1. SHOCKING (24) 57 Rodd/Kavanagh
Captain: A good chance to go back-to-back in the big one. All his runs have been super during this campaign, including his 4th in the Caulfield Cup where he only got out late after getting snookered on the rail. He ground away in the Mackinnon like the genuine two-miler that he is. When considering the outside gate that he's drawn, it's worth mentioning that he was 3 wide the trip from gate 21 in winning the '09 Cup. He carries 6kg more this time so he's going to need some luck from out there; another 3-wide/no cover trip will surely be too much. I think he can win again but am prepared to look elsewhere. I backed last year's topweight Viewed and watched him get molested by other runners throughout, and with the big weight it's harder to regather moment. All I know is that Kavanagh will be going completely mental if he hits the front in the straight again...
Professor: Lead up form was pretty good until the last run where he kind of plugged away. I'll be nervous about leaving this out.. but I'm probably going to have to here. 6kg more than last year and a much hotter field.
2. CAMPANOLOGIST (19) 56 McEvoy/Bin Suroor
Captain: I've had to do a lot of research on this guy; he's been barely mentioned leading into the Cup but looks like he definitely deserves to be here. Well-travelled and with consistent form in Group races the world over, he can't be taken lightly. I find it interesting however, that he hasn't raced beyond 2400m...what happened to make Godolphin think that he could run two miles all of a sudden? That is the $3.6 million + trophies question. Winning the '08 Caulfield Cup with All The Good, and picking up second place in the Melbourne Cup last year with Crime Scene, who looked like a Clydesdale when he went around in the Geelong Cup, you need to be respecting Campanologist...which is easy to do when he's at such generous odds...
Professor: Dettori as the durkas number one rider was doing everything in his power to get off this and on to Holberg. That's enough for me. Pass.
3. SO YOU THINK (3) 56 Arnold/JB Cummings
Captain: No doubt the best racehorse in the land, but, despite the Bart factor, there's no way I can have him at $3 for the Cup. Untried beyond the 2040m of the Cox Plate, as much as I am a fan, his price doesn't interest me. Although I think his path to the Cup through the Cox and Mackinnon is perfect for him, as a resident WHAB punter, what am I going to do? Tell you all to plunge on him at the short odds and not win much anyway? It would be irresponsible of me as a WHAB expert punter to overlook the value in this field, and there is plenty of that. Considering that most of the horses in this field are just warming up when they get to 2000m, I just can't have him here even though he is a beast. All that said, I wouldn't be at all disappointed if he won, just really, really poor...and I'm so hoping to avoid spaghetti on toast for dinner Tuesday night...
Professor: Well, $3 at the Cup is just not going to ring any of my bells. Good enough, clearly to be winning this, but this is a deep edition of the Melbourne Cup and I'll be looking for a little value.
4. ZIPPING (16) 55.5 Hall/Hickmott
Captain: Racing in great form but has been in great form before all his many Melbourne Cup 4ths. Has just never quite got a strong two miles and I don't see this year being any different. Heavy consideration required for your First 4 betting though, because he definitely knows how to run 4th in a Cup, especially if you've loaded up on him...I've got a long memory.
Professor: I could buy into this getting up. It's flashed home for fourth when in worse form. I probably won't be on Zipping but this would be no shock.
5. ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (9) 55 Boss/Knight
Captain: Would have been much more appealing if he had of been named Electric Blue...even more appealing if he had an Iva Davies circa 1987 curly mullet...
I like other internationals more here, and I can't seriously consider him, but if he hits the lead close to the winning post, I'm sure it will be all down to Iva Davies and that absolutely spectacular mullet...
Professor: $61! Yes please. Form around Purple Moon, a second to King of Wands. I'll be having a big chunk of this as 2010s best roughie and advise you do the same.
6. MR MEDICI (5) 55 Beadman/Ho
Captain: The Honkers track-work specialist ran okay in the Caulfield Cup but I think that was his race. I can't really entertain him as a chance over the two miles no matter how much track-work he's done. Okay, maybe if he'd had another 200 or 300 track-work gallops I could see that he might be fit enough to run 3200m. But he just might be those couple of hundred track-work gallops short for the two miles. I wonder how much prizemoney you get for track-work gallops in Honkers? Must be some big money in it. Anyway, I'd like to see this guy next year in the Caulfield Cup on a dry track with lots of track-work under his belt, that's his go, the 2010 Melbourne Cup is not.
