The 2019 Melbourne Cup is here!
24 of the best stayers in the world have been assembled in the 2019 Melbourne Cup field and we are set for a truly outstanding race at Flemington on Tuesday.
We have analysed every single horse in the field and our complete 2019 Melbourne Cup tips can be found below!
Cross Counter has the chance to become the first horse since Makybe Diva to win the Melbourne Cup in back-to-back years. That definitely isn’t out of the question, but I can’t get him as short as his current price. He started his season with an impressive win in the Dubai Gold Cup and he has since run well without ever really looking like the winner in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Irish St Leger. It takes a very talented horse to win the Melbourne Cup with the top weight, as well as in back-to-back years, and I am not convinced that Cross Counter is right up to that level.
Mer De Glace
Mer De Glace has a serious chance to become the first horse to complete the Melbourne Cup/Caulfield Cup double since Ethereal. The way that he put away his rivals in the Caulfield Cup was outstanding and he is a stayer that just continues to improve each time that he is seen at the races. The fact that he has Damian Lane in the saddle is a big positive. He has already won the Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate this year and no jockey in the country is riding with more confidence. The step-up to 3200 metres does not seem as though it will be an issue for Mer De Glace and he has an excellent opportunity to deliver Japan their first Melbourne Cup winner since Delta Blues in 2006.
Master Of Reality
Master Of Reality has been purchased by the Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams and you can never rule out Williams in the Melbourne Cup. The Frankel gelding won the Vintage Crop Stakes in Ireland this year and he finished a gallant third behind Stradivarius and De Ex Bee in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. He was a little bit disappointing in the Irish St Leger last start and I think that he is another that has found their right mark in betting.
Mirage Dancer is excellent value in Melbourne Cup betting at his current odds of $34. Mirage Dancer raced well without winning in races like the Hardwicke Stakes, Princess Of Wales’s Stakes and Glorious Stakes in the United Kingdom before he brought that form to Australia with a gallant third behind Mer De Glace and Vow And Declare in the Caulfield Cup. He has definitely been the forgotten horse and there is no way that he should be as long as his current price.
Southern France will make his Australian racing debut after joining the stable of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. He has already done plenty of racing in 2019 and his victory in the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes was full of merit. The fact that he then went on to beat Cross Counter, Master Of Reality, Latrobe and Twilight Payment home in the Irish St Leger is a big positive for this contest and the 3200 metres shouldn’t be an issue. In saying that, I’m not sure that he has gotten into the Melbourne Cup that well in at the weights and I think he has found his right odds at around the $26 mark.
Hunting Horn heads into the Melbourne Cup on the back of a tough win in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and he is a stayer that does have form around some of the best horses in the world. He is definitely not the most consistent horse and he doesn’t win out of turn, but there is no doubt that he is capable of a high rating performance on his day. The Melbourne Cup is obviously a big step-up in class from the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and he would need to go to another level to be a genuine winning chance.
Latrobe returns to Australia for the first time since he finished a close second behind Trap For Fools in the Mackinnon Stakes last year. It is fair to say that he hasn’t really gone on with the job since then. He was able to win a weak edition of the Ballyroan Stakes, but he was handily beaten by a number of the other horses in the Melbourne Cup field in the Irish St Leger. He would need to bounce back to his best to be a genuine Melbourne Cup chance and I am happy to take him on at his current odds of $17.
Australian Bloodstock have won the Melbourne Cup in the past – with Protectionist in 2014 – and they are chasing another victory with Mustajeer. The Ebor Handicap has proven to be a strong form reference for the Melbourne Cup in recent years and he beat the likes of Red Galileo, Raymond Tusk, True Self and Prince Of Arran to win that race earlier this year. He made his Australian racing debut with a more than credible performance in the Caulfield Cup. The Melbourne Cup always looked like the more suitable race for him and he is another horse that can’t be discounted.
Rostropovich finished a gallant fourth behind Cross Counter in the Melbourne Cup 12 months ago, but his form this campaign has been fairly poor. He finished a credible seventh first-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes before he produced very flat efforts in both the Turnbull Stakes and the Caulfield Cup. It is impossible to back him in the Melbourne Cup off those performances.
Twilight Payment looked to be heading in the right direction when he won the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes and the Curragh Cup, but he was disappointing in the Irish St Leger. He is probably a level just below some of the other internationals in the 2019 Melbourne Cup field and there is a reason that he is at such juicy odds.
Finche is the horse to beat in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. He finished a tough fourth behind Cross Counter in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he has matured as a horse. He put the writing on the wall for a big Spring campaign with a fast-finishing effort in the Chelmsford Stakes and he was far too good for his rivals in the Kingston Town Stakes. He went to the top of Melbourne Cup betting after he finished second behind Kings Will Dream in the Turnbull Stakes and he lost no admirers with a very tough run in the Caulfield Cup. The Melbourne Cup has always been his major target and there is no doubt that he is better suited at Flemington than he was at Caulfield. The step-up to 3200 metres is ideal for him and he ticks every box for a Melbourne Cup winner.
