Welcome to what is now my 10th Melbourne Cup preview I’ve posted, 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 had a late scratching of the 2nd favourite Loft which has installed Deauville Legend as a short-priced favourite deserving of the quote. Have a great day on the punt and good luck!
What it takes to win or place in the Melbourne Cup the past four years ratings wise?
2021 Melbourne Cup – (127 Timeform Rating won the race – 123 prior to race for the horse) [PuntingForm -19.9 – Horse had run -13.7 best of previous five runs]
1st – Verry Elleegant – Recorded a Timeform 123 over 2000m as a career-best heading into the Melbourne Cup and then ran Timeform 127 in this race to win.
2nd – Incentivise – Put an insane Timeform 129 rating on the board in the Caulfield Cup and then went back to a 121 rating in this for 2nd.
3rd – Spanish Mission – Came to Australia with a 121 Timeform rating and big weight to carry in this race. Ran to 120 for third.
2020 Melbourne Cup – (120 Timeform Rating won the race – 120 prior to race for the horse) [PuntingForm -17.6]
1st – Twilight Payment – Came out to Melbourne with a 120 Timeform rating over 2800m on record. Only got 55.5kg and ran another 120 Timeform rating to win!
2nd – Tiger Moth – 52.5kg – Ran a 118+ Timeform Rating on lead-in. Measured up with a 122 career peak and still found one too good with the low weight.
3rd – Prince of Arran – Career peak of 118 coming in and with 54.5kg ran 117+ storming home late.
2019 Melbourne Cup – (117 Timeform Rating won the race – 117 prior to race for the horse) [PuntingForm -7.1 – Horse had run -9.6 best of previous five runs]
1st – Vow and Declare – Got in with as low weight down 5kg from the Caulfield cup with just 52kg. Won a packed finish slowly run Melb Cup. Timeform rating 117 leading in and matched it.
2nd – Prince of Arran – Ran a 117 Timeform rating in the Geelong Cup and got in with 54kg. Only ran a 115 Timeform Rating, below his 118 best.
3rd – Il Paradiso – Lightweight 3YO with 52.5kg. Ran huge from an impossible position in a race with no speed on. Had ran 119 on lead in prep. Ran 122 Timeform Rating.
2018 Melbourne Cup – (124 Timeform Rating won the race – 124+ prior to race for the horse) [PuntingForm -16.9]
1st – Cross Counter – Genuine tempo on in the race setup perfectly Cross Counter with just 51kg. Had previous ran 124+ Timeform Rating at Goodwood over 2400m. Matched it at 3200m ridden cold.
2nd – Marmelo – On lead-in had run 120 Timeform Rating. Hasn’t gone beyond that since apart from 123 in this race with 55kg. #unlucky in race.
3rd – Prince of Arran – Ran career peak of 118 on lead in run. Got in with just 53kg but 3 days between runs only ran 115 off the hot tempo.
As you will note, most 3YOs have to perform a little higher Timeform Rating wise due to the scales they are given. An older horse with the same weight – say 52.5kg – will have to run a few points less on the TF Rating.
2022 Melbourne Cup Preview
STRONG TEMPO!!! Serpentine being in the race along with Knights Order will ensure a genuinely run Melbourne Cup. This will be a true-staying test. Looking for horses that have put big data numbers on the board while winning or going close to winning in the past and are proven at the distance.
I’ve included my expected speed map. In a 24-horse field I really don’t like giving exact placements so the below shows you the speed i’m expecting each horse to show in the early stages from their inside/outside barriers. The below shows how important barriers can be for certain types. Camorra for example from 17 may have a tough time getting in mid-field from the barrier.
1. Gold Trip (57.5kg) – Barrier 14
[Timeform 123] [PuntingForm Past Five -8.1 to -10.2]
Gear Change: Blinkers OFF
Came out to Australia with a 122 Timeform rating. Carried the big weight in the Caulfield Cup and ran to 123 when lost 0.1L behind Durston. Ran 119 Timeform rating in the Cox Plate when never really got a run at them.
Step up to 3200m may seem like a query to some but handled the 2400m well. Deserves top weight based on ratings. Will need to run a similar rating to the Caulfield Cup to hold all these out. Was 6th favourite before Loft etc came out. Could start 2nd favourite on the day.
