Australia’s bitchiest Melbourne Cup form guide
It’s on again. The Melbourne Cup. The race that stops the nation. Or at least, the race that stops the nation working.
This year’s Cup is like no other. Well might we say “stop the boats” as refugees seek asylum on our shores, but maybe we’d do better to stop the planes. This year, more foreign raiders than ever before are trying to steal our riches and destroy our way of life. It’s just not horse racing.
So who’s going to win? The Punch proudly presents Australia’s most devastatingly honest and accurate form guide to help you decide for yourself.
Trainer: Alain de Royer-Dupre. Barrier: 15. Odds: $4.50
Last year’s winner and this year’s favourite. His Moonee Valley Cup win last week proved he’s back in from, and many believe they’ll be saying “Ah Americain, you’ve done it again” by Tuesday afternoon. They’d best save some pizza money in case he doesn’t.
2. Jukebox Jury
Trainer: Mark Johnston. Barrier: 6. Odds: $13
Members of the jury, have you reached your verdict? We have your honour. And this English horse is hopeless. He likes to lead in his races, but England once effectively led the world and look what happened to it.
Trainer: Mikel Delzangles. Barrier: 13. Odds: $7.50
This arrogant French animal was extremely impressive in winning this year’s Geelong Cup, which was the path successfully travelled by his compatriot Americain last year.
4. Drunken Sailor
Trainer: Luca Cumani. Barrier 8. Odds: $34
What shall we do with horse? The pets of Australia are licking their lips in anticipation, and they’re probably right. This plodding English beast finished 7th in the Caulfield Cup but is anything but a champion, despite being sired by a colt called Tendulkar.
5. Glass Harmonium
Trainer: Michael Moroney: Barrier: 23. Odds: $41
Some horses go into the barrier stalls like lambs. Others fight and squirm like cattle in an Indonesian abattoir. This fellow is the latter type. Somehow he won the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday, but he generally gets far too worked up before his races. Perhaps the touch of female jockey Lisa Cropp will calm him down a little.
Trainer: Luca Cumani. Barrier: 21. Approx odds: $41
One-paced plodder who ran 7th in the race last year. His jockey Damien Oliver is the subject of the film The Cup, which by all accounts very moving. If they made a movie about Manighar it would also be moving. As in, slow moving.
7. Unusual Suspect
Trainer: Mick Kent. Barrier: 7. Odds: $26
Crap food, crap movies, crap music… and now crap horses. Why does the worst of American culture always find its way to our shores? This seven year old hack was lousy over there and has had three runs here for a 4th, 10th and 6th. If you draw him in the office sweep, resign.
8. Fox Hunt
Trainer: Mark Johnston. Barrier: 19. Odds: $26
Tally ho. This Irish-bred stayer is quite the toff, having raced in France, Germany and England this year. He’s won a few races but nothing of any quality. Release the hounds. And tell ’em if they don’t find any foxes, they can eat this horse.
9. Lucas Cranach
Trainer: Anthony Freedman. Barrier: 11. Odds: $10
Four legged piece of bratwurst who is third favourite for the Cup behind the two Frogs, though it’s hard to work out why. His Dad was Mamool, who ran last in the 2003 Cup. And while he ran 5th in the Caulfield Cup, he didn’t really accelerate like a Melbourne Cup winner. More Volkswagen than Audi.
10. Mourayan (SCRATCHED)
Trainer: Robert Hickmott. Barrier: 14. Odds: $XX
Imagine you’re a proud Aussie from Moorabbin who talks like Eddie McGuire. That would make you a Mourayan. This horse was pretty much out of calculations till its excellent second in the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday, and its Cup odds duly halved. A chance.
Trainer: Bart Cummings. Barrier: 2. Odds: $34
The queen has left out shores, leaving Cups king Bart Cummings as our reining monarch. And yes, that’s spelt wrong deliberately. Precedence ran a creditable 8th in the Cup last year but given its recent form, it’ll probably run 28th this year, behind the 23 other starters, three streakers and the ambulance.
