Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
1. AMERICAIN (trainer Alain De Royer-Dupre) (26: starts 10 wins 3-3):
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner is back in Australia in a big way. Last year he was restricted to just two runs. The Geelong Cup and Melbourne Cup and won them both. Again it is a two race attack and the first one is already in the bag. Americain won the Moonee Valley Cup on October 22 and now it is on to the Cup. His old and wise trainer Alain de Royer Dupre arrived Sunday morning before the Cup and watched the seven year old work and came up with one word. “Perfect”. His has 3-1/2kg more than last year but will start favourite and deservedly so. Luxbet have it at $4/40 fav.
2. JUKEBOX JURY (Mark Johnston) (21: 9-2-2):
The UK trained galloper with the good strike received a compliment from a rival trainer Mikel Dalzangles (trains Dunaden) when he said it was the class horse of the race. Having his first start in Australia. The grey has won three of its last four starts including the Irish St Leger (dead-heated) a traditionally good Melbourne Cup trial. Perfectly drawn in barrier six, the front runner gets a chance to strut its stuff. Interestingly he has never raced on slow or heavy track. Question mark is whether he has a a sharp sprint when required. Will stay 3200m and must be in the mix. Luxbet have it $12.
3. DUNADEN (Mikel Delzangles) (27:7-8-5):
This trainer was assisstant to Americain’s trainer for 10 years before going out on his own and making a success of it. He is following the old master in trying to get a French horse to win a Melbourne Cup. Dunaden has defeated Americain in Europe and if you purely goon weights, he should do it again. He won the Geelong Cup at his first run in Australia with plenty in hand. Importantly he can quicken rapidly form a slow pace to a quick one. Likes it wet or dry. Second favourite with Luxbet at $7.50 and is a great hope.
4. DRUNKEN SAILOR (Luca Cumani) (41:11-9-4):
Missed a Melbourne Cup start last year when narrowly failed to make the field. He did race and disappointed twice in the 2010 CaulfieldCup and 2010 Queen’s Cup at Flemington. He seems to have had a better time of it this year in Europe and had a win over Jukebox Jury at Goodwood when snuck up on the fence. He has had one run in Australia this year when seventh in the Caulfield Cup to Southern Speed. Nicely drawn in barrier eight, he handles both wet and dry ground but perhaps wet would be best. A great omen tip on this celebrated day. His is great odds with Luxbet at $41 and he is more than a flukers hope.
5. GLASS HARMONIUM (Mike Moroney) (21:5-5-2):
Suddenly the class runner of the Cup, at least from the Australian trained horses after an all the way win in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Saturday. His trainer Mike Moroney is a little concerned he can run the 3200m right out but Glass Harmonium is in good hands with Moroney having trained the 2000 Melbourne Cup winner Brew. He placed in the 2400m Brisbane Cup behind Tullamore and that is as far as he has raced. This six year old has drawn badly in barrier 23 but is still likely to get across and lead the field. One thing he does love is Flemington and it may carry him a long way. Normally Mackinnon winner would be a short price for the Melbourne Cup but Luxbet have this fella at $34 with the distance doubt in mind. If he can run it you are getting great odds but that one is an unknown even to the experts.
6. MANIGHAR (Luca Cumani): (20:6-3-3):
Ran seventh in the Melbourne Cup last year and appears to run the same type of race each start. Always close but no cigar. Luca Cumani is one of the great trainers in Europe and finished second in the 2008 Cup with Bauer beaten a lip by Viewed. Cumani is trying something different with Manighar and applying the blinkers. He reportedly worked sluggishly recently but that is just his way. Manighar finished fourth to Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup, again good but not quite when beaten three lengths by Southern Speed. He has barrier 21 which is not much help but also the in-form jockey of the carnival in Damien Oliver. Can he win, probably not but should you include in in exotics such as quinellas, trifectas, first fours as such the answer is yes. Luxbet have him at $41.
7. UNUSUAL SUSPECT (Michael Kent) (59:9-8-6):
A former USA galloper now in Australia in the twilight of his career. But he seems to be getting better with age. The eight year old won a Group 1 race over 2400m at Hollywood Park in November last before being imported. He has had just three runs here for two very good ones including his last start sixth in the Caulfield Cup behind Southern Speed. He was shuffled back to last but finished strongly giving indication that he could get the 3200m which to date is a distance he is yet to race over. A black horse in colour might very well be the dark horse in terms of chance in the 2011 Melbourne Cup. Luxbet have him at $26. The type ho could run a big race.
