Form analyst, RIC CHAPMAN, looks at every runner in Tuesday’s Group 1 Flemington Melbourne Cup tips for the first four. Read on to see how he maps and assesses the race. Good luck, punters!
T: Joseph O’Brien /J: Jye McNeil (58kg)
Top class racehorse who led all the way to win this great race last year. He has improved since then and has drawn perfectly. Does he lead Incentivise this time? Probably. But he will need to step cleanly from this inside draw. His trainer is a master at getting horses perfect on these big Gr 1 days. This is a star stayer. And he will make this a truly run, brilliant race. Big show.
T: Peter Moody / J: Brett Prebble (57kg)
Might be the best stayer we’ve seen in the past 75 years. Barrier is not a problem. Will go hard and presumably sits on the outside of Twilight Payment, then will just shoot away. Superstar racehorse.
T: Andrew Balding / J: Craig Williams (57kg)
This bloke might be very hard to beat. He can stay all day and did run the great Stradivarius to a head last start at level weights over 3270m. Comes here with a great proven lead-up record for this. Trained in England, is a bona fide Gr 1 player over there and that makes him a big chance.
T: Chris Waller / J: James McDonald (57kg)
Brilliant mare, Champion in fact. Is the reigning Australian Horse of the Year. Outstanding when 3rd in the Gr 1 Cox Plate. Will get this journey and if the rain comes she will be the one to beat. Certain to give your money a tremendous run. Good hope.
T: Ciaran Maher & David Eustace / J: John Allen (54kg)
Hasn’t done much this time up. But, he is a multiple Gr 1 winner and can stay all day. Loves this track too. Has to lift on most recent form but on efforts last year he has claims. Place.
T: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman / J: Damian Lane (54kg)
Interesting galloper. Goes well this trip and did run a great 4th in this race last year. Ran 2nd two starts back but was plain last start when 14th in the Gr 1 Caulfield Cup. Will probably travel in 7th with cover until the turn and should run you a good race.
T: Team Freedman / J: Damien Oliver (53.5kg)
Chance here because I suspect connections learned a lot from his last start failure in the Gr 1 Caulfield Cup. He went hard that day and tried to run with the pacemakers which proved costly. Had previously sat behind the speed before strong last 600m to win the Gr 2 Herbert Power over 2400m in fast time. Can sneak a place.
T: Chris Waller / J: Damian Thornton (53.5kg)
Ran the race of his life when 9th beaten 9 lengths in the Gr 1 Caulfield Cup. Will improve from that run but probably not enough to win this.
T: Chris Waller / J: Ron Stewart (53.5kg)
Good stayer who did win the Gr 1 Sydney Cup over this trip earlier this year. Those type of died-in-the-wool stayers just turn up on Cup day and run really well. Bad draw so he may go forward and sit in about 4th all the way. Can sneak a place. Watch market.
T: Denis Pagan /J: Lachlan king (53kg)
Fairy-tale story if he lands this win. Did, at this time last year, win his one and only race and that was in the Gr 1 Victoria Derby so he can stay. Vic Derby form tends to hold up but he isn’t racing well and may struggle in this.
T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott / J: Dan Stackhouse (53kg)
Won the Gr 2 Brisbane Cup over 3200m in handy time earlier this year by a big margin. Has early speed and probably tries to lead them. Did that on Saturday in the Gr 2 Hotham Hcp over 2500 and wilted late. Not racing well enough.
T: Ciaran Maher & David Eustace / J: Luke Currie (53kg)
This is a definite lightweight hope. He can stay and he can put himself into the race from gate rise. Placed in the recent Gr 1 Caulfield Cup behind Incentivise and although that horse was drawing away from him at the finish, he might be better suited here with cover. Has strong place claims.
T: Team Snowden / J: Blaike McDougall (52.5kg)
Good solid stayer who always runs home well but is going to find a few of these a bit tough late. Beaten 6 lengths in the St Leger when 4th and over 12 lengths last start in the Tatts Cup. Not keen
T: Team Hawkes/ J: Fred Kersley (52.5kg)
Another Sydney-sider down here. He has staying talent too but is not racing well enough and will get smashed in this.
T: Robert Hickmott / J: Rachel King (52.5kg)
Interesting galloper. Is from Ireland and has already had two starts here, a great 5th after leading in the 2500m Bart Cummings behind Grand Promenade. Then two weeks ago, sat just behind the speed when a strong 4th in the Gr 2 MV Cup over 2500m. Should be very fit now, has a great draw, probably sits on the fence in 3rd spot and can run all day. Very big danger.
T: Ciaran Maher & David Eustace / J: Kerrin McEvoy (52kg)
Is fit and is ready to run a big race, but probably doesn’t lead this time as he is want to do. Last start he beat the subsequent winner Tralee Rose comfortably over 2520m in the Bart Cummings when on speed all the ay. Is an outstanding stayer who looms large. But may have to go hard early from this bad gate.
T: Danny O’Brien / J: Pat Moloney (52kg)
Solid staying mare who has won at Gr 1 level and likes this track. Ran home for good 5th in the 2500m MV Cup and can stay all day but isn’t expected to trouble the main ones.
T: Team Hayes/ J: Harry Coffee (52kg)
Former sound European stayer who is just not measuring up in Australia and should get thrashed.
T: Bjorn Baker/ J: Craig Newitt (52kg)
If the track is a bit damp I’m having a little on her. She can stay all day, is very tough, always tries hard and ran a good 7th in the Gr 1 Caulfield Cup behind Incentivise. Should be running on well.
T: Matt Cumani / J: Dean Yendall (51.5kg)
T: Symon Wilde /J: Dean Holland (51kg)
Serious racehorse with a determination and will to win that can’t be ignored. Ran 4th this trip in the Gr 1 Adelaide Cup in useful time earlier this year. Since then has placed three out of three at stakes level before such a game win in the Gr 3 Geelong Cup last start which has always been a good lead-up race for this. Big show.
T: Ciaran Maher & David Eustace / J: Teo Nugent (50kg)
Very honest campaigner who just puts in every start. Doesn’t have to lead but is strong when on speed and his Gr 2 MV CUP 2nd last start was a good pointer for this. Lightweight with a real show. Respect him.
T: Chris Waller / J: Michael Dee (50kg)
This bloke might be a bit of a sleeping giant. What an incredible season he’s had culminating in a pure staying performance to win over 2500m in The Hotham last Saturday. He is super fit, lightweight a huge help and can stay all day. Plus, he’s drawn perfectly and should be 5th to the bend. Big danger.
T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott / J: Glen Boss (50kg)
English campaigner now in Gai and Adrian’s hands and comes into this well with lightweight. Did win a stakes race over 2615m in England back in May carrying 59.5kg. Probably slides forward and there will be a lot of speed in this. Not the roughest though because of the weight.