Complete 2014 Melbourne Cup Form Guide: Every Runner Analysed

By: Thomas Hackett
November 2nd, 2014

The 2014 Melbourne Cup form guide is very important reading for punters looking to find the winner of the Group 1 event that will be held at Flemington on Tuesday.

This year’s Melbourne Cup is full of horses coming from a wide range of different form lines and our team of horse racing experts have complied all the information that you need to about every single runner in the field.

Update: The connections of all 22 horses that remain in the Melbourne Cup field, following the scratching of Sea Moon on Monday morning and Cavalryman on Tuesday morning, have released plenty of information about their runners heading into the $6 million race and we have included a number of relevant quotes from the jockeys, trainers and owners that are involved in the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Cup.

1.Admire Rakti (58kg) 

Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti is the horse to beat in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti is the horse to beat in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Admire Rakti made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing win in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and he is a clear favourite in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets. The Japanese stayer will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time since he finished 13th behind Fenomeo in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3218m) in Japan in May and his form over the lengthier staying trip is arguably more impressive than over 2400 metres after he took out the Group 3 Diamond Stakes (3419m) last year and finished fourth in the 2013 Tenno Sho. The Heart’s Cry entire is sure to run out the trip strongly and the only thing standing in the way of him completing the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double is the top weight of 58 and a half kilograms.

Admire Rakti was settled off the fence with cover in the Caulfield Cup and trainer Tomoyuki Umeda believes that jockey Zac Purton will be able to follow a similar formula when his star galloper jumps from barrier eight in the Melbourne Cup.

“I am very pleased,” Umeda said through an interpreter at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw.

“Number eight is lucky. It is a good barrier for him and the same as he drew in the Caulfield Cup.

“It’s not like Caulfield, we have a long straight after the start, so we didn’t think much about the barrier but we wanted to have the middle.”

2. Cavalryman (57kg) (Scratched) 

Cavalryman finished 12th behind Green Moon in the 2012 edition of the Melbourne Cup and he is back for another crack at ‘the race that stops a nation’. The Godolphin stayer started his racing season with a win in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2810m) in Meydan in March before finishing second in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m). He returned to winning form in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10 and took out the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) on July 31 before he was beaten as favourite in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3299m). Cavalryman is another horse that will have no problem getting the Melbourne Cup trip, but he may lack the turn-of-foot required to win the Melbourne Cup.

Update: Cavalryman has been withdrawn from the 2014 Melbourne Cup field after he was found with heat in his near foreleg.

Saeed Bin Suroor is desperately hoping to win the Melbourne Cup for the first time after finishing second on three occasions and he said on Saturday that he could not be happier with Cavalryman heading into the race.

“I’m really happy with him, two miles will be no problem for him, he won over the same ground and everything so-far so good,” Bin Suroor said.

“He travelled well here, he’s doing really good work – he worked yesterday with a light piece of work, he’s doing really well.

3. Fawkner (57kg)

Fawkner stormed home late to finish sixth in the Melbourne Cup last year and connections feel that he is taking even stronger form into the race this year. The Reset gelding returned to racing with a tight second in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 and he took out the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 11 before he finished second behind Adelaide in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25. There are still question marks over Fawkner’s ability to run a strong 3200 metres, but if he gets the trip is an excellent chance of delivering owner Lloyd Williams a fifth Melbourne Cup victory.

Fawkner is one of the only Australian-bred horses in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and co-owner Nick Williams is hoping that the Australian public will get behind the Cox Plate winner tomorrow.

“He’s certainly coming into the race this year with better form then he had last year even though he won the Caulfield Cup,” Williams said.

“We’re very hopeful going towards the race and most importantly he’s by Reset, he’s Australian-bred, Australian-reared, Australian-owned and Australian-trained and I don’t think there’s another horse in the race that we can say that about so I hope that the country gets behind him.”

