Can Bargain Buy Shamrocker Win the Ultimate Prize – 2011 Melbourne Cup Form

Shamrocker has already well-rewarded her connections with the “bargain buy” mare amassing close to $2 million in career prize money, but can she win the richest race in Australia and take out the $3.6 million first prize by becoming the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner?

The now four-year-old O’Reilly mare was purchased for a mere $NZ 65,000 by her Flemington-based trainer Danny O’Brien from the 2009 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, and since her debut at Mornington in January of 2010, Shamrocker has gone on to win four of her 17 career starts including two Group 1 features.


One-time Melbourne Cup 2011 favourite Shamrocker is now at $51 for Tuesday's showdown

Breaking a number of records and hoodoos during her stunning autumn campaign Shamrocker claimed the rare Australian Guineas – Australian Derby double.

She also ran a game third behind recent Cox Plate runner-up Jimmy Choux in the Rosehill Guineas and ran second to Absolutely in the AJC Oaks to finish off her stunning season.

Her successful three-year-old campaign, however, did not follow through for the spring.

Shamrocker is four runs into her four-year-old season but hasn’t finished better than seventh, which was in the Turnbull.

The Cox Plate 12th last-start was especially disappointing as Shamrocker had every opportunity from her inside alley.

So the form heading into Tuesday’s $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) is definitely not there and in a blow for the first of only two mares in this year’s Cup, Shamrocker will jump from the extreme outside barrier.

Considering this the $51 Melbourne Cup odds on Shamrocker to win through Luxbet are fair, but does she stand any kind of chance in this great race? Can she pull out a surprise form turnaround and finish top three in the Melbourne Cup 2011 results?

#20 Shamrocker – Horse Form

  • Jockey: Luke Nolen
  • Trainer: Danny O’Brien
  • Owners: Mr J R Dimery, Raffles Farm, Mr K J Woolley, Mr A J Smith, Mr C P Wylie, Mr J C Hitt, Mr R J Callister, Mr S S Larkey
  • Age: 4YO
  • Gender: Mare
  • Breeding: by O’Reilly (NZ) from Bohemian Blues (NZ)
  • Career: 17:4-2-2
  • Prize Money: $1,975,888
  • Track: 7-2-1-1
  • Distance: 0-0-0-0
  • Current Melbourne Cup Odds: $51 to Win / $13.50 to Place – Bet now at Luxbet

Melbourne Cup 2011 Pros for Shamrocker

  • Luke Nolen may not have ridden a Melbourne Cup winner, but he is an in-form hoop with plenty of experience in the big ones thanks to Black Caviar
  • Is a dual Group 1 winner which must account for something, $2 million prize money doesn’t come easy
  • Carries just 52kg, drops 3.5kg from the Cox Plate and is the lightest she has ever had on her back
  • Could have been waiting for this distance, furthest she has run to date is 2500m when second in the 2010 Crown Oaks
  • Flemington is her home track and she does love the big course, she has two wins and two minor placings from her seven starts here
  • There is still hope from barrier 24, Brew won from 23 in 2000
  • Is the sole 4YO in the race, four-year-olds have 43 Melbourne Cups equal highest with 5YO’s
  • Is being a mare for or against? Five of the last 11 Melbourne Cups have been won by mares, seven in the past 21 years; prior to Empire Rose (1988) however the last winning mare was Light Fingers (1965)

Melbourne Cup 2011 Cons for Shamrocker

  • Neither her trainer (O’Brien) nor jockey (Nolen) have won a Melbourne Cup
  • Barrier 24 – what a disaster gate, if she couldn’t finish in the top 10 from barrier 1 in the Cox Plate she is unlikely to do it in the Melbourne Cup from the extreme outside
  • Only has a fair Win Rate of 23.53%
  • Her recent form says she is not good enough would need to improve hugely having been beaten by a collective 34 lengths in her four most recent runs
  • Only four of the last 18 Melbourne Cup winners were unplaced in their lead-up run with Viewed (2008), Efficient (2007), Makybe Diva (2003) and Jezabeel (1998)

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