Melbourne Cup, Australian horse racing, list of Melbourne Cup winners, how to pick the Melbourne Cup winner,-Aussieraces.com
The past history of the Melbourne Cup provides us with a good guide to picking the winner -
Lead Up Races–The Caulfield Cup has been a good guide to selecting the Cup winner. 9 of the past 23 Cup winners came through the race. 8 of those 9 winners had finished in the first six in the Caulfield Cup. However, the race has been less of a guide of late with only 1 of the past 10 Cup winners coming through the race. The Turnbull Stakes is also a good guide as 6 of the past 15 Cup winners ran in that event.Other races that have provided a sound guide are the French race the Prix Kergolay (3 of the past 8 Cup winners), the Geelong Cup (3 of the past 16 Cup winners) and the Cox Plate (4 of the past 13 Cup winners).
Form– In form horses often win the Cup.12 of the past 23 Melbourne Cup winners also won at their lead up run and 4 were placed.
Overseas Raiders – Well over 100 overseas entrants have raced in the Melbourne Cup and seven have won the race – Vintage Crop in 1993, Media Puzzle in 2003, Delta Blues in 2006, Americain in 2010, Dunaden in 2011, Protectionist in 2014 and Rekindling in 2017. Five of those raced in Australia prior to the Cup. It can pay to be wary of overseas entrants having their first run in Australia in the Cup as they are often unfamiliar with and can be brought undone by the noise of the crowd, the hustle and bustle of racing in a 24 horse field, the firmness of the track and the solid tempo of the event. The 2012 winner Green Moon could technically be added to the list of winners from overseas as he was imported from the UK. However, he was having his third Australian preparation when he took out the Cup. Similarly, the 2013 winner Fiorente was an imported galloper but he was also well acclimatised when he won the race as it was his second preparation in Oz. Almandin was also an imported galloper having previously raced in Germany and France.
During the past 21 years only one horse has carried over 56 1/2 kgs to victory. Horses down in the weights often perform well as their light loads are a distinct advantage over the final stages of the grueling 3200 metre journey. 10 of the past 11 Cup winners carried 55 kgs or less on their backs. In 2017 Rekindling won with 51.5 kgs.
The Distance – The ability to run out the 3200 metre journey strongly is what often separates the winner and losers at the finish of the Cup. A horse should be proven over the 3200 metre trip, bred to run the distance or at least indicate in its form over shorter distances (by running on at the end of those races) that it will run out the journey strongly.
Running Position- Horses which race in the leading division in the Cup usually 'run out of steam' by the end of the tough 3200m staying test as making the pace takes its toll. Also, gallopers which settle rearwards tend to get too far out of their ground in the strung out field and can't make up the leeway at the finish. The horses to follow are those which settle around the middle of the field as they can get cosy runs behind the pacemakers, race within reach of those leaders, and have plenty of petrol left to launch in the run home. We believe that this is the most important form factor of all to consider when assessing the winning prospects of Cup contenders. The key question to pose about each runner is - "Where is it likely to settle in the run?".
Recent Melbourne Cup winners and the positions that they settled in the run were -
2017 Rekindling - Settled 9th of 23 in the run.
2016 Almandin - Settled 16th of 24.
2015 Prince Of Penzance - Settled 10th of 24.
2014 Protectionist - Settled 17th of 22.
2013 Fiorente - Settled 15th of 24.
2012 Green Moon - Settled 7th of 24.
2011 Dunaden - Settled 15th of 23.
2010 Americain - Settled 12th of 23.
2009 Shocking - Settled 10th of 23.
2008 Viewed - Settled 9th of 22.
2007 Efficient - Settled 12th of 21.
The past eleven Melbourne Cup winners therefore all settled in running positions 7th to 17th. No leaders, horses settling close up on the speed in positions 2nd to 6th, or any back markers settling in positions 18th to 24th were successful during this period. Kiwi famously won the Cup in 1983 coming from last in the run, but such a dramatic last to first victory is unlikely these days - especially since the introduction of the new whip rules that have changed Australian racing.
There is a very long run to the first turn and outside barriers are generally no disadvantage. In fact, 7 of the past 38 winners of the race started from barriers 20-22.
During the past three decades all the Melbourne Cups have been won by 4, 5, 6 & 7 year olds. Only one 8 year old has ever won the race and no horses 9 years or older have ever been successful. Remember, a European or northern hemisphere horse listed as an 8 year old is actually a 7 year old in Australian terms.
Trainers – Some trainers have a proven track record in the Melbourne Cup. Trainers with the best winning records in the race in recent times are Bart Cummings (12 Cup wins), Lee Freedman (5 wins) and Irish trainer Dermot Weld (2 wins).
Jockeys – There are jockeys who handle the pressure of riding in a race like the Melbourne Cup better than others and they are known as the ‘Big Race Riders’. Some hoops are also great ‘Distance Riders’ in that they excel in races run over longer trips like the Melbourne Cup. Glen Boss and Damien Oliver have the most successful records in the Cup in recent times with three wins apiece.
After assessing all the runners in this year's Melbourne Cup on the above criteria, the past results of the race suggest that the top chances in this year's Cup and their current market odds are -
1st No.17 A Prince Of Arran $17.00
2nd No.13 Finche $27.00
3rd No.16 Ventura Storm $26.00
4th No.22 Youngstar$22.00