Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: SUNNY - Rail: OUT 2M

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Warm and sunny weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday with maybe some rain later in the day, and even a possible thunderstorm, so its bit hard to tell what time that will come through. The track got very firm here on Saturday and you would think that is likely to happen again and we are going to be on a very firm track come the Melbourne Cup. There was a very strong leaderís pattern on Derby Day and even though the rail has been moved out today there is still a good chance that pattern will remain, so would want to stick to those well drawn and on-speed today. Down the straight middle to outside was the best going on Saturday and again that pattern should stay, although some of that was probably the result of the wind.

We need to own up to what was a horrible tipping day on Derby Day, not only did we have a wipe-out in the Suggested Bets, we didnít even tip a winner on top, in fact not even a winner in the selections! That doesnít happen often at all. Was totally avoidable too, Derby Day can often favour those racing on-speed, especially on dry sunny days, so the winners werenít in reality all that hard to find. Do better.

Melbourne Cup day is always wide open fields and lots of $20 winners, so not a day for a serious bet and back a few roughies each way and take some wide quinellas and running doubles. The early races are actually smallish fields, the last few races are wide, wide open and goodness knows that is going to win them. Would also suggest jumping in early, some of the opening odds and markets seemed a bit wrong on Monday morning and there were quite a few live chances at $100 in some of the races, suspect these will even out on race day with the small each-way punters jumping in.

Reminder that at the moment for Spring Campaign 2023 we wonít be posting tips till Saturday
morning (earlier if time allows). Feature race preview at the bottom of this post will also be posted night before for extra discussion.

QUINELLA: Race 4: 8-REVALENE#3,5,6 x $3 = 100%
Fairly open field of 3YO sprinters down the straight, but this one was super unlucky last start at MV when he got held up for runs before the turn, and flashed home late when he got clear and he probably wins with a clear run. At first start he fought out the finish head and head with one that looks like it is going to be pretty smart. Drawn wide here, which is likely to be the better going down the straight and can camp in clear running just off the speed and run into the race at the right time. Back straight out at around $6 and anchor in a quinella with the strong finishing 3-STANISLAUS (drawn inside, comes across behind them?), the consistent on pacer the 6-PERILOUS FIGHTER who looks value, and the Adelaide visitor the 5-WIGGUM who is showing promise.

Normally in this race you want to go with a lightly raced staying horse on the way up, and this one is pretty consistently in the finish and was a bit stiff at Geelong when she had to come across runners multiple times to get to the outside and flashed home late to just miss. Can jump and race handy which might be a plus and jockey Gaudray has been dominating away from the feature meetings and comes here for one ride. This is a pretty even field, and this looks a nice each way bet at around $15 coming off a pretty good run.

Happy to have something each way on our top pick in the Melbourne Cup. Currently $18, but has been slowly winding in and suspect he will start under $15 come race time. Just seems the obvious runner here to have a go at that is good odds, lightly weighted, fit and in form and unlike many of the runners here he has been genuinely in the finish every start this time in and that is what you want going into a feature Group 1. Will jump and race handy and likely to be in the finish here, and these lightly weighted types on the up and improving over Spring often go close in the Cup. Just hoping the odds stick and we can get the $20 come race time.

Strong finishing mare who can be a little hard to follow, but nice surprise win 1st up and hit the line well again last start when the leader was controlling the race. Does want the speed on and probably not a huge amount of speed in this, despite the big field, but drawn middle and hopefully the jockey can settle a bit closer to the speed and get her bursting through the pack at the right time down the middle. 1400M form looks a little wobbly, but has gone close before a few times over the Flemington 1400M and is up to his level. Each way at around $9.

One we are following that is showing a bit of promise, and has been strong at the end of his races every start this time in. Chased hard at MV last start over 1200M when winner jumped and led and controlled the race, and was widest against a leaders pattern. Willing to give him a go out to 1400M for the first time here, chasing hard from an outside barrier at around $31.

