1. VIEWED (9) 58 Bart Cummings /Brad Rawiller
Captain: To quote cricket commentator David Lloyd; ''e's been thar, 'e's dun thart, 'e's got tha tee shirt'. If you substitute 'thar' with 'to Flemington', 'dun thart' with 'run out the 3200m' and 'tee shirt' with 'Melbourne Cup 2008 Winner sash', then he's spot on. When Viewed won last year, he had not much form to speak of. His form is superb this time in and I am laying down a large wager on him here. According to super-dooper master trainer Cups King extraordinaire and all round racing genius Bart Cummings, he's a long shot to go back to back here, just like So You Think was a hugely surprising winner for Bart in the Cox Plate: "Sure, he won the Caulfield Cup by 2 1/4 lengths, but he was incredibly lucky. It's hard to win one Melbourne Cup, let alone two with the same horse. I'd rate him a 40/1 shot. But you never know in this game mate". Alright, enough Bart spin-doctoring already. To quote myself in our Caulfield Cup preview: "He won the Melbourne Cup last year with highly dubious form, so if his form this campaign is strong, a little piece of the Viewed/Viewed Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double at around the $120 mark will hold you in good stead, lest the Cups King clean up again.". Hope a few of you took that on board.
Professor: Not a Bart fan. Even so I can appreciate the case of Viewed. Nice Caulfield Cup run, obviously will get the 3200. Viewed is going significantly better this year than he was last year, though he has more weight and the field is a couple of notches better as well. Hard to not see Viewed in the top four.
JB: Having rewatched the Caulfield I would agree with Bart that Viewed got a very fortuitous ride on the inside along the rail. With Bart being Bart, I think that Viewed wasn't meant to win the Caulfield, but the ride opened and Rawiller took it. This horse is primed for the M' Cup. That being said, I'm not so certain that all will go to plan for B. Cummings with Viewed. Mind you, the man has a stacked field in his favour with Roman Emperor (2nd in the Caufield) and Allez Wonder (1st in the Toorak) as well. The very interesting Cummings story is indeed Allez Wonder vs Viewed. Allez Wonder is owned by Cummings whereas Viewed is owned by Tan Chin Nam - a long time business partner.
2. C'EST LA GUERRE (7) 55.5 John Sadler/Nicholas Hall
Captain: Was ticking along okay until the Caulfield Cup shocker where he apparently pulled up lame. The problem with Lloyd Williams owned horses is that no-one can ever get anything out of the man with respect to injuries. He is a spin doctor who does everything he can to the dash hopes of punters who have hit, or want to hit early markets. Though you never want to take a horse who is possibly not 100% in a two mile race, the VRC vets have passed him fit to run, so if you're needing another at nice odds to throw into your exotics, try CLG. Especially if it rains.
Professor: I haven't seen much to like in any of his runs. That being said, I'm confident of about five of these fucking hacks running a solid two miles and this is one of them.
JB: Third last year, but in considerably worse form. With this field you have to start knocking out the would be chances. Having said that I got on early for CLG to place, but not confident enough to recommend the same to you all.
3. FIUMICINO (24) 55.5 Wayne & John Hawkes/Steven King
Captain: Here's one I was thinking of throwing in my multiples until he drew the dreaded outside gate. Ran a nice Caulfield Cup for 5th at big odds. Anything under 2400m for this guy is considered nothing more than warm-up stretches so you'd think the trip would suit. However, I just watched his Sydney Cup run and he was moonwalking the last furlong. But was that crap run because he's horribly inconsistent or because he didn't get the trip? Who knows? This is also much harder than the Sydney Cup. So considering that, there's a good chance he'll be posted wide the trip, he might well be doing another Michael Jackson impersonation down the Flemington straight. If he can somehow find a handy spot, he could be a place chance.
Professor: Never sure which Fui will show up. I've recommended you good people once too often to take a piece of this at odds based on something. Something I can't remember any more, but I stay. Why do I stay?
JB: In the Caulfied this guy put a lot of work in early to go to the front, in the straight it appeared like he was keeping something back. I like this horse but don't think the Hawkes group have figured out how to win a Melbourne Cup just yet. Not in my final selections.