4. Red Cadeaux (57kg) 

Red Cadeaux has the chance to record an elusive Melbourne Cup victory at Flemington on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Red Cadeaux has the chance to record an elusive Melbourne Cup victory at Flemington on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Red Cadeaux will make history on Tuesday by becoming the first European-trained horse in history to run in the Melbourne Cup on four occasions. The Cadeaux Genereux gelding returned to racing with a credible sixth in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup (2000m) in March, but he failed to fire in the Tenno Sho in May and was not overly impressive in both the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) at Newbury on August 16 and the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m) at Kempton Park on September 6. While his form this year has not been strong, Red Cadeaux always seems to produce his best form in the Melbourne Cup and you can’t rule out the veteran staying finally breaking through for an elusive win in the $6 million race.

Trainer Ed Dunlop has been narrowly denied victory in the Melbourne Cup on two occasions and he has revealed that it would be the greatest achievement of his training career if Red Cadeaux was finally able to breakthrough for a win in the Group 1 event on Tuesday.

“It would probably be the greatest victory of my training career,” Dunlop said.

“I think that it would be an amazing,amazing day.

5. Protectionist (56.5kg)

Protectionist has been one of the best-backed runners in Melbourne Cup betting and he had his odds slashed after making his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11. The Monsun entire started his racing season with back-to-back second places finishes in Germany before he returned to winning form in the Group 2 Hansa-Preis (2413m) at Hamburg on June 29. Protectionist stamped himself as a genuine Melbourne Cup contender when he took out the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in August before he made punters sit up and take notice with his Hebert Power Stakes run. The German stayer has had an ideal Melbourne Cup preparation and he deserves his place towards the top of betting.

Trainer Andreas Wohler has been in Australia to oversee the preparation of Protectionist and he has been delighted with the way the Germany stayer came out of his first-up run in the Herbert Power Stakes.

“He ran well and has come on from that,” Wohler said.

“He knows his games and just keeps improving race by race.”

6. Sea Moon (56.5kg) (Scratched)

Sea Moon arrived in Australia with a big reputation, but the Lloyd Williams-owned stayer has been unable to find his best form at Macedon Lodge. The Beat Hollow entire finished at the tail of the field in his only race start during the autumn before he returned to racing with a disappointing fifth in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 4. Sea Moon took up the running in the early stages of the Caulfield Cup before weakening to finish at the tail of the field, but was found with a muscle issue after the race. On his best European form Sea Moon would be one of the leading contenders in the Melbourne Cup, but he would have to improve significantly on his recent form to be any chance.

Update: Sea Moon has been scratched from the 2014 Melbourne Cup after he was found with an elevated temperature on Monday morning.

7. Seismos (56kg) 

Seismos is an outsider in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Seismos is an outsider in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Seismos is a dour stayer that will run out the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup with no issues, but even connections admit that the imported galloper may lack the speed to win ‘the race that stops a nation’. The Dalakhani gelding was not particularly impressive in the Dubai Gold Cup, Group 3 Henry II Stakes (3290m) at Sandown Park on May 29 and the Group 2 Prix Maurice De Nieuil (2800m) at Longchamp on July 13, but worked his way into Melbourne Cup calculations with a tough staying win in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) at Newbury on August 16. Seismos made his Australian racing debut in the Caulfield Cup, but he was completely outpaced in the final stages, although he will be suited by the step-up in trip and the Flemington track.

Trainer Marco Botti admits that Seismos was disappointing in the Caulfield Cup, but he is full of confidence that the Melbourne Cup is a much more suitable race for the Australian Thoroughbred-owned stayer.

I never actually thought coming here that he was going to be a Caulfield Cup horse,” Botti said.

“I didn’t think he was going to be a chance in that race because the track was too tight for him and he takes his time to really get going.

“I thought he was impressive in the Geoffrey Freer, he took a while to get going and then he really battled on to the line.

“I’m sure the Melbourne Cup trip will suit him much better.”

8. Junoob (55.5kg)

Junoob is one of three Chris Waller-trained horses in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field and he is rated the most likely to deliver the leading Sydney trainer a win in the Group 1 event. The imported stayer made a slow start to his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and missed the placings in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 6, but returned to winning form in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) on September 20 before he scored a maiden win at Group 1 level with a tough staying performance in The Metropolitan. Junoob was far from disgraced when seventh in the Caulfield Cup and he can’t be ruled out of the Melbourne Cup.

