The race that stops the nation has arrived, and luckily for us it is surrounded by some quality races throughout the program.
Usually a good day to find some winners at a price, Cup Day is a chance for all to enjoy a flutter. Hardcore punters and the casual better will have their play on the countries biggest race.
Hopefully we can pick you a winner a two in our preview.
RACE 1- 1000M- GROUP 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate
1- INGRATIATING- Looks the clear one to beat here, won on debut impressively beating General Beau who had also won well on debut. That form comes up a bit in this race. Has great turn of foot and can blast away here again but may meet another one just like him, we never know with these races.
2- FINANCE TYCOON- Matched motors with General Beau on debut but was blasted away when the winner let down, now meets one who beat General Beau. Could improve and figure though.
7- MARINE ONE- Bought for $500,000. Had a soft jump out but finished that off well, pedigree makes for a good type.
8- OWN THE NIGHT- Cost $150,000, had a relatively soft jump out. Pedigree reads ok.
Suggested Bet: 10 units win- Ingratiating
RACE 2- 1400M- World Horse Racing Desirable Stakes
3- TWAIN’S EXPRESS- Was a huge run on Cox Plate Day when 4-wide the entire trip, was narrowly beaten by well-backed favourite on the day. Had to go wide and winner got inside run at the front which was a pretty good spot to be. Will be fitter for that blow-out and can improve here.
2- JOVIALITY- Ran behind Montifellia and Hungry Heart two starts back, was very impressive in that and those form lines are very strong. Enjoyed getting back to this trip last start and can figure here.
4- SWEET REPLY- 4 seconds this campaign, surely it’s time to change that. Has been ultra consistent and was unlucky not to get the win last time out. That was her first time over the 1400m, handled it and now needs to score.
9- VANCITY GEM- Has been good so far, two wins from two starts is hard to knock. Comes up in the grades here but gets on the speed and makes own luck,
Suggested Bet: No bet
RACE 3- 1000M- Schweppervescence Plate
1- HARD LANDING- Looks to be craving the 1000m, anything more may be too much. Last two have shown that but hopefully now we will se the best of him. Win at MV 3 starts back was convincing from on-speed.
2- MR MOPPETT- Was unplaced for the first time last start but was only a length behind the winner, can bring back his best here and figure in the finish.
6- SEERESS- Won well over this trip last prep, second-up run is the one to focus on here. Ran in this class at MV and was very good there. Can improve again.
9- ECHOES IN ETERNITY- Ran second on debut in impressive run, didn’t rate superbly but kept pushing to the line. Betting?
Suggested Bet: No bet
RACE 4- 2800M- BM96 The Maccas Run
8- YONKERS- Stayed well over the 2400m at Caulfield last start, the rise in trip is another test but he looks ready to stay the trip. That race he won last start has often been a good lead-up to this.
7- SIN TO WIN- Crucially drops 3.5kg from his last start against the top pick, ran well that day but maybe the weight was too much. An honest runner who gives his all but query on whether he wins enough.
10- YULONG RISING- First up run wasn’t suited by conditions, second-up showed his true ability. Will be much fitter for those two runs and should be peaking here, believe the 2800m will be now issue and looks over the odds.
2- KNIGHTS ORDER- Had two years away from the races before this campaign, won well second-up but now has to carry a huge weight over a long trip. Will get to the front and will give them something to chase.
Suggested Bet: No bet
RACE 5- 1800M- TAB Trophy
1- AIN’TNODEELDUN- Looked set for the Victoria Derby a few starts back but stable opted not to head there. Has won his last two very well in Adelaide and comes here for what may be his grand final. Has run some good times too.
3- ACROPHOBIC- Ignore last two runs on wet tracks, doesn’t like those and gets something much better suited this time around. Hasn’t run over the 1800m yet but races like that won’t be an issue.
8- GRIZINGER LORD- Two seconds so far and looks primed and ready to score here, has started short-priced favourite both times out. Was very unlucky last start and will relish the 1800m. Overs?
1- CONFRONTATIONAL- Loved getting out to 2200m last time and was too good for them there, come back in trip here which is a knock but has run well over the mile this campaign so 1800m may not be as big an issue as we think.
Suggested Bet: 10 units win- Ain’tnodeeldun
RACE 6- 1400M- BM90
2- GROUNDSWELL- Gelding has been the making of this one, was running with potential last campaign but has come back a serious competitor this time around. Does draw wide and will have to work to get forward, but is rock hard fit and last two wins have been very easy watches.
