2016 Melbourne Cup Betting Tips

October 31, 2016 by Posted in Betting Tips, Horse Racing Tips

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The Emirates Melbourne Cup is finally here and as always, it looks to be an incredibly open race, but a cracking one at that!

This year we have 11 internationals engaged: Big Orange, Curren Mirotic, Bondi Beach, Exospheric, Wicklow Brave, Heartbreak City, Beautiful Romance, Grey Lion, Oceanographer, Secret Number and Qewy.

Typically the internationals tend to be second or third stringers who aren’t very suited to the Australian way of racing which requires a turn of foot at the end of the 3200m. This year, however, there are some A grade stayers that have made the trip.

One of those A-graders is Big Orange, who finished 5th in last year’s race, and he will likely take up his customary role of leading. He won’t be the only one looking to lead, however, with Gallante, Wicklow Brave, Qewy and Curren Mirotic all capable of leading. Tommy Berry, who rides the Japanese horse, insisted he would make it a strong staying contest if the tempo wasn’t to his liking, so there’s every chance this will be run at hot speed.

History has shown that winners of the Melbourne Cup typically come from off the pace, meaning front runners and on-pacers struggle to hold on. With the tempo I expect this to be run at, I think we’ll see the winner come from back in the field once again.

After plenty of tossing and turning I’ve managed to cull the field down to 5 selections. It’s worth noting now that I’ll be betting around Hartnell and Jameka. Hartnell, as impressive as he’s been so far this preparation, hasn’t convinced me that he will run a strong 3200m. As we saw in the Cox Plate, he struggled when the pressure really went on, and though he’s weighted well and drawn well, I simply can’t touch him at the current price. Jameka was incredibly impressive in winning the Caulfield Cup, but lets not forget Hartnell gave her a touch up in the Turnbull Stakes. For Jameka, it’s the weight that concerns me. 54.5kg for a 4YO mare is a huge ask. Ethereal was the last 4YO mare to win this race, and she carried 52kg, while Makybe Diva carried 51kg as a 5YO mare for her first victory.

I think the internationals have us covered. EXOSPHERIC is one of those (now trained by the Freedmans) that profiles well for this race. The golden rule for international runners is thought to be that they must have a lead up race in Australia, as no international horse has won the Cup first up in Australia since Vintage Crop in 1993. This horse ran 3rd in the Caulfield Cup behind Jameka, but did a few things wrong and will have come on plenty for that run. He gets a weight turnaround on Jameka, and while he hasn’t been tested at 3200m, the final part of his Caulfield Cup run suggested he will relish the longer trip. At $20 he looks one of the best value bets in the race.

Who could ignore the run of OCEANOGRAPHER in the Lexus Stakes on the weekend? To do what he did – come from last to first by producing a sizzling final 400m – despite the low level of opposition, puts him at the forefront of winning chances in the Cup. He will start from the most successful barrier in Melbourne Cup history (11) and is weighted supremely well. He, too, has had lead up runs in Australia, and we’ve seen the Lexus form stack up in previous Cups. He is a leading chance and could be the horse to give Godolphin their first victory in this race.

When WICKLOW BRAVE beat home Order Of St George in the Irish St Leger, I immediately wanted to be on him in the Melbourne Cup. His trainer, Willie Mullins, prepared last year’s runner up Max Dynamite. This horse is similar, but better. The huge hurdle he faces here is barrier 24, and I’m not sure whether they’ll choose to go forward or back, but I expect him to run a huge race here. The distance will pose no problem.

As aforementioned, last year’s 5th place getter BIG ORANGE is the likely leader in the race and I agree with his trainer who suggested he is one of the best two-milers in Britain, if not Europe. Since running in the Melbourne Cup, this horse has won back-to-back Group 2’s over 2400m and 3200m, beating home the likes of Exospheric and Wicklow Brave. Last start he carried 61kg to victory over the 3200m so the 57kg will be no problem here, but the competition for the lead might be. With a number of runners looking to press forward, he might not get things his own way out front, and it’s hard enough to lead and win a Cup as it is. I expect him to run very well, but there might be one or two too good for him.

Of the locally trained horses, I think our best chance – along with Exospheric – lies with ALMANDIN for Team Williams. The more I watch this horse’s win in the Bart Cummings (2500m) last start, the more I warm to his chances. He won that with plenty in hand, and at only his sixth run back from a two year spell, he should improve again. The manner in which he won last start over 2500m suggests 3200m will be no problem at all, and with 52kg he is weighted to win. He will need a good ride from Kerrin McEvoy from barrier 17 but there’s not many jockeys in better form right now.

The chances don’t stop there, with horses such as Our Ivanhowe, Bondi Beach, Heartbreak City and Qewy all with claims, while Gallante could be the best value in the race at 60/1.

Sticking with Oceanographer ($9) and Exospheric ($20) here, with Almandin close up in third.

1st EXOSPHERIC
2nd OCEANOGRAPHER
3rd ALMANDIN
4th BIG ORANGE
5th WICKLOW BRAVE

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Written by Bet King - Sports Betting Tips

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