The Melbourne Cup 2016 start time is nearing and below the Races.com.au team have a look at the last minute word from the Melbourne Cup jockeys to try and uncover some sneaky late mail Melbourne Cup tips.
There are 24 horses and 24 hoops taking to the barriers in Flemington Race 7 when the 156th edition of the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) steals the spring show this afternoon.
Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au say Hartnell – who has firmed back into $5.50 after the favourite got out to $6 earlier in the day – is the one to beat.
The punters are saying Big Orange is the danger, last year’s fifth-placed English raider firming opening Melbourne Cup odds of $18 right into $12.
But what did the jockeys who seek the glory of riding a Melbourne Cup winner to victory in the ‘race that stops a nation’ have to say when they spoke to Racing Victoria?
Melbourne Cup Favourite
James McDonald – No. 6 Hartnell ($5.50)
- Barrier 12 (56kg)
- 4 Melbourne Cup rides for one second
“I think barrier 12 is excellent for us as it gives me options. Unlike last year, I think the race will be run at a genuine tempo. With that in mind, I’ll be hoping to settle just ahead of midfield. The key will be getting him to settle and switch off early, if that happens he is going to be very hard to hold out.”
Races.com.au Melbourne Cup Tip
Jamie Spencer – No. 1 Big Orange ($12)
- Barrier 7 (57kg)
- 2 Melbourne Cup rides for no placings
“My horse is a rhythm horse, it is all about where he is comfortable and where he is happy. If that means we are in a forward position so be it. We learned a lot from the experience last year and the horse is going better this time around.”
Melbourne Cup Market Mover
Kerrin McEvoy – No. 17 Almandin ($10)
- Barrier 17 (52kg)
- 13 Melbourne Cup rides for one win, one second and a third
“I’ve got some nice confidence in the horse, I’m really pleased with him. It just looks a nice race for him, he drops nicely in weight and he’s had a nice little freshen up going into the big race.”
Roughie Melbourne Cup Chances
Damian Lane – No. 16 Beautiful Romance ($71)
- Barrier 1 (52.5kg)
- 1 Melbourne Cup ride for no placing
“I know she’s a quality mare, and she’s got some great formlines around her. I think she won’t be too far away from the speed, and I think she’ll be getting a lovely run from barrier one to give her a chance late.”
Stephen Baster – No. 21 Secret Number ($31)
- Barrier 10 (52kg)
- 8 Melbourne Cup rides for one third
“I’ve looked at his form and I watched his run here [last year]. He looks to be quite an impressive horse, so fingers crossed he can run an impressive race. He raced a little bit keen in his run here, and since then, he’s been gelded and got the hood on [blinkers] now. And he apparently had a very impressive win when he went home [to the UK], so he looks like he’s improved.”
Best Melbourne Cup Winning Jockeys
Glen Boss – No. 19 Grey Lion ($41)
- Barrier 16 (52kg)
- 13 Melbourne Cup rides (since 1983) for three wins, a second and a third
“The Geelong Cup form looks a little stronger now than what people may have believed at the time with Oceanographer winning the Lexus in good fashion last Saturday. We’ve drawn to have plenty of room in the run and I think that will suit the horse because to me he looks like he wants to build in to the race. He is an outside chance that may surprise.”
Damien Oliver – No. 5 Exospheric ($21)
- Barrier 13 (56kg)
- 26 Melbourne Cup rides (since 1983) for three wins and three seconds
Co-trainer Lee Freedman says: “His closing effort in the Caulfield Cup wouldn’t instil any fear into you, so he’s certainly worth taking his place. He lost a fair bit of weight in the Caulfield Cup, but he replaced it quickly. I think hopefully the winning move is that we moved him straight from quarantine to Pinecliff, and I think that rural environment has been very good for the horse.”