We couldn’t turn a blind eye to the race that stops a nation – so here’s our thoughts for today’s Melbourne Cup:
Best Bet: Trip to Paris (10)
I cannot back Fame Game at its current price and, frankly, wouldn’t be tipping the horse anyway because I think Trip to Paris will win this race and win it well. Won the Ascot Gold Cup over 4023m in June so will definitely get the distance and hit the line hard in the Caulfield Cup running the best last 200 in that race. Primed for this and should get the chocolates.
Best Roughie: Almoonqith (17)
Rattled home late in the Metrop after getting a terrible gate and then was excellent in the Geelong Cup. Has scored a great gate in the Cup coming from gate 10. Has won before over 2800m in Dubai and then ran the distance in the Dubai Gold Cup over 3200m.
Best on a wet track: Max Dynamite (8)
If there is any sting out of the ground at all in the Cup I can’t go past Max Dynamite. Last start was a win in the Lonsdale Cup at York over 3300m so the distance will not be an issue. Soft ground will not trouble this horse and has not missed a place in two heavy track runs.
This is a ridiculously hard race to pick every year but it is also the race where almost everyone has a multiple bet. I will be having a boxed exacta, trifecta and first four in the race and have narrowed the field down to seven horses that I believe must be included as follows:
Fame Game (3), Our Ivanhowe (4), Hartnell (6), Max Dynamite (8), Trip to Paris (10), Who Shot the Barman (11), Almoonqith (17)
If you box all of these horses a return of 10% of the dividend will cost you:
- Exacta: $4.20
- Trifecta: $21
- First 4: $84
Best Bet: Trip to Paris (10)
Cracking run in the Caulfield Cup to run second to Mongolian Khan. A proven stayer who won over 4023m in Group 1 class and meets this field 2 kg lighter, including Kingfisher who ran second. If the track stays at the good 3 predicted, should be extremely well placed to take the Cup back to Ed Dunlop.
Best Roughie: Grand Marshall (14)
Proven stayer who won the Group 1 Sydney Cup earlier this year over the same distance, trained by Chris Waller who has an ability to turn out stayers almost as frequently as most of us have hot dinners. Facing a tougher field here, but has raced once at Flemington for a win. Although the lead in form has not been the best, he’s capable.
Best on a wet track: The Offer (13)
If it rains and the track has any give, I’ll be putting all of my eggs in the one basket and following Gai Waterhouse’s 7yo gelding around. Won the Sydney Cup last year so is proven at the distance and has hit his straps at the right time, winning the Bendigo Cup last week. Has race fitness on his side and Damien Oliver on his back – hard to say no.
Trip to Paris (10), Grand Marshall (14), Red Cadeaux (9), Hartnell (6), Hokko Brave (7), The Offer (13), Our Ivanhowe (4)
With the exception of Our Ivanhowe, all proven at the distance. Have omitted Fame Game, the favourite, as I’m not sure he will be able to pull it off (but will probably wind up with egg on my face).
I can’t shake the feeling that Our Ivanhowe and Grand Marshall are either going to do something magnificent or something terrible. They could potentially pull off a good one.
Here’s to safe travel for all horses and most importantly, jockeys.
Best of luck all and happy punting.