Waller admits that he is not certain whether Junoob is capable of running out a strong 3200 metres, but he has been happy with the form of The Metropolitan winner heading into the Melbourne Cup.

“He has certainly raced very well including the Caulfield Cup last start; he didn’t have any luck at all and he still boxed on well in a very tight finish,” Waller said.

“Two miles is the big question that everybody needs to answer on Tuesday under pressure and he has got a wit of weight, so it is not easy.

“He is certainly a chance.”

9. Royal Diamond (55.5kg)

Royal Diamond has been overshadowed by stablemate Mutual Regard heading into the 2014 Melbourne Cup, but is a tough stayer who could play a factor in the finish. The Johnny Murtagh-trained galloper took out the Group 3 British Champions Long Distance Cup (3218m) at Ascot at the end of 2013 and returned to racing with a strong second in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes (2816m) at Navan in May before he failed to fire in the Group 1 Gold Cup (4023m) during at Royal Ascot. Royal Diamond returned to a semblance of his best form in the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (2816m) at Curragh in August before he was a slightly disappointing sixth in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m). It is hard to see Royal Diamond winning the Melbourne Cup, but he is a good chance to pick up a sizeable cheque for connections.

Royal Diamond is currently available at the sizable 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $91, but Murtagh is positive that the veteran stayer will run far better than his price suggests.

“He stays the trip very well and he has a very high cruising speed, so I think he will stay the trip out well, which he will probably need to do with the big track because it will take a bit of getting,” Murtagh said.

“He is the ideal horse to bring out here; he normally begins well from the gates, he can be forward from in the run and if he gets close the top of the straight he should run down the last 400 metres very strongly.”

 10Gatewood (55kg) 

Gatewood is chasing his second win in Australia after he took out the 2012 edition of the Geelong Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Gatewood is chasing his second win in Australia after he took out the 2012 edition of the Geelong Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Gatewood missed out on a start in the 2012 Melbourne Cup and has returned to Australia after being guaranteed a place in this year’s field. The Galileo entire has not missed the placings in his ten race starts since returning to Europe and he recorded tough wins in the Listed Buckhounds Stakes (2414m) at Ascot on May 10, the Listed Tapster Stakes (2414m) at Goodwood on May 24 and the Group 3 Prix De Reux (2500m) at Deauvillle on August 10 before he was narrowly beaten by Cocktail Queen in the Group 2 Grand Prix De Deauville Lucien Barriere (2500m) on August 31. The Melbourne Cup is a step-up in class for Gatewood and he will likely need some luck in running after drawing barrier 22.

Trainer John Gosden admits that Gatewood may struggle in the Melbourne Cup if the Flemington track is too firm, but he is happy with the form of the consistent galloper and said that he has had no problems settling back into Australia.

“He has been very consistent and he is enjoying his racing,” Gosden said.

“He has travelled well over here; it is a long journey and he was looking a bit light, but he has put that weight back on.

“I was happy with his this morning; he had a buck and a kick going around the track there and he spent half his time trying to get his rider off.

“I think that is a sign that he is feeling good.”

 11. Mutual Regard (55kg)

Mutual Regard will make his Australian racing debut in the Melbourne Cup and looms as one of the leading contenders in this year’s race. The Hernando gelding started his campaign with a strong win in a handicap event at Curragh on June 28 and he was third behind Pale Mimosa in the Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m) at Leopardstown on July 17 before he had his Melbourne Cup odds slashed after scoring an impressive win in the Ebor Handicap (2816m) on August 23. Mutual Regard carried a big weight to victory in the Ebor Handicap and based on that performance he should be one of the horses fighting out the finish in the Melbourne Cup.

Damien Oliver has previously won the Melbourne Cup on three occasions and he said that he is delighted to be given an opportunity to partner Mutual Regard in the 2014 edition of the race.

“Johnny Murtagh asked me to ride it a couple of weeks ago,” Oliver said.

“I was looking like I might not have a ride in the Cup there, so I was very happy to take the ride.

“His last start win was very good and that is the performance I am really taking notice of.”