QUINELLA: Race 8: 3,5,6,11,14 boxed x $5 = 50%
This is one of the races where the odds were all wrong Monday morning when we had a look and this one was $70 at that stage, with a few at $100 that were genuine chances. Maiden, but has been in the finish every start and has been beaten by horses like SHESALLSHENANIGANS and SKYBIRD who have gone on to win good races. Really strong at the end of her races and with the big field here there does look to be a fair bit of speed so not too fussed about the outside barrier Ė she will come down the middle of the track strongly late. Have a little something each way at $41 now, and although the classy Sydney visitor the 3-KIMOCHI looks the one to beat, there is a good value box quinella with the 11-RIGHT TO PARTY who finally gets to a big track and out to 1400M, the 6-APRILIA who seems over the odds at $51 off one poor run, considering she placed here in a strong form race and at Group 2 the start before, and well-drawn and improving 14-BATRANA.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 8: 13 COMMEMORATIVE at around $3.
Pretty sure this one was $2 when we looked on Monday morning (hence the $100 on offer for the others), but regardless, in a capacity field of 18 x 3YO fillies on Melbourne Cup day the last thing you want to do is back the short priced favourite. Canít even work out why she would be those odds, expect for her shiny blue silks. Was beaten in a BM78 last start, some of these have been racing at much higher levels, and a Sydney horse drawn inside in a big field, first time Melbourne way of going is asking for trouble Ė especially seeing she raced a little erratically last start. Happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into a helicopter ride to the Melbourne Cup
QUINELLA: Race 7: 1,7,9,16,20,21 boxed x $5 = 33%
The Melbourne Cup quinella often pays well, and totally unintentionally our selections add up to each other, being 21-FUTURE HISTORY, 1-GOLD TRIP, 20-MORE FELONS, which is always a sure fire Melbourne Cup boxed trifecta. Throw in the super consistent and super tough 9-VOW AND DECLARE, a token international in the 7-ABSURDE (FR) and find one of the $100 shots for dividend amusement in the 16-MAGICAL LAGOON.

Races 7,8,9,10: 1,3,6,7,9,20,21 / 3,5,6,11,14 / 8,9 / 3,5,14,16,17 = 5.7%
Full disclosure the quaddie today is utterly impossible with 24 x 16 x 16 x16 fields and wide open races where itís hard to find a leg to go narrow. Time to bring back the quaddie brackets! Letís be brave and go narrow in the third leg with the 9-CARDIGAN QUEEN, 8-LA DANSEUSE ROUGE who were both similar runs last start and should go close today. We have identified the main chances in the Melbourne Cup (and include the 6-SOULCOMBE here because he probably either wins or goes nowhere), load up the wide open 2nd leg and hope for a result, and throw in the main chances in the last and a random roughie for good luck. Pretty good chance of a quaddie pushing $100K today so good luck.

Feature Race Preview:

This is a Melbourne Cup of very little interest to us, we had a few good years where COVID restrictions and increased veterinary protocols limited international participation, but we are back this year to a field with a stack of international runners, and a pretty weak ďlocalĒ lot, so not sure there is much to get invested in here. There just arenít horses to follow over their career and get emotionally attached to anymore as they head to glory in the Cup. Interesting that nearly the whole field is made up of imports come locals, most of them in the second Australian preparation and aimed at this race, ready to improve with some time to get used to local conditions. We have a few clearly defined chances and a long, long tail of no hopers, there are 7 horses over $100, so almost 1/3 of the field are given no hope.

In terms of speed, we should get a genuine tempo this year with the 16-MAGICAL LAGOON or 18-SERPENTINE leading them and the favourite the 5-VAUBAN (FR) getting a perfect sit in behind them, along with the 21-FUTURE HISTORY. Behind them will be the 8-RIGHT YOU ARE, 7-ABSURDE (FR) and the 24-TRUE MARVEL. Suspect the favourite the 5-VAUBAN (FR) will try and go for home early here and sprint clear early in the straight and will be up to something to come out and try and wear him down.

