Admire Rakti is set to firm as favourite after he drew ideally in barrier eight at the 2014 Melbourne Cup barrier draw at Flemington this afternoon.
The Japanese stayer jumped from barrier seven in the Caulfield Cup and he was allowed to roll into the race by jockey Zac Purton and the Hong Kong-based hoop will have the chance to follow a similar pattern in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday.
Another horse that fared well in the Melbourne Cup barrier draw is Caulfield Cup placegetter Lucia Valentina, who will jump from barrier three with jockey Kerrin McEvoy on his back.
McEvoy struggled to find the fence and was caught at the tail of the field in the early stages of the Caulfield Cup, but he should be able to settle the Savabeel mare on the rail and put her to sleep in her first step up to 3200 metres in the Melbourne Cup.
Cavalryman jumped from barrier six when he finished 12th behind Green Moon in the 2012 edition of the Melbourne Cup and has fared well in the barrier draw again after being allocated barrier three.
Jockey Craig Williams revealed earlier in the week that Cavalryman lacks a turn-of-pace and he would like to settle her as close to the speed as possible in the early stages of the races, which he should get every chance to do from barrier three.
My Ambivalent has not had much luck since she arrived in Australia and missed the Caulfield Cup due to a hoof issue, but her luck turned around this afternoon when trainer Roger Varian drew barrier four for the Melbourne Cup, while the likes of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned Seismos (barrier one), Johnny Murtagh-trained Royal Diamond (barrier six), The Metropolitan winner Junoob (barrier seven), Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner (barrier nine) and veteran mare Unchain My Heart (barrier five) will also start from the inside of the Melbourne Cup field.
One of the big losers of the 2014 Melbourne Cup barrier draw was Mike Moroney-trained Araldo and the imported stayer will jump from the outside barrier when he has his first race start over two miles.
Araldo defied poor barriers to run a tough third in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 and was settled at the tail of the field before working home strongly in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Leading jockey Joao Moreira has been booked to ride Signoff in the Melbourne Cup after he steered the Authorized gelding to victory in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington earlier this morning, but he will need to be at his brilliant best after barrier 16 was drawn for the Darren Weir-trained galloper.
Other horses that did not fare well at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw are veteran stayer Red Cadeaux (barrier 15), the out of form Sea Moon (barrier 18), OTI Racing-owned Gatewood (barrier 12), Godolphin stayer Willing Foe (barrier 17), Team Cummings-trained Precedence (barrier 20), Turnbull Stakes placegetter Brambles (barrier 21) and imported galloper Au Revoir (barrier 23).
Admire Rakti ($5) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets from Lucia Valentina ($7), Protectionist ($7), Fawkner ($8) and Signoff ($8.50).
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x4240x20x1||ADMIRE RAKTI (JPN)||Tomoyuki Umeda||Zac Purton||8||58.5kg||114|
|2||36x12x114x||CAVALRYMAN (GB)||Saeed Bin Suroor||Craig Williams||3||57kg||111|
|3||5316x7x212||FAWKNER||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||9||57kg||115|
|4||2424x60x47||RED CADEAUX (GB)||Ed Dunlop||Gerald Mosse||15||57kg||111|
|5||2x31x22114||PROTECTIONIST (GER)||Andreas Wohler||Ryan Moore||11||56.5kg||110|
|6||00210x8x50||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Tommy Berry||18||56.5kg||105|
|7||0x10x641x0||SEISMOS (IRE)||Marco Botti||Craig Newitt||1||56kg||109|
|8||1143×86117||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||7||55.5kg||108|
|9||2151x20x26||ROYAL DIAMOND (IRE)||Johnny Murtagh||Steven Arnold||6||55.5kg||108|
|10||22x211212x||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||William Buick||22||55kg||107|
|11||41222x131x||MUTUAL REGARD (IRE)||Johnny Murtagh||Damien Oliver||12||55kg||107|
|12||2119×07110||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||13||55kg||107|
|13||31338x1x24||WILLING FOE (USA)||Saeed Bin Suroor||James McDonald||17||55kg||107|
|14||3192x3134x||MY AMBIVALENT (IRE)||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni||4||54.5kg||109|
|15||16x327x055||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||Michael Rodd||20||54.5kg||104|
|16||x408821349||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||21||54kg||105|
|17||27259×5647||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||19||54kg||103|
|18||514x426x43||AU REVOIR (IRE)||Andre Fabre||Glyn Schofield||23||53.5kg||103|
|19||7190×54426||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||10||53.5kg||105|
|20||2262×05026||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||14||53.5kg||104|
|21||x0313x7635||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||Dwayne Dunn||24||53kg||100|
|22||x3013x1613||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||2||53kg||110|
|23||241×834390||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dean Yendall||5||51.5kg||98|
|24||111×039231||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||Joao Moreira||16||51kg||100|
The majority of trainers, owners and jockeys will be hoping to draw an inside gate, but jockey Zac Purton has indicated that a wider draw may be beneficial for Japanese stayer Admire Rakti.
Japanese stayers are generally given the opportunity to roll into races wide of the rail and Purton followed this formula to perfection in the Caulfield Cup when he sat wide with cover on Admire Rakti before the Heart’s Cry entire stormed home to record an impressive win in the race.
Lucia Valentina jumped from barrier ten in the Caulfield Cup and connections will be hoping for a similar gate despite the Savabeel mare having very little luck in running during the Group 1 event.
Trainer Kris Lees said heading into the race that he wanted to see Lucia Valentina settled in the middle of the Caulfield Cup field, but the four-year-old failed to show any tactical speed and she was stuck in an awkward position in the early stages of the race.
One horse in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field that has been plagued by poor barriers during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign is imported stayer Araldo and his odds are sure to shorten if he can draw an inside barrier this afternoon.
Araldo jumped from barrier 16 in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), but he was still able to storm home late to finish third behind Junoob and Opinion, while he jumped from barrier 15 in the Caulfield Cup and he was settled at the tail of the field by jockey Craig Williams before charging home to finish fifth.
Fawkner drew ideally in barrier eight for the 2013 Melbourne Cup, but jockey Nick still elected to settle the Reset gelding at the tail of the field before he worked home strongly to finish sixth in an impressive run.
The Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams has trained Fawkner to settle closer to the speed during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and he will be hoping that the seven-year-old can draw a similar gate for this year’s Melbourne Cup.
The most successful Melbourne Cup barrier in recent history is barrier 11, which has provided four winners in the last 30 years including Black Knight (1984), Tawrrific (1989), Ethereal (2001) and Americain (2010).
The next most successful barriers are gates 5 and 21 (three winners apiece), while no horse has won the Melbourne Cup from barriers six, 12, 15, 18, 19,23 or 24 in the past 30 years.
The 2014 Melbourne Cup barrier draw will be run at Flemington at 7 o’clock (AEDT) this evening and you will be able to find all the news coming out of the draw at horseracing.com.au.