Three-year-old gelding Military Zone capped off...
There are 23 remaining Melbourne Cup 2017 Horses in the field for the world’s richest handicap on Tuesday and with a triple figure winner saluting only two years ago it is anyone’s race.
There are an overwhelming number of Melbourne Cup facts and statistics to consider before the Group 1 $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) is run and won as Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (AEDT).
Our comprehensive 2017 Melbourne Cup Form Guide & Betting History goes over plenty of the historical data on the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’, but below we have also summed up the winning hopes of all the runners.
See what long distance specialists to back and sack in your Melbourne Cup bets through Ladbrokes.com.au below with our pass or fail mark on all the gallopers from our expert tipsters.
#1 HARTNELL ($26)
He tried last year and ran a brave third, but seemed to be going better. Has won over the distance, but not in Australia and not for a while. Gives all the weight away with 57.5kg so looks out-weighted and hasn’t raced since the ninth in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
#2 ALMANDIN ($9.50)
He’s a genuine class stayer, but going back-to-back in a Melbourne Cup rising 4.5kg on last time without the winning form to follow in? Hard to say he can do it again and was flat in The Bart Cummings last time out. Queries with Frankie Dettori on and would need to be improving.
#3 HUMIDOR ($10)
There are queries about out Darren Weir’s runner will go over 3200m, but the Cox Plate form has held up plenty of times in recent Melbourne Cup results. He ran a slashing second to Winx in the WFA showdown last start and is a dual Group 1 winner at Flemington. Plenty to like if he goes the distance.
#4 TIBERIAN ($26)
Internationals don’t win the Cup first-up, but there are few that just might be the first since Vintage Crop (1993) this year. Six-year-olds have dominated the Melbourne Cup results over the past decade and this one has winning form up to 3000m. Won four of his last five overseas and carted 60kg to a win in France last time out. Is versatile and looks well-weighted, just needs luck from the gate (22).
#5 MARMELO ($7.50)
A big wrap on this UK raider after the Caulfield Cup sixth reeling off the brilliant final sectionals. Always tipped to be better over the Melbourne Cup distance and he gets that here fitter for the first-up run. Getting a little short to back with favourites having such a poor record, but deserves the attention.
#6 RED CARDINAL ($20)
Another first-up international with genuine winning claims if he goes well fresh. Unbeaten at the two miles and trained by the race’s 2014 winning German trainer Andreas Wohler. Kerrin McEvoy rode Almandin to victory last year and is after a third victory on this galloper who well be settling back from the outside alley. Barrier dramas, but he’s got the form and other conditions to suit.
#7 JOHANNES VERMEER ($10)
Happy to leave this in-form Irish raider out. Yes he is classy and has had two good runs down under including the Caulfield Cup third, just think the 3200m is going to find him out. Hasn’t won over further than 2011m. That’s a red flag.
#8 BONDI BEACH ($67)
Rails run for the Lloyd Williams-owned, Robert Hickmott-trained import whose lead-up run left a lot to be desired. He was 11th and well beaten by stablemate Almandin in the Listed JRA Trophy (2500m) in his third Australian start. Was 13th in the Melbourne Cup results first-up down under last year with 56kg. Drops two kilos but has done nothing since to suggest he’s up to this.
#9 MAX DYNAMITE ($14)
There’s a bit of talk on this William Mullins-trained Irish stayer who is back in Australia after the excellent, and luckless, second to triple-figure winner Prince Of Penzance in the 2015 edition of the Melbourne Cup. Ticks a number of boxes including a nice weight (54kg) and gate (2), plus won his final lead-up overseas over 3419m under a big weight (73kg). That said, there are too many unknowns and not sure he’s travelling as well as two years ago.
#10 VENTURA STORM ($34)
Happy to forgive this Lindsay Park-trained import for the unplaced Caulfield Cup (13th) run. Second to Winx in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington prior was better. Again, query at the distance, but can surprise with triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss on from barrier six returning to Headquarters.
#11 WHO SHOT THE BARMAN (SCRATCHED)
#12 WICKLOW BRAVE ($61)
Too old. No nine-year-old has won the Melbourne Cup and cannot see that changing with a shock win from this Irish visitor. He’s the genuine two mile horse in the field (19:7-1-2) and so will be better than the Caulfield Cup 12th suggests, but he’s a better jumps horse and was well beaten in the race last year after the controversial ride from Dettori.