Runner by Runner comments:

1-GOLD TRIP loved the wet conditions last year to win, and form this year is just as good if not better. Flying win to slide past them in the Turnbull, didnít get the clearest run in the Caulfield Cup but ran into the finish well (and suspect that the fast tempo just found him out there up in distance), and working home well late again this year in the Cox Plate. So everything is set up for him again Ė probably just needs some rain and there is some forecast for Tues afternoon, but maybe keep an eye on the radar and jump on at the better odds if it looks like it is going to come in time. Especially with a possible thunderstorm coming through, so keep an eye on the rain radar and the betting account. Wouldnít want a track that is a GOOD(3), a GOOD(4) with a few showers rolling through would be ideal. He is going better than most of these. Inside barrier maybe a slight query as prefer him to be outside runners. Definitely in the finish, clear top pick if any rain comes, even to just take the edge off the track.

2-ALENQUER is one of many imports come locals in this race and nearly all of them are into their second Australia preparation and ready to improve with acclimatisation. Yet to run a place in 5 Australian starts so hard to get enthused about his chances, set a furious speed in the Underwood and ran them along, and then was working home ok in a bunched finish in the MV Cup (as were many of these). Under vet cloud leading into the race is never a good sign. Probably settles handy here from a good barrier, but not contesting the lead and hard to see him being a factor here on current form.

3-WITHOUT A FIGHT was a tough winner of the Caulfield Cup and you always need to respect the Caulfield Cup winner going into this race as the right form line. Won that race with an unusual preparation of just the one run in, but was strong at the end of a strong tempo 2400M. Does mean he is contesting the Melbourne Cup off two lead in runs. Jockey has elected to ride this one instead of the (1). Was well in the market in this race last year when the wet track didnít suit and he is going to get the dry track that he wants this year. Issue is if he runs out a strong 3200M, but not sure if that is really an issue, seeing he is in better form than these. Maintains an excellent win strike rate too. He did get a perfect cart into the race last start, not sure where he lands here from an outside barrier and suspect he may end up well back in the field and have to work down the middle of the track. Definite winning chance, but just canít find him in the selections.

4-BREAKUP (JPN) is a Japanese runner and these have an excellent track record from limited runners in the spring features so need to be respected. Normally these horses want firm tracks and fast speed races and he may get the race to suit this year. Market is keeping him safe at around $18, would follow the market on this one to see if he has any support. The Caulfield Cup run was even enough, but we have an overseas jockey on board and an outside barrier and thatís enough to put us off for now.

5-VAUBAN (FR) is the overseas favourite who has been dominating media headlines for a few weeks now, and every year they are bigger, faster, stronger, shinier, and ready to crush the measly inferior locals, but look back over the years and we have seen this time and time again and they donít win more often than not. So donít get sucked in by the hype. Well drawn, goes forward has been working really strongly and does look like a monster of a horse. Win two starts back from absolutely explosive. Doubt they lead here, but they will probably box seat from a good barrier and get the run of the race. Definitely looks the one to beat, and no surprise if he wins, and probably gets well backed, especially on the tote with the World Pool. But just canít jump on these short priced overseas runners we have not seen, if we are going to back a Cup winner want to have a decent collect to go along with it and if you jumped on every highly rated international runner over the years you would be facing a cost of living crisis by now.

6-SOULCOMBE is well in the betting here, but that also probably reflects a lack of depth to this field away from the first few in the market. He is the one that on his best form could win this, his win in the Queen Elizabeth here last year was all class and quite dominant. Extremely promising win first-up this campaign at Caulfield, right in the finish next two starts at the top level, and then he ran on really well late after missing the start in the Caulfield Cup and he didnít get much chance to catch the field there with the speed on all the way. Question is if he jumps cleanly this time, and can make use of his good barrier, if he does he is right in this race and to be honest he is probably top pick. He was used up before the turn to get up to them in the Caulfield Cup, and was only one length behind the place getters, but they actually dropped him when they went for home. Always thought he was a dry track Flemington horse and he gets all those ticks today, and he has the class turn of foot to win a Melbourne Cup, unlike many of these. If he doesnít jump cleanly he ends up back of the field, cluttered up and trying to come from last in a Melbourne Cup, which is nearly impossible. Strong chance and wary, but need to be a bit brave to jump on again.