Prince Of Arran
Prince Of Arran is a different horse when he arrives in Australia. On his international form, he would be one of the outsiders in the Melbourne Cup field, but he goes to another level and clearly thrives in Australian racing conditions. His first-up run behind The Chosen One in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes was excellent and he secured his place in the Melbourne Cup field with a tough victory in the Geelong Cup. He gave plenty of cheek when he finished third behind Cross Counter and Marmelo in the Melbourne Cup 12 months ago and there is no reason that he can’t replicate that effort in 2019.
Raymond Tusk is the value runner in Melbourne Cup betting and does look to have beaten the handicapper. It has been a while since he recorded a race win and on paper his form doesn’t looked overly impressive, but when you dive a little bit deeper there is some talent there. He wasn’t disgraced when he finished seventh in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and he meets a number of his Ebor Handicap rivals much better at the weights.
Downdraft earnt his place in the Melbourne Cup field with a very impressive effort in the Lexus Hotham Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day. He finished second behind Southern France in the Irish St Leger Trial and he wasn’t disgraced in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, but it was his Lexus Hotham Stakes win that really stamped him as a Melbourne Cup contender. I expect him to run well again, but I think that the market may have overreacted to his Lexus Hotham Stakes victory.
Magic Wand is one of the most interesting runners in the Melbourne Cup field. Her winning record is poor, but she does have form around the likes of Magical and she finished second in the Irish Champion Stakes earlier this year. She was left a little bit flat-footed when they sprinted in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate and she was still able to grind her way to the finish for fourth place. She has never raced over 3200 metres before, but she does give the impression that it will not be an issue. $17 does seem around the right price and she is in the mix.
Neufbosc has not fired since he was sent to Australia. He has not finished better than seventh in any of his race starts this campaign and his runs in both The Metropolitan and the Geelong Cup were particularly poor. It is safe to say that he is making up the numbers and he is one of the extreme outsiders for a reason.
Sound is another galloper that has never really settled in to Australia. He ran well in both the Tancred Stakes and the Sydney Cup during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but he never really looked like a winning chance in the Makybe Diva Stakes, Turnbull Stakes or the Caulfield Cup this campaign. A top ten finish would be a great result.
Surprise Baby was purchased for only $5000 as a yearling and now has the chance to win the Melbourne Cup. He worked his way through the grades in impressive fashion before he showed his quality with an impressive win in the Adelaide Cup. Steel Prince beat him home in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes and he was not guaranteed a start in the Melbourne Cup, but he earnt his place in the field with a terrific win in The Bart Cummings. There is no doubt that he has upside and the 3200 metres will suit, but I am still not sure that he is good enough to compete with the best international stayers. I am happy to take him on at his current price.
Constantinople is the early Melbourne Cup favourite and there is no doubt that he will be right in the mix. He was well-backed in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup following second place finishes in the Gordon Stakes and the Great Voltigeur Stakes in the United Kingdom before he enhanced his reputation further with a luckless effort in the Caulfield Cup. There is little doubt that he would have finished in the placings with even luck in the Caulfield Cup and he really should take good improvement from that performance. I can’t get him as short as his current odds, but he definitely has to be respected.
Il Paradiso has been well supported in Melbourne Cup betting and he does have a similar profile to the past two winners of the race Rekindling and Cross Counter. His run in the Lonsdale Cup, where he finished third behind Stradivarius, was full of merit before he was a bit disappointing when he finished fifth in the St Leger Stakes. I understand why there has been support for Il Paradiso, he has the right profile and he is trained by Aidan O’Brien, but I think he would need to go to a whole new peak to be a genuine winning chance in the Melbourne Cup.
Steel Prince earnt his place in the Melbourne Cup field with a win in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes and he did beat Surprise Baby in that contest. He hasn’t had an ideal preparation this time though. His runs in the Heatherlie Handicap and the Naturalism Stakes were both solid, but he was scratched at the barriers before the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes and he produced a flat effort in the Geelong Cup. It is tough to back him in that contest off this effort.
The Chosen One
The Chosen One will take his place in the Melbourne Cup field, despite being soundly beaten in the Lexus Hotham Stakes on Victoria Derby Day. He looked to be heading in the right direction when he won the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes and he wasn’t disgraced in the Caulfield Cup, but his Lexus Stakes effort was very flat. It is tough to see him being a genuine factor.
Vow And Declare
Vow And Declare is the best locally-bred chance in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. He has improved each time that he has been seen at the races this campaign and he looks ready to peak in this contest. His run against the pattern of the race in the Turnbull Stakes was excellent and he ran the fastest closing 200 metres in the race when he finished second behind Mer De Glace in the Caulfield Cup. The step-up to 3200 metres shouldn’t be an issue for him and he will be in the finish.
Youngstar is back for another crack at the Melbourne Cup after she finished a gallant sixth behind Cross Counter last year. It has been a long time between race wins and she really hasn’t impressed this campaign. She missed the placings in the Winx Stakes, Chelmsford Stakes, George Main Stakes and the Hill Stakes before she finished third in the St Leger. That simply isn’t good enough form to win a Melbourne Cup.