4. MASTER O'REILLY (16) 55 Danny O'Brien/Vlad Duric
Captain: Good finish in the Caulfield Cup from wide and deep (i.e. the really shitty part of the track). In fact, all his runs this time in have been good. 8th in this race in 2007, 4th last year, I for one won't be surprised to see him finish in the placings. And if he wins, well I took him at $21's, so I have slight overs there.
Professor: In a race that gave it every chance it didn't exactly flash home in the Caulfield Cup. That being said, every run this prep has been solid. Melbourne Cup lead-up solid. In the absence of a top field, this kind of consistent prep could be enough.
JB: Fourth last year behind Viewed. Viewed is in arguably better form than last year and Master O in worse form. That doesn't add up to M.Cup victory and I'll be having nothing of it.
5. MOURILYAN (14) 54.5 Herman Brown/Glyn Schofield
Captain: One of the unknown quantities in this year's Cup, so WHAB caught up with owner Ramzan Kadyrov, overlord of Chechnya, to try to get some inside information.
WHAB: Can I call you RK champ?
WHAB: Okay Mr. Kadyrov, how's Mourilyan looking for the Melbourne Cup?
RK: If he doesn't win, I kidnap and torture him shit horse.
WHAB: Right...and if he wins, how will you celebrate?
RK: I will shoot everything with gold gun and make gold horse.
WHAB: Aha...An Australian senator Bob Brown has condemned your horse being allowed to run in the Melbourne Cup given the question marks on your human rights record. What do you say to him?
RK: Fuck you pig I kill you and your family. And dogs and cats. And budgie. I take shit in his Prius.
WHAB: Easy there big fella! Any last thoughts on Tuesday's race?
RK: I've already killed who I should have killed. And I will kill all of those standing behind them, as long as I myself am not killed or jailed. I will be killing as long as I live.
WHAB: Yes, technically nothing to do with the Cup, but thanks for your time Mr. Luna..., sorry, Mr. Kadyrov...
Wow, what a fucking lunatic. Had to hightail it outta that interview! I sincerely hope this guy doesn't add the Melbourne Cup to his trophy cabinet of human skulls and gold-plated things.
Professor: Not sure what to say after that. Possibly the best of the internationals, but this year I could find 10 Guatemalan stayers better. Fuck, I could find 2 Guatemalans, dress them in a horse costume and they'd be the best of the international runners.
JB: Every year there is a beat up of the international horses that come down for this race, some just can't stand internationals full stop, some can't forgive the much hype that these horses receive for very sporadic returns. That being said, this horse may actually have the goods. A genuine 2 miler and although has been shipped out to no less than 4 different million dollar plus races in four different countries (Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai) with his best performance an 8 from 16 in the Dubai Sheema Classic, the trainers seemed to have only just realised this horse wants more than 2400. The biggest problem is that his current rides over 3200m would really only see him competive in the Melbourne Cups of the 1940s'. At $21 I will have a piece but will leave it to you if you want the whole thing!
6. ROMAN EMPEROR (15) 54.5 Bart Cummings/Hugh Bowman
Captain: Ran a great race just off the speed in the Caulfield Cup, just found one better (and how). This is one I would like to see longer odds on to get really interested. You never know if a horse will run the 3200m right out until they get there; I think that the Emperor is a year shy of running a cracking Melbourne Cup. It's hard to see him turning the tables on Viewed as he had every chance to beat him at Caulfield, and Viewed will liklely be better suited at the longer trip. The Emperor, I'm not so sure about for this year...but the way Bart's going, his runners will probably fill out the trifecta. Bart...so hot right now! Okay, that just felt weird...
Professor: A sensible bet based on its showing in the Caulfield. Best of the on-pace brigade there. Given the likelihood of some early speed I think that this race won't suit its pattern. With Daffodil at $16's, this offers no value at all.
JB: I think that the Caulfield Cup is the best we will see from this horse. I won't laugh at anyone for singing the Roman story but not where my money is.
