2017 Melbourne Cup – Preview and Tips

Melbourne Cup, Flemington Tips 3200m

It’s the race that stops the nation. Sweepstakes will be in full swing right across Australia, as is the tradition on the first Tuesday of November. The 2017 Melbourne Cup is shaping up to be another heart-stopper!

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Last week we published an article previewing the likely horses to make the final Melbourne Cup field for 2017. Melbourne Cup First Look

At the conclusion of the Victoria Derby Day races on Saturday, the final field was known. On the Sunday following, the Chris Waller trained Who Shot Thebarman was scratched, due to an elevated temperature, which brings the final field down to 23.

1 HARTNELL, J Cummings, D Lane, 12, 57.5kg, $26.00
2 ALMANDIN, R Hickmott, F Dettori, 14, 56.5kg, $9.00
3 HUMIDOR, D Weir, B Shinn, 13, 56kg, $9.50
4 TIBERIAN, A Couetil, O Peslier, 23, 55.5kg, $31.00
5 MARMELO, H Morrison, H Bowman, 16, 55kg, $8.50
6 RED CARDINAL, A Wohler, K McEvoy, 24, 55kg, $19.00
7 JOHANNES VERMEER, A O’Brien, B Melham, 3, 54.5kg, $10.00
8 BONDI BEACH, R Hickmott, M Walker, 1, 54kg, $67.00
9 MAX DYNAMITE, W Mullins, Z Purton, 2, 54kg, $15.00
10 VENTURA STORM, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, G Boss, 6, 54kg, $34.00
11 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN, C Waller, T Berry, 20, 54kg SCR
12 WICKLOW BRAVE, W Mullins, S Baster, 8, 54kg, $51.00
13 BIG DUKE, D Weir, B Avdulla, 5, 53.5kg, $19.00
14 US ARMY RANGER, J O’Brien, J Spencer, 22, 53.5kg, $61.00
15 BOOM TIME, D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, C Parish, 9, 53kg, $26.00
16 GALLANTE, R Hickmott, M Dee, 18, 53kg, $101.00
17 LIBRAN, C Waller, D Dunn, 7, 53kg, $41.00
18 NAKEETA, I Jardine, G Schofield, 19, 53kg, $34.00
19 SINGLE GAZE, N Olive, K O’Hara, 11, 53kg, $41.00
20 WALL OF FIRE, H Palmer, C Williams, 15, 53kg, $13.00
21 THOMAS HOBSON, W Mullins, J Moreira, 21, 52kg, $16.00
22 REKINDLING, J O’Brien, C Brown, 4, 51.5kg, $12.00
23 AMELIE’S STAR, D Weir, D Yendall, 10, 51kg, $17.00
24 CISMONTANE, G Waterhouse & A Bott, B Mertens (a), 17, 50kg, $51

Rather than repeat what was written in the previous article, we have briefly summed up the pro’s and con’s for each horse, based on form, potential, barrier draw and jockey.


  • Pro’s – Consistent, tough, proven over the 2 miles.
  • Con’s – Giving away weight to every horse.


  • Pro’s – Last years winner, Frankie Dettori to ride.
  • Con’s – Goes up 4kgs from last year.


  • Pro’s – In good form, needs to be ridden to script, form rider Blake Shinn on board.
  • Con’s – Question mark over the 2 miles.


  • Pro’s – Good recent European form. 4 wins from 5 in 2017.
  • Con’s – Hasn’t won at Group 1, hasn’t run 2 miles. wide draw.


  • Pro’s – Solid run in Caulfield Cup. Also with good European form. Placed against yesterday’s Breeders Cup Turf winner Talismanic.
  • Con’s – Not much, if any.

Red Cardinal

  • Pro’s – Has won over 2 miles, good European form. Top jockey Kerrin McEvoy onboard.
  • Con’s – Has the widest draw at 24.

Johannes Vermeer

  • Pro’s – Two excellent lead up runs to this. From top Irish stable.
  • Con’s – A query at the distance.

Bondi Beach

  • Pro’s – Working well in track work, no injury concerns.
  • Con’s – Absolutely no recent form. Hard to get a read.

Max Dynamite

  • Pro’s – Proven two miler.
  • Con’s – Age.

Ventura Storm

  • Pro’s – Form earlier prep was encouraging. Group 1 winner from Italy. Can stay.
  • Con’s – Injury niggle leading in. Change of rider with regular jock Regan Bayliss suspended.

Who Shot TheBarman

Wicklow Brave

  • Pro’s – Proven two miler. Zac Purton to ride.
  • Con’s – Is a noted wet tracker, firmer track at Flemington a concern.

