 will weigh too heavily on Americain given his size and strength – a big ball of muscle.

    Having said all that, I can’t take the shorts on him with Dunaden’s weight advantage, and my top selection At First Sight’s 6.5kg drop from Bendigo.

    So I’ve marked them in this order:
    1. At First Sight (weight drop, English Derby form, Bendigo Cup run
    2. Modun (progessive stayer on the up, like the $31 I got about him, but goes against my rule of having a run in Oz first)
    3. American
    4. Dunaden

    And if you chuck in the best run in the Caulfield Cup (Lucas C), and Niwot (blitzed ’em Sat) you’ve got your six.

    Add Mourayan (traditional values Mackinnon run) and Unusual Suspect (great Cauflied Cup run) in the minors and you’ve got yourself a 6x8x8 trifecta, get $126 on it for the half unit return.

    Cheers and good luck punters


  11. Jukebox Jury.
    Alliteration rules this carnival with Caulfield cup winner Southern Speed and Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker.
    Just an observation with no actual basis for this, but it is the hardest race to pick a winner in.

  12. Kingston Town can’t win.

  13. Mick Jeffrey says

    Going to risk Dunaden now that Williams isn’t riding. Think the toppie wins but has to overcome history (no Cup winner has also won the MV Cup for over 20 years.) The weight won’t be any problem, having carried it 10 days ago.

    Boxing 1-6-7-10-18-23 in Tri’s and First 4’s, but leaving the 6 out of my Quaddie.

    QUADDIE (Last 4 races on Tattsbet, Cup is the 1st leg): 1-7-10-18-23/6-7-12/2-4-5-19/8-11-12 (Like the 4 in the 3rd leg, but not game enough to go one out on it).

  14. Terrific lunch yesterday with Greg Carpenter and Jan Wositzky informing and entertaining us. Michael Calman and Judy Tonini (part-owners of Niwot) were also in the 40-strong crowd at the All Nations Richmond.

    Of course this means Niwot must be in consideration today, and the more you look at the run (and his 3200m form) the more you have to like him at the light weight. His sectionals on Saturday in the Lexus were brilliant, and you can forget the last 200 when Dean Yendall took it easy. Yendall is interesting. Many of D. I. Dodson’s nags have raced in the Yendall country (Wimmera and Mallee) where the hoop has gradually grown in reputation (but is still no W.J. Hokai). He now rides many winners and has won a stack in Adelaide and Melbourne as well.

    The lunch started with my acknowledgement of the date: October 31. Reformation Day. The day Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. Well, what I failed to mention is that Lucas Cranach (as my Ken Haley points out) was a good mate of Martin Luther. He was an artist. Which brings him in to consideration as well.

    The Handicapper, Greg Carpenter, likes At First Sight, and I like that the Bendigo and Geelong Cups have gained international prominence.

    We raised $255 in the raffle, and I will add $45 to that to make it $300. The numbers are 1 2 3 10 12 14 17 23. Two trifecta. I’ll box the 8 of them for $80 to give us about 25% of the dividend. And we’ll rove the 8 with the field for $220 which will give us about 5% of the dividend.

  15. I wonder who will win the Cup
    I’m really not quite sure
    It might be Glass Harmonium
    Or maybe Tullamore

  16. Gigs,

    Is Tullamore due?

  17. Phantom, I believe so. And if I’m right, you can shout me a bottle of Black 43.

  18. I suppose I should be supporting the American horses, but maybe Dunaden looks best to me. Race will be shown here live at midnight local time.
    And then starting Friday is the 15-race Breeders’ Cup here in Louisville with all the top North American and many top European horses (in fact, jockeys Callan and Buick will be riding here this weekend). Handicapping THAT is a challenge! (Although I would never bet against Goldikova in any race, and I expect her to win the Turf again.)
    Is there any interest in Breeders’ Cup over there?

  19. Wow. What a race! Should have found a way to get a couple $$ down on Dunaden. May I be so lucky this weekend.

  20. John Butler says

    DD, et al,

    I hope you stayed with Dunaden.

    Glenn, my most vivid images of American racing are courtesy of Hunter S Thompson writing on the Kentucky Derby.

    Perhaps not entirely representative. :)

  21. Super race but what an extraordinary (and completely boring and inappropriate) speech by our GG during the presentation of the trophies. Does she just like the sound of her own voice?

  22. Was on Red Cadeaux at 35/1. Dammit. Should’ve gone each-way.

  23. John Butler says

    Still better than John Kerr’s Dips. :)

  24. JB – I know which one will be remembered!!

  25. You bloody republicans are never happy Dips.

  26. Phanto – its a great day to yell – Vive la Republique!!

  27. David Downer says

    Dunaden – never in doubt was it?? Crikey, what a duel up the straight, a great Cup.

    Now while I did bemoan some unlucky head-bobbers on Saturday, I’ll hapilly take today’s developed print instead! Wowee! I wouldn’t have begrudged them calling it a dead-heat, looked about half-a-nose as opposed to the full shnoz.

    But, of course, as per theis above, I’m happy they didn’t. Dunaden being the major win bet, and anchored on top in tri’s and first four’s that all got up (for their various percentages mind you, not the whole hog!), But happy days indeed.

    The other bet for the day was Norsqui in the 1800m race that saluted at $18.60.

    But don’t bother jumping on this wagon now – I reckon the ship has well and truly sailed!

    The GG speech – the most self-indulgent boorish rubbish you’d ever wish to see.

    Ch7’s fluff-riddled coverage marginally worse. Disgraceful. The TVN boys parked out in a tent almost on Epsom Road, while Ch7 show no mounting yard footage and Rachael Finch is opening a bottle of Mumm with a cutlass – and we’re expected to give a shit?!?

