Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for Melbourne Cup day at Flemington on Tuesday, November 6th.
The race that stops the nation will commence at 3pm AEDT but there’s nine other races on the card to look forward to as well.
There is quite a bit of rain predicted in Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday, so I’m expecting the track to be somewhere in the Soft range if it does indeed hit the track. The rail moves out 2m from Derby Day.
We’ve got betting tips and comments for every race on the card below, as well as a comprehensive runner-by-runner look at the Melboune Cup!
Best Bet: Race 6 Mirette
Best Value Bet: Race 2 Palazzo Vecchio
Champagne Boom was nothing short of dominant on debut at Caulfield in the Debutant Stakes. She has followed the exact same path as stablemate Qafila did last year, winning a trial at Wodonga before winning on debut at Caulfield. Qafila then lined up as favourite in this race and ran a luckless 4th. Her debut victory was awfully soft and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see her win again here. Tony McEvoy is always a trainer to follow in these races this time of year. His runners ran 2nd and 3rd in this race last year and his sole runner in this year’s race is Sisstar, who is a full sister to G1 Coolmoore Stud Stakes winner Sunlight. She’s won two trials leading into this and has already had a trickle of support in early markets. I’ll be having something on at $4.80. Champagne Boom’s stablemate Lankan Star looks a value chance at $11. Damien Oliver has been riding her in all her jumpouts and he rode Qafila for this stable last year. I thought her two Flemington jumpouts were fairly good and obviously the Linsday Park stable are worth following in these juvenile races. Still Single looks the omen bet of the race – the race is called the Bumble Stakes after the dating app – and represents the Waller/Bowman combo. She’s won a trial in Sydney and shouldn’t be discounted.
Tough race. One that sticks out to me at huge odds is Palazzo Vecchio at $31. We only have to go back to last preparation to see she was very competitive in Group 2 company, albeit against her own age and sex. She takes on the older mares here but she’s had two runs back from a spell and hit the line nicely despite travelling wide throughout the race last start. Down in the weights, drawn well in barrier 6, third up and could run a big race at big odds. Seductive Miss is another at big odds ($21) that could outrun her price. She had no luck behind I Am A Star last start and was only beaten 2L. One More Try has been the best backed in early markets ($13-$6.50). She’s won two from two in easier grade this prep and comes into this third up. Drops significantly in the weights, well drawn and looks a mare on the up. This is much harder than what she’s been beating though. Mamzelle Tess is knocking on the door with four consecutive placings. She’ll run honest from the good draw but she’s just struggling to get her nose in front. Mrs Gardenia and Miss Siska are obvious chances, while Hectopascal looks to have been targeted solely at this race and is worth including at $21.
Wide-open race. Interestingly, the favourite Fifty Stars has been a big drifter in early betting. He’s now out to as much as $2.85 from an opening price of around $1.95. That’s very concerning. Fox Hall is a runner that interests me at $21. He resumed from a very long spell with a 4th placing at Geelong. He had to do some work during the run and was still only beaten 1.35L. I’m tipping he’ll be greatly improved with that run under the belt and he steps up to 1400m now, which is the distance of all four of his career victories. Michael Poy is replaced by stable rider Luke Currie. Could be a value chance. Man From Uncle is another at big odds to include. He comes out of a strong race and is third up today and up to 1400m. Suncraze draws wide and carries weight but he’s capable of being competitive in a race like this. Only two stars ago he was good behind Trekking, who then came to Melbourne and won. The Tasmanian galloper Mandela Effect is right in this. He’s run top two in nine of his 10 career starts and resumed from a spell with a good win at Launceston. He sat back in the field, travelled about five-wide and still proved too strong. He produced a big win over this distance at Caulfield during the Winter and while he would need to improve against better horses, he’s got the ability to do so. Bravo Tango gets blinkers on for the first time.
A fair few plodders going around here. Weir holds a strong hand as expected in the staying races. Azuro and Steel Prince ran the quinella over 2400m at Caulfield last start, with Azuro getting up by 0.5L. He actually gets a very small weight swing in his favour today, but Steel Prince undoubtedly draws the better of the two in barrier 4, with Azuro planted out in barrier 16. Expect both to run well again. Weir also has Chequered Flag engaged. He’s had four runs back from a spell now and drops in grade after running in the Geelong Cup last start. He should be ready to show something and any rain that arrives will greatly enhance his chances. Etah James is one at huge odds that could surprise. She was absolutely flying last preparation but hasn’t had any luck whatsoever in four starts this time in. First up she was held up at a crucial stage of the straight and in three runs since then she’s been caught wide without cover every time. She should roll forward from barrier 2 and it wouldn’t shock me to see her run a much better race. Sin To Win is another that drops in grade heavily and is capable of outrunning his big quote. Shraaoh is on debut in Australia for Waller and McEvoy. Have to respect. Sasko another at big odds to include.