8. FOX HUNT (Mark Johnston) (15:5-4-0):
Considered by many as UK trainer Mark Johnston’s second stringer after Jukebox Jury but not necessarily so by Johnston. While Johnston has a bit of a concern that Jukebox Jury won’t sprint when the 2011 Melbourne Cup gets serious, he believes Fox Hunt will. Johnston thinks that the Australian way will very much suit Fox Hunt. He was the unlucky runner in the Ebor Handicap at York and could have had a win to his name there. He then won the German St Leger. Fox Hunt is yet to race in Australia but will run 3200m and handles wet and dry ground. In fact he is undefeated in the wet from two starts. Luxbet have him at $26. Worth a thought.
9. LUCAS CRANICH (Anthony Freedman) (10:5-1-0):
A German import with Lee and Anthony Freedman. Those boys have won five Melbourne Cups and know what it takes. Lucas Cranich had his first start in Australia in the Caulfield Cup and at the home turn looked a big chance before finishing fifth. The week before he was having problems with a hoof, a cracked heel, that the stable have now admitted set him back. What Lucas Cranich did show was a good turn of foot. The stable believe he has improved and the cracked heel is healed. Yet to race beyond 2400m he gives the indication he will as he settles well in races. Lee Freedman transferred his trainer’s license to Anthony to look after his special project called “Lucas”. With Luxbet he is a $10 and should be treated seriously.
10. MOURAYAN (Robert Hickmott) (27:3-7-4):
This horse has always been considered a tad away form the best. Good runs in big races but never getting the first prize. Mourayan was imported to Australia in late 2009 and couldn’t win a race. He finally broke through two years later when winning the Bart Cummings two starts ago. Still dismissed he then ran a great race when second in the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday behind Glass Harmonium. Traditionally the best run in the Mackinnon should be respected and this fellow was just that. He has been placed over 3200m so that isn’t a worry. His owner Lloyd Williams has won three Melbourne Cup with Just A Dash (1981), What A Nuisance (1985) and Efficient (2007). Being treated with more respect Luxbet have him at $17.
11. PRECEDENCE (Bart Cummings) (32:6-4-1):
One of two Bart Cummings runners in the Cup. The Cups king has won a record 12 Melbourne Cups and won’t be happy until he gets the bakers dozen. Precedence ran eighth in last year’s Melbourne Cup won by Americain. His lead up form before that race was better than this year. There were some excuses when he finished 10th in the Caulfield Cup after being caught wide on the track. He never figured in Saturday’s Mackinnon Stakes. If this horse was trained by anyone else you would probably dismiss him. But with Bart you just never know. Darren Beadman will ride, he won the 1990 Melbourne Cup on Kingston Rule and the 1996 Melbourne Cup on Saintly both for Bart. Luxbet are giving $41. The question is how loyal are you to Bart?
12. RED CADEAUX (Ed Dunlop) (23:5-5-2):
UK trained galloper who will be having his first start in Australia and it will also be the trainer first runner in the country. This six-year-old is a nice type of horse, big and strong and if you are entertaining Jukebox Jury as a bet this horse shouldn’t be dismissed. He worked home strongly when third to Jukebox Jury in the Irish St Leger and now he gets 3-1/2kg advantage for a one length defeat. That simply spell, Red Cadeaux on that Irish run should beat Jukebox Jury home in the Melbourne Cup. The connections are really hoping for more rain and would love to see the Flemington track slow or heavy. While Luxbet have Jukebox Jury $12, they have Red Cadeaux $31 and you also get the advantage of an Australia Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michael Rodd.
13. HAWK ISLAND (Chris Waller) (40:10-8-2):
Hawk Island’s overall winning strike rate is 25%. His strike rate on tracks rated slow or heavy improves drastically to 50%. That is 16 starts for eight wins. And this time the statistics are telling the truth. Hawk Island’s chances improve on wet ground drastically. And his record in the wet should be even better. He was going to win Sydney Cup this year on heavy ground but suffered severe interference and fell. That race of course is over 3200m, the distance of the 2011 Melbourne Cup. He ran well when second to stablemate The Verminator in the Metropolitan in Sydney but failed in the Caulfield Cup last start when 13th. That was on a track rated good. Watch for the skies, I’m sure Chris Waller and jockey Glyn Schofield are doing just that. Luxbet have him at $81.
