Melbourne Cup 2020

Horse Racing - Australia

#1 Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) – Hugh Bowman
Aidan O’Brien – 58.5kg – Barrier 3

Huge run from too far back in the Caulfield Cup – rated a new career peak and a repeat of that has him well in this. Barrier gives him the chance to win this with top weight positioning 4th-8th in the run. I wasn’t keen until the barrier draw with AVD drawing so well and others drawing poorly.

Chance of winning: Very High Chance
Finishing position: 4th

#2 Avilius (GB) – John Allen
James Cummings – 57kg – Barrier 10

Set to sit midfield at best. Barrier gives the horse the right run throughout. No luck in the Caulfield Cup and could have finished MUCH closer. Not one for me at the weights.

Chance of winning: Medium Chance

#3 Vow And Declare – Jamie Mott
Danny O’Brien – 57kg – Barrier 4

One-paced all prep and failed to show the form required to win this. Gifted the race last year in a slowly run affair from on speed. Good barrier again. Expect a few to run past even off a slow pace.

Chance of winning: Low Chance

#4 Master Of Reality (IRE) – Ben Melham
Joseph O’Brien – 56kg – Barrier 11

Not going as well this prep as last year coming into the race. Had his chance to win and wasn’t good enough. Higher weights and others more favoured.

Chance of winning: Low Chance

#5 Sir Dragonet (IRE) – Glen Boss
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace – 55.5kg – Barrier 14

Cox Plate winner. Poor barrier. Will go back in the field and have to finish off. Will look a BIG chance at the 400m based on previous runs. I personally have to take a set against at the price over the 3200m which from a previous run he didn’t see out.

Chance of winning: Medium Chance

#6 Twilight Payment (IRE) – Jye McNeil
Joseph O’Brien – 55.5kg – Barrier 12

Gone to a new level this year and will be on speed looking a big chance coming around the turn. 3rd last start in G1 grade at The Curragh. Previous two runs were wins in G2 and G3 company. Rates to win and looks the best value runner in the race.

Chance of winning: Very High Chance
Finishing position: 2nd

#7 Verry Elleegant (NZ) – Mark Zahra
Chris Waller – 55.5kg – Barrier 15

Caulfield Cup winner. Suited on day by the ground condition being wetter than expected along with AVD going back to near last. Got perfect run in transit. Barrier 15 not an issue – much better than 1-4. Hard to suggest can’t win, but hard to back at price on dryer track and unknowns about distance

Chance of winning: Medium Chance
Finishing position: 10th

#8 Mustajeer (GB) – Michael Rodd
Kris Lees – 55kg – Barrier 2

Never been an 8YO winner of this race. Regressed form wise since settling in Australia. Good type. Can’t win this.

Chance of winning: Very Low Chance

#9 Stratum Albion (GB) – Jordan Childs
Willie Mullins – 55kg – Barrier 9

Prime barrier to sit 1 off midfield. A staying type that has been pushed between flat and staying races all life. Won a flat Handicap last year but hadn’t been seen since until a close G2 second in August at York with a peak flat rating. Had every chance finding one too good in Enbihaar. Last start rating has it in with a chance here.

Chance of winning: Medium Chance
Finishing position: 9th

#10 Dashing Willoughby (GB) – Michael Walker
Andrew Balding – 54.5kg – Barrier 19

Group 2 winner in the past and won a Group 3 this year. Outright staying type better suited to firmer tracks and the Melbourne Cup distance. Went amiss in the Caulfield Cup. If we forgive for a bad action which has been corrected, we have to give the horse a fighting chance.

Chance of winning: Low Chance

#11 Finche (GB) – James McDonald
Chris Waller – 54.5kg – Barrier 6

Doesn’t really disappoint in most his races. Consistently runs well but doesn’t get the win on the board. Covered a load of ground and ran well in the Caulfield Cup. Set for this. Ran 7th in this last year. I can’t have him winning, but he is a top 3 chance.

Chance of winning: Low Chance

#12 Prince Of Arran (GB) – Jamie Kah
Charlie Fellowes – 54.5kg – Barrier 1

Age is against him here based on history. Hasn’t put a win on the board since the Geelong Cup last year. Too far back off a soft track at Caulfield and still ran 4th. Barrier 1 will se him much closer. Top 10 lock…. Barrier 1 will need a stellar ride. Probably gets 3 back the rail.

Chance of winning: High Chance
Finishing position: 6th

#13 Surprise Baby (NZ) – Craig Williams
Paul Preusker – 54.5kg – Barrier 7

No luck in the Turnbull. Issues with jumping from barriers in thsi race. Get back run on type. Huge last year in this. Gets 3200m. Only up 1kg. Can win, obviously. Barrier ideal. This years race is harder than last.

