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This week Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller is after his first win in the ‘Race That Stops a Nation’ launching a three-pronged attack on the 2014 Melbourne Cup field including The Metropolitan winner Junoob.
A four-time Sydney premiership winning trainer, Waller saddled up two chances in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last year with Foreteller and Hawkspur finishing 15th and 18th respectively behind Fiorente.
This year he’s looking to improve on that disappointing effort with proven two-milers in Auckland Cup winner Who Shot Thebarman ($21) and Sydney Cup runner-up Opinion ($67), as well as the imported Junoob ($26).
Junoob has eased out in the Melbourne Cup betting markets from $21 but has nice lead-up form into Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday.
Drawn nicely in barrier two with Hugh Bowman to ride, the Haafhad seven-year-old enjoyed back-to-back Sydney wins earlier this prep including the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on October 4.
He then ran again on October 18 in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) when a credible seventh behind now $5.50 Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti.
Up over the two miles for the first time, Junoob is looking to improve on that run with the extra distance and Waller rates him a tip chance to do just that on Tuesday.
“Junoob won a tough The Metropolitan, and he was very unlucky in the Caulfield Cup,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“He should have finished in the first three that day, and there’s no better form going into a Melbourne Cup.”
Melbourne Cup Horse Form: #8 Junoob
- Barrier: 7
- Weight: 55.5kg
- Jockey: Hugh Bowman
- Trainer: Chris Waller
- Owners: Mr R A Pegum, Mr G Towzell, Mrs M Towzell
- Age: 7YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Haafhd (GB) by Faydah (USA)
- Career: 32-11-4-4
- Win: 34%
- Place: 59%
- Last 6: x86117
- Prize Money: $895, 112
- Track: 1-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2014 Melbourne Cup Odds: $26
Why Junoob Can Give Waller his 1st Melbourne Cup Winner
- Drawn to perfection in barrier seven which last produced a Melbourne Cup winner with Makbye Diva for her second in 2004
- Even with the 1.5kg penalty for The Metropolitan win looks well weighted with 55.5kg which is the same he had in the Caulfield Cup last start and 2.5kg under his Group 1 winning weight from two back
- The Metropolitan victory over the 2400m was a tough effort and saw him hold off his proven two mile placegetting stable mate Opinion
- Caulfield Cup seventh was far from a disgrace as he crossed only 2.25 lengths off Admire Rakti after jumping from barrier 12 (of 18)
- Caulfield Cup has produced 13 of the past 30 Melbourne Cup winners so is the form race to follow
Why Junoob Won’t be the 2014 Melbourne Cup Winner
- Jockey change in Hugh Bowman who is yet to ride a Melbourne Cup winner
- Waller is yet to trainer a Melbourne Cup winner with two failed efforts 12 months ago
- Needs to handle the 3200m which he’s never been over
- Could be better horses over the distance
- Getting on in the years with 7yos usually beaten to the line by four, five and six-year-olds in the Cup
- 59% Place Rate suggests a top three run over the win
- Only one previous start at the track for a well-beaten ninth over 2800m on Melbourne Cup Day last year
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