Expected Finish Position: 2nd
Duais (55.5kg) – Barrier 10
[Timeform 115] [PuntingForm Past Five -2.7 to -8.0]
One-time Melbourne Cup favourite, failed to progress this prep to a rating required to be a top contender today.
Will get the distance. Enjoys a bit of give in the ground. Will be still going at the turn. Data isn’t up to snuff with this runner this prep. Had one run in the past in the Australian Cup where he ran a sensational -15.9 but that was 2000m and in the Autumn.
Can run well overall but I won’t be backing her to win it all.
Expected Finish Position: 10th
Knights Order (55.5kg) – Barrier 24
[Timeform 118] [PuntingForm Past Five -5.6 to -18.4]
Sydney Cup winner in the Autumn on a Heavy 10 track setting an insane speed out front and just continued to run and run and run. If we get a Heavy track somehow today you could have this horse as single figures.
Will be out the front with Serpentine setting a strong tempo today. Didn’t overdo it in the Caulfield Cup and Turnbull with -2.5 and +1 leading those races. The previous run went out -10.6 to the 600m on the PuntingForm Data.
Even if they want to make it a slower race, Serpentine getting in won’t allow that now. Will be a genuine test and has the ability based on the past to see it out. If the rain doesn’t come I’ll be downgrading the horses chances on the day.
Expected Finish Position: 5th
Montefilia (55.5kg) – Barrier 11
[122+ Timeform] [PuntingForm Past Five -4.7 to -11.6]
Group 1 winner last prep over 2000m beating Verry Elleegant in the Ranvet. Best runs for this horse haven’t been off a strong tempo but have always been sit sprint speeds.
Last start in the Caulfield Cup only had to run benchmark to the 600m and stormed home for 4th!
Will go back from the barrier and be running home well enough to be top 10.
Has shown the ability in the past over 2000m and 2400m with 122+ and 119 timeform ratings in past preps – better on Heavy. If we get a Heavy track, update his position!
Expected Finish Position: 8th
Numerian (55.5kg) – Barrier 7
[117 Timeform] [PuntingForm Past Five -0.5 to -12.8]
Travelled like a dream in the Caulfield Cup but just didn’t have the turn of foot to see it out over the 2400m. Previous start ran a big -12.8 Puntingform Data rating when 3rd over 2000m behind Cascadian. Can handle strong tempos. The way the horse ran through the line over 2400m suggests will grind but unsure if this distance is where he excels.
I think he can run a solid race based on the lead in form and handles all track surfaces fine, but at the weights don’t think he is well in here.
Expected Finish Position: 12th
Without a Fight (55.5kg)- Barrier 18
[116 Timeform] [PuntingForm Past Five N/A]
Consistent type that runs well 2400+ with best runs on firmer than wet tracks. Won 2 of last 3 but was fairly beaten as favourite last start at Newmarket in listed class before getting on a flight out to Australia. Would be far shorter in the market if he had shown improvement in his ratings first up that day but he has run Timeform 116, 116 and 116 the last three. Can assume he wasn’t fully fit last start so some improvement to come.
Happy horse that settled in really well at Werribee. Gets ticks from that. Has previous experience travelling so was expected. Query if can be at best if track is really wet. Weighted fairly.
Expected Finish Position: 3rd
Camorra (55kg) – Barrier 17
[Timeform 114] [PuntingForm Past Five N/A]
Goes best on dryer tracks than soaking wet. Low Timeform rating and bad barrier today. Will get the distance but certainly up against it at the weights with 55kg and the rating. I can’t see the horse getting a good place in run so may settle back where I give the horse a much lower hope.
This is one international i’m taking on today.
Expected Finish Position: 19th
Deauville Legend (55kg) – Barrier 9
[Timeform 121] [PuntingForm Past Five N/A]
Ran a brave 2nd at Goodwood flashing home over the 2400m suggesting the step up in trip will delight – that trip measured up with 119 Timeform rating. Last start at York won a Group 2 in impressive fashion. Ran 120+ Timeform rating that day giving the horse a timeform rating worthy of being favourite.
The horse has his quirks but getting in so well weighted at the rating because of his age, he is up to his eyeballs in this race.
Would prefer to see a Good to Soft 6 to find his best with confidence.
