The 7 million dollar race that stops the nation is here. This is every owners, punters, jockeys and trainers dream to win the famous race on the first Tuesday in November. The lonely track work that starts at 3am every day all leads to this week and for the lucky ones a runner in the feature race. This race is an obsession for me personally and as I watch my 15th consecutive cup live from Flemington I will shed a tear thinking about the champions that made a nation roar and imagine what it would have been like to have seen Peter Pan, Phar Lap, Think Big and Carbine race to cup glory.
As another chapter is written in front of me I will think about my boys, my brother, and sadly my father who passed recently. It is my first cup with out my dad and I will be a mess win, lose or draw. I miss you mate. I realise that thanks to racing I will always share a special bond with him and I will always have a sun to chase in his memory. As a whole country freezes to watch the next horse race into equine immortality I will reflect on this great race and know that the friendships I have made through racing and the Melbourne Cup can never be matched through money or longshot winners. Nothing beats spring….This is the Melbourne Cup…..Chase The Sun.
Lexus Melbourne Cup (Group 1)
1. Best Solution. The Caulfield Cup winner who has strung several Group 1 wins together. Hasn’t gone past 2400m and needs to lump 57.5kg. He will give a great sight, he has drawn well and he will take beating.
2. The Cliffsofmoher. The pace in The Caulfield Cup ruined his chance but still ran home well. Form behind Roaring Lion is solid and he looks like he will eat up the 3200m.
3. Magic Circle. Flying at the moment. Won his last two impressively including a win at Group 3 level. Won his last two by 6 lengths. Corey Brown knows how to ride this race. Include in everything.
4. Chestnut Coat. Got hammered in The Caulfield Cup and was given no chance. His form in The Tenno Sho over 3200m in April reads well for this and he maybe worth a forgive run. Over the odds.
5. Muntahaa. Won The Ebor over 2787m which is traditionally a good lead up for this race. Well weighted with 55.5kg. Has been held safely by Best Solution in the past. 3200m will suit. One of the many chances.
6. Sound Check. Probably need to give him a forgive run on his Australian Debut. Previous form reads well.
7. Who Shot TheBarman. 10 year old who lines up for his 127th run in the race. He won’t be far off the mark but I think his best has passed him. Impressive winner of The Sydney Cup but this is a different level.
8. Ace High. Ridden upside down in The Caulfield Cup. First horse beaten and I have a query of his form since winning The Derby last year.
9. Marmelo. Last year’s favourite. First up this year which is interesting. Has the talent and the jockey to win the race. Early money for him suggest he will be a chance.
10. Avilius. Import who has been impressive in Australia. Won his first 4 starts down under before running well behind Winx. In great form and has to be a live chance for James Cummings.
11. Yucatan. Irish galloper who won with ultimate ease in The Herbert Power. Could have won by 10 lengths and was eased down to a trot and canter. Most impressive cup trial since Phar Lap in 1930. Only query is the 3200m but he should appreciate the extra ground. The one to beat.
12. Auvray. Not going well enough for mine. Good run in The Metropolitan but this is harder and I prefer others.
13. Finche. Ran well in The Geelong Cup. Son of Frankel who is showing a lot of promise. Could sneak into the top 3 at good odds. Rough hope.
14. Red Carnival. Struggling for form and did nothing in this race last year. Would surprise if he took this out. Darren Weir is a great trainer but not even he can get this over the line first. Needs a taxi.
15. Vengeur Masque. Another one who was checked in The Caulfield Cup. Won The Queen Elizabeth on Stakes Day last year. This is a step up in grade and he would need to improve dramatically.
16. Ventura Storm. Won The Monee Valley Cup well. The now gelding is flying and the throat operation seems to have done the trick. Not sure he gets a strong 3200m and I think he is B grade not A grade.
17. A Prince Of Arran. Won The Lexus yesterday in impressive fashion. Start before he chased Yucatan and put the writing on the wall for a big run in this race. 53kg is a gift and he is a real chance.
18. Nakeeta. Finished 5th in this race last year. Blocked for a run in The Moonee Valley Cup after getting too far back. Not the worst at $71.
19. Sir Charles Road. Really liked it’s run in The Bendigo Cup. Runs 3200m well and should have won The Sydney Cup this year. Great $100-1 pop. Throw in your exotics.
20. Zacada. $151 is under the odds. Racing poorly and Auckland Cup form will not measure up here.
21. Runaway. One for the Grayson fans. The impressive Geelong Cup winner who racing consistently. He will give a good sight and look the winner on turning. Long Flemington straight and 3200m will find him out.
22. Youngstar. No luck in The Caulfield Cup. Sensational run behind Winx in The Turnbull. First go at the 3200m but I don’t think it will be a problem. Light weight chance if she is up to the grade.
23. Cross Counter. Reminds me of the winner last year. Lightly raced 4 year old who has put two together before running second in a strong Group 2 race at York. My clear second pick.
24. The People’s Rostropovich. Great run in The Cox Plate. Pushed forward and set the pace before tiring late. Will improve off that and dropping back to handicap from weight for age is a massive tick. Great each way value at $26.
1. Yucatan (11) $5
2. Cross Counter (23) $9
3. The Cliffsofmoher (2) $15
4. A Prince Of Arran (17) $17
5. Marmelo (10) $18
6. Best Solution (1) $16
Chips In Best Bet: Flemington Race 1 Number 1 Champagne Boom (20 units the win @$2.50)
Best Each Way: Flemington Race 7 Number 11 Yucatan (7 units the win 3 units the place @$5)
Best Roughie: Flemington Race 10 Number 4 Princess Posh (3 units the win 7 units the place @$12)
Next Best: Flemington Race 3 Number 3 Fifty Stars (5 units the win 5 units the place @$2.50)
Best Place: Flemington Race 5 Number 5 Roosevelt (10 units the place @$1.80)
Happy Punting! The Race That Stops A Nation!
Chase The Sun
Tony James Edser