    To fellow Dunaden backer P.Flynn – good call on endlessly potting Mourayan!


  28. David Downer says

    P.S: The first half of my last post almost as self-indulgent as the GG’s speech.

  29. Dips,
    Vive la Republique!!
    …as one unelected boor hands over to another unelected millionaire aristocrat.

  30. DD

    No self-indulgence there at all, mate. Congrats!
    Like yourself and Flynny, I was a Dunaden admirer and backed it straight out.

    Only redeeming feature of the Ch 7 coverage was the presence of one F Cumani,
    but even she was given nowhere near enough air-time.

    Congrats to Harmsy on all the speakers at yesterday’s lunch. Yarn’s banjo was
    a highlight!!

    Looking forward to Oaks Day.


  31. David Downer says

    Glenn B,

    U.S racing doesn’t attract much attention here as the vision is generally inaccessible, as compared to say UK/Ire or Hong Kong & Singapore racing. And we don’t get many U.S horses here – a top 10 placegetter in the cup today Unusual Suspect an exception.

    But there will be more interest this year with the Aussie champ So You Think running this weekend, and notably on dirt for the first time.

    His presence in the Euro Summer (incl Royal Ascot), the other Aussie sprinters, and the many international horses now coming here for the cup has created more interest in overseas racing (and the coverage is much greater). 

    It has exposed us to other great horses like Goldikova you mention, but its pretty much for the diehard purists, and even then, those willing to stay up late for it all!

  32. David,
    You folks have it easy on time difference! The Breeders’ Cup Classic goes off at 7 p.m. Saturday night, which by my calculations is 10 a.m. Sunday. Breakfast at Churchill Downs, as it were. So race times are 7-10:30 a.m. your time Saturday and 4:20-10 a.m. Sunday.
    That’s why I wish St. Kilda would play all day games, which come on at about midnight my time, or even twilight games that start at 2:40 a.m., perfect for someone at a newspaper who gets home around 1:30-2 a,m. most nights. But those night games — 5:10 a.m. my time — are killers, because I only see 5:10 at the end of my day and not the beginning.
    Though So You Think is third choice in the Classic, there’s not much buzz about him because the other three top picks all have interesting stories:
    ** Mare Havre de Grace is trained by Larry Jones, who lost filly Eight Belles to a fatal injury in the Kentucky Derby three years ago, so he’s running another talented female against boys;
    ** Uncle Mo was the 2-year-old champ who’s been ailing all year and just now returning to form
    ** Flat Out is trained by 70-year-old Scooter Dickey, who had never trained even a graded stakes-winner until now and has the horse of his dreams at the end of a long career of mostly cheap claimers.

    Horse racing has great stories everywhere, though. I’m impressed that all of you have so much interest and knowledge of the ponies. In the U.S., it’s much more of a niche sport, although it’s huge where I live because it’s so much a part of the economy and the lifestyle and the history here.

  33. Skip of Skipton says

    This isn’t a strong edition of the BC Classic, Glenn. I’m very keen on So You Think’s chances here. 1 and 1/4 mile is his best distance too.

  34. The Almanac lunch trifecta is a tale of jubilation and woe. Ah, what could have been.

    As it is we got 8% of the trifecta. $385. OUr first ever collect.

    Had the 1 run third we had the tri for 62%.

    Here is an exercise for you experienced punters.

    What do you reckon the collect we for the following scenarios:

    3, 12, 1 (62%)

    12, 3, 9 (8%)

    12, 3, 1 (62%)

    The other tale of woe is that when one of our selections was scratched, I considered putting my top selection in to replace it. Yes, folks, that was the 9. But due process took control and we are $2000 poorer.

    However, thanks to everyone for coming to the lunch. Most enjoyable.

  35. David Downer says

    Thanks for the insight into the BC Classic Glenn …by that is sounds like So You Think might be “overs” in the States.

    He might upset some of the other more romantic local stories, so get on and snap up the value!

    The Victorian handicapper (who also sits on the world panel) was at our Cup eve lunch on Wednesday and mentioned that So You Think had maintained its rating throughout the european Summer – which almost pegs him the best 2000m horse in the world, and probably better than those he’s up against on Saturday.

    And we will get coverage of the race here at the family friendly timeslot on Sunday morning!

    Go Saints…

  36. David Downer says

    The Cup eve lunch is usually on Monday by the way …errr…

  37. Have just returned from sorting out the account at the All Nations Hotel, and I also picked up the white board. Illo received 10 votes on Monday and was the final hosre in via the voting. Lucas Cranach received 9. It was the next in line.

    Oh well.

  38. JTH – I should have been there – I never liked Illo.

  39. Peter Flynn says

    So You Think on dirt?

    The Arc was the aim. Is this an afterthought?

    Hope I’m wrong but I have my doubts.

  40. Peter Flynn says


    Too many punters were in love with Mourayan.

    Steer clear of Macedon Lodge. It seems a spooky place.

  41. Flynny,

    Do you have nightmares about Macedon Lodge ?

  42. We had lunch at the Dromana pub and watched the race. My wife and a daughter backed the winner. For a particularly uninterested observer it was a thrilling finish and we all sweated while the photo finish was being decided. Then we took the kids off to the light-house at Cape Shanck and walked down the wooden walk-way to the small rocky cove to watch the waves batter the rocky shore while the wild winds battered us. The walk back up to the light-house car park was pretty gruelling and I nearly lost my hat. The kids capped off a crappy weathered weekend on the peninsula with what they called a ripper afternoon picking up smooth peebled rocks and skipping them across the encroaching waves. Nature, what a wonderful entertainer!

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