Expected Finish Position: 1st
Stockman (54kg) – Barrier 2
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five -2.5 to -10.8]
Had a nice tune-up at Rosehill in the Gold Cup over the weekend where did everything expected with a -10.8 Puntingform Rating over the 2000m. Wants the 3200m. Disappointed last year in the Sydney Cup even though handles heavy.
Doesn’t win out of turn and only win recently was off a slow tempo out front.
Expected Finish Position: 14th
Vow and Declare (54kg) – Barrier 4
[Timeform 117] [PuntingForm Past Five +1.9 to -11.7]
Won this race a few years back in a slowly run race from on speed when they ran +0.6 to the 600m when we are expecting -10 and beyond today. Was a really good lead-in run in the Bart Cummings then also ran well in the Caulfield Cup. Will run a valid race with 54kg and has the ratings from a very good barrier to be a sneaky chance.
Expected Finish Position: 7th
Young Werther (54kg) – Barrier 21
[Timeform 119] [PuntingForm Past Five -3.2 to -15.5]
Fairly disappointing run in the Cox Plate with not a huge speed set, got the back on Anamoe to run into it at the turn and got passed by 7 horses. Best runs in the past have been around the 2000 to 2400m mark. Untested at 3200m. Previous run 3rd behind Smokin Romans.
Can Incentivise to 0.5L in the Turnbull last year and put in a huge -15.5 time on the record. If can repeat that over the 3200m then obviously is a big chance here. Has a lot of queries over his form this time in though and he hasn’t won since his maiden.
Expected Finish Position: 15th
Hoo Ya Mal (53.5kg) – Barrier 15
[Timeform 119] [PuntingForm Past Five N/A]
Gets in with the imports 3YO weight allowance. As I noted in the preview above, 3YOs generally are attached to a higher TF rating that I give them credit for. That being said, the 119 for the Group 1 2nd over 2400m last prep has the horse right in this at his best.
He was good behind Deauville Legend first up at Goodwood before knocking off a poor punch next start. May appreciate a more positive ride than the last start run at Doncaster when ran poorly. May also appreciate a dryer surface based on best runs in the past. Is the type i’d send out front with the low weight and let him set the tempo with some blinkers on to focus – but with Sepentine now in the race, may just sit off the pace.
Win wouldn’t be a total shock but may just look like a sitting duck at the 300!
Expected Finish Position: 13th
Serpentine (53.5kg) – Barrier 23
[Timeform 122?] [PuntingForm Past Five -6.0 to -10.1]
Came out to Australia with a Timeform 122? rating. Has been pretty disappointing to-date in Australia but is really just looking for a firm track that the horse hasn’t found. Close 2nd in the Lexus to qualify here.
On the Puntingform data the horse has improved ratings-wise after every run. Last start in the Lexus set a speed 15 lengths faster than the expected to the 600m which is what he does – he sets a tempo. Him and Knight’s Order will ensure a strong tempo here.
Expected to have no issues with the trip. Just doesn’t have a turn of foot will grind which is what is needed this year. If no rain hits and we end up on a Good track, upgrade his finishing position.
Expected Finish Position: 11th
Daqiansweet Junior (53kg) – Barrier 13
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five -0.7 to -16.7]
Three runs this prep 1700m up to 2510m. Last start was 3-wide the trip but did have cover for the first half of it. Adelaide Cup winner last prep so we know will get the distance and was 3rd in the Sydney Cup behind Knights Order beaten 4.5L…. so does handle a strongly run 3200m. Best runs in the past have all been on dry tracks.
Unlikely here… one to take on.
Expected Finish Position: 21st
Grand Promenade (53kg) – Barrier 1
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +6.7 to -12.0]
Last year around this time he was putting in some insane figures between -10 and -15 Puntinform Ratings in five races in a row with the pinnacle 6th in this race behind Verry Elleegant. Not going anywhere near as well this prep and up in the weights.
One to take on based on the current form.
Expected Finish Position: 22nd
Arapaho (52.5kg) – Barrier 19
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +1.3 to -11.0]
Had a good run last start over 2600m and was left in the dust by Stockman in the St Leger. Handles all race conditions and will get the distance. That being said, his best has been around the -11 mark so he has the ability and the right to be here.
The barrier makes it tough to consider today.
