Welcome to what is now my 9th Melbourne Cup preview i’ve posted online, previously on TheProfits website and now on the RacingWorldwide website! I love the International fields and the task of finding the winner in this race. This year we have a short-priced favourite that deserves the quote. There are a few with chances to knock him off but they are going to have to improve or the favourite is going to have to regress ratings-wise. Have a great day on the punt and good luck!
1. Twilight Payment (58kg): We got the chocolates with him last year with the low weight and now they expect him to carry top weight and still win. Has run 5 times since for just a Group 3 victory. Fairly beaten last start over 2800m in G1 but did run 2nd to Sonnyboylisten. Has maintained a 120 Timeform Rating this prep which with 58kg makes it a VERY hard task to do the double two years in a row. Looks to have a few good types on speed – may take a sit with the weight?
2. Incentivise (57kg): Ran to Timeform 129 in the Caulfield Cup. Last two runs on the Puntingform Data have been -14.4 and -15.8. Handles all types of ground conditions. Only “Query” is first time 3200m. Moody training, looks suited to the 3200m. Will be on speed and kicking clear with 300m to go! Better on softer tracks?
3. Spanish Mission (57kg): Looked the top international elect for the MC a long way out. Had to pass a vet test to nominate on Saturday after failing one on Friday. Handles travel based on past experiences. Comes out to Australia with a 121 Firmform rating over a similar distance when headed at the line by Stradivarius who people would in past years had favourite in this race. Put 7 lengths on the rest of the field on that day. Racing pattern will have him settling back in the field from 14. Read the full international preview on Spanish Mission here.
4. Verry Elleegant (57kg): We have seen her very best at 2000-2400m but the 3200m last cup from the back off a hot speed was pretty good in reflection. She stayed on into 7th being just 1 of 2 horses to break 12 seconds the final 200m – she was widest on track and got blocked for her run top of straight. Has she lacked her dash at 2000m this prep because of training with a Melbourne Cup as the true aim?!?!? Terrible barrier hurts chance to get a slot – will need an expert ride potentially going forward early or slotting in midfield somehow. Looks like the rain will miss which would have severely increased her chances.
5. Explosive Jack (54kg): Shown nothing all 3 runs this prep. Last prep shown enough in 3YO grade to consider a chance… but was really poor last start. Take on.
6. The Chosen One (54kg): If you ignore last start and rate on previous runs and that the horse will be better suited up to 3200, then you can make a case for him to run top 6. Not a winning chance at the weights on my model but barrier helps loads.
7. Delphi (53.5kg): Ignore he went around last start. Has been lame since is the BIG query. Based on first and second up runs and then on the fast he is at his very best over 2800m+, he is a live big chance from an on-speed position. Barrier 3 was critical to him being a live chance based on his Caulfield Cup run. Can win. Read the full international preview for Delphi here.
8. Ocean Billy (53.5kg): Auckland Cup winner over 3200m last prep. Done nothing since then but has been slowly making his way through the grades and distances on track for this. Will stay the distance and has to be considered for top 6 at odds.
9. Selino (53.5kg): Sydney Cup winner in a race that was build for staying. The data was pretty good out of it. Beaten 11L in Caulfield CUp from the back. Never expected to be in with a shot in that. Lowish enough weight but from barrier will not be able to steal a good spot in run. Will stay.
10. Johnny Get Angry (53kg): Only ever put in one “good” run in the Victoria Derby last year. Shown nothing since this prep. End of race sectionals the last three runs have been horrible also. Take on.
11. Knights Order (53kg): Led in the Hotham, set tempo and was poor through the line. Went faster in the Bart Cummings and Geelong Cup before that and had some of the worst final 600/200. Hard to see him see out this race. Will make sure tempo is set strong for stablemate.
12. Persan (53kg): 5th in this last year. Hasn’t won a Gorup race since. 3rd beaten a long way in the Caulfield Cup. Led them around there ons peed off a hot tempo. Ran 12th fastest final 200m in the race, was on spent legs. Will be on speed again low weight taking a sit i’d expect with speed on from others. May have more chance to finish off if thats the case. Top 6 chance for sure. Respect at weights.
13. Carif (52.5kg): Hasn’t won a race since late 2020 and that was the Listed grade Sandown Cup over 3200m. Been well below the grade needed her on lead its. Take on strongly.
14. Master of Wine (52.5kg): Made his run 1000 to 400m in the Caulfield Cup from back and ran terrible sectionals final 400m. Doesn’t look the type suited to a strong 3200m. Could get a more economical run from the barrier today.