7. ISTA KAREEM (23) 53.5 Colin Little/Luke Nolen
Captain: One I was seriously looking at until his shocking run at the Valley last start. I reckon that can be put down to the Speed Gifted-ending-hard track at the Valley. Previously he'd had 3 runs over a trip at the Valley and his worst result was a 1.5L win. He is a lot better than that run. A bit of give and I'll forgive, and throw this Sydney Cup winner in my multiples. In fact, even in the dry, I'm throwing him in and just hoping he doesn't get slopped up by the barrier.
Professor: Actually stays the trip which puts him in my top few. At a squillion to one, I'll have a little each way here.
JB: A lot to like about this horse who will miss the attention of most punters. 'Forgive last run' is a term that is loosely thrown around, but when it comes to any performance at the Valley I'm a lot more willing to forgive. Will depend on your appetite for risk but not the worst horse to have in your work sweeps and a bit of shrapnel to place.
8. CRIME SCENE (11) 53 Saeed Bin Suroor/Kerrin McEvoy
Captain: I will probably create a Crime Scene if this guy wins, as it won't make any sense, and I'm at my unpredictable best when things don't make sense. On his Geelong Cup run, he's no hope.
Professor: Here's a Crime Scene that everyone can pass. Including me. Pass.
JB: If you're looking for something here to support your plunge on this horse then keep looking. I don't like the Crime Scene and if you get in my way to the bar on Cup day talking up the Crime Scene then I will take out your knee caps.
9. MUNSEF (5) 53 Ian Williams/Zac Purton
Captain: Why does some shitty Listed Race in the UK guarantee you a fucking Melbourne Cup start? How can a horse run 3rd in the Caulfield Cup and win the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stks not make the field, yet a horse who has not raced in a Group 1, not won a Group race, and quite frankly, done sweet FA, is gifted saddlecloth 9. If the VRC had any common sense, Vigor would be in this field. You're next Gallions Reach...
Professor: I won't slop up Mun-son too much as it is ridden by the Zac-attack and looks to be some chance at running this out. Probably too one paced but not the worst.
JB: I expect this horse to be munsoned - again!
10. ZAVITE (3) 53 Anthony Cummings/Mark Zahra
Captain: One-paced fella who I spruiked for a certain place in the Saab (I refuse to call it the Lexus, Black Saab RULES!), though he didn't run there. He's moved on to bigger and better things, like the Adelaide Cup. Being honest, he ran a pretty good race in the Caulfield Cup for 9th. Still being honest, I couldn't back him to win the Melbourne Cup, even if you held a nutcracker to my balls, though he's definitely not the worst. Is going to be in a pretty handy spot from gate 3. Maybe a place chance.
Professor: Runs the trip, again that could be enough here to grundle into the prize money. And it will grundle.
JB:Definitely a place chance, but more likely 5th-9th place. I'm not betting on every horse, I recommend you do the same.
11. ALCOPOP (12) 52.5 Jake Stephens/Dom Tourneur
Captain: The only Alcopop I'll be hitting at $5.50 on Cup day is over-priced Johnnie Walker cans. His price is a bit ridiculous given that he is sharing the top line with a Melbourne Cup winner. Unproven at trip, and in a field of this class. On top of that, the connections missed the deadline to pay up for the Caulfield Cup, so I have to wonder, do they really know what they're doing? How do you forget something like that? Dum da dum dum dum. Take the $5.50 if you really want to and good luck with that fairytale.
Professor: This one has the WHAB team divided. I actually think it is good enough to win this. The Herbert Power run was pretty damn nice. $5.50 is tight for a horse that hasn't really competed with the best yet so I'll more than likely leave it out, but a really strong chance.
JB: I like the whole background fairytale of this horse, the once out rounding up sheep but now racing for the Melbourne Cup deal. I'm not betting this horse can win the Cup but would rather this story be on the front page of Wednesday's paper and not Bart Cummings. Drawn perfectly in the barriers and nicely weighted, has every chance if good enough, I jsut don't think it is.
