Sunday, November 2, 2008

Melbourne Cup Preview: Finding A Sep-ti-mus For The Rest Of Us!

Well, we have been posting video's and off the cuff tips here at WHAB for the past month and now is the time to get "fair dinkum about getting fair dinkum." So, down to business.

1) Septimus 58.5 (10) $4.50

Professor: Well he has smashed them in Ireland in the last year. I'll leave it to the Captain, JB and our friends at the Melbourne Cup Guide to talk you through this one. $4.50, I am at an absolute loss for words.

Captain: A favourite on suspicion, if you will. Stable star, big-time trainer, 13 length thrashings, the world's number 1 stayer...But how many genuine Group 1 staying races are there in Australia? In NZ? Just a couple. And did we see the Diva winning her Melbourne Cups by 13 lengths? No. Why? Because our Cups and "Group 1's" aren't rubbish. It's okay to say Septimus is the world's number 1 stayer when that's all he races in. Good old 2800m+ English whack-a-thons. Over 4km a lot of them. Time enough to polish off a beer, find the DOSA, suck back a lung-buster, head back to the bar, and have time to get to the rail! $ can have that if you want it. There's no way my hard earned is going on something I've never seen race at those odds.

JB: Themelbournecupguide slopped him up, and not to trust everything you read on the internet, but the time he took in this years ledger doesn't stack up. Nothing more punters love then a short price favourite that they don't think they will win, stacks up the odds for everything else.

2) Master O'Reilly 55 (6) $21

Professor: Probably not for me... flashed down the outside in the Caulfield Cup. Could make a case for it, but I'm too tired/not drunk enough/4 wide.. forgive...

Captain: I expected a better run from him in this year's Caulfield Cup after winning last year's weaker affair. His 2008 run pales into insignificance compared to the runs of Nom Du Jeu and Mad Rush, and they are two horses who look certain to get the trip. I'm still not convinced he's a two-miler and don't think he can turn it around on the two horses I've mentioned.

JB:Was taken very much wide with Sirmione and Princess Coup in the Cox and all three of them made up no ground. Don't like Master O on Tuesday.

3) Honolulu (24) 54.5 $26

Professor: Well if this was a 4000 metre race with a few jumps and maybe a water hazard and a bunker or two, the $26 would be a sensible price.

Captain: Don't know too much about him but doesn't look like he'll adapt very well to our racing. $26 can't even remotely get me interested. Will start from the car park. Looking elsewhere.

JB:Make a case for this guy in your own time.

4) Cest La Guerre 54 (5) $18

Professor: Maybe the most quietly good Cup prep of any of these, hitting the line in good races without catching the eye in spectacular fashion yet. One that I am yet to make my mind up on but could be quite the smoky. Edit @ Midnight Monday I just smashed this yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

Captain: Doing nothing spectacular in his prep, but is that a drop of rain I just felt?! Rain brings this fella right into the mix, enough class to capitalise on a torrential downpour. I'm happy enough that he'll get the trip. Watch that weather forecast.

JB: The trainer is already complaining to the VRC for more water, unless it opens up, don't expect I will be touching the CLG.

5) Nom De Jeu (1) 54 $9

Professor: Bright flashing lights, a feeling of calmness, maybe a little bit crazy. It must be love. My tip after what was a scintillating run in the Caulfield Cup. I have come to the conclusion that between this guy, Boundless and Prize Lady that the Cup is going overseas - just not very far. You have my permission to go crazy folks.

Captain: Big run in the Caulfield Cup, second only (and only slightly) to that of Mad Rush. Looks like he'll get the trip, can handle all conditions and is one I've had a piece of at better odds.

JB: Well if we are at the stage of giving away our tips for the Melbourne Cup, then this is the horse I like. My biggest fear is that NDJ has spent all his lollies this campaign.

6) Yellowstone (12) 54 $81

Professor: Poor UK form and a connection with Andrew Peacock. Can't have, won't have. Fuck Andrew Peacock.