7-ABSURDE (FR) is a well-drawn, lightly raced international with a pretty good career strike rate and surprised she is not shorter in the market. Hit the line well when well beaten by the (5) back in June and she has proven herself in big fields before so she should cope with the Australian racing tempo. Local jockey on board is a plus, and hopefully she settle just off the speed from a good barrier. This is probably the only one of the internationals we are interested in, well drawn, form in right races and odds probably about right taking into account the risk of an unknown runner.

8-RIGHT YOU ARE is as honest as they come and the Caulfield Cup run was really good, he lobbed on-speed there and was contesting the finish most of the straight and he stuck on a lot better than we thought he would, as a possible 2400M query in a race which was run at a furious speed. Good Flemington record, but still think he is better around the 2000M distance and a 3200M staying contest will find him out. Will go forward here from an outside barrier, likely to get caught wide and guess we should respect his winning strike rate, but his best form is in different sort of races to these.

9-VOW AND DECLARE is the 2019 Melbourne Cup winner who is still racing well four years later on. Firm track is a big plus for this one. Outside barrier not so much as he does like to go forward and race handy, so will have to be used up a bit early on, but he did win from barrier 21 the year he won the Cup (but jockey Williams got him onto the rails). Wasnít in best form when flopped in this race in 2020, had a year off with injury and plugged away on an unsuitable wet track last year for a respectable 10th. Lining up for this fourth appearance in the Melbourne Cup which nicely matches the classic warrior type Cup runners we have posted about during the week. His form this time in has been pretty good, he liked the firm track and the tear away speed in the Caulfield Stakes and worked to the line well there, and his was the best run from the MV Cup, was three wide all the way and had to go wide and early and he was right in the finish on the line. Definitely stays, likely to be thereabouts again, but prefer place, but a very strong place chance at that.

10-CLEVELAND is yet another import come local with this being his second Australia preparation and they do seem to improve once they have been here for a full season. Comes into this with winning form which is a big plus, but really not much between the first few home in the MV Cup and not sure if they ran the race again he would win. Gets the worse of the weights from that race meeting the (9) 0.5kgs worse off, and the (21) 2.5 kgs worse off. Drawn very wide and likely to get caught wide here and to be honest he just seems to be a middle level stayer and canít see him being a factor in this.

11-ASHRUN put in a nice run in the Geelong Cup in 2020 at his first Australian start and went on to win the Archer/Hotham/Dalgety on the Saturday before running on strongly late in the 2020 Melbourne Cup. Had a good three years off before coming back this preparation, and thatís about as long a break as you can have, so has to be a question mark on how long he can stay up for this time in. Ran on extremely well in the Bart Cummings out wide in a leader dominated race and then right in the bunched finish of the Geelong Cup. Well drawn this year and likely to settle a lot handier than he did from barrier 23 in the 2020 Cup. Would be an astounding comeback story if he could win, but he probably has improvement still to come with three runs off a long break, shown he is strong at the end of 3200M and is a genuine rough chance here.

12-DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR has been working up through his distances this time in and nice run in the Herbert Power when made a long sustained run out wide, and has not started since. Made pretty good ground late in this race last year coming from well back on the turn, and won and placed in the Adelaide and Sydney Cups in 2022. Proven that he can run the 3200M and dry track is also a plus. Realistically he is going about as well as last year so probably runs about 6th or so again, but will be strong at the end of the 3200M and making ground.

13-OKITA SOUSHI (IRE) is Irish, not Japanese, and neither nationality helped in the Caulfield Cup when he was very plain indeed. He did look a more dour staying type though so Flemington and 3200M is probably more his go. Doesnít seem to have much of a turn of foot, so being drawn wide and rolling in open space probably suits. Hard to see him improving the 10L required to beat home those who finished in front of him at Caulfield and rare to see an international go around at $100. Interestingly, if he hadnít started at Caulfield and came into this as first Australian start he would probably be 1/4 the odds, which just goes the show the madness of betting on horses we have not seen and canít line up.