15. Pondus (52.5kg): Well beaten in Bart Cummings and Moonee Valley Gold Cup fairly. Will see out the 3200m but may be lacking the sprint the final 200/400 to really win this. Top 8 chance.
16. Grand Promenade (52kg): Consistent as the day is long with -12.5 -13.0 and -13.8 data wise on Puntingform the past 3 runs. Well weighted in the race. Beat the to be Geelong Cup winner last start. Was strong the final 400m off the hot tempo set. Will stay all day. Barrier a query but will push forward and demand a position to settle. Can win.
17. Miami Bound (52kg): 3rd in the Sydney Cup last prep. Got back ran on well and stayed the distance. Was decent from the back in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup as a lead in run. Has the ability to run top 6 bu thard to see her winning without going forward.
18. Port Guillaume (52kg): Had his chance to stand up and be counted the last two runs in the bart Cummings and Caulfield Cup and he showed nothing in either. wasn’t bad the previous run in the Foundtain cup. Doesn’t want it firm and gets that here.
19. She’s Ideel (52kg): Started $5 in the Sydney Cup and ran okay without impressing even though didn’t have the best of luck. Barrier 20 will go back to near last. Prefer wetter.
20. Future Score (51.5kg): Shown nothing to suggest a win this prep. Last prep rated below whats needed here. Struggle to suggest a win in this grade. Take on.
21. Tralee Rose (51kg): Geelong Cup winner. Fairly beaten last start behind Grand Promenade with similar weights to the Bart Cummings run. Failed in the Adelaide Cup as favourite last prep. Query at this distance range in this grade.
22. Floating Artist (50kg): People tried to make excuses for his loss in the Coongy Cup two back. Was his best career run to date in Australia ratings wise. Didn’t set the world on fire when in the UK. Should have won the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and ran a similar rating to last start. 50kg in the cup decent enough barrier and will get a decent spot in run. Query on a horse that has so much bad luck and needs to run to career peak to win. Can respect has chance though.
23. Great House (50kg): Ran two his career peaks the past two starts at Randwick and Caulfield and then did similar to win the Hotham in a strongly run race. Was dying on his run the final 200m which is a query up to the 3200m. Nice horse best seen on dryer surfaces than the one we have expected for the Cup. Hard to back at current price.
24. Sir Lucan (50kg): Midfield type of runner. 50kg Import so you always HAVE to give them some winning chance, but the horse barely made his way into the race for a reason. 2YO 1600m handicap winner. This prep went up to win a Listed grade 2600m race and placed in Group 3 company. Fairly beaten a long way in the St Leger last start. Fairly beaten 4th in the Great Voltigeur the run prior into 4th. Barrier 18 no help. 113 Timeform rating. Would need to improve to at least 116-117 to be a chance here of winning.
Top Chances: Incentivise
Very High Chances: Grand Promenade, Delphi
High Chances: Twilight Payment, Spanish Mission, Verry Elleegant
Medium Chances: The Chosen One, Persan, Tralee Rose, Floating Artist, Sir Lucan
Low Chances: Explosive Jack, Ocean Billy, Selino, Pondus, Miami Bound, Great House
Very Low Chances: Johnny Get Angry, Knights Order, Carif, Master of Wine, Port Guillaume, She’s Ideel, Future Score
Comments: Incentivise is looking to line up in the great race as one of the shortest priced favourites in history for a good reason. The horse demolished them in the Caulfield Cup and there is no reason why he can’t do it again here. The main market danger in Spanish Mission is coming off an injury cloud which means the horse isn’t at 100% fitness for this – you can’t not miss runs with those issues trying to pass a fitness test. Verry Elleegant would be a big winning chance if the storms came a day sooner but thats not to be. Can Twilight Payment go back to back? Yes, but do you want to take that horse on it’s current form at the price? Incentivise is clear top pick for me. This is a race I’m usually taking the favourites on also with Twilight Payment + Tiger Moth who ran 1-2 last year as my two top picks. This year Incentivise goes on top from Delphi and Grand Promenade. Delphi’s best (query the lameness during the week) could be the thing that undoes Incentivise here. Perfect barrier for us to find out on a horse crying out for the 3200m. Grand Promenade rating wise on the Puntingform Data has done nothing wrong – just keeps winning strongly run races. Barrier no real issue will push forward and get a good spot in run. Those are the three top chances for me and thats the way I want to play the race.
This article was orginally posted at www.racingworldwide.com.au