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With the release of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Weights we will see a Melbourne Cup like no other this year as thanks to the WAVE of European Imports this year our gun and Australia’s number 1 handicapper has been forced to weight the runners so closely together that the old days of a horse getting in with a ‘feather on his back” certainly I cant see applying this year . Unlike previous years we have no obvious top weight and with this being the case a number of horses have possible received more weight than they normally would with a top weight not being “present “

This though will have a follow on effect and cause the handful of Ballot exmept races to effectively turn into World Class Group 1 events simple as spots in the race are going to be very hard to come by and instead of having 1-2 live chances in the Lexus and similar ballot free races I think we will see deep races with as many as 6 and 8 genuine “live chances” desperate to win to ensure they make the Final Field . Its important to remember some of these horses will be European Horses who will be in the “hole” for approx. $100,000 AUD for the flight down and back and if they don’t make the race then there will be some very depressed owners. Don’t forget some of these horses coming haven’t won much more than $100k their whole career so it’s a big gamble for them

Lets have a look at some of those up high in the Weights and as you will see the actual amount of “ spots up for grabs are very few and far between.

Horse Weight Spot Number Meet The Clause Comment
Humidor 58kg Unlikely Yes Surely this is a nom to appease the owners. One thing we know with this horse is his a star but he doesn’t run 2400m and wouldn’t run 2 miles if he cut through the infield . I Don’t expect him to take his place
Best Solution 57.5kg 1 Yes Reportedly may not run again – reportedly definitely coming
Comin’ Through 56.5kg Unlikely No His a funny one as owner has shown previous he wants to run them in everything but his not yet qualified for the race and im not sure he will qualify, as remember he has to run in a race over 2300m and he doesn’t profile like that to firstly qualify him. Given his runs at 2300m plus are going to be at most 1-2 he has a task ahead- obviously a ripping horse though
Lancaster Bomber 57.5kg Unlikely No Im told his a great chance to be on the plane but someone better tell Aiden his not qualified for the race !!!
Harlem 55.5kg 2 No Im giving him a spot but his not qualified- to qualify he needs to win a Listed over 2300m or place in Group Race or run top 5 in a Group 1- I think he will do this somewhere and get into the race
Kew Gardens 53kg unlikely Yes Im told his too good and wont be coming
Torcedor 57kg 3 yes Definitely Coming and on paper is your clear winner !
Ace High 55kg 4 Yes Trainer reported his been trained as a Melbourne Cup Horse
Cliffs of Moher 56.5kg 5 Yes Aiden Obrien – have heard reports his coming though and most likely of all of his to come
Latrobe 52kg unlikely yes Owned by lloyd by reports are his not coming this year
Idaho 56kg 6 yes Reports are his coming – has the Stradivarious form so that’s putting him in the mix albeit others have better form
Bonneval 54.5kg Unlikely Yes Is a mare with heaps of problems given her first up run id say she is not much hope to maintain soundness for a full prep to handle the cup
Magic Circle 56kg 7 Yes Billionaire owner has made no secret he wants to win the cup- his coming
Whoshot thebarman 55.5kg 8 Yes Everyone’s favourite he will be there
John Snow 55.5kg 9 yes His no hope in the race but read reports this is the race the horse is to be set for
Tosen Basil 55.5kg 10 yes Brought to race in the Cup – reports are his not straight forward but if his sound on the day he will be there
Unforgotten 52.5kg Unlikely heading to the Epsom so wont be running in the cup
Muntahaa 55.5kg 11 yes Ebor winner and trainer stated his coming
Chestnut Coat 55,5kg 12 yes His definitely coming for both cups
Ambitious 55.5kg 13 yes His old form is a long time ago but if he is sound the owner will be running him
Sound CHeck 55.5kg 14 yes Brought by Moroney from Germany- his no hope but will run
Rostropvich 51kg unlikely yes 3yr old with high talent- id suggest he will stay at home as too valuable
Vin De Dance 53.5kg Unlikely yes Hasn’t raced since Autumn and still not trialled officially- he wont be ready
MArmelo 55kg 15 yes His no hope but is coming for the race on the second shipment for the one run
Cross Counter 51kg 16 yes His the light weight hope but his a 3yr old and by Teofilo and oen thing we know is Teofilo’s don’t stay at Group 1 level past about 2300m- too big an ask for him
Taj Mahal 55kg 17 yes Could be Lloyds only runner ? he will run
Weekender 55kg 18 yes Reports are his been sold to come- which is a suprise as he lacks the speed for Australian Racing-
Flag Of Honour 51kg Unlikely yes Very smart young horse – but im told unlikely to come
Emotionless 55kg 19 yes Reports are its coming for the race- extra smart horse- but is a CC horse not a MC stayer
Single Gaze 53.5kg unlikley yes doesn’t get trip and doesn’t seem to be with us
Youngstar 51kg unlikley yes Chris Waller is very patient and id be suprrised if he would set for for such a gruelling prep being so young as its not normally his method
Egg Tart 53kg Unlikely yes She has never shown out and out staying potential so highly doubt she would morph into one at age 5- Her Oshea stakes run is a long way from what is required
Material Man 54.5kg 20 yes Reports are his not coming
Hiyaam 51.5kg unlikely yes Mick Price fantastic trainer and usually wont run them in races they cant win- She cant win a Melbourne Cup and will have a hard path to get there
Duretto 21 yes His a beauty this horse and 50% has been sold to come for Both Cups to Gerry Ryan- his been poorly rated versus some of the horses but his coming
Pounamo 54.5kg 22 yes His heading to the race and starts this weekend in the Victorian Group Races
Big Duke 54kg 23 yes The toughest horse in training and ran 4th last year- he will head to the race
Max Dynamite 54kg unlikely Reports are trainer wants to bring him but owner not keen due to expense
Venquer Masque 54kg 24 yes Not good enough but they will run – his first up run was very good
Red Cardinal 54kg 25 yes Last years favourite heading this way
Desert Skyline 54kg unlikely yes ID be surprised if he came as not good enough and not heard that he is heading this way
Red Verdon 54kg 26 yes Owner loves the race- he owned the great Red Cadeaux
Auvray 54kg 27 yes Amazing job by Richard Freeman and im sure he will be running
Count Octave 54kg 28 yes Reports are they are trying to sell him for huge money but his coming
Finche 54kg 29 yes been brougth by Waller for the race
Ventura Storm 54kg 30 yes Will be in the race very tough old one pacer

