6 November 2007

Melbourne Cup tips 2007

Late scratchings: Gallic & The Fuzz

It's Melbourne Cup day again, so here is the obligatory tips posting. Last year, my ratings included the first four horses over the line, a hard act to follow.

It's another tough race this year, not because there's a massive field full of class horses, but rather because we have been spoilt by some real class over the last few years in horses such as Makybe Diva, and there's no-one even approaching that standard this time round.

On top of that, rain in Melbourne over the weekend has softened the track considerably. But the track is now rated dead, and it's fine and breezy in Melbourne today, so it's almost certain the track rating will be good come post-time.

The usual small gaggle of highly fancied, but largely unknown imports completes the puzzle. I always reason that trainers and connections do not waste their time and money flying halfway across the globe if their horse is not a serious contender, but Vintage Crop aside, I have been wrong by virtue of this logic more often than not in the past.

But of one thing we can be reasonably certain, and that is Melbourne Cup winners almost always have good form in their last couple of starts. I don't want to overstate the importance of the Caulfield Cup, Mackinnon Stakes and Saab Quality races, but they do give a pretty fair indication of form, and lead us to the inevitable conclusion that MASTER O'REILLY is the horse to beat in this field. The heavily backed Irish stayer PURPLE MOON may only have finished sixth in the Caulfield, but was coming home impressively and will run the distance. He also has the brilliant Damien Oliver on his back, which is enough to convince me he is a real chance. That riding change comes from his connections not being happy with the 6th place ride in the Caulfield by Kieren McEvoy. They were obviously expecting more.

After those two, last years third placed MAYBE BETTER has claims, as do ZIPPING and SCULPTOR. I've also been impressed by the overseas form of bottom weight MAHLER. Though he hasn't shown much in Australia so far, the news from his trainer this morning is that he has settled over the last few days and is ready to peak, though I am a little concerned that he doesn't have a top jockey aboard, which may be an indication of his trainer's expectations. Expect him to try to lead at some point though.

So in summary:

Likely winner:

In the mix:

Best long shot:
SCULPTOR which has real form yet is showing $28 on the TAB as I write. Expect it to shorten considerably, but it's great value at the moment.

As always, take the usual disclaimers as read, don't bet anything you can't afford to lose and send me a cut if you win. Happy punting! Go to eebahgum!

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