Is Spanish Mission Up to The Task in the Melbourne Cup 2021?

November 1, 2021

Is Spanish Mission Up to The Task in the Melbourne Cup 2021?

He was under an injury cloud and on a time-sensitive race to pass the fitness test for the 2021 Melbourne Cup, but now that he’s in can Spanish Mission deliver another win for the internationals?

Craig Williams. Photo: Steve Hart | Races.com.au

Craig Williams partners Spanish Mission in Tuesday’s 2021 Melbourne Cup field at Flemington. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Andrew Balding-trained UK raider is one of just two northern hemisphere-trained visitors in this year’s arguably “weaker” edition of the time-honoured Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).

The defending champion out of Ireland Twilight Payment is the other.

The internationals have a dominant record in recent Melbourne Cup history but are not there in force this year due to COVID-19 and just plain bad luck for Away He Goes who was withdrawn early due to injury.

It seemed the same fate might befall Spanish Mission after he passed his first two VRC vet checks due to heat in his foreleg, but on Saturday afternoon he finally got the all clear much to the relief of connections.

The Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Spanish Mission on the drift out from $7 to $11, so can he overcome the far from ideal lead-up and keep the strong strike-rate of internationals going in an upset over Incentivise?

2021 Melbourne Cup Horse Form: #3 Spanish Mission

Barrier: 14

Weight: 57kg

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: Andrew Balding

Owner/s: Mr G Barber, Mr B Irwin

Age: 6yo

Gender: Entire

Breeding: by NOBLE MISSION (GB) from LIMONAR (IRE)

Career: 18-6:4:3

Win: 33.33%

Place: 72.22%

Last 10: 17x2513x2x

Prize Money: $2,092,657

Track: 0:0-0-0

Distance: 3:0-0-0

Current 2021 Melbourne Cup Odds*: $11

Why Spanish Mission Can Win the 2021 Melbourne Cup

  • Barrier 14 looks an ideal starting position for the international
  • Jockey Craig Williams will be after atonement after his narrow Cox Plate loss and won this race just two years ago on Vow And Declare (2019)
  • Is a dour stayer having won over 3600m previously
  • Very good lead-up form in Britain winning the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2787m) with 59kg by nearly three lengths
  • Ran third in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4014m) in June
  • Last start second to one of Europe’s best Stradiviarius in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3270m) narrowly beaten only a neck off carrying 58.5kg in August was excellent

Why Spanish Mission Can’t Win the 2021 Melbourne Cup

  • The injury cloud interrupted his preparation and it’s never ideal to have to be treated for injury so close to the big race
  • One of the higher-weighted runners with 57kg
  • Races in Australia as a six-year-old and it is the four and five-year-old horses who have dominated the Melbourne Cup results throughout history
  • Zero-from-three over the distance
  • Only has a 33.33% win rate so looks better for a place finish
  • Yet to win first-up from seven attempts (7:0-4-1)
  • Would prefer a softer track

Think Spanish Mission is the horse to challenge Incentivise in the Melbourne Cup 2021? Head to Ladbrokes.com.au now to back the raider at the best possible price.

*Note: 2021 Melbourne Cup odds are correct at time of publish, provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change without notice. 

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