Expected Finish Position: 19th
Emissary (51.5kg) – Barrier 3
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +1.1 to -10.5]
Smashed them in a poorly rating Geelong Cup coming from out the back. Went right past Surefire who won the Lexus in a very good time over the weekend.
Ran 3rd back in 2011 in the Hotham over 2500m but did get the distance. One of the hardest horses in the race to get my head around. He could come out and run VERY well or could bomb.
Can’t write him off with 51.5kg.
Expected Finish Position: 9th
Lunar Flare (51.5kg) – Barrier 12
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five -8.5 to -15.7]
Impressive win in the Bart Cummings over 2500m on a good surface at the course two back. Last start fairly beaten by Francesco Guardi in the Moonee Valley Cup. Can run well again here up to 3200m but struggle to see her beating every runner home based on the last start.
Needs to get a positive spot in running to stand a chance.
Expected Finish Position: 16th
Smokin’ Romans (51.5kg) – Barrier 16
[Timeform 117] [PuntingForm Past Five +0.4 to -11.2]
Started favourite in the Caulfield Cup. Had a pre-race incident and was passed fit at barrier. Kah keeps the ride and gets in at 51.5kg. Didn’t have the best luck in run during the Caulfield Cup but was poor through the line. Last run at 2800m failed. But has never had issues at the distance range 2400+. The barrier is a bit of an issue to get a perfect spot in run, but he will go forward and slot in.
I expect him to be presenting top of the straight and a chance to win.
Expected Finish Position: 6th
Tralee Rose (51.5kg) – Barrier 22
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +3.2 to -13.6]
Geelong Cup winner last year after 2nd in the Bart Cummings. Ran a respectable 9th in this race.
Hasn’t shown any form this time in. Barrier is horrible also. Had no luck at the wrong time in the Caulfield Cup. Should have finished 9th/10th not 13th.
Expected Finish Position: 23rd
Point Nepean (51kg) – Barrier 20
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +0.2 to -13.5]
Two runs this prep over 2500m and 2400m and didn’t show anything worthy of backing today. Last prep three wins in a row up to Listed level. Got a run here for winning the Ramsden. Deserves to be $100+ here.
Expected Finish Position: 24th
High Emocean (50kg) – Barrier 8
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +5.3 to -12.5]
Bendigo Cup winner last start just holding off a fast finishing Port Philip. Two previous runs were solid data wise including a -12.5 off a hot tempo in the Chirnside Handicap at course over 2500m. The wetter the better here.
Expected Finish Position: 17th
Interpretation (50kg) – Barrier 6
[Timeform 114] [PuntingForm Past Five -1.8 to -11.2]
Came over to Australia with a low Timeform rating so was surprised the horse was well fancied in betting in early markets. Has been beaten fairly at every start this prep. Yes, probably more suited up to 3200m but even at 50kg, has to improve to be winning this.
Can surprise but not one for mine. Barrier helps chances.
Expected Finish Position: 18th
Realm of Flowers (50kg) – Barrier 5
[Timeform N/A] [PuntingForm Past Five +0.0 to -12.5]
Won the Ramsden back in 2021 after 5th in the Sydney Cup off a solid tempo -9.8 PF data-wise to the 600m then finished off -5.8. The total o -14.8 would have her well in here. Was third in the Bart Cummings from the back that same year with a -12.5.
All three runs this prep have lacked speed on out front with the horse breaking benchmark to the 600m once and it was right on the line. Horse loves the wet and is going well. Barrier means she won’t settle last in run. If no rain comes, downgrade expected finishing spot.
Expected Finish Position: 4th
Very High: Deauville Legend
High: Gold Trip, Without a Fight, Realm of Flowers, Knights Order
Medium: Smokin’ Romans, Vow and Declare, Montefilia, Emissary
Low: Duais, Serpentine, Numerian, Hoo Ya Mal, Stockman, Young Werther, Lunar Flare, High Emocean, Interpretation, Camorra
Very Low: Arapaho, Daqiansweet Junior, Grand Promenade, Tralee Rose, Point Nepean
This will be a high-intensity speed-heavy race where the best-weighted stayer in the nation right now will reign as Champion. Many people will say Barriers don’t mean anything but in a 24-horse race, they are key to the right run. Take that into consideration when having your bet on Tuesday.