Captain: I'm not one for getting riled up by politics but bad internationals taking possible Melbourne Cup places of our local talent...STEAM!!!

JB:Buy yourself another drink if you're thinking seriously about this guy.

7) Zipping (16) 54 $18

Professor: Knock is obvious - in the past two Melbourne Cups he has been a touch suspect in the final furlong. The form this carnival is phenomenal. Lloyd Williams a genius - if anyone can get a horse ready for this trip it is him. Have to have. The slightest improvement and he is right amongst this.

Captain: Ran 4th when trapped wide (a Bossy special) in 2006. Ran 4th last year when had every possible chance. Can conceivably win this though I'm going to do anything but blow smoke up Lloyd Williams' ass. I won't get burned by this nag again. But a must in any first fours!

JB: Liked the run in what was a weak Cox field, enough there to suggest running better then last year, will challenge and at $18 worth the gamble.

8) Mad Rush (4) 53.5 $5

Professor: I am with the Captain here, hard to fault this one. $5.50 seems like nice value. I prefer the Jeu but absolutely going to be on this come Cup day.

Captain: After seeing his weaving run from last in the Caulfield Cup to rocket home for 4th, what's not to like? The stable brought a horse out here that they described as very similar to Purple Moon, who was a close 2nd in this race last year. In not winning at Caulfield, Mad Rush avoided a penalty. The best run in that race, and hit the line like he wanted to run another lap. Luca Cumani seems to know his shit. He's my tip.

JB: Everyone is talking about me, can't hear a word they're saying ... sorry, what, yes get on and get on strong. Rewatch the Caufield Cup ride, you know that its out of NDJ and Mad Rush for the Melbourne Cup, take a piece of Zipping on the side as a hedge and you can be sitting pretty come the first Tuesday in November.

9) Ice Chariot (22) 53 $81

Professor: I have been on him for months, starting to feel like the rug is being pulled out from under me after the flop at Mooney Valley.

Captain: I like this one but for something easier. Has won at the trip but that was a race so far from this in class that it's not funny. The Perth Cup is in January I think...

JB: Honest enough horse, will let my special lady friend place a few dollars on this one based its name.

10) Viewed (9) 53 $31

Professor: Cups King and the fact that all roads have led to this a plus. The minus - current form, which looks like being not his best. Nibble each way if you say 50's on Tuesday, otherwise let some other idiot have this.

Captain: The Cups King aura has worn off a in recent years, probably because you can't just rock up to Flemington on Cup day with a horse who doesn't have the class and expect to bag another trophy. Not too many Brisbane Cup winners do the double in this day and age. Pass.

JB: Plenty of class about this horse, but not enough to win a Melbourne Cup.

11) Littorio (17) 52.5 $31

Professor: The gloss is off the Littorio cup campaign. Hard to forgive the run when you had a chunk of cash on it at Caulfield on the 18/10. Don't forget 18-10 changed everything. You can't forget, 18-10 changed everything. Was the Caulfield Cup flop symptomatic of a lack of staying prowess, or simply a flat spot in his prep which all 4 y.o.'s are bound to have. $40's on Cup day would excite.

Captain: It would appear that he'll struggle to get the trip on his Caulfield Cup run. A "flop", as the Professor describes it, is perhaps a bit harsh; 5th in a Caulfield Cup is pretty good form, favourite or no. 2000m is ultimately his best distance I feel, and there'll be a few more Group 1's for him down the track, but probably not the first Tuesday in November.

JB: Expected more out of him in the Caulfield, some clever ploy to blindside the competition - unlikely, nice solid horse but more interested in next years campaign.

12) Bauer (13) 52 $21:

Professor: The UK form is less than encouraging, the run at Geelong was strong - but maybe not the strongest of form races this year.

