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Melbourne Cup- Form Comments

31/10/2015

G1 - 3200m - Turf

1

Snow Sky

Has top weight of 128 lb despite the fact that he’s not a G1 winner. However, his 4.75 lengths 5th to Mongolian Khan in G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) was sound as he was squeezed  for room and lost momentum coming around the home turn. That followed UK G2 wins in the Yorkshire Cup (2800m) and Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) earlier this year. Versatile racing style and prefers good ground.

2

Criterion

Solid winner of the G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) beating Happy Trails and subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan before his 4.75 lengths second to Winx in the G1 Cox Plate (2040m) two weeks later. Twice placed in G1 Hong Kong feature races (HK Cup and QEII) in past 12 months. Loves soft ground but the track was good to firm when he won the Caulfield Stakes. He can be ridden forward or back. Untried beyond 2400m.

3

Fame Game

Strong Japanese stayer who was closing 4.8 lengths 6th to Mongolian Khan in the 2400m G1 Caulfield Cup. He ran the second fastest last 400m of the race (behind Trip To Paris). One recent win at 3400m and his second to Gold Ship in the 3200m G1 Tenno Sho Spring speaks well to his chances here. His best form is on good to firm ground and he is likely to settle back.

4

Our Ivanhowe

German bred like last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist. A G1 winner in Germany and was a good sixth  behind Epiphaneia in strong 2014 G1 Japan Cup before joining Lee and Anthony Freedman’s stable in Australia. Ran very well when 1.75 lengths 3rd to Mongolian Khan and Trip To Paris in the G1 Caulfield Cup. Fitter again. Capable wet or dry and likely to settle midfield.

5

Big Orange

Trained in England by Derby winning handler Michael Bell. Free striding galloper who scored excellent G2 wins at Newmarket and Goodwood in July before being undone by soft ground in the G2 Lonsdale Cup (behind Max Dynamite) at his most recent start in August. His Goodwood Cup win, at 3200m, came over Quest For More and Trip To Paris who ran second in G1 Caulfield Cup on debut in Australia. Likely to be handy in the run and best on reasonable ground.

6

Hartnell

3200m winner in the UK before coming to Australia. Won the G 1 BMW at 2400m in last campaign before 6.8 lengths 4th to Grand Marshall in the G 1 3200m Sydney Cup on wet track. Had light three run preparation for this with last run being 10.25 lengths 5th to Winx in the G 1 Cox Plate (2040m).

7

Hokko Brave

Placed in the Japanese G2 Nikkei Sho at 2500m in March before his 1.8 lengths 6th to Gold Ship in the G1 Tenno Sho Spring (3200m) in May. Rival Fame Game was second in that race. Won five races from 2200m to 2600m on good to firm ground and he is likely to settle midfield. He was beaten 5.8 lengths into tenth place behind Mongolian Khan in the G1 Caulfield Cup where he was caught wide.

8

Max Dynamite

Raced over hurdles two starts back but so too had Simenon jumped before he ran fourth behind Fiorente in the 2013 G1 Melbourne Cup. Max Dynamite, like Simenon, is trained by Willie Mullins and this horse won the G2 Lonsdale Cup (3280m) at York in August. That’s a race in which Simenon had finished second. Had Cup rivals Trip To Paris and Big Orange well behind him in the Lonsdale which was on his preferred soft ground. Settles back.

9

Red Cadeaux

His three Melbourne Cup seconds in the past four years means he can’t be ignored. He was beaten the most marginal of noses by Dunaden in 2011 and was again the runner-up in 2013 and 2104 (and finished 8th in 2012). Last start third in the G3 Freer Stakes at Newbury in August. Looks to be going as well as ever on the training track.

10

Trip To Paris

Great closing effort when half length 2nd to Mongolian Khan in the G1 Caulfield Cup at first run in Australia. Did secure inside runs but came from well back at the 600m and returned the race fastest closing sectional times. Winner of the G1 Ascot Gold Cup at 4000 metres at the Royal meeting in June. Likely to settle midfield or back. Best on good ground but some give is OK.