#13 BIG DUKE ($19)
Darren Weir has a very honest and genuine horse with this six-year-old who won Sydney’s St. Leger (2500m) under a big weight (58.5kg) two back. That followed a second in The Metropolitan (2400m) and was backed-up with the Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) fourth as the beaten favourite o Cox Plate Day. Was only two lengths off the winner though and can improve coming back from 57kg to 53.5kg. Weighed to win and should see out 3200m.
#14 US ARMY RANGER ($61)
Would only be tempted if we had a mud track, which we won’t, and he’s been beaten by far weaker forms. The Galileo stallion was flying last season, but his recent form has been very flat. Can’t see him turning that around here.
#15 BOOM TIME ($31)
Lindsay Park’s Caulfield Cup winner scored the boilover in the first leg of the Spring Cups double, and no doubt he’s in peak form. Gets into the Melbourne Cup 2017 field with just 53kg and jumps from gate nine with Cory Parish riding. There are two schools of thought. One is he is rock hard fit and can surprise again at generous Melbourne Cup odds. The other is that he peaked last time out and he won’t do the double. Tending towards the latter.
#16 GALLANTE ($101)
Triple figure chance did it two years ago, but won’t see a repeat of that from Gallante. Is a mudlark and surprised the team paid final acceptances. Geelong Cup seventh with 58kg wasn’t the worst run, but that form wasn’t franked in the Lexus Stakes. Before that ran last in the Naturalism Stakes and that’s his only other run since the 20th to stablemate Almandin in the 2016 Melbourne Cup. Best chance to win money back if you draw him in the Melbourne Cup Sweep for last.
#17 LIBRAN ($41)
Chris Waller is left with one horse after Who Shot Thebarman was scratched, and this horse was runner-up to that galloper in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last time out. He beat subsequent Lexus Stakes winner Cismontane and Big Duke in that run, but now has to replicate that. Is Group 1 placed at two miles in a former Sydney Cup race and is down to 53kg from gate seven. Just think he is in over his head.
#18 NAKEETA ($34)
Connections thought the genuine Ebor Handicap win back in late August was good enough to see this Scottish visitor surprise. He needs luck from the barrier (19) but and will probably be out classed here. Hard form line to follow and there are a number of queries.
#19 SINGLE GAZE ($41)
This Group 1 winning mare has been defying her sprinters’ pedigree for a while now and happy to say she can continue to do so stepping up in distance again. She is never far off the winner and doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Caulfield Cup second was brave, Kathy O’Hara retains the ride and while her 53kg isn’t great for a mare, think she can do enough for a top three run.
#20 WALL OF FIRE ($12)
One of the horses that only just made the Melbourne Cup starting line-up and it could prove a big pay day for connections. Debuted down under when runner-up to Lord Fandango (53kg) carrying 58kg in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m). Has winning form up to 2920m so should handle the two miles and will by flying with just 53kg.
#21 THOMAS HOBSON ($17)
Lightweight hope with 52kg who was another late Melbourne Cup inclusion for Willie Mullins, but think the barrier (20) and a faster-than-predicted pace will see this galloper get swamped late. Magic Man Joao Moreira will need to get him to settle and hard to know whether he’s a genuine flat horse or experienced enough.
#22 REKINDLING ($14)
The youngest horse in the field, races down under as a four-year-old but is a lightly-raced European three-year-old. The Group 1 St Leger fourth at Doncaster in mid-September suggests class. Winning form already up to 2816m so looks a promising stayer. Right weight with only 51.5kg and Corey Brown in the saddle who won on Shocking in 2009. Gate four to boot. Ticks a lot of boxes and can finish top four with a bit of luck.
#23 AMELIE’S STAR ($19)
There’s money for Darren Weir’s mare who is better fancied than the other female galloper Single Gaze, but not sure she’s up to it. Made the field winning The Bart Cummings here in a very good run, but she wasn’t great ridden off her usual style in the Caulfield Cup. Faded late and not really sure she wants two miles now.
#24 CISMONTANE ($51)
Chases the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double Shocking (2009) completed and there is no doubt the Derby Day win was an ultra-tough effort. Has versatility and carries just 50kg from last year’s winning barrier (17), so drops from 54kg. Is the lightweight racing for the third time in as many weeks, could be cooked.
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change
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