Just a quick post to plug my Melbourne Cup postings for newbies over at Hello Race Fans: “Ten Things You Should Know: Melbourne Cup” and “Things to Look For When Handicapping Aussie Racing.” Also did a bit of analysis over at Raceday360 on “The Race That Stops a Nation.”
Post time is tonight, midnight Eastern. 2008 runner-up Bauer is a vet scratch (hoof injury) as anticipated, and the track is currently rated a Slow 6—very good news for those who like soft turf. With a field of 23 remaining, I like to go through and eliminate those who (to my eyes) have zero chance of hitting the top three spots. That group would include (with saddlecloth number): Campanologist (2), Illustrious Blue (5), Mr. Medici (6), Tokai Trick (9), Buccellati (10), Harris Tweed (12), Master O’Reilly (14), Profound Beauty (16), Zavite (17), and Red Ruler (21). Most of these currently have poor form, major distance questions, lingering health questions, or loathe wet tracks.
If you’re betting here in the U.S. via Twinspires or such, you could do worse than bet the field horses (20-24), all lightweights, in your trifectas. That's right, one bet covers them all! These include Bart Cummings’ “other” horse Precedence (20) with Blake Shinn aboard—the same jockey who paired with Bart to win the master trainer’s 12th Melbourne Cup with Viewed in 2008. Linton (22) has yet to miss the top three this campaign, including a win in the 12-furlong G2 Herbert Power, and a nice second-place behind Maluckyday in Saturday’s G3 Lexus Stakes. Gai Waterhouse-trained Once Were Wild (23) won the AJC Oaks and gets an excellent barrier with post 11. And then there is Maluckyday (24) who has yet to miss a placing in eight races, including three impressively-dominating races in a row, the last being Saturday’s Lexus. Carrying a mere 113 pounds...oh, he looks a big chance!
Bart Cummings’ So You Think (3) is the glamour horse, and rightly so. A spectacularly gorgeous animal, he is in excellent form. The one and only query: can he get the two-mile distance? I love Gai’s other entry, Caulfield Cup winner Descarado (11) who will play “try-and-catch-me” and think yet another High Chaparral colt, Monaco Consul (15) could pull off a shocker placing, as could the fourth High Chaparral, Shoot Out (7).
The only European I like is Manighar (13), who can definitely get the distance. I know wise-guy horse Americain (8) is getting lots of play, but I just can’t get beyond how poorly he performed against U.S. turf horses last year.
So, when push comes to shove, what’s it all mean? Here’s my trifecta (boxed) play (not particularly in order—and I may change my mind closer to post):
7 Shoot Out
20f (includes Precedence, Linton, Once Were Wild, Maluckyday)
However, I will say, some little voice inside just keeping saying "Precedence." Good luck!