12. HARRIS TWEED (20) 52.5 Murray & Bjorn Baker/Craig Newitt
Captain: He just hasn't come up as a 4.y.o, and it's an unfair ask for a horse which could have been a pretty handy stayer next year, but probably won't because connections asked too much of him this prep. Not sure I'd trust a guy named Bjorn to co-train my Melbourne hopeful either...
Professor: Not going well enough this prep, but like many of these it may be looking for this extra ground. At $101 it could be a sneaky place chance, but I'll need a few schooners tomorrow to really plead its case.
JB: At the end of the day, I don't think this guy will have the class to win. Could place but I prefer others. Don't expect me to be jumping around spilling my drink if this wins, furthermore, if he does win and you spill your drink on me - I will not look lightly upon the matter.
13. KIBBUTZ (8) 52.5 Jarrod McLean/Chris Symons
Captain: Okay, we're down to number 13 now, and there's been no talk of shedding skin. If Kibbutz wins, I'll go on a nude charity run around Australia, and I will take no shortcuts.
Professor: Whenever I see the Yellow and Blue hoops, I think of the evil Dr. Annenkov. Kibbutz can't win.
JB: I like Kibbutz but seriously this horse will not win. I will have a few dollars for the place but out of sentimentality. Save your money to buy your twenty seventh bevie for the day.
14. NEWPORT (18) 52.5 Paul Perry/Peter Wells
Captain: It's hard to see this guy winning when he's likely to hopelessly miss the start, throw the jockey, and then head off in the wrong direction.
Professor: Assuming he doesn't take a left turn out of the gates, this could pop up in the top four.
JB: I don't think that a horse running out of form will win this race and I know that Newport won't win this race on Tuesday.
15. WARRINGAH (17) 52.5 Chris Waller/Damien Oliver
Captain: Chris Waller has taken a leaf out of the David Hayes Book Of Soul-Lessness importing a stayer to win the Cup. I'm just about to transfer Oliver out of my Star Stable in protest. The Professor keeps telling me that this year's crop of internationals are rubbish, though I'm always wary of unknowns in racing. But I have to say, I agree with him this year. Plus Warringah reminds me of the Sea-Eagles from the NRL. There are no positives here people.
Professor: How arrogant are these fucking poms? I hereby nominate Zazabeau for the Arc de Triomphe fuckers. Yeah, Zazabeau. Eat it.
JB: This years crop of internationals/ex-internationals is horrendous, of those I like Mourilyan, not this hack. You would have to be bloody good looking for me to stand and listen to you tell me about this thing.
16. GALLIONS REACH (6) 52 Richard Yuill/Dwayne Dunn
Captain: To the connections of this horse I'd just like to say that you are the most selfish motherfuckers in the history of racing. Accepting with a horse who couldn't place in the Bendigo Cup, and had no excuses, is either insanity, or a complete lack of consideration and respect for everyone in racing. Vigor should be in this field. What, was Danny O'Brien doing the rounds with your wives? I can think of no other reason, other than revenge or spite, why you'd accept for this race. To the VRC, you supposedly have discretionary powers...so fucking USE THEM!!! Common sense has not prevailed and you look like complete twats. The only upside for this one is if you get him in your sweep...he's $1.04 favourite for the wooden spoon.
Professor: I would tear up my sweep ticket if I got this one. I think he's an absolute certainty for second last and you don't win shit for second last.
JB: I didn't have early money on Vigor, but I did have early money on other horses that missed out. I feel the Captain's pain especially when this guy will do well to beat home 1 other horse on Tuesday.
17. SPIN AROUND (4) 52 Stephen Cooper/Mark Du Plessis
Captain: I'm starting to lose it with all these unworthy internationals...the eyes are glazing over...
Professor: Let's just hope the connections enjoy the spread in the owners box. Because if the Captain ever catches them they'll never wash the taste of nuts out of their mouths.
JB: Really, is this a tax dodge for some very rich fuckers or just an excuse to travel. Something has to be done! For me it is enjoying the majority of these horses get pantsed - this horse included.
18. BASALTICO (10) 51.5 Luca Cumani/Dan Nikolic
Captain: Whereas I respect the Cumani horses, this one looks as shite as the rest of the internationals. I expect this horse to run about 19th, but being trained by Cumani, he might be able to sneak into the top 12.
