Monday night, November 3rd, 11:00 PM EST:
Race 7A (Flemington) – 2 mile EMIRATES MELBOURNE CUP – $5.3 Million
I am NOT a long distance turf race expert, but I have picked the Melbourne Cup winner in 2011 (Dunaden) and 2012 (Green Moon). Let’s see if we can catch some lightning in a bottle:
Selections (in order of preference): 5-3-8-24
#5 PROTECTIONIST – 9/2 Morning Line (ML) odds are not very appealing but horses bred with European staying blood do extremely well in the ‘Cup. This horse was selected from the German racing scene by Aussie super-scout Luke Murrell. Same sire (Monsun) as last year’s cup winner Fiorente. In 2012 the top 7 finishers in the ‘Cup were bred in Europe prior to coming to Australia to run for the big money. This horse is extremely dangerous. My “fair odds” 6/1.
#3 FAWKNER (6/1 ML) lost a heart breaker in the 2014 Cox Plate but oddly that might move him forward to go one better in the ‘Cup. 2013 ‘Cup Winner came out of a very close third in the 2013 Cox Plate also. 2012 ‘Cup Winner Green Moon did not place in the Cox Plate but came back to win the ‘Cup too. The 2 mile distance is a query but on speed figures alone he is the fastest horse in the race and his best career efforts have come at Flemington. Fair odds 8/1.
#8 JUNOOB (20/1 ML) ran on OK in the Caulfield Cup, and one school of thought is the turns were too tight for him, leading him to struggle for a part of the race when he could not switch leads. Two races back he put in a strong effort, earning a big speed figure, and the turns at Flemington are similar to Belmont Park’s, which should help Junoob. NEVER count Chris Waller out of a big race. Fair Odds 15/1
#24 SIGNOFF (4/1 ML) gets in incredibly light at 112 pounds (the Melbourne Cup is a handicap, not weight for age like the Triple Crown races or the Breeders’ Cup) and in his one common meeting ran well enough to get second to top pick Protectionist. Gets a big pull in the weights for the ‘Cup. Trained by super trainer Dennis K Weir and ridden by super jockey Joao Moreira, the only negative is the expected low price.