11

Who Shot Thebarman

Finished third in the race last year - albeit 4.5 lengths behind the winner Protectionist. He was a nose second to his stablemate Grand Marshal in this year’s G1 Sydney Cup and, earlier in his career, won the G1 Auckland Cup at the distance.  Ran OK in the  G1 Caulfield Cup, coming from last early,  when 5.1 lengths 7th to Mongolian Khan. Capable all conditions; likely to settle in back half of the field.

12

Sky Hunter

The visiting Godolphin team seeks amends for four previous Cup placings. Looks genuine chance on form but had bruised heel, last Thursday morning. Won the G2 City Of Gold at 2410m in Dubai in March and then did not re-appear until September when 1.5 lengths second to The Corsican in the G3 Legacy Cup at Newbury. Can race handy and looks OK all conditions.

13

The Offer

Won his spot in the Cup field with his solid  win under top weight of 130 lb in the 2400m G3 Bendigo Cup last Wednesday. He was an easy winner of the 2014 G1 Sydney Cup, on soft ground, at one of his only two attempts at this distance. Can race handy to the speed or take a midfield sit. He is not incapable on good or wet tracks but more strongly fancied if the track is rain affected.

14

Grand Marshal

Won the G1 Sydney Cup at 3200 metres, in April, by a nose from stablemate Who Shot Thebarman. Previous win was at 2800 metres at this track this time last year.  Performed fairly in his four runs this season with his latest run being a six lengths 11th behind Mongolian Khan in the G1 Caulfield Cup.  He can be ridden forward or back and capable wet or dry but soft ground gives him an edge

15

Preferment

Won the the G2 Hill Stakes and G1 Turnbull Stakes (at 2000m) before his 12.6 lengths 9th to stablemate Winx in the G1 Cox Plate - when he was caught wide and track bias was against. He is two from two at Flemington with wins in the  G1 Victoria Derby and the Turnbull. Strong finisher who is OK on wet or dry tracks.

16

Quest For More

Had great form at this distance in the UK before out of character failure on debut in Australia when 8.4 lengths 16th behind Almoonqith in the G 3 Geelong (2400m) on 21 October. Hard to fancy on that run but has strong home form against Trip To Paris, Big Orange and Max Dynamite.

17

Almoonqith

Impressive 1.75 lengths winner from the consistent Dandino in the 2400 metres G3 Geelong Cup on 21 October. Began his racing career in France and now looks to be peaking for the Hayes-Dabernig stable. Likely to settle back in the field and prefers to race on good ground.

18

Kingfisher

Finished strongly to run second to Trip To Paris in the 4000 metres G1 Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal meeting in June but has since been beaten 16 lengths and 43 lengths in the G3 St Leger trial (soft ground) and in the G1 Irish St Leger. His three wins have been racing left handed as is the case here. Likely to settle back in the field and  best on good ground.

19

Prince Of Penzance

Improved effort when made the running when half length 2nd to The United States in G 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on 24 October. Track favoured leaders that day and this is much tougher.

20

Bondi Beach

Lightly raced contender from the Aidan O’Brien stable. Narrowly beaten by the filly Simple Verse, who’s since won another Group 1, when second in the G1 English St Leger (2920m) at Doncaster on 12 September. Has won up to 2800 metres, is capable on good or soft ground ground and has raced handy in the UK but doubt will be too close in the early stages here.

21

Sertorius

Just fair when 6.4 lengths 9th to Almoonqith in the G 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on 21 October. Placed in 2014 Sydney Cup at only start at the distance but likely to be long odds here.

22

The United States

Finished strongly to win the G 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) by a half length from Prince Of Penzance and won in course record time. That was the longest race he's contested and looks a genuine stayer.

23

Excess Knowledge

Secured his place in the field with his nose win over Zanteca in the G 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday. Survived protest from runner-up and margin was narrow but it was a good win after being caught wide throughout.

24

Gust Of Wind

Lightly raced mare with staying ability. Has won three of her only nine starts and showed staying potential when she won the ATC Oaks, at 2400 metres, in April on soft ground. Ran creditable  3.75 lengths 4th to Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup.  Should handle rise in distance; looks comfortable on wet or dry and is likely to settle prominently.

 

 

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