12. Who Shot Thebarman (55kg)

Who Shot Thebarman won the Auckland Cup over 3200 metres in March and he is an old fashioned style of Melbourne Cup stayer. The Kiwi-bred stayer was sent to Melbourne after performing fairly in two race starts in Sydney and he scored a maiden Australian race win in the Sofitel Girls’ Day Out Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on September 13 and he made it two wins on the trot in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m). Who Shot Thebarman could finish no better than 13th in the Caulfield Cup, but he will be suited by the return to Flemington and should finish inside the top ten in the Melbourne Cup.

Trainer Chris Waller said that Who Shot Thebarman was never comfortable on the tight-turning Caulfield track and he is confident that the Auckland Cup winner will produce an in improved performance when he returns to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.

Who Shot Thebarman has won two races at Flemington this preparation and he is a two mile winner,” Waller said.

“Caulfield just wasn’t his track and it was too tight there for him, but back to Flemington he will be a different horse.

“He has had the right preparation.”

13. Willing Foe (55kg)

Willing Foe is a veteran Godolphin stayer who will run in the 2014 Melbourne Cup after initially being touted as a possible runner in 2012. The Dynaformer gelding returned to the races after almost a year on the sidelines with a close second behind Seismos in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) and he finished a credible fourth behind Brown Panther in the Irish St Leger. It is tough to see Willing Foe winning the Melbourne Cup and stablemate Cavalryman looks more likely to deliver Godolphin a maiden Melbourne Cup victory after they went close with Give The Slip in 2001 and Crime Scene in 2009.

Willing Foe has had just two race starts in the past 18 months and trainer Saeed Bin Suroor believes that the talented galloper took plenty of benefit out of his tough run in the Irish St Leger.

“Willing Foe finished fourth in the Irish St Leger, but since then he is a different horse,” Bin Suroor said.

“I like him a lot and he is going really well.

“You have to be very patient with them and in the past he has had some setbacks.

“He is going really well at the moment and I am really happy with him.”

14. My Ambivalent (54.5kg)

My Ambivalent is an interesting mare who has had a disrupted Melbourne Cup preparation after missing the Caulfield Cup due to injury. The Authorized mare finished a close third behind Gentildonna and Cirrus Des Aigles in the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2410m) in March and she took out the Group 2 Middleton Stakes (2092m). My Ambivalent produced another strong run to finish third in the Group 1 Coronation Cup (2423m) at Epsom Downs on June 7, but was beaten as favourite in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes (2011m) at Curragh on June 29. The Roger Varian-trained mare has plenty of talent, but the Caulfield Cup was probably a more suitable race and she has not impressed in trackwork since arriving in Australia.

My Ambivalent will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and there is a question mark over her ability to run out the trip, but trainer Roger Varian is confident that the enigmatic mare is capable of running out a strong 3200 metres.

“I think she will stay the distance; the early part of her race will be important, if she relaxes early I’m sure she will stay,” Varian said.

“She is one of the toughest mares I have come across, she channels that energy into toughness on the track and if she does that she will be in good shape.

“She is built well, she is a good model but she is mentally very hard and very tough.

“If you get a tough mare they are hard to beat.”

15Precedence (54.5kg) 

Veteran stayer Precedence will be running in the Melbourne Cup for the fourth time. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Veteran stayer Precedence will be running in the Melbourne Cup for the fourth time. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Precedence will be having his fourth start in the Melbourne Cup after narrowly missing out on a place in last year’s field. The veteran stayer started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign over an unsuitable distance un the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington on September 13 and he finished a luckless fifth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 26 and he was galloped on when fifth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m). It would be a fairytale if Precedence could deliver Bart Cummings a 13th win in the Melbourne Cup, but that appears very unlikely based on his form heading into the Group 1 event.

Precedence’s form heading into the Melbourne Cup has not been as strong as it was at this time last year, but co-trainer James Cummings believes that the recent efforts of the Zabeel gelding have been better than they look on paper.

“He’s got form around Signoff and he’s into second favourite for the race,” Cummings said.

“Precedence is a benchmark horse, he’s run three times and he’s run a bit better than mid-field each time.

“I think it would be deserving for him to produce a PB and finish top six in the Cup.”

