The countdown is well and truly on until the Melbourne Cup 2013 winner crosses over the line first in Flemington Race 7 this Tuesday, November 5, earning connections a juicy $3.6 million in prize money.
There are 24 horses in the field for this year’s edition of the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), which is the richest handicap race in the world.
Just as its status is world-class, the Melbourne Cup has drawn a world-class field for the 153rd edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
There are nine internationally-trained raiders, two former Melbourne Cup winners, two mares out to emulate the success of the magnificent Makybe Diva and six owned by the prolific Lloyd Williams.
Current Melbourne Cup markets are led by the imported Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente.
The Monsun stallion debuted down under in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
They made an impact right away too finishing a brave second to the Williams-owned Green Moon.
Twelve months later, and coming off a brave Cox Plate third, the six-year-old takes on Green Moon once again this time vying for the Melbourne Cup winners’ cheque.
Fiorente is followed in betting by the Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos who also contested last year’s race finishing fifth.
Money has also started to come in for some of the double figure chances in the Cup including the overseas-trained but Australian-owned Dandino who was second in their Caulfield Cup last start, Prix Kergorlay winning French mare Verema and another hope from Williams’ Macedon Lodge in Sea Moon.
Upset Melbourne Cup results are far from uncommon however with the last favourite to win being Makybe Diva (2004 and 2005).
It wasn’t all that long ago either that the ‘Cups’ King’ Bart Cummings, without a runner this year after his Moonee Valley Cup winner Precedence was balloted out, won his 12th Melbourne Cup with Viewed who jumped a 40-1 outsider.
So instead of looking at what the bookies are saying we’re going back over the Melbourne Cup form guide and history to pick this year’s champion.
- Barrier 18 has never produced a winner – Rules out #18 Hawkspur
- If they were beaten the previous year history says they won’t come back and win – Rules out #1 Dunaden (14th), #2 Green Moon (1st), #3 Red Cadeaux (8th), #6 Fiorente (2nd), #9 Ethiopia (24th), #11 Mourayan (7th) and #15 Mount Athos (5th)
- Seven and eight-year-olds have the worst record – Rules out #7 Foreteller, #8 Dandino and #19 Simenon
- Horses with one word names have the best record – Rules out #4 Sea Moon, #4 Brown Panther, #13 Super Cool, #14 Masked Marvel, #16 Royal Empire, #17 Voleuse De Coeurs, #22 Dear Demi and #23 Dear Demi
- 11 of the past 19 Melbourne Cup winners came off a win – Rules out #12 Seville
- Boys have a better record in the Melbourne Cup than the mares – Rules out #21 Verema
- This leaves three chances – #10 Fawkner, #20 Ibicenco and #24 Ruscello
Now if that were the winning Melbourne Cup trifecta it would pay a beauty with Ibicenco an $81 roughie and Ruscello paying $61 to back up from their Lexus Stakes win on Saturday.
There is a gem among the roughies there however in the Robert Hickmott-trained Fawkner, one of Williams’ six, who pays $16 and continues to firm after winning the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start.
The Reset six-year-old also has a 45% win rate, which is the best of the Cup runners this year.
If successful they will join a list of 11 previous Caulfield Cup / Melbourne Cup double winners and be the first to achieve the feat since Ethereal in 2001.
Williams himself has actually tipped Fawkner as the best valued horse in the Melbourne Cup odds, and is especially proud that they are one of the rare Australian-bred chances in the race.
“I love it that he’s a home bred,” Williams told Fairfax Media.
“That would be so satisfying, to think with this race is now truly international and a horse from our country beats the rest.
“I raced his sire [Reset] and wouldn’t it be marvellous for him to win the Cup and show that Australia can breed and own the winner of the Melbourne Cup.”