Captain: Light Vision had a tougher run in the Geelong Cup with more weight than Bauer and was not too far away. And I certainly wouldn't be backing Light Vision to win a Melbourne Cup. A product of the international mania; the thing is, they're not all that good. Or $16 shots on the back of beating Light Vision and a bunch of B and C graders in a sub-standard Geelong Cup. Any bookies out there want to at least double his price for me? Then I'll have a look.

JB: Simon O'Donnell has a peice of this horse, but for my money this horse isn't going to see much, if any, of the $5million kitty on the table.

13) Boundless (20) 52 $101

Professor: Another of the strong NZ tilt that could have a say in matters here. Before the Caulfield Cup, many across the dutch thought that this was the most likely of the NZ campaigners. What went wrong in that 11th in the Caulfield Cup? Well it only got knocked around from barrier to box and then upon finally getting some room it ran into the back of Maldivian. Don't go to sleep on this one at a foolish price. You'd prefer some of Yellowstone at the price? Well you can derelicte my balls. Remember, Martin Crowe has said it a thousand times, the run in the Caulfield Cup - NOT FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER.

Captain: Not really interested, but at that price you could throw a bit at the place and not feel like the cash would be better spent wiping your ass with it. I'm not convinced that she has the class. But not the worst. And yes, I'll hit this one before Yellowstone anyday.

JB:Melbourne Cup time always brings out plenty of $1 trifecta bets, I don't think this horse will take out a placing but go ahead if you're that kinda gambler.

14) Gallopin (21) 52 $41

Professor: Handled le valle better than the rest of them in the MV Cup. I prefer others at more value (see Prize Lady, Boundless, Barbaricus).

Captain: Won a pretty average race in the Cathay Pacific. A who's who of Australia's borderline Cup contenders. There's better value in the field. Pass.

JB: Not sure that the ride from last weekend will translate into much come Tuesday, it was better than that field, but question if this style of horse has what it takes to win the big one. At $26, you could argue for it in your multiples.

15) Guyno (8) 52 $151

Captain: If this wins, I will run naked down the Flemington straight on Tuesday. Pretty sure that the WATC Derby form won't hold up here. Maybe we should let every European plodder who has won an alleged Group One into the Cup field if this is what we have to offer.

JB: I will be laughing at the Captain and question the worth of the M. Cup if this thing comes home.

Professor: Watching this win would be like a trip to the Guyno myself.

16) Zarita (7) 52 $71

Professor: Good campaign this time in - one forgivable run and a lot of on pace runs of substance. Another possible improver over the 3200.

Captain: Think her best distance is 2000m, as her Cox Plate run supports. Her best run over a trip was her win in the SA Derby, probably the weakest qualifying race (along with the WATC Derby) for the Melbourne Cup. I can't entertain the idea of her winning but if I've drunk enough alcohol before they jump, I'll throw a few bob on her the place.

JB: Can't see this horse troubling the field. At same odds as Newport, I think you're better of hitting the port.

17) Newport (15) 51.5 $71

Professor: Good roughie, prefer the Kiwi raiders in Boundless and Prize lady at better odds.

Captain: A pretty good roughie. Won the Metropolitan, then a good 5th under the big weight in the Cathay Pacific. Again, a few bob each way won't break the bank.

JB: One of the better roughies, a light enough weight on the back for this campaign, worth the place bet.

18) Profound Beauty 51.5 (2) $9

Professor: $9????????????? WTF??? OMG???? No I'm not a 14 year old lebanese girl for all you gross net-predators.

Captain: This is one I am leaving out because a) you can't back them all, b) Bossy, c) international, don't know too much about it/at that price...

JB: Done didley at this point in time except that it has been coming down in price every day. Others must know more than me at this stage about this horse, will consider only as a hedge.

19) Red Lord (14) 51.5 $151

Professor: Satan himself wouldn't back his namesake here. That's 2 thumbs and my junk down.

Captain: Scraped into the field. If this one wins, I will do the nudie run down the Flemington straight.

JB: Nudie runs for everyone at Flemington if this guy wins, especially the bookies.