Professor: Too many questions. Obviously not a mudlark but handled the Caulfield Cup alright. The big doubt for me is the 3200 and I'll accordingly pass...unless it gets out to something in the 100s. Though $61 is do-able.
7. SHOOT OUT (17) 55 Brown/Wallace
Captain: Shoot Out's Melbourne Cup campaign started way back in July. Why? Only John Wallace knows that. After Saturday's run in the Mackinnon, he heads into the Cup with 7 runs under his belt and I just think the drawn out campaign will prove too much. I hereby nominate Wallace for the Ross McDonald Award: "I have a nice horse so I'm going to try and win everything with him!". Although McDonald would have no doubt thrown in the Caulfield Cup and maybe a Moonee Valley Cup to boot. For sentimental reasons I think it might actually be sadder if he won the Cup; though I'm sure Stathi Katsidis will be cheering on Corey Brown and his mate Shoot Out from above...
Professor: The forgotten horse in this field. Perhaps 3200 is just what the doctor ordered as he's been no match for So You Think over the shorter trips. At $29 I could buy into his stroy if I have an early win on Cup Day. Probably a six on the beer scale.
8. AMERICAIN (12) 54.5 Mosse/de Royer Dupre
Captain: Despite his name, this guy has a case of the Frenchy fag-nasties, but he also has a Geelong Cup under his belt. A more than handy win that was too, lugging 58kg over a trip that on paper appeared to be a bit too short. And Geelong Cup form has a habit of holding up in the Melbourne Cup. I think Monsieur Americain will definitely be in the finish again here, this being a much more suitable trip. From all reports, he doesn't want a bog, but on a dead to slow track he's right in this. His trainer seriously knows his shit, and come Tuesday night it might be French champagne being drunk from the Cup. He's my second elect.
Professor: I like the form of Manighar more. They've gone head to head in a long race before, for a head win to the Frenchy fag nasty. But, there's a 3 kilo swing to the 'ghar here, and the Caulfield Cup run was a bit more impressive to me, as is the $30. I won't be on, but I won't be ruthlessly slopping up anyone who is.
9. TOKAI TRICK (4) 54.5 Fujito/Nonaka
Captain: Good to see the Japanese return for the Cup, here's a musical tribute!
Has seemingly better looking Japanese form than Delta Blues had coming out to Australia...and that finished nicely back in '06. The moral of the story is that Japanese racing is very strong. In the Caulfield Cup he was 4 wide all the way and he is another of these wet track duffers. So all things considered, his form looks a lot better than a lot of these at shorter odds. A live chance at chunky odds, provided it's not too wet on the day. I'll leave him out but a cheeky run wouldn't surprise.
Professor: So I did a few fucking dollars on Jaguar Mail, who ran first in the Tenno Sho. Then a few more on the second and third place getters Meiner Kitz and Meisho Tonkatsu. Not coming, any of them. So the 9th place-getting Tokai Trick is here, and it can go and fuck itself. Sideways.
10. BUCCELLATI (21) 54 King/Noonan
Captain: Fuck right off Noonan. There are some good horses with strong form that have missed out on a Cup start because of this horse with absolutely fucked recent form. His last win was against two other horses and one of them was fucking useless. Hopefully he runs last and it's a lesson to trainers out there that if you import a horse, it not only might turn out to be shithouse, but you'll incur the wrath of the Captain for taking the place of something that actually has some chance in the Cup...
Professor: Will the Canadian form stack up?? This has less chance than Ugly Bob with Celine Dion:
11. DESCARADO (1) 54 Rawiller/Waterhouse
Captain: The Professor's man-horse love and midnight crooning of Eagles songs aside, his Caulfield Cup win was full of merit. I thought the Tweed was going to win for sure but he just wasn't desperado enough for the Descarado. After watching numerous replays, he had to do a stack of work to get in the leading bunch, and to be able to kick again when challenged like he did was remarkable. I just can't get this scenario out of my mind; from his dream gate, he takes up a nice position just off the leader, he hits the lead from some hapless roughie, let's call him Buccellati, somewhere near the 800m...boy is he going to be hard to run down...loves the wet...is man-horse love catching I wonder?!? He's my top pick.
