The Official 2014 Melbourne Cup In-Depth Preview + Tips

Courtesy Mitch Fenton @mitchfenton88

1.ADMIRE RATKI (JAPAN). T.Umeda Z.Purton (8) 58.5


Caulfield Cup winner, who was so impressive that day.

He carried 58kg and was wide from the outset, but was able to circle the entire field and won fairly easily on the line.

As I said before that run all his best form in Japan was over 3000m + and I think the Caulfield Cup win was on class alone. His best win in Japan, the Diamond Stakes, was over 3400m, so the 2 miles is of no concern here. That’s always a massive bonus coming into a Melbourne Cup as there’s always so many contenders with a “will they, won’t they” hanging over their head when it comes to the question of running a strong 2 miles out.

Has to defy history, handicap wise, carrying 58.5kg but he’s right up to it and is the horse to beat. The last horse to win with the weight was Bart’s great stayer THINK BIG.

He won his 2nd successive Melbourne Cup that day, which puts him in elite company as a dual Melbourne Cup winner – but as with all handicap races, weights are relative! In those day days there was 15kg + between the top and bottom weights. Admire Ratki concedes the bottom weight this year 7.5kg, which without doubt is a decent weight, but he has the class to overcome it. AMERICAIN carried 58kg when 4th in the 2012, slaughtered that day by G.Mosse. It’s a big impost, but he’s good enough to overcome it!

2.CAVALRYMAN (GB). S.B.Suroor C.Williams (3) 57


Ran 12th in this race 2 years back carrying on 54kg that day.

Has been in good form, in preparation for another Melbourne Cup tilt, winning the Gr2 2400m Prince of Wales Stakes and Gr2 3200m Goodwood Cup1 before finishing 4th at his latest outing.

2nd in this year’s 2mile Gold Cup at Meydan on World Cup night, but this is tougher…

Honest type, but doubt he’s up to this.

3.FAWKNER (AUS). R.Hickmott N.Hall (9) 57


Narrowly defeated in the Cox Plate last week.

In terrific form this prep, all class!! Looks like 2 miles this time around will suit perfectly, as opposed to 12 months ago when he looked like he peaked in the Caulfield Cup for mine.

Definite winning hope. Australia’s great hope, stable knows how to win the race!

4.RED CADEAUX (GB). E.Dunlop G.Mosse (15) 57


Old marvel that has twice finished runner up in the race, both times having his first Australian run for the campaign. In 2011, when beaten a nose by Dunaden, he went down as the races narrowest loser in 150+ years of the great race.

Follows the same path this time around, first up into the Cup.

Form hasn’t been crash hot heading into the race this time around, but hard to write him off as hopeless!

5.PROTECTIONIST (GER). A.Wohler R.Moore (11) 56.5


Slashing run in the Herbert Power finishing powerful 4th running home well, 2nd in that race was Saturday’s Lexus winner Signoff. Meets him half a kg better for being beaten half a length. Proven 3000m winner – in the always reliable form race, France’s Prix Kergorlay in August. Will get a good run in transit from a favourable middle barrier draw, and be running on right into the finish at the business end.

6.SEA MOON (GB). R.Hickmott T.Berry (18) 56.5


Hopelessly out of form. Don’t give him any chance.

7.SEISMOS (IRE). M.Botti C.Newitt (1) 56


Got a perfect run in transit in the Caulfield Cup where I rated him a genuine hope of winning. Maybe the ground was too firm? He whacked away all the way and was only beaten 5L in the end but just didn’t have a turn of foot. Can see him improving getting out to the 2 mile journey, but not enough so to win. That would prove a shock!

8.JUNOOB (GB). C.Waller H.Bowman (7) 55.5


Had a very good run in the Caulfield Cup, plenty of the chances in this just dashed straight past him though…Can’t see him reversing the tables on them all!

9.ROYAL DIAMOND (IRE). J.Murtagh S.Arnold (6) 55.5


Will stay all day, that’s the only given with him! Impossible to recommend out of his most recent efforts in Ireland.

10.GATEWOOD (GB). J.Gosden W.Buick (22) 55


Group 3 winner in the UK and that’s about his level. However Gr3 stayers over there have proven that they can measure up to our elite. That said there’s better suited raiders than this one.

11.MUTUAL REGARD (IRE). J.Murtagh D.Oliver (12) 55


A one paced staying type, who comes here off the back of an Ebor win at York. Doubt that form stacks up well enough, but does have D.Oliver onboard. Some rough hope I guess….$13 is way ‘unders’ though for mine.

12.WHOSHOT THEBARMAN (NZ). C.Waller G.Boss (13) 55

112 bar

Outclassed in the Caulfield Cup. Can’t see much changing out to 3200m at Flemington.

13.WILLING FOE (USA). S.B.Suroor J.McDonald (17) 55

113 willing

Lightly raced stayer who has no doubt been set to win this race, the one major on the world racing programme that has so far eluded the powerful Godolphin barn.

Unusual to see Godolphin horses travel out here and not show something, not for me though.

14.MY AMBIVALENT (IRE). R.Varian A.Atzeni (4) 54.5

114 ambi

5 year old mare, WHO CANNOT BE IGNORED!

Has 3rd’s behind Gentildonna and Cirrus Des Aigles already in 2104 over 2400m, who are undoubtedly two of the world’s very best staying horses.

Untried beyond 2400m, but of EVERY horse in the race she arrives he with the best form out of her races. Is well weighted, will roll forward from an inside draw and take a tonne of catching if she can stay the trip!

Definite each way hope at big odds.

THE SMOKEY, that’s snuck under the radar in this years Cup!

15.PRECEDENCE (NZ). B. & J.Cummings M.Rodd (20) 54.5

115 pre

Long time since one of Bart’s has had less of a chance.

16.BRAMBLES (NZ). P.G.Moody L.Nolen (21) 54

116 bram

Will stay on all day and has been racing like the 3200m is his go. Just lacks class against the quality opposition.

17.MR O’CEIRIN (NZ). C.Maher C.Schofield (19) 54

117 cerin

Beaten in the Caloundra Cup in June, and latest start the Cranbourne Cup. Good for the owners and trainers to have a runner but is making up the 24 only.

18.AU REVOIR (IRE). A.Fabre G.Schofield (23) 53.5

118 au

Fancied his chances in the Moonee Valley Cup where he led and was run down by by Prince of Penzance and Le Roi to finish in third. Probably needed the run to top him of for the race, but would need to make a marked improvement from that effort to be winning here. France’s champion trainer Andre Fabre scares me though, he’s the JB Cummings of the northern hemisphere!

19.LIDARI (FR). P.G.Moody B.Melham (10) 53.5

119 lid

Outclassed. Query him at 2 mile.

20.OPINION (IRE). C.Waller T.Angland (14) 53.5



21.ARALDO (GB). M.Moroney D.Dunn (24) 53


Rough 1st 4 hope given the way he ran on in the Caulfield Cup.

22.LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ). K.Lees K.McEvoy (2) 53

122 lucy

Terrific run again in the Caulfield Cup. Every bit equal to winner Admire Ratki, the difference between the pair is we know the Japanese horse gets the trip….will this mare? If she does she’s a definite winning hope. I personally prefer other, although I’ve underrated her the whole way along!

23.UNCHAIN MY HEART (AUS). D.Hayes & T.Dabernig D.Yendall (5) 51

123 unchain

Well and truly outclassed. Good luck to connections for having a Cup starter that’s an Aussie bred!

24.SIGNOFF (IRE). D.Weir J.Moreira (16) 51

124 signoff

Terrific win in the Lexus on Saturday. Totally dominant of the back of a great run in transit. Sneaks in with just 51kg, meaning he’ll benefit 7.5kg off the favourite and top weight. Magic Moreira rides, has always looked to me like the further he runs in trip the better he’ll go, so can’t knock him at the 2 mile.

Go well, big hope of repeating Shocking’s efforts when he completed the double!








  •  1 + 24 STRAIGHT OUT
  • 14 EACH WAY!



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