Rail Position: True
Track Condition: Good 3

The Palmerbet Racing Team has been up all weekend processing every little piece of the form puzzle, in order to work this year’s classic Melbourne Cup field out. Here’s what we came up with.

1. Hartnell x2822x1229

J: Damian Lane / T: James Cummings

Outstanding galloper who was 3rd in this race last year. Doesn’t seem to be racing as well this time around but does have that Cummings polish this year.. Has drawn to get a terrific run. Trainer believes he is flying and if he produces his best, he must be a strong candidate.

2. Almandin 665111×214

J: Frankie Dettori / T: Robert Hickmott

Last year’s winner of this racer with 52kg and he does appear to be racing better than ever. Has a lot more weight (56.5kg) to carry this year but his form at this track is outstanding. Overlook last start failure. Go on his ability to stay all day and his love of this track. Will be launching late.

3. Humidor 212×681352 

J: Blake Shinn / T: Darren Weir

This is the horse who ran the champion mare Winx to a long neck last start. No one thought there was a horse alive capable of doing that so, on that score alone, he rates highly. But it’s the fact he’s won twice at Gr1 level this track that really appeals. Very hard to beat. Drawn perfectly here too.

4. Tiberian 242x11711x

J: Olivier Peslier / T: Alain Couteil

This is a French raider with bona fide form up to Gr2 level and he should be suited to this. However, he has drawn near the outside gate and horses in the Cup tend to struggle from that marble.

5. Marmelo 232x1521x6

J: Hugh Bowman / T: Hughie Morrison

Came with an astonishing finishing burst from near the rear in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup for 6th spot to Boom Time last start. Covering ground out wide, it was a card-carrying example of what a good Melbourne Cup trial should be. This trip suits and this is his grand final. Bowman rides from a sticky gate and will likely lob in the second half of the field. Big show if he can make ground late.

6. Red Cardinal 1132x11x5x

J: Kerrin McEvoy / T: Andreas Wohler

This is one of the elite stayers in the world. He has power all the way to the line over this kind of journey and can carry weight. He’s won twice at this trip and he’s in great form. However, he has drawn horribly wide. Does carry last year’s winning jockey though. Will need luck slotting in but is very smart.

7. Johannes Vermeer 3x45712x23

J: Ben Melham / T: Aidan O’Brien

This is the horse they all need to fear. His was a slashing and luckless run in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup when 3rd. Caught up between horses without clear galloping room all the way. That was off a quick one week back up too. Hard fit now, has a very strong kick and drawn the best of all runners. Looks the one to beat.

8. Bondi Beach x11x330x90

J: Michael Walker / T: Robert Hickmott

Doesn’t seem to be going well enough but these Williams-owned horses peak for this race, and he can stay. Ran 10th in this race last year. Stable have said he is flying at trackwork but his race form is so bad that it’s hard to have him here. A win would surprise.

9. Max Dynamite 1x2x30x91x

J: Zac Purton / T: William Mullins

Old timer who was controversially runner up in this race two years ago. Form since only average and has been racing in hurdle events. Did carry 73kg last start to win but it was a $20,000 race. Looks a light of years gone by. Might just be a length or so inferior to the better ones now.

10. Ventura Storm 121x5x7620

J: Glen Boss / T: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

This is a good stayer who blotted his copy book last start in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup when he had a great run, yet folded final stages when pressure came on. Obviously fitter now and is a stablemate of Boom Time. Worth an each-way thought as he does have high level staying stats.


12. Wicklow Brave 0x81424440

J: Stephen Baster / T: William Mullins

Another old stager who plodded and was well beaten in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup last start. Does look to be well held nowadays in this grade. Would need a lot to go his way just to finish top 5.

13. Big Duke 113×550214

J: Brenton Avdulla / T: Darren Weir

Good, strong stayer who was unlucky 4th behind Who Shot Thebarman recently but is weighted to improve greatly here. Has Gr1 placing this trip to his credit and is drawn to run an almighty race.

14. US Army Ranger 428×320386

J: Jamie Spencer / T: Joseph O’Brien

Brings interesting formlines to this race and the reports are that he is working the place down. But the draw (22) is horrible. Has solid long distance staying form at Gr 2 level and may get out from this marble and go forward. Has the strength to keep going.

15. Boom Time 6510×39341

J: Cory Parish / T: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Shocked the world with his great run to get home and win the Gr1 Caulfield Cup at huge odds. Was the recipient of a tremendous ride that day too. Gives the impression this trip won’t worry and has proven he is up to this company. No surprise to see him right in the money here as he has drawn well again.

16. Gallante 031x270x07

J: Michael Dee / T: Robert Hickmott

Hopelessly out of form and this looks way too hard.

17. Libran 746Px61652

J: Dwayne Dunn / T: Chris Waller

Has had a lovely campaign leading into this and his run last start when he got home hard for 2nd at Gr2 level was eye-catching. In a powerful stable, drops in weight, and is rock hard fit. Respect.

18. Nakeeta 202x024x1x

J: Glyn Schofield / T: Iain Jardine

This is a very good European stayer who can run all day. He comes here with winning form from races we know are strong lead up events to this. If he gets cover and a little bit of rain, this bloke must be considered a very strong contender. Excellent soft track stats.

19. Single Gaze 2612×05442

J: Kathy O’Hara / T: Nick Olive

What a bonny race mare. She has been given a wonderful lead up campaign to this, which culminated in her running an absolutely brilliant 2nd in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup after a tough run. She sat on the pace, took the entire field up to the tearaway leader, hit the front and fought on like a caged lion. Trip a worry but her bravado isn’t.

20. Wall Of Fire 11x6248x22

J: Craig Williams / T: Hugo Palmer

Created a big impression when he ate up the ground late in his first Aussie start a few weeks back. Ran 2nd at Gr2 level that day and gave the impression he would be very much suited to this journey. That race, he gave Boom Time weight and sailed straight past him. Has acclimated now and a few very astute judges rate him the one everyone has to beat. In extremely well at the weights here too.

21. Thomas Hobson 9P01712x72

J: Joao Moreira / T: William Mullins

This European visitor is just a dyed-in-the-wool power stayer. The further they go the better he likes it. He hasn’t run in a race this short in nearly a year. Has solid form at Gr2 level and is bound to be plodding home final stages.

22. Rekindling 210×140124

J: Corey Brown / T: Joseph O’Brien

This could be the surprise packet. If he’s not used up early to ensure a cracking pace, he looms as a bit of a threat. He’s English born and raised, but is Aussie owned and comes here with a recent Gr2 win in The Curragh and a strong placing in the Irish St Leger trial. Could easily run into the money here.

23. Amelie’s Star 214×839410

J: Dean Yendall / T: Darren Weir

Good mare who can hit the line hard. But, she gave in meekly when stepped up to Gr1 level in the recent Caulfield Cup after hitting the lead and this is many lengths harder.

24. Cismontane 2325210331

J: Beau Mertens / T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

The great hope for all those who back front runners. Loves to lead and does set a very solid tempo. Did that last Saturday in the Gr2 Lexus Stakes and held on to win impressively. Another level up here and jumps in trip but has no weight on back. Will be with leading bunch at least until they turn.