Professor: The Cumani's - crazy with success think they can get just about anything up for a Melbourne Cup. Try harder next year, guys.
JB: This horse has a chance of coming circa 6th-9th but you don't make money on horses that finish 6th-9th.
19. CAPECOVER (19) 51.5 Alexander R Fieldes/Noel Harris
Captain: It's just one non-contender after another here. Looks like he tops out at 2500m. Amazingly, after his Bendigo Cup run (which was a lot better than that of Gallions Reach), Kerrin McEvoy said that this guy is top 6 material for the Melbourne Cup...I mean, there's diplomacy, and then there's ball-stroking.
Professor: Honestly not as bad as many of these, but man this field lacks depth. Could go top.. 14.
20. DAFFODIL (21) 51.5 Kevin Gray/Chris Munce
Captain: I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to see a feasible Cup chance again, so thank you Daffodil. Unfortunately for the Professor, the gate might have killed her here. Nice Caulfield Cup run, but like Roman Emperor, I think she'll be a better two miler next year. Not without a chance, and by all means, include her in your multiples before any of these clownish UK horses.
Professor: One for my multiples. And, yes I mean orgasms. Nice Caulfield Cup run, probably carrying a bit too much condition there and hopefully ready to roll now. With no weight and a blistering turn of foot, the barrier will hopefully encourage the monkey to take her to the back. And of all the front page headlines on Wednesday : a) Bart b) Boss rides Changingoftheguard to glory c) the BATTLERS on Alcopop or d) The monkey goes from being sodomised by the triads in a HK jail to M Cup glory, I know what I want to read with my coffee.
JB: Best to include if for nothing else but to not have the professor in your ear for the rest of the day. But seriously has produced a few good rides, was hoping for a bit more on derby day, but most likely nothing more than a trial for the main game come Teusday.
21. SHOCKING (22) 51 Mark Kavanagh/Corey Brown
Captain: Finally did something in the Saab to justify him being a Cup chance. Before that, he'd run 2nd in the QLD Derby. My opinion is that it's just all too rushed for him; from that QLD Derby run to Melbourne Cup winner in 5 months? My hunch is that his Saab win will have taken the edge off him, having to back up 3 days later, and let's face it, he had a charmed run there.
Professor: I could talk up Hume at $40 to one after that Saab run, but I can't entertain this thing that got a charmed run at $10s. The Saab used to be called the Lean Cuisine. Fun fact. Seriously, if there is one horse in this field that I'm worried about taking my sweet $$ away it's shocking. Depending how the early races play out I may keep it safe.
JB: SAAB was a shit fight, so many horses got trapped behind a wall of shit, this horse was able to fight through. I won't bet on it, I don't recommend this horse to people I like. There are worse horses in this line up but can't see it taking out a place.
22. ALLEZ WONDER (13) 50.5 Bart Cummings/Michelle Payne
Captain: I would have thought the Toorak/Emirates double would be more his go. Faded badly in the Caulfield Cup and on that alone, you have to query him at the trip. A shame, the Emirates is such a shithouse 'Group 1', I would have unloaded on the Wonder there.
Professor: Not a chance. Was going backwards a long way from home in the Caulfield and again appears to be setting this race up on a platter for one of the stronger backmarkers - Viewed, Efficient and My Ding-a-ling. My pick for the Sandmason award - leading for maybe one mile and coming last.
JB: I've ruled a big black line through this horse - but it wouldn't surprise me. I have a few dollars on Viewed just so I won't want to stab everyone I see post race, I conceivably will do the same here but this is more an anger management strategy not a gambling one.
23. CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD (1) 50.5 David Hayes/Glen Boss
Captain: David Hayes' latest soul-less attempt to buy a Melbourne Cup with minimum time and effort on his part. How could he get any satisfaction by winning a Melbourne Cup with a horse he's trained for only a few months? A year or two is fair enough, but just a couple of months? Sadly this is David Hayes' idea of a fairytale Cup story. Hayes + lack of soul + Boss + foot abscess + huge international plunge = Fuck no.