14. ILLO (Bart Cummings) (14:5-3-3):
A German import giving to Bart by owner Richard Pegum who brought him to Australia. Pegum thought the horse was skin and bone back in Germany when being trained out of a paddock and decided Bart, being the best feeder (and trainer) of a horse in Australia, could improve the horse. Out of all the internationals in this race Illo was rated the worst when back in Europe on the Timeform ratings. Illo’s run first up in the Moonee Valley Cup when third to Americain showed that the master trainer had already improved the six year old entire. It is fair to say Americain was much better and should have Illo’s measure again. But you have the Bart factor with this one and in the long run it is a winning factor. Nicely drawn and with dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey Jim Cassidy aboard. Luxbet have him at $19.
15. LOST IN THE MOMENT (Saeed Bin Suroor) (17:4-4-1):
One of two Goldolphin owned horses in the Melbourne Cup along with Modun. Godolphin are the biggest owners in the world with Sheikh Mohammed and brothers, the ruling family of Dubai in control. They have been coming to Australia for many year’s trying to win the Cup. They have finished second thrice. Lost IN The Moment looks well exposed having had the 17 starts. Not that highly rated and with only one win this year it doesn’t present well. What he does have however is a decent turn of foot. That ability to sprint, or lack of it, has held many internationals back in the past. This horse may just be better suited to Australian conditions. This will be his first run in Australia. Luxbet are keeping him relatively safe at $26.
16. MODUN (Saeed Bin Suroor) (8:3-3-0):
Modun is the second of the Godolphin runners and unlike Lost In The Moment, he is lightly raced and on the way up. An enormous horse at 17 hands, there is little doubt he is taking on his hardest assignment in this race. He won a Group 3 race last start but this will be his first run in a race in a class better than that. A nice strike rate but it comes with warning. His lone run on a track rated slow or heavy produced a shocker. He was beaten 26 lengths. So he wants the track dead or dryer to show his best. Modun likes to settle back in the field and finish on strongly. He has drawn well in five and has the 2000 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy aboard. Luxbet have him at $26.
17. AT FIRST SIGHT (Robert Hickmott) (11:1-4-1):
Former Irish galloper bought by Lloyd Williams to win the 2011 Melbourne Cup. Things were going swimmingly when he ran a close second to December Draw in September at Caulfield but then he caught virus and his Cup push was in doubt. Last Wednesday he had his first run in six week and flashed home for a great second to stablemate Tanby in the Bendigo Cup. He carried 58kg’s that day and drops down to 52.5kg here. He is yet to race beyond 3200m but gets the services of 1991 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Steven King. He looks like he is in good form and looks a tidy each-way bet. Luxbet have him at $14.
18. MOYENNE CORNICHE (Brian Ellison) (26:2-6-4):
The trainer hasn’t had much luck in Australia with his horses and is hoping for something better with this gelding and Saptapadi. Moyenne Corniche ran a nice race when third in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield in his first run in Australia on October 8. That day the seven-year-old ran on best in the straight behind Shewan. Problem looks to be the class of the Herbert Power field and the class of this horse. Two wins in 26 starts is hardly endearing. Luxbet have him at $26. Not for us but stranger things have happened.
19. SAPTAPADI (Brian Ellison) (14:1-2-1):
The only win this horse has had was in a maiden in Doncaster England. He is obviously better than a maiden but it is hard to get too enthused about him on that. The six-year-old has had two starts in Australia leading up to the 2011 Melbourne Cup. The latest was when 14th in the Caulfield Cup when he really didn’t feature. Luxbet have him at $101 and we doubt hew will come in any shorter.
20. SHAMROCKER (Danny O’Brien) (17:4-2-2):
Had a great autumn winning the AJC Derby (2400m) at Randwick and in many peoples mind was a perfect type of Melbourne Cup horse for the future. She returned from a 19 week spell and hasn’t featured in the finish in four starts. The best of midfield seventh in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2. She looked to be weakening but then started to pick up again near the line. She failed in the Cox Plate at her next start, also her latest. A true handicapper there was no real surprise in that failure in Australia’s weight for age championship. Drawn terrible in barrier 24, Shamrocker will probably be closer to last when the field settles down. We don’t think she is going as badly as her form looks but the barrier may be the death knell. Probably a first ten finish. Luxbet have her $41.