Nomothaj resumes here for the first time since disappointing as favourite in the Magic Millions race in Adelaide back in March. She’s won two of her four career starts and both have been over this track and distance. That straight track experience (and success) is a big tick in her favour here. Jim Crowley rode a couple of winners for this stable during the week and he takes the ride here. Good each way price at $7.50. Fine Dane bolted in on debut at Moe and then ran within half-a-length of Written By. Last start he started the odds-on favourite and was held up before charging home to be beaten a nose by Beauty. Beauty then won his next start so the form looks reasonable. Feared Eyes comes off a good win at Ballarat on debut and represents an astute stable. Singular Sensation resumes from a year off the track. Was dynamic as a two-year-old in Brisbane but big query over her first up here. Chabreet looks well under the odds for mine.
Five horses to highlight here. Mirette was a big run in the Thousand Guineas after being posted wide throughout. She still battled on to run 5th, beaten just over 2L. She’s had three weeks to recover from that and is still relatively fresh into her campaign so she can bounce back here. Will need a better ride from the wide draw though. Beauty kept her undefeated streak intact with a good win at Moonee Valley last start, despite sitting three-deep without cover. The form out of her first up run looks reasonable too so if she can find cover from barrier 10 I expect her to be right in this at each way odds. Zizzis and Khulaasa ran the quinella at Caulfield last start. Prior to last start, Khulaasa finished 3rd to Wild Planet and Ranier, who came out and ran the quinella again on Derby Day. That form looks pretty strong and there isn’t much splitting Zizzis and Khulaasa, so the $16 and $13 available for those two respectively looks good odds. Into The Abyss started favourite in the race that Beauty won at Moonee Valley last start. Third up should be ready to peak at double figure odds.
I was with Duca Valentinois last start and I’ll stick with him at double figure odds once again today. He always takes a few runs to get going and he improved significantly last start as I expected he would. The Godolphin team is flying (three winners on Derby Day) so I’ll follow my money and have something on again. Life Less Ordinary is a possibility to line up on the very quick three-day back-up here, after finishing 5th in the G1 Kennedy Mile on Saturday. Much better suited back to Listed company here. He’s had three starts in Listed grade for a win and two 2nds. He’s also run top two in both starts at this track and distance. Ryan Moore replaces Michael Dee and he looks very well placed. Just needs to handle the quick back-up. Take It Intern was a dominant winner at just his second start in Australia for Darren Weir. He’s drawn wide here but he looks in with a big chance again today. Kiwia was sound first up and can be competitive, while Stampede could run them all into the ground but it’s a bit of a guessing game which Stampede turns up.
Trekking has been an early drifter but I have to stick with him after the horror show of last start, where he was held up for 300m of the straight as the well-backed favourite. His form prior to that was very good and with even luck he should be hard to beat once again. Brave Song was the winner of that race but he was beaten by Trekking two starts ago. McDonald keeps the ride on him which is a big plus and he’s an each way chance again. First Among Equals looks good value at double figure odds. He started well in the market last start but pulled up with a throat issue out of the race. Prior to that he went close in the Bobbie Lewis over this track and distance. Lane goes back on today which indicates he’s probably the stable’s leading chance. Man Of His Word is a huge price at $19. He was luckless first up and his record indicates he improves second up. He’s got blinkers back on today and Craig Williams sticks with him. Definitely include at the big odds. Galaxy Raider not hopeless.
This is deadest a dartboard job to finish the day. I’ll follow my money on Godolphin mare Savatiano at $7.50. She’s had absolutely no luck all preparation and there’s a jockey change today with Bowman taking over from Kerrin McEvoy. Barrier 14 means she risks getting caught wide once again (just as she has for her past few starts) but with any luck she must go close in this. If the rain comes and the track ends up soft, it won’t worry her. Stablemate Resin was absolutely smashed late in betting in an 1100m race on Saturday, but went to the line barely tested. She didn’t have a hard run so should back up well enough today, but the query is the jump from 1100m to 1400m. She’s another that could relish soft ground – she’s undefeated from three starts on soft. Our Crown Mistress rates well at $15. She improved out of sight last start and should be even better third up today off a long spell. She’ll go forward and give a good sight. Pedrena, Noire and Princess Posh are all chances, and the chances probably don’t end there!
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