The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The countdown is on until the Melbourne Cup 2022 is run and won this afternoon at Flemington, and below are the Races.com.au team’s late mail tips on the 162nd edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’!
There are 22 remaining chances in this season’s Group 1 $7.75 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) field following this morning’s withdrawal of The Bart Cummings winning mare Lunar Flare (lame in the off fore), and the winner will take out an incredible $4.4 million prize and the honour of claiming one of the greatest staying races in the world.
Melbourne Cup jump time is scheduled for 3:00pm (AEDT) as Flemington Race 7 today, and James Ferguson’s English raider Deauville Legend ($3.80) is favourite out to show the locals and imports how it’s done.
The internationally-trained visitors have a strong recent record in the world’s richest handicap with three wins in the past five years, and the money is on Deauville Legend to be the next after the locals kept the ‘Loving Cup’ trophy at home with Verry Elleegant’s victory last spring.
His lead-up form from the UK was franked in the Cox Plate, he’s drawn ideally in barrier nine and has three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
But is the top fancy the one the race morning track whispers are all about, and is there a roughie Melbourne Cup hope worth backing?
To Win: No. 8 Deauville Legend ($3.50 at time of publish) – BET NOW
If you’re expecting a big upset tip from us, sorry to let you down! Hard to see the favourite (even at his increasingly unbackable price) defeated here if the Australian debut of his former stablemate El Bodegon is to go off. That horse was third to this guy in the Group 2 Voltigeur at York in August before flying home for an eye-catching Cox Plate third down under. He’s not incredibly weighted as a northern hemisphere three-year-old in a Melbourne Cup field full of light-weight talent, but it’s far from a vintage line-up and he’s got the class to overcome the kilos. Unproven at the two miles, but is nicely-bred to stay so should handle the trip. BACK DON’T SACK.
Late Mail Danger: No. 6 Without A Fight ($11 at time of publish) – BET NOW
It was the Aussie’s turn in 2021 to retain the trophy, but have a feeling the overseas’ raid is strong again in 2022. Without A Fight was shorter in ante-post markets and is out to a bit of value now to challenge the other international that is stealing the show pre-race. Barrier 18, but Verry Elleegant shrugged that hoodoo winning from the gate last year. William Buick is a class English rider in town to partner this guy who is a genuinely tough stayer. Back-to-back winner over 2787m in York earlier in the year, including the Group 3 Silver Cup Stakes by 3.5 lengths, before a second at Newmarket with 62.5kg on his back ahead of his trip down under for the Cup race here. Down in weight and is a son of Teofilo who sired a couple of recent Melbourne Cup winners in Cross Counter (2018) and Twilight Payment (2020). There’s the nasty alley, but can still be right in the finish especially as it looks like we’ll have a near perfect Soft (5) track. EACH WAY.
Don’t Leave Out: No. 3 Knights Order ($14 at time of publish) – BET NOW
He’s been one we’ve had our eye on all along, but then he drew that outside alley! Into 23 here, but it’s still a test and one history says he won’t win from. But, as one of the genuine two mile horses in this field, surely he can get up in the money with the right ride by Tim Clark who is in terrific form? Has firmed notably in from $21 to $13 as a proven wet-tracker who will relish Slow and Heavy going. That kind of ground over 3200m can be gruelling, and this is one of the horses that can handle it. Sydney Cup winner in the autumn on a Heavy (10) winning by two lengths. Obviously that’s not a Melbourne Cup field he’s beaten, but still a huge effort. Carries more here with 55.5kg, but is rock hard fit and all four lead-up runs have been terrific. Caulfield Cup third was excellent only a length beaten with the same weight. CAN SURPRISE.
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