14-SHERAZ really has shown zero form this time in, and makes the field off his Sydney Cup second from 2022. Worked home OK in the MV Cup, but so did many of these. Will have to drop back from an outside barrier here and prefer him ridden on-speed and definitely prefers wet ground. Not sure he stays a strong 3200M and especially not at this level. No

15-LASTOTCHIKA (FR) is an import first-up for a local stable and we are seeing this a bit more frequently these days as trainers try and emulate the European training methods. Not sure anyone has pulled it off yet though? Canít be easy to take an unknown horse and train it for a feature staying contest first-up, so would be wary on that alone. Obviously has some spruik about her, apparently been working well and she is well in the market and jockey Williams has chosen to ride her. Form has mainly been on wet tracks and we are looking at a very firm track here indeed and drawn very wide. Happy to let run.

16-MAGICAL LAGOON is an import who has yet to place in two preparations and five starts in Australia. He has started over $20 in every one of those starts too which is a bit of a worry as the betting money so often comes if the stable has an opinion. Been going through his lead-up distances this time in and note that last run was the first time he got out to 2400M and that was by far his best run. He led in the Geelong Cup, and was racing in very tight room on the rails last 200M but still kept plugging away. Well drawn and likely leader here, so maybe elevate if we are seeing leaders stick on again. Another who probably runs better than the $150 odds suggest, but would have to improve rapidly to be a serious contender in this.

17-MILITARY MISSION has had an old school, super tough, lots of staying kms preparation with 4 x 2400M starts this time in. Chased hard to grind down a leader in the Newcastle Cup and win, got too far back in the Metropolitan and made good ground late, and then out stayed them in the Herbert Power. Only thing is the form from that race hasnít been very strong at all, with the place getters safely covered since. Well drawn and can probably take up a handy position here. Hasnít started in 5 weeks, last start was one week before Caulfield Cup which is a pretty unusual Melbourne Cup lead in. Guess we have to respect winning form coming into this race, but untried at the 3200M and canít see him measuring up here at this level.

18-SERPENTINE is racing in the Williams blue and he plugged on pretty well here two starts back in a tough slog staying contest before lobbing on-speed in a leader controlled race last start and sticking on well. Massive weight drop from that race and he does meet the (21) 3kgs better off for the run. Firm track suits. He ran in this race last year and didnít do much, and jockey thought he didnít back up from the Saturday, so given a very different preparation this year with the 4 weeks between runs. Likely leader here and has no weight so will stick on OK, hard to see him winning or seriously contesting the finish though.

19-VIRTUOUS CIRCLE has been teasing punters for a while now and really couldnít have him at $5 in the Geelong Cup, he is just not consistent enough with his form. Set on a Cups campaign this spring and was working through the lead-ups evenly before struggling to get a clear crack at them in the Bart Cummings where he was unlucky. Was very disappointing in the Geelong Cup, especially considering it was such a bunched finish. Best form was his 3YO spring when he kept running on and looked like he wanted a big track and distance as a promising stayer, and he ran a good race in the ATC Derby. But he just looks like he has found his level now and itís below this. Will drop back from inside barrier and get cluttered for runs and prefer to let run.

20-MORE FELONS is an import come local who has only had the one run for the local stable and it was a pretty good 5th in the Geelong Cup (although that was a bunched finish). That run was seriously good, he was out the back of the field and widest and looked to be really winding up half way down the straight with a flying finish and looked like the winner, but somehow only ended up 5th. Likely plenty of improvement to come off that run, and from his overseas runs he looks like a really genuine staying type that will run a strong 3200M. Outside barrier is a real worry though, he is likely to drop well back here and it is pretty tough to win a Melbourne Cup coming from last. Jockey Kah winning the Melbourne Cup would be a great form redemption story. Genuine rough chance if he can settle midfield or better and get a clear run down the middle of the track late off a fast speed as that Geelong Cup run was very promising.