12. Red Cadeaux
Trainer: Mark Johnston. Barrier: 16. Odds: $21
Yet another bloody import from English trainer Mark Johnston, and this one hasn’t even had a run here which recent history shows is a huge mistake. It’ll be ridden by former Cup winner Michael Rodd, who has developed the cheeky habit of grinning for the camera when flashing past the post on a winner. He’ll be frowning on Tuesday.
13. Hawk Island
Trainer: Chris Waller. Barrier: 18. Odds: $81
Don’t know about hawks, but the vultures will be circling after this languid Sydney-based hack is finished doing a lap and a half of Flemington. You’re living on Fantasy Island if you think he can win.
Trainer: Bart Cummings: Barrier: 1. Odds: $21
This fellow was imported from Germany and immediately given to Bart Cummings. He ran a decent third in the Moonee Valley Cup which Americain won, but Bart has only had him a couple of months, and he generally takes months and years to work his magic on horses.
15. Lost in the moment
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor: Barrier: 3: Odds: $41
Horses trained by Dubai’s finest have run second in this race three times. But this colt is as over-rated as Dubai as a holiday destination, and is more likely to finish 22nd.
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor Barrier: 5. Odds: $26
Easily the largest horse in the race, the second stringer of Dubai’s Godolphin stable will devour all the canapés in the Emirates marquee on the way to the barriers then collapse with arrhythmia halfway through the race. Either that or he’ll run 11th.
17. At First Sight
Trainer: Robert Hickmott. Barrier: 10. Odds: $15
Has developed a steady habit of coming second, which makes him extremely popular with the mares and fillies. That’s just a terrible line, isn’t it. In all seriousness, this guy ran a huge race in the Bendigo Cup last week, storming home into second place from last (note we didn’t say “coming from behind”). With Steven King aboard, who won the Cup 20 years ago on Let’s Elope, he’s a huge chance.
18. Moyenne Corniche
Trainer: Brian Ellison. Barrier: 17. Odds: $26
Sounds like a fancy condiment but is in fact a rather serious racehorse. Trained in north Yorkshire, he put in an eye-catcher at Caulfield at his lone Australian run. If you really must back one of the Pommy imports, this six year old gelding is your horse.
Trainer: Brain Ellison. Barrier: 22. Odds: $101
Every year, a horse runs in this race with such a silly name, you just know it won’t ever amount to anything in life. This year’s award goes to Saptapadi, by a short half head from its English stablemate Moyenne Corniche. Pregnant mothers, there is a lesson here which you really must heed.
Trainer: Danny O’Brien. Barrier: 24. Odds: $51
If we didn’t already have perfectly good rhyming slang for “shocker”, this horse would do fine. He won the Australian Derby in the autumn, but no horse has won that race and the Melbourne Cup in the same year since Phar Lap. And suffice to say, this horse ain’t in the same league.
21. The Verminator
Trainer: Chris Waller. Barrier: 4. Odds: $101
His Dad was Jeune, who won the 1994 Melbourne Cup. His Mum was a daughter of Fraar, who won a Caulfield Cup. Despite his impeccable staying pedigree, this horse could start on Tuesday morning and still miss a place. There’s also the uncomfortable fact that he appears to be named after some kind of mutant cockroach that looks like Arnie.
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse. Barrier: 12. Odds: $26
Ran third in the Caulfield Cup and second in the Moonee Valley Cup, so appears to have at least an outside chance. That’s worrying for low-lying Melbourne residents, as Gai Waterhouse’s gushing would flood entire suburbs should one of her horses ever win the Cup.
Trainer: Hawkes family: Barrier: 9, Odds: $15
Here’s your omen tip. Read this guy’s name backwards and it spells “to win”. Niwot stormed into Cup calculations with his devastating win in the Lexus Stakes on Saturday. That’s the same race his stablemate Maluckyday won last year before running second in the Cup. In other positive news, he has also previously won over 3200m at Flemington. The only negative is jockey Dean Yendall. There’s a reason he’s been a jockey for two decades without ever riding in the Cup.
24. Older than time.
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse. Barrier: 20. Odds: $101
Was allowed into the field as part of the Victoria Racing Club’s affirmative action plan for donkeys.
The Punch tips:
1. At First Sight. 2. Dunaden. 3. Americain
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