Melbourne Cup Preview

The race that stops the nation!

It’s the first Tuesday in November which means 2 miles at Flemington and the best horses in the world are set to do battle. Will the raiders display their dominance and claim The Cup or will the local hopes cause an upset?

Here’s my preview for the 2023 Melbourne Cup. 

GOLD TRIP  has improved yet again since winning the cup last year. His runs in both the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate were fantastic yet again. Drawn to get a soft run however does have to give key competitors a substantial amount of weight. Will be very competitive again this year and is a genuine place

 – GOLD TRIP  wins the 162nd running of the Melbourne Cup in 2022.

ALENQUER  has failed to find any form since moving to Australia and joining the Moroney stable. Has Damien Oliver aboard who’s chasing his fourth and final cup but can’t see him figuring here. 

– ALENQUER  faces a vet inspection on Monday after sustaining a possible stone bruising injury.

WITHOUT A FIGHT  was extremely impressive winning the Caulfield Cup and has retained Mark Zahra which is a massive boost for his chances. Drawn average but will have plenty of time to find a handy spot midfield. Has improved since his cup run last year and looks extremely well suited to this race now. Will be fighting out the finish. 

– Mark Zahara and WITHOUT A FIGHT  storm home to win the 2023 Caulfield Cup

BREAKUP  was good enough in the Caulfield Cup and will appreciate the rise in trip to 2 miles. Does possess some strong Japanese formlines and has placed 5 out of 6 times second up. Genuine place chance and exotics hope. 

VAUBAN  is a justifiable favourite and looks extremely well placed here. Has never missed the placings over 2 miles and is rock hard fit. Galloped enormous at Flemington a week ago and has placed on 2 out of 3 occasions first up. Drawn to get a soft run either leading or just behind the speed and with the in form Ryan Moore on will be extremely hard to beat. 

 -VAUBAN  looks hard to beat in this year’s Melbourne Cup

SOULCOMBE  has been racing very well this preparation most recently finishing an impressive 7th in the Caulfield Cup where he was only just getting warm late. Jaio Moreira takes the ride and if he doesn’t bomb the start I feel will be a genuine place hope. 

– SOULCOMBE  will race without blinkers for the first time in the Melbourne Cup

ABSURDE  won the Ebor last start and prior to that his previous run at Ascot was very good behind favourite Vauban. Gets a large weight drop here and has drawn well to cross and sit on the speed. Zac Purton takes the ride which is a very handy booking and believe he’ll be very competitive. A genuine stater and genuine exotics play. 

RIGHT YOU ARE  has been consistently around the mark, was most recently good in the Caulfield Cup however, he will need to find a few lengths to be competitive here. 

VOW AND DECLARE  has found some form this preparation. Was flashing home last start at The Valley and prior to that was good in the Caulfield Stakes behind Alligator Blood. Has won The Cup before and although has drawn wide will slot back midfield and be running home late. 

CLEVELAND  was impressive winning the Gold Cup a couple of weeks ago and is capable of running 2 miles. Will be rock hard fit and is capable of a top half finish just think this is a lot harder than he’s contested.  

– CLEVELAND with James McDonald onboard wins the Moonee Valley Gold Cup

ASHRUN  was good late in the Geelong Cup but prior to that was just fair in The Bart Cummings. Think this is probably too strong for him and is hard to have here.

DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR  can stay this trip and is a Group 1 place getter. His last run was a great improvement on previous performances and will appreciate the rise in trip. Can see him finishing in the top half of the field again. 

OKITA SOUSH  was poor in the Caulfield Cup and although is a winner over this trip think this assignment is too strong. 

SHERAZ. would need the rains to hit to be any hope, only possess form on soft and heavy tracks and will struggle to feature here. 

LASTOCHKSA  has won at 3100 metres  however will need luck from the wide gate and would rather watch her first up here. 

MAGICAL LAGOON  faces a very tough task here. Most recently was ok in the Geelong Cup and now rises to 2 miles for the first time. Others are better. 

MILITARY MISSION  has been consistent this preparation. Has drawn well to roll forward and make his own luck on the speed with some well fancied hopes. Is capable of a top half finish.

– MILITARY MISSION trained by Waterhouse/Bolt will be ridden by Rachel King in The Melbourne Cup

SERPINETINE  is around the mark every start but faces a tougher assignment here and am happy to risk. 

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE  has struggled to re-capture any of his 3 year old form and would need a heavy track to be any chance of being competitive. 

MORE FELONS  was very good late in the Geelong Cup and will improve from that. Drawn the car park but will get back and will be running home late. Exotics play and potential place hope. 

FUTURE HISTORY  is well weighted to run a race and with Hollie Doyle on will get every possible chance. Drawn a good gate to roll forward and if continues to improve can figure in the top half of the field.

INTERPRETATION  just fell in the Bendigo Cup and faces a much tougher task here. Happy to risk. 

KALAPOUR  held on to win The Archer on Saturday and faces a mammoth task to back up and run well again. 

– KALAPOUR wins the Lexus Archer Stakes

TRUE MARVEL  hasn’t been racing well this preparation, however can run this trip and is capable of a top half finish with luck. 

VAUBAN  looks extremely hard to beat and is well weighted and drawn very well. Has all the favours to be winning this, GOLD TRIP  and   WITHOUT A FIGHT   in for the minors and  MORE FELONS   in for fourth. Other key players are VOW AND DECLARE, BREAKUP  and  FUTURE HISTORY  with my best roughie being  DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR.

– James Brownley

Check out the latest Punting Monologue Melbourne Cup Special here:




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