Chance of winning: High Chance
Finishing position: 7th

#14 King Of Leogrance (FR) – Damian Lane
Danny O’Brien – 53.5kg – Barrier 18

Every chance in the Geelong Cup. Looked a year early last year and proved the case. 3200m Adelaide Cup winner in the Autumn. Set for this with a low weight. Barrier for mine ruined chances.

Chance of winning: Low Chance
Finishing position:

#15 Russian Camelot (IRE) – Damien Oliver
Danny O’Brien – 53.5kg – Barrier 16

Best of the on-speed runners in the Cox Plate. Hit the front 300m out just couldn’t finish off with the brutal tempo. Reminded me of Green Moon progressing through the races this prep crying out for 3200m. SA Derby win last prep over 2500m 3-wide no cover was huge. D Oliver sticks again. Dryer track ideal for mine. Looks a top chance and i’m expecting them to push for a top 6 spot in run.

Chance of winning: Very High Chance
Finishing position: 3rd

#16 Steel Prince (IRE) – William Pike
Anthony & Sam Freedman – 53.5kg – Barrier 21

Very well backed in the Geelong Cup and got the job done. Previous start in a much harder run Bart Cummings hit the front 3-wide no cover the trip and stuck on for third. Respected to run well as always. Big negative barrier today.

Chance of winning: Medium Chance

#17 The Chosen One (NZ) – Daniel Stackhouse
Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman – 53.5kg – Barrier 5

On-speed favoured in a fast run Caulfield Cup on a Soft 6 track last start. 2nd in the Sydney Cup on a heavy track only just beaten by Etah James. Can he really measure up to this level though? Not for mine but can run well at weights from a very opportune barrier.

Chance of winning: Low Chance

#18 Ashrun (FR) – Declan Bates
Andreas Wohler – 53kg – Barrier 24

Barrier all but kills the horses chances with 0 gate speed. Will get back to near last have to make a long sustained run. Has measured up to G1 grade in the past in Germany. Not for me.

Chance of winning: Low Chance

#19 Warning – Luke Currie
Anthony & Sam Freedman – 53kg – Barrier 8

Lameness issues heading into this. Won a weak Derby and hasn’t shown me enough since to suggest backing. Will struggle to land a top 6 position.

Chance of winning: Very Low Chance

#20 Etah James (NZ) – Billy Egan
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace – 52.5kg – Barrier 22

Sydney Cup Winner. Better on wetter tracks. Would be in this on a Heavy track. Top 10 chance, but not winning this.

Chance of winning: Very Low Chance

#21 Tiger Moth (IRE) – Kerrin McEvoy
Aidan O’Brien – 52.5kg – Barrier 23

Close 2nd in the Irish Derby at just his third start. Smashed them last start in a Group 3 by over 4 lengths. Sky is the limit for him. Can position forward or back. Strong traveling type. Weighted to smash this field apart if gets the right run.

Chance of winning: Very High Chance
Finishing position: 1st

#22 – Oceanex (NZ) – Dean Yendall
Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) – 51.5kg – Barrier 17

Won some weak staying races in the off-season. Lameness issues heading into this. No thank you.

Chance of winning: Very Low Chance

#23 Miami Bound (NZ) – Daniel Moor
Danny O’Brien – 51kg – Barrier 13

Loved the strong tempo last start in the Moonee Valley Cup and ate it up and spat out a quality field. Can measure up. Oaks winner last year by over 3 lengths. Two runs ever at 2500m have been big wins. Will stay. Handles all ground. Barrier 13 ok. Will go back to midfield or further and finish off strongly with just 51kg.

Chance of winning: High Chance
Finishing position: 5th

#24 Persan – Michael Dee
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace – 51kg – Barrier 20

Won 6 of last 9 races and ran 2nd in all the other races. Was suited by a very strong tempo last start over 2500m and smashed a quality field which included Steel Prince. Most importantly, will be on speed today so barrier isn’t as significant as you would expect. Gets in with 51kg is the key. Will see out 3200m.

Chance of winning: Medium Chance
Finishing position: 8th

Final Comments
This is a wide open Melbourne Cup and it looks a much higher quality race than the 2019 version where our local horses measured up. If there is a lack of tempo, there are several on-pace chances at big odds that are going to run well and we will have a tight finish. There are several horses that look to have the better stamina in the race short in the market. It will be real interesting if one of the yards with multiple runners sets up the tempo out the front like we saw in the Cox Plate.

Very High Chance: Tiger Moth, Anthony Van Dyck, Twilight Payment, Russian Camelot
High Chance: Miami Bound, Surprise Baby, Prince of Arran
Medium Chance: Avilius, Sir Dragonet, Verry Elleegant, Stratum Albion, Steel Prince, Persan
Low Chance: Vow and Declare, Master of Reality, Dashing Willoughby, Finche, King of Leogrance, The Chosen One, Ashrun, Etah James
Very Low Chance: Warning, Oceanex, Mustajeer


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