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The 2017 Melbourne Cup form guide will be vital reading in the lead-up to ‘the race that stops a nation’ as punters from right around the country try to find the winner of the Group 1 event.

Winx beat Humidor to claim an historic victory in the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate. Photo by: Ultimate Racing Photos

Humidor goes into the Melbourne Cup on the back of his outstanding performance behind Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. Photo by: Ultimate Racing Photos

We have done the hard work for you and complied all the information that you need to know about every single runner in the 2017 Melbourne Cup field!

Hartnell

It has been an interesting Melbourne Cup preparation for Hartnell. He looked set for a big 2017 Spring Racing Carnival when he bolted in to win the P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield first-up, but he was beaten as an odds-on favourite in the Makybe Diva Stakes and Bonneval had his number in the Underwood Stakes. He had excuses when he finished ninth in the Ladbrokes Stakes, but that is still not the type of performance that you want to see heading into the Melbourne Cup.

Almandin

Almandin has only had the three race starts since his outstanding victory in the Melbourne Cup 12 months ago. He was very gallant in defeat first-up at The Valley and he went straight to the top of the Melbourne Cup betting market with an outstanding victory in the JRA Trophy at Flemington, but he was beaten as an odds-on favourite in The Bart Cummings. There is no doubt that Almandin is an excellent stayer, but it takes a special horse to be able to win the Melbourne Cup in back-to-back years.

Humidor

Humidor has been given a Saintly-like preparation for the Melbourne Cup and he is the class horse in this field. He started his 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with fitness-building performances in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and the Memsie Stakes before he showed what he was capable of with a stunning win in the Makybe Diva Stakes. He was no match for Winx in the Turnbull Stakes and he did plenty wrong when fifth in the Caulfield Cup, but he stamped himself as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender with a close second behind Winx in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. No horse brings stronger form into the Melbourne Cup and if he can run out a strong 3200 metres he will be very tough to beat.

Tiberian

Tiberian will make his Australian racing debut in the Melbourne Cup. He started his 2017 racing season with impressive wins in the Prix De La Porte De Madrid and Prix D’hedouville, but he was soundly beaten at Group 1 level in the Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud. He returned to winning form in the Haras De La Pomme Prix De Reux and he produced a career best performance to win the Grand Prix De Deauville. Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock have a knack of picking the right horses to bring to Australia for the Melbourne Cup and he is great value at his current price.

Marmelo

Marmelo has a very similar profile to a number of other international horses that have had success in the Melbourne Cup. He won the Prix De Barbeville in France in April and was not disgraced in a strong Yorkshire Cup before he chased home Talismanic in the Prix Maurice De Nieuli – a horse that won at the Breeders Cup over the weekend. Marmelo showed himself to be a superior stayer when he won the Prix Kergorlay – the race won by both Americain and Protectionist – before he made the trip to Australia and he ran the best closing sectionals in the Caulfield Cup. He is a stayer that still has plenty of upside and he is the horse to beat in the Melbourne Cup.

Red Cardinal

Red Cardinal was the early favourite in Melbourne Cup betting markets, but he has been a big drifter in recent weeks. He won the Comer Group International Oleander-Rennen in Germany before he took out the Belmont Gold Cup in the United States, but he was soundly beaten by Marmelo in the Prix Kergorlay. He would need to improve on his career best performance to be a genuine winning chance in the Melbourne Cup.

Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer has strong form in Europe and he has gone to another level since arriving in Australia. He beat home only one runner in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he returned to winning form in the Volvo International Stakes and he was only narrowly denied in the Ballyroan Stakes. He made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second behind Gailo Chop in the Ladbrokes Stakes and he was unlucky not to win the Caulfield Cup. The 3200 metres is somewhat of a query, but you can’t knock his form.

Bondi Beach

This is Bondi Beach’s third start in the Melbourne Cup and it is tough to have any confidence in him off his recent form. He beat home only one runner in the Nursey Handicap and he failed to fire again in the JRA Trophy. The Macedon Lodge team have been spruiking him in recent weeks, but you couldn’t possibly back him.

Max Dynamite

Max Dynamite is back in Australia for the Melbourne Cup after he finished a gallant second behind Prince Of Penzance in the 2015 edition of the race. He has only had four starts since his last run in the Melbourne Cup and two runs in 2017. He finished ninth over the jumps in the Galway Hurdle Handicap before he beat a very weak field to take out a race at Killarney. It is impossible to get a read on him off those efforts.

Ventura Storm

Ventura Storm started his 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a seventh place finish in the Heatherlie Stakes and he finished a pleasing sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes before he chased home Winx in the Turnbull Stakes. He was heading in the right direction, but he was never able to get into the race in the Caulfield Cup and he came out of the race with lameness issues. It is tough to back him off that effort.

Who Shot Thebarman

Who Shot Thebarman will be having his fourth start in a Melbourne Cup and the evergreen stayer is racing as well as ever. The Chris Waller-trained galloper was run off his feet in the Chelmsford Stakes and he just missed the placings in both the Kingston Town Stakes and The Metropolitan. He produced an uncharacteristically poor effort in the St Leger Stakes, but he returned to winning form in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. He probably isn’t good enough to win the Melbourne Cup, but he can finish in the top 10 once again.

Wicklow Brave

Wicklow Brave has had plenty of starts ahead of the Melbourne Cup and he is one of the fittest horses in the race. He ran well without winning in the Curragh Cup, Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger Trial and Irish St Leger before he returned to Australia with a 12th place finish in the Caulfield Cup. His run in the Caulfield Cup was better than it looks on paper and he can run a better race than his current price suggests.

