7 November 2006

Melbourne Cup Tips 2006

> 2007 Melbourne Cup tips may be found here.

The Melbourne Cup is here again, and as usual, I'm nailing my colours to the mast despite the ignominy of having struck out at Flemington last year.

So here are my horses to consider or forget :

YEATS is the top weight for good reason. He is quite simply the best horse in the field. That said, he's not raced at this track, has travelled badly in the past and rumour has it is a little unsettled. Also, the great UK staying races tend to be slower and have much smaller fields. I think if he gets forward early from his good barrier then he will figure at the finish.

TAWQEET is untried at the distance, but ran home very strongly at both the Metropolitan and Caulfield Cup, so should not be a worry. The one to beat.

was poor in the Caulfield then had a good win in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup which suggests he might figure. Also being ridden by Glen Boss who has won the last 3 Melbourne Cups.

is perhaps the best longshot in the field. Has won over the distance in the Brisbane Cup on a dead track and came home strongly in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last week to finish 5th having been 11th at the 400m mark. He was carrying 58 kilos then and only carries 51.5 in the Cup which is a huge advantage. As I write it's showing around 45/1 on the TAB and seems great value.

MANDELA is untried over the distance, but had a solid win in the Geelong Cup over 2400m racing handily all the way. He's 2 kg better off than that run and has very in-form jockey Craig Williams on board which makes him a lightweight chance.

EFFICIENT is also untried over the 3200, but comes off 5 wins in a row and a devestating run in the Victoria Derby at this track on the weekend. He was 10th at the 400m mark and finished the 2500 m race more than 2 lengths clear. He has a taste for victory at the moment and as a 3 year old is surely the sentimental favourite. But bear in mind that the last horse of his age to win the Cup was...well, I forget, but it was a very long time ago and he's carrying weight for age for the first time which may be harsh.

MAYBE BETTER was a late inclusion after his great win in the 2500 m Saab Quality from 8th at the 400 m mark. Question over the distance but likes this track. Was carrying 57 then and is now 7 kg better off, but that has forced a change of rider. Not a big fan of Chris Munce who is the new whip, but the horse has real claims.

POP ROCK and DELTA BLUES are the two Japanese entrants attracting a lot of interest in the market. Both classy animals with good form at home, but we have only the Caulfield Cup to go on here. Pop Rock charged home there for 7th but seemed to have trouble cornering earlier. Delta Blues was trapped very wide and fought on for 3rd. Both have real claims but I'm not sure where to put them in my book. I'll be watching them pre-race and in the markets.

My final tips (which at the time of writing look very much like the market on UniTab):

To win:
4. Tawqeet
24. Efficient
1. Yeats

In the mix:
12. Pop Rock
13. Zipping
2. Delta Blues
23. Maybe Better
21. Mandela

Best long shot: 18. Art Success

Good luck, and as always, I'll take the credit if I'm right and deny all responsibility if wrong!
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