The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
2023 Melbourne Cup Scratchings Update: No. Cleveland (23) has been withdrawn on Monday evening due to an elevated temperature. Click here to read the full story.
The world-famous Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run and won on Tuesday afternoon, and below we have our expert 2023 Melbourne Cup tips and best bets on the great two-mile classic.
The 23-horse Melbourne Cup field is confirmed, the all-important barriers have been drawn, the lead-up runs are done and dusted, and all that is left is for the light to go on at 3:00pm (AEDT).
The trainers have done what they can and it now up to this year’s classy Melbourne Cup horses and the hoops aboard them to get the job done in the famous Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November.
With an imposing contingent of international raiders led by long-time favourite Vauban for Irish horseman Willie Mullins dominating the Melbourne Cup betting markets, can the locals fight back and keep the 163rd Melbourne Cup trophy at home?
Will Gold Trip go back-to-back for the Maher/Eustace stable even with his hefty 58.5kg weight or will we see an upset Melbourne Cup result once the best three minutes of sport is complete for another spring?
Find out what stayers we’re tipping in our Melbourne Cup exotics below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for all the markets on the ‘race that stops a nation’!
To Win: #5 Vauban ($4.20 at time of publish) – BET NOW
He’s been a dominant favourite in Melbourne Cup betting for a long time now and while we’d like to find some value or be cheering home a local this Willie Mullins-trained raider really does look hard to beat. The classy Galiway gelding is out to be the fifth Irish-trained Melbourne Cup winner in history and Mullins had him pegged for this a long way out with confidence. No horse has jumped under $3.50 in Melbourne Cup betting and won since Makybe Diva for her second in 2004 so the fact he is now out over $4 for the win at time of publish is a plus for the deserving favourite. A seven-time winner from 14 starts his latest was a gutsy effort in a Group 3 at a mile and a half in August. Before that he floored them putting an easy 7.5 lengths on his rivals with a hefty 61kg on his back. He looks extremely well weighted for the Cup with 55kg. It has been a while between runs but his outstanding lead-up work at Flemington suggests he is fit and ready to fire. He has winning form up to 3382m so the Melbourne Cup distance is no stress and he’ll appreciate the room at the course. Carries big weights to victory in the hurdle races at home but does need to break his Group 1 flat racing duck here. Will take some beating especially with one of the best riders in the world in Ryan Moore on his back.
To Challenge: #4 Breakup ($17 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Cannot believe you can get this gun Japanese galloper at $17 at time of publish. That is a huge price for a dour stayer that should run out the two miles. Odds went out when he drew barrier 18. Yes, that is wide but there is time to overcome the alley, and let’s not forget that Verry Elleegant (2021) broke the gate 18 hoodoo winning from this gate a couple of years back. Fitter second-up after a Caulfield Cup eighth that was better than it looks on paper and predicting sharp improvement. Gets Japanese hoop Kohei Matsuyama on now in a plus. A nicely-bred Novellist stallion who was good in April’s coveted Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) finishing fourth at a big price with 58kg. Back to 55kg here. Definitely one of the forgotten dark horse international Melbourne Cup contenders.
To Feature: Gold Trip ($7 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Is Gold Trip an outright champion? We’re about to find out! Just looking at what this Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained import has done in the majors over the past two years already suggests he’s a very good horse. Won the race last year with 57.5kg after runs in the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate. Same lead-up this year with equally impressive performances. That said, they were tougher runs than last year on firmer going so he’s got to be feeling it. Carries the 58.5kg top-weight and Think Big (1975 for his second) was the last to cart those kilos to a Melbourne Cup win. Mark Zahra coming off could be a worrying sign, but I think he might be reading too much into the weight. James McDonald is a star and won the Cox Plate on Romantic Warrior so makes a perfectly fine replacement. In a Cup field where a lot of the big players still have a 3200m question mark, this dour former French galloper has that over his rivals. Drawn to win with the class to back him up. Back-to-back?
To Improve: #7 Absurde ($12 at time of publish) – BET NOW
We’ve got money coming in for the stablemate to the favourite with Mullins’ other runner heavily backed since final acceptances on Saturday afternoon. Was as long as $23 but since drawing a treat in gate eight his quote has halved. Zac Purton is over from Hong Kong and takes the ride on 53kg. Was brained by Absurde eight lengths beaten at home in a recent run but think he’ll be improving notable on that. Subsequent win last start in the Ebor Handicap (2816m) at York in late August to win his spot in the Melbourne Cup field. Did that with 60.5kg from barrier 22. Gets a better barrier and will be airborne dropping so many kilos here. Two-miles? No worries! He has won up to 4023m so is one of the genuine stayers in the race. Rarely misses a spot in the top three and he’ll relish the firm going with an outstanding dry track record. Look out!
To Surprise: #15 Lastotchka ($21) and #21 Future History ($18) – BET NOW
A couple of light weights at good prices for exotics for those chasing the value. Lastotchka looks a little pocket rocket. She’s a French import now with Price & Kent Jnr. racing first-up down under with Craig Williams aboard. A bit of a tough one to gauge the form lines, but she’ll get the 3200m as a last start Group 3 winner with 56kg at Longchamp over 3100m. Needs to be good, but can surprise a few. Future History has a more proven lead-up down under and is one in the Maher/Eustace contingent down in weight and coming off a Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup third. Flemington winner in The Bart Cummings before that. Let’s see how Hollie Doyle goes!
*All Melbourne Cup odds quoted are provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change.
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