21. THE VERMINATOR (Chris Waller) (25:7-6-3):
The Chris Waller horse rarely runs a bad race and in fact two starts back he ran his best when wining the Metropolitan Hcp (2400m) at Randwick. On Saturday he settled near the tail in the Mackinnon and failed to run on when second last beaten 14 lengths. The problem with The Verminator is whether he is up to the class of winning a Melbourne Cup. His trainer says he would be happy if he just finishes in the top ten. Luxbet don’t rate. They have him at $101 and we tend to agree.
22. TULLAMORE (Gai Waterhouse) (24:5-7-4):
After Tullamore won the Brisbane Cup in June the connections set their eyes on the 2011 Melbourne Cup. They are very much the same ownership of Descarado. Tullamore has been good but not great. He had his chance to win the Caulfield Cup but came up a tad short when running third to Southern Speed. He then took on the big boy Americain and came up short when second in the Monee Valley Cup. Not bad performances by any means. Tullamore get a six kilogram advantage over Americain for a two length defeat. On that he is a hope. And the lightweight is perfectly matched by the lightweight jockey Chris Munce who won the Melbourne Cup in the 90s on Jezabeel. Some query Tullamore can run 3200m right out especially on breeding. Luxbet have it about right having him at $21.
23. NIWOT (Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes) (22:8-4-1):
Considered a “good ordinary” type before Saturday’s sterling win in the Lexus Stakes. Niwot settled midfield, rounded them up and kicked clear to win easily by three lengths over Macedonian. The Lexus field was average at best and this is tougher. What helps Niwot is that he can stay 3200m without a worry. He is good on wet and dry ground. He is at his highest level of his career and drops from 55kg to 51kg for the 2011 Melbourne Cup. The Hawkes team is a good one and will have him right for the day. Lacks a bit of class but has a lot of ticks as well. Luxbet has him at $15.
24. OLDER THAN TIME (Gai Waterhouse) (16:5-4-1):
Strung together four wins in a row in NSW at the start of the year before running second in the Sydney Cup over 3200m. That race qualified her for the 2011 Melbourne Cup. She returned for the spring and had a slow build up in Sydney running well in the Listed Tatts Club Cup when finishing strongly. Then on to Melbourne and the bigger test. Starting $14 in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes it can only be said she didn’t measure up when 11th beaten 13 lengths. That is not ideal coming into the 2011 Melbourne Cup. Luxbet have her at $101 and she looks unlikely to give Gai her first Melbourne Cup winner.
The Melbourne Cup is considered the pinnacle of racing in Australia, and to make the Melbourne Cup Field itself is an achievement. Each year a maximum field of 24 horses will take to the iconic track at Flemington to run the 3200m cup distance.
This year the Melbourne Cup will run on Tuesday 1st November, 2011.
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Melbourne Cup Final Field 2011
The 2011 Melbourne Cup Final Field will be released on Saturday 29th October, 2011 during Victoria Derby Day, the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Melbourne Cup Field Second Declarations 2011
Second declarations for the 2011 Melbourne Cup Field will be released on Monday 24th October, 2011.
Melbourne Cup Field First Declarations 2011
The first declarations for the 2011 Melbourne Cup Field were finalised on Tuesday the 4th of October, 2011. For more news see Melbourne Cup 2011 First Declarations.
Melbourne Cup Nominations 2011
Nominations closed for the 2011 Melbourne Cup on Thursday 1st September, 2011. Late entries closed one week later on Thursday 8th September, 2011. For the full list of nominees for the 2011 Melbourne Cup see Melbourne Cup 2011 Nominations Released.
Melbourne Cup Field Dates 2011
- Melbourne Cup Nominations: 1st September 2011
- Melbourne Cup Late Nominations: 8th September 2011
- Melbourne Cup First Declaration: 4th October 2011
- Melbourne Cup Second Declaration: 24th October 2011
- Melbourne Cup Final Field Declaration: 29th October 2011
- Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw: 29th October 2011