21-FUTURE HISTORY has a lot to like about him as one of the few horses with genuine and consistent staying form this spring. He has been in the finish of everything he has contested this spring and maintains a good win strike rate. Compare that to some of the other imports slash locals, finishing well back in their lead up runs, this one has been fighting out the finish every start and that is want you want for a feature Group 1. Totally controlled the speed in the Bart Cummings and he fought back when one loomed and stuck his head out, and then fought out the finish of the MV Cup pretty well when he was widest making a run from an outside barrier. Gets the best of the weight drops from that race. Can go forward here and lob on-speed and make his own luck, fit, in form, with no weight so an awful lot to like here. Worth noting that his overseas form was over shorter trips. Sort of reminds us a bit of FLOATING ARTIST who was right in the finish of the 2021 Melbourne Cup. Just a matter if he has the class and staying prowess here at the end of 3200M, but he is a definite chance here.

22-INTERPRETATION has disappointed when well in the market over the last year, yet punters seem to want to keep coming back for more. Nice runs first couple of starts this time in, then disappointed when well in the market in two Flemington staying contests, and worth noting his poor Flemington record of 6 starts for one third. He only just won the Bendigo Cup to qualify for this race and make the field, though guess that counts as winning form. Not right in this race last year and was eased down. Poor barrier draw and will have to drop well back and hard to see him being a factor in this.

23-KALAPOUR comes into this race with winning form and you really need to contesting and fighting out the finish of your lead up runs to win these feature Group 1s. Was competitive in the lead-up staying races, working to the line well, and then genius ride by jockey Oliver on Saturday to lead all the way on a track that was favouring leaders. Interesting to see if they go forward here when traditional racing pattern has been dropping back, but you would think they would run with it. Very consistent stayer placed 12/19 starts, the lightly weighted Archer/Dalgety winners often go well in this race and whilst he is unlikely to win this, you would think he is a pretty good rough place chance.

24-TRUE MARVEL is a really solid staying type and has an astounding 3200M record Ė 6 starts for 4 placings. That does include a second in the Sydney Cup when he raced on-speed and looked the winner at $151 (and yes we were on) before being swamped by one late, and a placing in the Brisbane Cup. Having a hurdle winner in the Melbourne Cup is a bit cheeky, but hey, if the internationals can do it, why not the locals? Really hasnít shown much form this time in, but MV Cup run wasnít too bad when last on the turn and worked home well out wide. Likes firm ground, can go forward here and sit on speed and he is just a grinding stayer so think we need to pay attention to the 3200M form. Unlikely to win at this level, but probably runs a lot better than the $126 odds and runs first ten if not better.


With the long tail to this race there are really only a few winning chances and most of these arenít really even a place chance, more a top ten finish ribbon for participation. The MV Cup and Geelong Cups were both very bunched finishes which is unusual, as is to have five horses coming through the MV Cup and four horses through the Geelong Cup as their last lead up run. Given the long tail think you want to look for something fit and in form, on-speed and with a light weight, so we are actually going to put the 21-FUTURE HISTORY on top here. These sort of lightly raced imports on the rise have gone well in this race the last few years, (EMISSARY, FLOATING ARTIST) and he is fit, in form, will lob on-speed and give you a good run for your money. He seems to be one on the rise, and often these horses keep improving and there is a huge difference between his form fighting out the finish in every race he contests, and many of the other import/locals just plodding away back in the field in their lead up runs. The 1-GOLD TRIP as the main danger, he is really going better than most of these, and everyone is going to be waiting for some late rain and possible thunderstorm before jumping on board. Respect for the 6-SOULCOMBE who probably gets a lot to suit today, canít jump on him again in the selections, but would suggest keeping him safe in whatever you do. Of the internationals the 7-ABSURDE (FR) looks the best value for taking a risk on an unknown. Best roughie is the 20-MORE FELONS who loomed into the race very nicely in the Geelong Cup and chance he could really improve off that and be a factor in this race so we are going to slide him into the selections, also because struggling to find much else in this field that grabs our interest. The 9-VOW AND DECLARE racing well is a very strong place chance and likely to be around the finish, so definitely put him in your quinellas and trifectas. Suspect the 21-FUTURE HISTORY will be backed here and will have something each way at $20 and a value box quinella around these runners.

The Tips: