The main focus for many on Tuesday will be on two horses, Dunaden and Americain.
Dunaden is the most professional, foolproof staying horse in the race. History suggests that he’s got to carry a record weight but I would not be surprised if he went back to back.
However it is such a tough field this year in terms of his opposition. It’s a field with more depth this year and there are a number of horses lower in the weight that are going to be a big threat.
Americain is a bit longer in the tooth since his 2010 Cup win, but he’s not far off the form that saw him win that year.
He’s run in the Caulfield Cup this year which suggests he’s back on track to run a super race in the Melbourne Cup. His jockey in that race has been sacked for Damien Oliver due to the fact he should have ridden him a little better in the Caulfield Cup (some say he should have taken off earlier). In saying that, I think he’s in great form. He looks fantastic and reports in quarantine are that he’s the best he’s ever been.
There’s been plenty of talk around the internationals taking on Flemington tomorrow too.
It’s very hard to get a line on the internationals, but according to Luca Cumani’s daughter and Channel Seven expert Francesca, Mount Athos is the ultimate stayer and he’s in really good form. The weight brings him right into play, but he’s never met a field like this, he’s only a group three winner and never run a group one race.
Best Australian chances have to be Maluckyday, Lights of Heaven and I also think Bart Cummings has a rough chance with number nine in Sanagas.
Red Cadeux is another worth keeping an eye on. He’s a similar weight to last year. He’s in great form, and he was very stiff not to win the race last year. But he’s going to be able to run the distance, and his jockey says he’s bigger and stronger this year, so that’s got to give you hope.Punters shouldn’t fret about the weather. The track is so good at Flemington I don’t think anybody in this race should be concerned with a deteriorating track due to rain.
I can see now how it will play out.
There’ll be very good, genuine speed out of the straight the first time and a lot of form horses and those short in the betting will be in the first half of the field apart from Americain and Dunaden.
It’ll be a very true run race with the likes of Glencadam Gold and Voila Ici who will bring out the speed this year.
There’ll be many chances at the top of the straight with the rough chances making their stake at the 500m mark and I think that the lightweights like Sanagas, Lights of Heaven and My Quest For Peace will really make it tough for Americain, Dunaden and Red Cadeaux in the final run for the line.
THE 2012 MELBOURNE CUP FIELD1 Dunaden 16 59kg Craig Williams Mikel Delzangles
Has a big weight but can win again.2 Americain 12 58kg Damien Oliver Alain de Royer Dupre
In best form to claim his second Melbourne Cup.3 Jakkalberry 19 55.5kg Colm O’Donoghue Marco Botti
Would be surprised to see him win.
4 Red Cadeaux 18 55.5kg Michael Rodd Ed Dunlop
Massive chance, one of the top picks.
5 Winchester 22 55.5kg Jamie Mott John Sadler
A rough chance.
6 Voila Ici 13 55kg Vlad Duric Peter Moody
I don’t think he can win.7 Cavalryman 6 54kg Frankie Dettori Saeed Bin Suroor
Would be a huge surprise but a fairytale story for Frankie Dettori.
8 Mount Athos 8 54kg Ryan Moore Luca Cumani
Big raps on this horse, wouldn’t be shocked to see him win.9 Sanagas 4 54kg Nicholas Hall Bart Cummings
Huge outsiders chance with the Cup’s king Bart Cummings. Can claim Bart’s thirteenth Cup.
10 Ethiopia 14 53.5kg Rhys McLeod Pat Carey
Has an unusual preparation going into the Melbourne Cup, but he’s an outside shot.
11 Fiorente 2 53.5kg James McDonald Gai Waterhouse
Not sure about him, can’t pick it.12 Galileo's Choice 11 53.5kg Patrick Smullen Dermot K Weld
Dermott Weld trying to make it three in a row and some think he can.13 Glencadam Gold 7 53.5kg Tommy Berry Gai Waterhouse
Has to turn his form around after a disappointing run in the Caulfield Cup, a roughy.14 Green Moon 5 53.5kg Brett Prebble Robert Hickmott
Wouldn’t be surprised to see him look the winner in the straight but he’s not a top pick.
15 Maluckyday 9 53.5kg Jim Cassidy Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
A very good chance with a light weight and has very good form in the Cup.16 Mourayan 3 53.5kg Hugh Bowman Robert Hickmott
Will be tough out in front as a speed horse and will be hard to catch.
17 My Quest For Peace 1 53.5kg Corey Brown Luca Cumani
Very good chance after his Caulfield Cup run.
18 Niwot 15 53.5kg Dwayne Dunn Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
A bit of a grey cloud going into the race, might run in the first ten.19 Tac De Boistron 21 53.5kg Oliver Doleuze Michael Kent
Would be stunned if he was to win.
20 Lights Of Heaven 17 53kg Luke Nolen Peter Moody
Peter Moody’s best chance of winning a Cup so far.21 Precedence 20 53kg Blake Shinn Bart Cummings
Has his fourth crack at winning the Cup, is a rough chance.
22 Unusual Suspect 23 53kg Glyn Schofield Michael Kent
No. No chance.
23 Zabeelionaire 24 52kg Craig Newitt Leon Corstens
His form’s been very good and he could finish in the top eight.
24 Kelinni 10 51kg Glen Boss Chris Waller
Snuck in after winning the Lexus and with Glen Boss on board you never know.
EMIRATES MELBOURNE CUP TELECAST TIMES:Sydney: 10am – 5.30pm LIVE on Channel 7
Melbourne: 10am – 5.30pm LIVE on Channel 7
Brisbane: 9am – 4.30pm LIVE on Channel 7
Adelaide: 9.30am – 5.00pm LIVE on Channel 7
Perth: 7am – 2.30pm LIVE on Channel 7