As you can see from the above table we already have our confirmed field and the amazing aspect of the top 24 I have listed here is only 7- maybe 8 who will have more than 2 runs before the Melbourne Cup and as such the attrition rate is likely to be minimal unless horses get hurt in training which does happen but unlikely – therefore horses well down the order past 30 you would think are in a world of hurt unless they win one of the “golden card races to jump ahead of the que”

Now the bad news for those down the bottom is we have a few races that give horses the “win and your in Card”

Those races are the Bart Cummings, the Caulfield Cup,Cox Plate and Lexus Stakes.

Given Winx will win the Cox Plate that leaves 3 spots in the Melbourne Cup and we have 183- minus the 24 already heading that way vying for those 3 races

Now the Bart Cummings this year wont be open to the Imports as to make the race as they will still be in quarantine so really that’s one spot for the locals that are here and that are outside the top 30 or so to try and piggy jump ahead of the pack .

This therefore makes the Caulfield Cup and the Lexus possible the races of the spring as 183 doesn’t go into 24 !!

Given all of this as you can see with a limit weight more than likely of 54kg and a top weight of 57.5kg – then we basically have a Set weights and penalties races and long term experienced punters know that the horses you want to be on are at the top of the weights not the bottom in these scenarios. The only hope we have is the 3yr old from Godolphin handling the pressure of travel and taking his place- but personally I question his creditonals anyway

Given pre post betting markets have for some reason WITHHOLD as favourite ( how ?) his currently 58th in the order of entry and unless he wins a race and gets a BIG PENALTY or wins a Ballot free exempt race his no hope of making the field . If your taking some pre post bets you need ot seriously consider the above facts

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