Melbourne Cup Preview
Previews, Reviews, Tips
13 October, 2023
Cup Day is finally here and although it looks like it’s going to be wet and gloomy the stars are out and set to shine at Flemington on grand final day for Victorian racing. The internationals are dominating the market but there’s plenty of local hopes over the odds and in with a shot. The question is who will be crowned the cup champion after the most famous three minutes in sport? Here’s my preview for the big one!
Gold trip was ok in the Cox Plate when finishing strongly after a luckless run. Prior to that was huge in the Caulfield Cup when just beaten. Big jump in distance here and another step up with a big weight. Loves the wet though but a big query over whether he is able to run two miles. Will slot into a midfield position and will be running on but think others are better suited at this trip with his weight.
Duais is the forgotten horse in this race for mine. This has been her grand final since winning the Australian cup here back in the autumn. Has been trained like a stayer with the Cummings touch and although hasn’t looked explosive has been good enough to suggest she’ll be able to run the two miles with no problems. I do feel though that a heavy track will dampen her chances but in the soft range she’s a big each way play. Classy mare and must respect.
Knights Order was super in the Caulfield Cup last start and has won twice over two miles with one of those being on very heavy ground. Has been racing ultra-consistent this preparation however barrier 24 might cause problems for him as it could prove very difficult to cross and lead with other predicted leaders inside. If he can get across he’s as honest as they come and is a place chance.
Montefilia is a classy mare and has been racing extremely well this prep. She was eye catching in the Caulfield Cup and her sectionals show that with the fastest last 2 furlongs of the race. I think she’ll relish the rise in trip and runs super in the wet. Will find a brilliant spot midfield and will be running on late. Genuine winning chance.
Numerian was good in the Caulfield Cup but faces a tougher task here. I highly doubt he can run the 3200m but has been honest enough this preparation to find himself in a midfield finishing position I feel.
Without A Fight has traveled before and ran well. Won in the UK over 2800 in the past so I suspect that 3200 won’t be a problem. From barrier 18 should find an ok spot just behind the speed and stalk them from the corner onwards. Performed well on rain affected tracks at home and should be ok with the wet conditions. Form suggests his good enough to be a winning chance here and is stronger than most of the local hopes. Each way chance.
Camorra looks to have been overlooked. Irish St Leger run was ok and prior to that was good when winning the Curragh Cup. Has the same form as other past cup winners and does run well on rain affected tracks. Will run two miles and is over the odds.
Deauville Legend has the best form by far coming into this. He’s a justifiable favourite in what is a weak field. Defeated El Bodegon easily last start who was respectable in the Cox Plate. Should be capable of running the 3200 metres however the heavy conditions look dangerous for his chance of taking the feature home. If he handles it is without a doubt a winning hope just cautious of the conditions.
Stockman will be doing a rain dance as the wetter the better for him. Was poor last start at Rosehill but was good enough in his only run over 3200 on very heavy ground. Not the worst just prefer others.
Vow And Declare is back to have a go at reclaiming his 2019 crown. Has been good enough this prep to be competitive and should be ridden more positively from barrier 4 however, I think others are better. Should finish in the top 10.
Young Werther is a natural stayer and rises to the two miles for the first time. Feel this is too hard of a task for him though.
Hoo Ya Mal has similar form lines to the favourite. Was poor last start but has excuses there. Has had a good enough run on a heavy surface and has won on a soft track which is a huge positive. Barrier 15 should suit him and will find a nice spot just off midfield off the rails with backs to follow. In form jockey Craig Williams takes the ride and I believe he can turn around his plain run last start here. Genuine each way chance.
Serpentine was better last start but will need to improve dramatically to be in the mix here. The quick back up might suit and can run the trip but others are better. Hard to have.
Daqiansweet Junior was average last start in the Bart Cummings but this preparation has had little luck. His two runs over 3200 have been very good with one being a comfortable win in the Adelaide Cup and another a solid placing on very heavy ground in Sydney. Will need to turn his form around but is capable of running a good race.
Grand Promenade was good in this race last year and has been good enough this preparation. Will be rock hard fit and barrier one will allow Harry Coffey to sit more positive on him. Might run a big race and surprise a few people.
Arapaho was good last start but faces a big jump in grade. Wide draw does no favours and will need to improve lengths to be competitive. Upside is he can handle the heavy track but whether he’ll have the same turn of foot over this trip is a query.
Emissary was good in the Geelong Cup but will need a dry track to stand any chance over 3200m.
Lunar Flare was good when hitting the line last start. Finds a massive weight advantage and has been racing well enough to be competitive if he passes the vet inspection.
Smokin Romans was luckless last start and prior to that has been super. Not sure whether he’ll be able to run the 3200m but will find a good spot behind the leaders and will be given every chance with Kah on board. Place chance.
Tralee Rose simply isn’t going well enough this preparation to have here. Was ok in this race last year but was racing much better then.
High Emocean loves Flemington and was good when winning the Bendigo Cup. Looks like he will love the rise in distance and should run well.
Interpretation will appreciate the rise in distance and the soft ground but hasn’t impressed me in his Australian runs to suggest he’ll be in the finish.
Realm Of Flowers is going well this time in and was good in The Metropolitan. Will appreciate the rise in distance and the wet ground. Looked sharp in a jump out over 1600 metes and gets in well at the weights. Will be watching for her explosive turn of foot and if the race is run right will be in the finish. Each way hope.
On top hope for me is Hoo Ya Mal. I think he can bounce back from his average run last start and show his true potential here. Has the same form lines as the favourite except represents better value for me. Duais in for second, this is her grand final and I think Ed Cummings will have her ready to show it. In for third is Deauville Legend, he’s a class horse but I think not all is set up to suit him conditions wise and he might just feel the pinch late. Realm Of Flowers in for fourth with Montefilia, Without A Fight and Knights Order the other key chances.
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