16. Brambles (54kg)

Brambles spent almost two years away from racing due to a tendon issue, but he has returned in excellent form and is not without a chance in the Melbourne Cup. Trainer Peter Moody gave Brambles three race starts in the winter to get some fitness into his legs and he returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on August 30. The Savabeel gelding took out the Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m) at Flemington on September 13 and was a close third in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before finishing a credible fourth in the Caulfield Cup. Brambles was not overly impressive in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and there is a question mark over his ability to run out a strong 3200 metres.

Co-owner Terry Henderson admits that Brambles’ performance in the Melbourne Cup was fairly flat, but he hopes that the run will help the Savabeel gelding run out the trip in the Melbourne Cup this afternoon.

“It wasn’t the best of runs really for a 2000m race, he’s more dour and he ran like a dour horse today,” Henderson said.

“Hopefully that’s just taken the edge off him.

“Certainly from out in that barrier he’s going to have to get across, hopefully get some cover and we’ll see if he can stay two miles.”

 17. Mr O’Ceirin (54kg)

Mr O’Ceirin has not recorded a race win in over a year and it is tough to see that changing in the Melbourne Cup. He started his spring preparation with a credible fifth in the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes and he finished a credible sixth in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and fourth in the JRA Cup, but he was disappointing when seventh in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m). He needs a wet track to be any chance of being competitive in the Melbourne Cup and it is very difficult to see him finishing in the top ten.

Trainer Ciaron Maher admits that Mr O’Ceirin struggles on firm surfaces and has not been particularity impressive this preparation, but he is still delighted to have a runner in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.

“We would have loved a few inches of rain but that does not look like happening,” Maher said.

“It’s been well documented Mr O’Ceirin’s best efforts are on rain-affected tracks.

“I just wish we had a bit of give in the track, but in saying that it’s great to have a Melbourne Cup runner.

“It’s a great thrill for the owners and me to have a runner.

“We just hope the horse is competitive.”

 18. Au Revoir (53.5kg)

Au Revoir is one of four OTI Racing-owned horses in the Melbourne Cup and he will need plenty of luck after drawing poorly at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw yesterday. The Singspiel entire has not recorded a race win since he took out a race in France in August last year, but he finished fourth behind the likes of Ruler Of The World, Flintshire and Spiritjim in the Group 2 Prix Foy (2400m) at Longchamp on September 14 before he made his Australian racing debut with a third place finish in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. The step-up in trip to 3200 metres should suit Au Revoir, but he probably does not have the talent to win a Melbourne Cup.

Henderson believes that Au Revoir has taken plenty of improvement out of his run in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and he would not be surprised if the imported stayer produced a big effort in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.

“A lot of improvement has come out of that run,” Henderson said.

“We have seen the horse run this week and train on.

“He looks tighter, the boys from France really like the way that he has been moving and he worked yesterday with Gatewood and they both worked very well.

19. Lidari (53.5kg) 

Lidari will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in his racing career in the Melbourne Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Lidari will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in his racing career in the Melbourne Cup. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Lidari did not appear to stay the trip in the Caulfield Cup and there is a massive query over his ability to run out a strong 3200 metres in the Melbourne Cup. Lidari started his spring preparation with a fifth place finish in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16 and he performed consistently in both the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20 before stamping himself as a genuine Caulfield Cup contender with a second place finish in the Turnbull Stakes. Lidari had every chance in the Caulfield Cup, but he tired late to finish sixth and seems unlikely to see the trip out in the Melbourne Cup.

Lidari has been one of the biggest drifters in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets over the past 48 hours, but trainer Peter Moody is happy with the condition of the Acclamation entire heading into ‘the race that stops a nation’.

“He is fit, he is in good shape, his run in the Caulfield Cup was competitive and he probably needed to be out a little sooner to keep whacking on,” Moody said.

“His work has been good and solid and he goes there a very well horse.”

20. Opinion (53.5kg)

Opinion is a genuine stayer who is one of the few horses in the Melbourne Cup field that has previously been placed over 3200 metres after finishing second in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) earlier this year. Opinion was not particularly impressive in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap, Premier’s Cup and Kingston Town Stakes, but he worked home strongly to finish second behind Junoob in The Metropolitan. The Oasis Dream gelding failed to fire in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, but Flemington will suit the five-year-old and he is a good bet to finish in the top ten.