Big Duke

  • Pro’s – Good early form, including solid win in ATC St Leger. Should stay the distance OK.
  • Con’s – Not suited by Moonee Valley track last start, lost a bit of support.

U.S Army Ranger

  • Pro’s – Was a class three-year old in England, running second in the English Derby.
  • Con’s – Hasn’t won a race since his first two starts. Wide draw. Unknown quantity.

Boom Time

  • Pro’s – Good form leading in. Was the benefactor of track bias in Caulfield Cup win.
  • Con’s – Would be in rareified territory if he became a winner of the Cups double. Is he that good?


  • Pro’s – Proven two miler. Leads from the front. Winner of 2016 Sydney Cup.
  • Con’s – Wide draw, specialist soft/wet tracker. Has missed a lot of recent racing, being scratched on several occasions.


  • Pro’s – Coming into form. Proven stayer.
  • Con’s – His fortunes will depend on how the race pans out. Does get back in the run.


  • Pro’s – Ebor Handicap winner in UK, which has been good form guide in past, though only a Class 2 event. Sure to get the 2 miles.
  • Con’s – Has never raced in Group company before.

Single Gaze

  • Pro’s – Consistent performer. Good second in Caulfield Cup. Races on speed.
  • Con’s – 2 mile trip could be a query.

Wall Of Fire

  • Pro’s – Good debut in Herbert Power. Can run 2 miles.
  • Con’s – Hasn’t raced in top tier company.

Thomas Hobson

  • Pro’s – Top jockey Joao Moreira aboard, comes with good credentials.
  • Con’s – No recent racing leading into this. Unknown quantity. Wide draw.


  • Pro’s – Former Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown onboard. Lightly raced.
  • Con’s – European form only fair. Unknown quantity in Australia.

Amelie’s Star

  • Pro’s – Good win in Bart Cummings to qualify for this race. Dean Yendall in good form.
  • Con’s – Caulfield Cup run was average. Has never run 2 miles.


  • Pro’s – Great tough win in Lexus, lightweight, fit, from a stable that knows how to win.
  • Con’s – Backing up after four days. Might be a better prospect next year.

Our Three Picks

I believe this to be the best credentialled of the European horses. Marmelo ran second to Talismanic in the Prix Maurice De Nieiul back in July over 2800m. Yesterday, Talismanic won the Group 1 Breeders Cup (Turf) at Del Mar, defeating Beach Patrol and Highland Reel. So for Marmelo, that Talismanic form-line reads particularly strong. His run in the Caulfield Cup was also an encouraging performance. There is a lot of upside to him, and with Hugh Bowman onboard, it would be great to see one of Australia’s leading hoops land the big fish!

Last years winner is sure to be there or thereabouts. There is nothing to suggest he can’t make it two from two. Frankie Dettori to ride, and he will be smarting from the fact that he missed the run on Ulysses in yesterday’s Breeders Cup (Turf) due to that horse being a late scratching. Can Dettori finally win the race that has eluded him for the best part of two decades?

I’ve seen enough of this horse to realise he’s a quality galloper no matter what race. I think he gets better with a longer trip, though he hasn’t raced over 2 miles yet. He probably has to be ridden in a certain way to get the best out of him. The shift to swap jockeys (Blake Shinn for Damian Lane) was an inspired move, which saw Humidor give Winx a run for her money in the W.S Cox Plate.

Our Best Roughies

Single Gaze $41.00
She’s paying overs ($41 SP) and is bound to be on the speed, as per her usual tactics. Can she be there with 400m to go and keep clear of the traffic jam about to descend? Jockey Kathy O’Hara has been getting tips and hints from Jimmy ‘Pumper’ Cassidy the last few days, and he has told her to watch Darren Beadman’s ride on 1990 victor Kingston Rule. If that is the guide, then the Canberra mare could be in contention. Another female jockey winner would make for great company alongside Michelle Payne.

Tiberian $31.00
As soon as we knew that Tiberian drew the second worst barrier (23), his price started to drop through the floor. However, will the draw be a factor, considering there is likely to be a strong pace, and that one of the Williams/Hickmott runners will take up the lead. It must be said though, the chances of an outside drawn runner winning the race is a very rare occurrence. You have to go way back to 1973 when Gala Supreme and Frank Reys won the race from a wide draw. So, Tiberian’s chances look slim, but at $31.00, that money might be too good to turn down.

Melbourne Cup – check the odds on William Hill

November 6, 2017 by : • No Comments

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