After concerns earlier in the year that quarantine issues would force an international no-show in Flemington’s showcase race, the 2011 Melbourne Cup field now features a record 11 overseas raiders including two from the stables of high-profile European horseman Luca Cumani.
Originally hailing from Italy but now based at Newmarket in England, Cumani has prepared over 60 major winners across 10 countries throughout his prolific career as a trainer.
The Melbourne Cup, however, has eluded him.
The ever-dedicated Cumani has twice come close to preparing a Melbourne Cup winner having trained two runners-up in the time-honoured Flemington showdown.
His first Melbourne Cup second placegetter was Purple Moon who was defeated by the Lloyd Williams-owned Efficient in 2007.
Just 12 months later Cumani suffered a heartbreaking loss, popular grey galloper Bauer nudged out of the 2008 Melbourne Cup win by the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed who handed the Cups King his 12th victory by a nose.
Bauer was controversially scratched from the Melbourne Cup field last year in the eleventh hour due to fitness issues, and after looking on track for an incredible comeback this year, the now nine-year-old narrowly missed out on a start in the 2011 Cup having been balloted out by just one place.
Cumani now lays his hopes of a maiden Melbourne Cup victory in two horses, Drunken Sailor and Manighar.
Can one of Cumani’s two hopefuls finally break his Melbourne Cup hoodoo? Or will it be another case of ‘come back next year’ for the famed trainer.
#4 Drunken Sailor
- Barrier: 8
- Jockey: Dwayne Dunn
- Weight: 54kg
- Melbourne Cup Odds: $41 – Bet now at Luxbet
- Pros: Drunken Sailor has fair form in England having won the Goodwood Stakes back in July, and their seventh in the Caulfield Cup last start was better than it looks on paper. They have the right weight to be competitive dropping 2.5kg from Caulfield and meeting the favourite 4kg better. Keen for a good showing having missed the race last year when 11th in the Geelong Cup, has run second over 3218m in Britain so distance is a non-issue and local jockey Dunn helps their cause.
- Cons: Faces other European raiders that have beaten them before and can do so again, gets blinkers but may not be enough to sharpen them for this big test. Queries after a poor effort in trackwork last week.
- Verdict: Cumani is desperate and wouldn’t have accepted this horse if they didn’t stand some chance, include them in Melbourne Cup First Four selections at Luxbet for value.
- Barrier: 21
- Jockey: Damien Oliver
- Weight: 54kg
- Melbourne Cup Odds: $31 – Bet now at Luxbet
- Pros: Oliver is the jockey you want in the saddle after their Derby Day triple, nicely weighted too with 54kg. Has experience in the Melbourne Cup having run seventh last year from barrier 19. Comes off a last-start fourth in the Caulfield Cup, one better than their Caulfield Cup 5th from 12 months ago so look fit and improved. Very consistent and honest horse
- Cons: Yet to win in Australia and nasty barrier 21 won’t help their cause, is always thereabouts but that doesn’t win Melbourne Cups.
- Verdict: Won’t win but could finish in the placings with some luck and a good ride so take them in the Melbourne Cup Trifecta at Luxbet.
The $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) runs as Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (local time) on Tuesday November 1, 2011.
To view the Melbourne Cup field and betting odds, head to the Tabcorp-owned and trusted bookmaker Luxbet now.