Tye Angland has been booked to ride Opinion in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and he believes that the tough stayer will perform better than his odds suggest in the Group 1 event this afternoon.

I rode him in the Metropolitan and ran second on him, so I chased the ride pretty hard,” Angland said.

Zac (Purton) rode him last week, but I was always going to get the ride back.

“He didn’t look good at Moonee Valley, but I gave Zac a phone call and he just said it was his first time riding him and he’s a horse that doesn’t handle tight little tracks.

“Big tracks like Randwick are his best runs, so I’m sure once he gets back to the big track at Flemington he’ll be hard to hold back.”

21. Araldo (53kg)

Araldo has found his best form in Australia this preparation, but will need some luck in the Melbourne Cup after drawing the outside gate. The High Chaparral entire returned from injury with a seventh place finish in the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes and he finished a credible sixth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20 before he produced a tough staying performance to finish third in The Metropolitan. Araldo was settled at the tail of the field in the early stages of the Caulfield Cup due to a poor barrier draw, but he worked home strongly to finish fifth in a strong Melbourne Cup trial. He will need some luck at the right times, but the Mike Moroney-trained galloper is a good each-way bet in the Melbourne Cup.

Moroney was thrilled with the performance of Araldo in the Caulfield Cup and he is confident that the imported stayer is a winning chance in the Melbourne Cup as long as there is plenty of early speed in the race.

“From what happened during the run and where he was at the half mile, his run was terrific,” Moroney said of Araldo’s Caulfield Cup performance.

“The end part of his sectionals were really good, but he just gave them too much of a start from that draw.

“I would rather draw there at Flemington than at Caulfield and it is a different race.

“Most Cups are reasonably truly run, sometimes they are not, and if it is truly run that is our best chance.

“If it is not it is going to be in the lap of the gods from that draw.”

22. Lucia Valentina (53kg) 

Lucia Valentina is currently on the second line of 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Lucia Valentina is currently on the second line of 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Lucia Valentina lost no admirers when she was beaten as favourite in the Caulfield Cup and she looms as the major danger to Admire Rakti in the Melbourne Cup. The Savabeel mare started her spring preparation with an outstanding win in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6 and was sixth in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 20 before she stamped herself as a clear Caulfield Cup favourite with a strong win in the Turnbull Stakes. Lucia Valentina did not have a great deal of luck in running in the Caulfield Cup, but she was still able to work home strongly to finish third in a performance that indicates she will run out a strong 3200 metres in the Melbourne Cup.

Trainer Kris Lees could not be happier with the way that the mare has come out of the Caulfield Cup and is confident that the Savabeel mare can stay the trip in the Melbourne Cup.

“She has come out of her Caulfield Cup run really well,” Lees said.

“There was just a little bit of improvement still in her and I think we have seen that at home.

“It comes down now to whether she can run out the two miles; we don’t know yet, but the way that she has finished every race gives us heart that she can.

23. Unchain My Heart (51.5kg)

Unchain My Heart has won over 3200 metres at Flemington on two occasions, but faces a much stiffer challenged in the Melbourne Cup. The veteran mare performed fairly without winning in handicap events at the start of her spring campaign before she returned to black type racing with a third place finish in the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m) at Sandown on September 27. Unchain My Heart was outclassed in the Herbert Power Stakes and she beat home just a single runner in the Caulfield Cup. She looked set to miss out on a place in the Melbourne Cup, but she earnt a start following the withdrawal of Green Moon yesterday.

24. Signoff (51kg)

Signoff beat the handicapper to get into the Melbourne Cup with just 51 kilograms on his back by winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) yesterday and has been one of the best-backed runner in betting. The Authorized gelding returned to racing in the WeDrive Plate (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30 and was third in the Spring Is The Season Handicap before failing to fire in the JRA Cup. Signoff returned to his best form with a second place finish in the Herbert Power Stakes and was third in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18 before he secured a Melbourne Cup berth with his Lexus Stakes win. He gets into the race extremely well at the weights and is an excellent chance of becoming the first horse since Shocking in 2009.

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