Big Duke

Big Duke has plenty of miles in his legs ahead of the Melbourne Cup. He finished fifth in the Opie Cup at The Valle and he failed to fire in the Naturalism Stakes, but he returned to his best form to finish a close second behind Foundry in The Metropolitan. He outstayed his rivals to take out the St Leger Stakes at Royal Randwick on The Everest Day and he had excuses when he was beaten as favourite in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. The 3200 metres is ideal for him and he is one of the best roughies in the field.

US Army Ranger

There was plenty of hype around US Army Ranger as a younger horse, but he was never really able to go on with it. He was only narrowly denied by Western Hymn in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester, but he finished at the tail of the field in the Coronation Cup. US Army Ranger finished third in the Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he was soundly beaten in the Goodwood Cup and finished at the tail of the field in the Enterprise Stakes. You wouldn’t think that he is going well enough to win the Melbourne Cup.

Boom Time

It is rare to see a Melbourne Cup betting market with the Caulfield Cup winner available at such juicy odds. Boom Time finished third in the Ladbrokes Handicap at The Valley in August and he ran poorly in the Opie Cup, but he put the writing on the wall for his Caulfield Cup win with tough efforts in the JRA Cup and the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes. He produced the best performance of his career to record a massive upset win in the Caulfield Cup. It is tough to see him doing that again, but you can’t rule him out on his Caulfield Cup performance.

Gallante

Gallante has only had two race starts since he failed to fire in the Melbourne Cup 12 months ago. He failed to beat home a single horse in the Naturalism Stakes and he finished seventh in a weak edition of the Geelong Cup. Even on his best form it is tough to see him winning a race with the quality of the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Libran

Libran is the second Chris Waller-trained runner in the 2017 Melbourne Cup field. He was not disgraced when sixth behind stablemate Winx in the Chelmsford Stakes and he ended a significant losing streak with a win in the Kingston Town Stakes. He was a tough disappointing in The Metropolitan and the St Leger Stakes, but he returned to a semblance of his best form with a second place finish behind Who Shot Thebarman in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Doesn’t have the class to win a Melbourne Cup, but he should run well.

Nakeeta

Nakeeta has taken the Handicap route in England to the Melbourne Cup. He finished tenth in the Chester Cup, second in the Grand Cup Stakes and fourth in the John Sunley Memorial Handicap before he earnt his trip to Australia with his tough victory in the Ebor Handicap. That is the same race that Heartbreak City won last year before he finished second in the Melbourne Cup, but the jury is out whether Nakeeta is up to that level.

Single Gaze

Single Gaze is as tough as they come and she has been nothing short of outstanding during her 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign. She only beat one horse home in the Memsie Stakes, but she just missed the placings in the Makybe Diva Stakes, Underwood Stakes and Ladbrokes Stakes before he was only narrowly denied a massive win in the Caulfield Cup. She simply doesn’t run a bad race and it will be interesting to see how she fares over the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup.

Wall Of Fire

Wall Of Fire has not won in 2017, but he has produced a number of excellent performances. He was narrowly denied In the Flight Stakes and just missed the placings in the Ormonde Stakes before he failed to fire in the Belmont Gold Cup. Wall Of Fire finished a close second in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes and he made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes. The form coming out of that race has been strong and the performance was similar to that of Protectionist before he won the Melbourne Cup. He is one of the horses to beat.

Thomas Hobson

Thomas Hobson earnt his start in the Melbourne Cup following the withdrawal of Jon Snow. He started his 2017 racing season over the jumps at Punchestown and he romped in to win the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot before he backed up to finish second in the Alexandra Stakes a few days later. He failed to fire in the Lonsdale Cup, but he did enough when second in the Doncaster Cup to earn a trip to Australia. Thomas Hobson will have no issues running out a strong 3200 metres in the Melbourne Cup and the only question mark is whether he is too dour to win.

Rekindling

Rekindling is the latest Northern Hemisphere three-year-old to be sent to Australia for the Melbourne Cup after an up and down campaign in the United Kingdom. He finished fourth in the Dante Stakes, but he was never able to get into the race in the Epsom Derby. Rekindling beat Wicklow Brave to win the Curragh Cup and he finished second behind Order Of St George in the Irish St Leger before he finished fourth at Group 1 level in the St Leger Stakes.

Amelie’s Star

Amelie’s Star is the third Darren Weir-trained winner in the Melbourne Cup. She returned from a small break in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes and she finished third in the Heatherlie Handicap before she was a touch disappointing in the Sofitel Girls’ Day Out Handicap. Amelie’s Star ran the best closing sectionals in the Naturalism Stakes and she secured ballot-exempt entry into the Melbourne Cup with her win in The Bart Cummings. She was a touch flat in the Caulfield Cup and she did come out of that race with an issue.

Cismontane

Cismontane started his campaign at Kembla Grange way back in June and no horse has had more starts heading into the Melbourne Cup. He was beaten at Canterbury, Ladbrokes Park twice and Sandown before he returned to winning form with a tough victory at The Valley on August 26. He beat home only one runner in the JRA Trophy, but he was gallant in both the St Leger Stakes and the Moonee Valley Gold Cup before he earnt his spot in the Melbourne Cup field with an extremely tough win in the Lexus Stakes. He will take up the running in the early stages of the Melbourne Cup and will give them something to chase.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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