This year, like the last 15 years or so, it is fashionable to attract international runners to the Melbourne Cup seemingly at the expense of some good local candidates. In the past they have had some success but how does this year’s lot shape up.
In our view the 2010 Melbourne Cup field is the best field assembled for the last 20 years, it has some outstanding horses and each could have been top of their group in any other year. The likes of the champ So You Think, Shoot Out, last years winner Shocking, the Caulfield Cup winner Descarado and past derby winners, make no mistake this is a good year.
So the overseas horses need to be even better than they have been in the past. But we don’t think so, we don’t think any of the overseas visitors have a chance of winning the Melbourne Cup in 2010.
Here is a brief look at the International horses:
Campanologist has raced 25 times for 9 wins and 8 placings and was racing in Group 2 and 3 races in England winning a weak Group 3 race at Windsor against 7 other runners. After getting soundly beaten in a Group 1 race in England, Campanologist went to Dubai where he won an average Group 2 race then got thrashed in the Group 1, found his way over to Germany, which would be like racing in Tasmania, and won 2 Group 1 races over 2400 meters. He then came back to England with his chest all puffed out and ran a 6 length 3rd in a Group 3. Owned by the Godolphin stables and Dettori has elected to ride the stablemate. Doesn’t read as well as So You Thinks form does it?
Illustrious Blue has had 54 starts for 10 wins and 17 placings with recent form is in Group 2, Group 3 and listed races in the UK. Illustrious Blue has won over 3200 meters a few times but seems to have been in racing for almost 12 months without a spell, travelling from the UK to Dubai, back to the UK and then to Australia. He is an 8 year old that can’t go on a wet track and should probably be retired.
Hong Kong galloper Mr Medici struggled to win over in HK, having won only 5 of his 34 starts and placed 19 times. Mr Medici’s run in the Caulfield Cup this year was fair but we really have to question the form from the Caulfield Cup this year. Can’t win the Melbourne Cup, more of an Adelaide or Perth Cup type horse .
Americain has had 19 starts for 7 wins and 5 placings. This French galloper is the first from his country to compete in the Cup and won a good Australian lead up race, the same one Media Puzzle won before he went on to win the Cup. He has won his last 4 races, his last 2 in France were over 3000m before coming here and winning the Geelong Cup, but Mosse couldn’t have parted the field any better and he got a cushion run in the race. We don’t think the Geelong Cup form is very strong this year. Really struggled in any Group 1 races he contested in France and was best performed at listed to Group 3 level and his best win was when he fell in at Group 2 level. Just beat Manighar in France and meets him 1.5kg worse.
Don’t get us started, whoever owns the horse that just missed out on making the final field we sympathise with you. Tokai Trick has had 44 starts for 8 wins, it’s a nine year old, it cannot win. This would be like sending Jungle Ruler over to win the Japan Cup (we love you Jungle Ruler but not in the Japan Cup). If this horse wins the Melbourne Cup we will quit horse tipping.
There should be some minimum recent form qualification for overseas runners. In Buccellati last 4 starts it has been beaten by 18 lengths, 7 lengths, 8 lengths and 17 lengths. These were all Buccellati’s runs in Australia since coming from overseas. Cleary A Noonan doesn’t give it the same supplements they were giving it overseas, this will run along side Tokai Trick.
Manighar’s best result is winning a 6 field Group 2 race in France. He has had 13 starts for 6 wins, he won his first 5 starts in a row and his first 4 were all open handicap races over 2400m. Ran 5th in the Caulfield Cup which was a fair run but just isn’t up to the best Australian horses.
Profound Beauty ran well in the Melbourne Cup 2 years ago for 5th, is a lot more seasoned now and arguably in better form too. Has had 20 starts for 9 wins and 7 placings, she is now a 7 year old mare and we think the best of the overseas runners. We don’t think Profound Beauty can win the Cup but it is worthy of being in the field.
Bauer nearly won a weak Melbourne Cup 2 years ago, in fact would have won it if it was a slightly bigger horse! Has had 21 starts for 6 wins and 5 placings but has only had 2 starts in 2 years, the first one was beaten by 50 lengths (yes that is fifty) and the next start was beaten by 6 lengths in a weak 7 horse Group 3 race when finishing 4th. How bad were the ones that finished behind it.
Holberg is supposed to be the highest rated international runner this year and going on previous highest rated overseas horses you should just rule a line through it, but we cant do that. Has had 12 starts for 6 wins but to be fair took 4 starts to win its maiden, struggled in anything above Group 3 level, surely Godolphin you have better horses than this worthy of such a racing event. Last start won a 1985meter event in the UK by a head beating 4 other runners, doesn’t sound like good form to win Australia’s richest race does it.
So our advice is don’t bet on the overseas runners if you want to try and win on this years Melbourne Cup. But if you must Profound Beauty is probably the way to go if the track isn’t too cut up and rated above a Slow 6.