Professor: The Ebor form looks good amongst the internationals. I might yield here. More than likely the best of the foreigners, well weighted and I can't believe I'm going to say this, good value.
JB: Not for me, hopefully not for the integrity of racing.
24. LEICA DING (2) 50.5 Darren Weir/Craig Williams
Captain: Won a really weak Geelong Cup and to me doesn't represent great value. The Professor knows I don't do times because there are two many variables down that path. That shit will do your head in. Looking at her 3000m win, I have not heard of any of those horses it beat. And I watch the races every week. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that Montahlia and Jeune Cheval are not leviathans of the turf. I'd be surprised if she wins, but a top 6 finish, even a placing, wouldn't surprise.
Professor: My out and out smoky for this race. 3200... it'll absolutely smash that. I watched and rewatched the Geelong cup and it's almost impossible not to get a little excited by a horse that sustains a run, initially on the fence and then well wide for about 800 metres. And without talking it up too much, it looked like another 800 (or 794) would be just fine. And for what it's worth, they ran the Geelong Cup 3 seconds quicker this year than last years winner Bauer. While Bauer had the big 400 metre sectional, Leica Ding came from further back and sustained an 800 metre run that to me has it in the On a Jeune stamp all over it. Viewed will be at the tail with it, so maybe the light weight will give it a chance to go with the topweight. If something wins this race at big odds, it's this guy.
JB: Well if anything is to be learned from Bauer in recent years is that the Geelong Cup isn't the worst form in the world. Leica Ding is this years Geelong Cup winner who beat home Dandaad by half a length. This horse has won at 3000m albeit at much lower level. Indeed the biggest fear for this horse is that he is yet to win at Grp 2 or higher but please note neither has Bauer. Biggest problem with this comparison is that although Leica Ding ran the Geelong Cup close to 3 seconds faster then Bauer in the previous year, Bauer's sectional was 2 seconds faster. This is my horse, this is my true Melbourne Cup gamble. I want this horse to win, I think this horse can win, my money will be on this horse to win! But safety first for the most of you punters out there, place this guy and laugh at the fools who were hanging from Bart's balls.
JB's Wrap Up
JB: I have money on VIEWED, it is the safe bet. The problem is I don't like safe betting. I like and have loaded up on LEICA DING and MOURILYAN. That's who I will be shouting out for down the Flemington straight if for nothing else but to spoil the Bart story.
I like Viewed, obviously. Beyond it, Daffodil ,Leica Ding and Master O. A couple to throw in the multiples are Mourilyan, Ista Kareem and potentially Harris Tweed. If you can't beat him, join the Bossinator and have a little piece of Changingoftheguard as well. Sure you'll hate yourself, but that's what beer is for. If I had $100 to bet on one horse, it would go $50 each way on Daffodil, but fortunately we're not communists so I'll be on a few.
1. Viewed - I don't know why the Professor and JB are so down on Bart. Sure, he's a spin doctor, and sure it sucks when a seemingly out of form Bart horse nails your selection but I just can't be down on a guy who should have retired many years ago but is still training Melbourne Cup winners at 82 years of age. To me, that is racing at it's purest; an old codger, but still training Cup winners just for the love of racing. I fully expect him to make it 13 Cups tomorrow with a horse who in my opinion should be showing odds of $3 for this race. His Caulfield Cup win was dominant and he goes up only 1kg for a more suitable distance. I have unloaded people.
2. Master O'Reilly - Just looking like he wants the two miles this time in. All his runs this prep are sound. Should be thereabouts.
3. Roman Emperor - Tipping this guy to run 3rd has just highlighted a). the lack of depth in this year's field and b). the number of internationals that seem to be fucking hopeless on paper but that you have no real way of lining up till the race is run. Like I said, think he's a year shy of winning a Melbourne Cup, but he's better than most of these...and Bart is just so hot right now...
Others I'll work around for multiples include, C'est La Guerre, Leica Ding and Ista Kareem. Fuck the internationals. Fuck the ex-internationals. I would have been slotting Vigor into my multiples for sure.