11- TAVIDANCE- Twelve weeks since brilliant win over Winning partner who has won 2 SA Cups since, so that form stacks up. Would maybe prefer it to be wet but can win on dry as well. Returning here so the fitness edge is with a few others but best is good enough.
3- BRAVO TANGO- Won this race last year. Was quite plain last start but has had a jump out since and that was eye-catching. Comes here third-up and ready to peak.
16- OCULAR- Has been excellent this campaign and looks ready to go again, has been winning well over 1100m and looks like he will eat the 1400m now. Each-way chance.
Suggested Bet: 10 units win- Groundswell
RACE 7- 3200M- GROUP 1 LEXUS MELBOURNE CUP
1- ANTHONY VAN DYCK- Was very impressive in the Caulfield Cup, had the widest draw and had to get a long way back before making his move. Loomed as the winner before Verry Elleegant kicked clear, she had a much easier win though. Will be fitter here and he is ready for this now.
15- RUSSIAN CAMELOT- Has been superb all campaign, Cox Plate run was very good and looks like he is ready to tackle the two miles. Still a lightly raced runner who can misbehave over the longer trips but he has star power. Will likely go forward from draw which is helpful.
7- VERRY ELLEGANT- Has become a genuine star, her manners are fixed and she is a class stayer. Turnbull win into Caulfield Cup win was a super impressive double. She hasn’t tackled the trip yet but feel she will be able to finish it off well. Live chance.
13- SURPRISE BABY- Has been set for this for a year and has only run twice since last years edition. Was good when returning at MV, looked the likely winner but Humidor had the gun run. Turnbull run was ok after that but maybe got too far back from leading contenders. Will thrive on 3200m and has been freshened for this.
Suggested Bet: 5 units win- Verry Elleegant. 5 units win- Russian Camelot. 10 units win- Anthony Van Dyck.
RACE 8- 1800M- FURPHY PLATE
1- HOMESMAN- Was all class fresh at MV, always runs well first-up so that was no shock. Second-up record makes for good reading as well, will enjoy the rise in trip and looks the one to beat here. This is harder though.
6- JUNIPAL- Has returned in fine order this campaign and two wins from first two back were mighty impressive. Was a little flat last start at G1 level but he had no luck and had to bail out so we can forgive that. Scratched from Saturday for this.
8- HARBOUR VIEWS- Was booked for Saturday but taken out in favour of this one, was pretty good in the Underwood and finds this class a tad easier. Has plenty of class but needs to harness that come race day.
13- ODEON- Has been superb this campaign, does find it hard to win but he is running as well as ever. Gets himself on-speed and makes his own luck. Will find these too good I’d suspect but he could be an each-way chance.
Suggested Bet: 10 units win- Homesman. 5 units win Junipal.
RACE 9- 1400M- GROUP 3 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes
15- CORDILLA- Finally got a clear run at it last time and was far too good, before that it was sickening for punters. Couldn’t get a run at it either time and just fell away. Meets tougher opposition here but has serious speed.
3- LYRE- Classy mare who makes it impossible to believe in her, always finds bad luck and always has excuses but hasn’t won in a very long time. Last time at this trip was a length behind Probabeel in a Group 1. That run looks very good now. Has had excuses last few but she always does.
14- RICH HIPS- Very good win two starts back, had a great ride and was all honours. Finished last last start but ran the day fastest final 200m in that race. So you can probably forgive that run. Best is good enough.
4- FABRIC- Leader who generates own luck, finished behind Sovereign Award with a good run. That form was then franked when Sovereign Award won on Cox Plate Day. Always gives an honest effort.
Suggested Bet: 10 units win- Cordilla. 5 units win- Lyre.
RACE 10-1200M- MSS Security Sprint
2- WILLIAM THOMAS- Have been on him all campaign and I’m not jumping off now, he hasn’t run poorly yet and I suspect he is now primed to score. Has flashed home for third all three runs, latest was at MV where his race pattern wasn’t suited. Will like the extra space here and can strike.
6- EXHILARATES- Fresh run was tough but may benefit from it now, was wide the trip and ailed home well. Always runs well second-up and will be much fitter for how hard he worked fresh. Enjoys the 1200m and will be right in the finish.
17- ASTROLOGIST- Good win when resuming last start, carried a massive 62.5kg then and will be better for the run. Always runs well fresh though. Drops 6.5kg here but does face much tougher opposition here.
15- YAO DASH- Resuming here, has won fresh before which is a plus. Poor last campaign but found wet tracks both times which didn’t suit. Showed real ability when finishing fourth in the Golden Rose, bring that kind of form and its game on.
Suggested Bet: 10 units win- William Thomas. 2.5 units win, 2.5 units place Exhilerates.