20) Varevees (23) 51.5 $101

Professor: One thinks that there are more deserving horses on race day that will be in the paddock or running around in the Lavazza Long Black than olde Varevees. For every Media Puzzle there are two or three Sandmason/Tungsten Strike's.

Captain: I follow the big international races and I can honestly say that I've never heard of him/her. If we are going to have international runners, there needs to be a cap so that only the best make the trip. How is Australia going to improve it's staying ranks if we let hacks like this take the place of a local? If you are thinking about backing this, then you have a case of the Frenchy fag-nasties.

JB: At the end of the day it's racing, it's not going to do much more than finish, so good for him.

21) Prize Lady (18) 51 $151

Professor: Yes , Yes, a million times yes. You had me at $151 to 1. The working mans horse. Great chance to stay the trip in a field where most won't.

Captain: The Professor has fallen in love with this one at odds. Not the worst, am happy to let the Professor tell the story and will throw my spare change at this on the place.

JB: Will scrape together what shrapnel I have at the time if it shuts the Professor up, but not one I am thinking about too much.

22) Alessandro Volta (11) 50.5 $51

Professor: Not sight unseen as a few of the internationals are, but what we have seen has been shite.

Captain: This one has popped up in a totally unsuitable race taking the place of another horse with far better prospects. And now he takes a Cup spot too. I'm angry.

JB: If you draw it in your pool at work you would be shitty, if you draw it in the $50 calcutta you would question the integrity of the system, so why would you choose to put your own money on it.

23) Barbaricus (3) 50.5 $21

Captain: I was wrong when I slagged off about this one in the Caulfield Cup preview. I can admit it. And he's won me over on the strength of that run. Drew the outside gate, thus was forced to lead, a position he's not familiar with. Has since proved in the Mackinnon that he can lead. Stuck on bravely for 3rd in the Caulfield Cup, 2nd in the Mackinnon and drops to the featherweight 50.5kg for this. After further investigations, I believe he was underdone in the Cranbourne Cup, which is why he snuck under everyone's guard. In my opinion, he's the best roughie in a Melbourne Cup for many years and you should absolutely throw something on him for Tuesday. He's shortened significantly since we started this piece...there's a good reason for that.

JB: Was gutted to see Theseo pip this guy at the line, because my money was on the Barb. Will not see this guy at $20 come time to jump.

Professor: The Captain has finished his love letter to Bar-boo-ra. I am glad. I am on it as well but there isn't much left to say but that the Captain isn't allowed within 100 metres of this one - lest he spend the night in Melbourne Gaol. (That's jail if you aren't classically educated. If you aren't classically educated, you can derelicte my balls, Cap-it-an.)

24) Moatize (19) 50 $41

Professor: I specced this at $126 a couple of weeks ago. Wish I could sell you my ticket on Betfair for a marginal profit, because that's better than a snowball's chance at $1000.

Captain: Bart-mania is in town again. Won his way into the field in the SAAB on Saturday, don't think he has the class, but should be within sights of the winner at least. No weight on his back, he's certainly an interesting runner, but I'll leave him out of multiples.

JB: Has come down in odds, Cummings will get plenty of air time and the odds will shorten further, has the potential to do something, I'm not on but one to consider if fishing for a juicy multiple.

Captain's Selections: Thanks, but no thanks Professor. Tasting smelly, salty balls does not appeal to me at all. 8 Mad Rush to beat 5 Nom Du Jeu and 23 Barbaricus. Will throw 17 Newport 7 Zipping and 5 C'est Le Guerre into my exotics.

JB likes Nom Du Jeu and Mad Rush, as will most Aussie punters, will be putting money on Zipping and Barbaricus. Depending what's left there will be change for some place bets on Newport and other outside hopefuls with a glint in their eye.

Professor Pants likes the Nom De Jeu / Mad Rush tilt. He has warmed considerably to the C'est Le Guerre tilt and thinks if you are in for some rough action, why not try Prize Lady, Barbaricus and Boundless. Zipping a top chance as well.

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