Professor: "You better let somebody love you"! Our three fans know I won a packet on this guy a couple of weeks ago. I'll be making my most significant investment on this guy, and you know you better (why don't you) come to your senses and do the same.
12. HARRIS TWEED (13) 54 M & B Baker
Captain: If not for a minor colic attack, which just sounds bad, I'd be having a bigger piece of the Tweed after already having a bit of a nibble. Kiwi Murray Baker and his Swedish son Bjorn feel that he's overcome it, and if you're going on his Caulfield Cup run, he's a huge chance. Then, factor in his strong 5th in the Melbourne Cup last year. He should be right in the finish, provided he's fully overcome the effects of that colic attack. Respect.
Professor: Bjorn Baker is pretty excited here:
And I could be after a few beers as well. Just missing my top four on the heavy, nothing from me on the good/dead.
13. MANIGHAR (20) 54 Oliver/Cumani
Captain: A solid Melbourne Cup trial in the Caulfield Cup and you've got to respect the Cumani's:
This is one of those runners that I won't be backing, but has me worried. If it wasn't trained by Luca Cumani, I'd not be worried as much, but this guy could be a real knockout result for me...you can't back them all though.
Professor: My newest horse crush. As you'll have read in my talk of Americain, I think this is the better horse at double the quote. Has obviously turned up in good order and as much as I hate Simon O'Donnell, I'll be taking this as my second pick.
14. MASTER O'REILLY (18) 54 Duric/O'Brien
Captain: Has a similar story to Zipping except that it's much worse. Multiple Melbourne Cup 4th place-getter but whereas Zipping is racing well, Master O is not. And he still hasn't won a race since the '07 Caulfield Cup. And after Tuesday, he still won't have won a race since the '07 Caulfield Cup...
15. MONACO CONSUL (14) 54 Williams/Moroney
Captain: After a solid 3rd in the Caulfield Cup, I'm still not that interested here. It's a highly competitive Cup in 2010 and I can't see him turning the tables on Descarado or Harris Tweed, plus I like others from other races, plus the Internationals look very good this year. Not a bad horse but not one of my favourites in the field.
Professor: I'll have my pants down if this gets up, because it is certainly a good chance, at the right price and I've completely ignored it. You can't have them all I guess.
16. PROFOUND BEAUTY (22) 54 Smullen/Whingeing Irish Bitch-Man Weld
Captain: At least with this one we haven't had to listen to Dermot Weld whingeing about the track being too hard and that it needs constant watering for 3 weeks before the race. 5th in the Cup in '08, it's runs since then, barring one on a wet track, have been wins or 2nd's. But I just find Weld so god-damn annoying so I'm leaving her out. She's a chance but nearly everything is a chance this year. There's just no way I can bet on a horse trained by a whingeing Irish bitch-man...
Professor: If it starts drying out, I'll be thinking long and hard [he he], about this one. It looks to be going well enough if dry enough.
17. ZAVITE (7) 54 Walker/AJ Cummings
Captain: His run in the Underwood was great. Then his run in the Turnbull was abhorrent. And then his run in the Caulfield Cup was great considering he hates the wet. I actually think he's going pretty well but such is the competitive nature of this year's Cup, I can't have him winning. I've always thought he's just a class below being a Cup place-getter, let alone a winner. A wet track and you'd think he's totally gone, but then I remember another front-running two-miler who hated the wet, Zazzman was his name...and the only two horses to beat him home were the Diva and Vinnie Roe...so I guess you never know...one for the dreamers and big groups of tarts at the track each putting on a dollar each way and holding up the line for half a fucking hour...
Professor: You old sailor! Good luck with this, at the start of the prep it looked like old Zavite could be in the right for another credible 7th and a phat check here. Not now.
18. BAUER (2) 53.5 Munce/Cumani
Captain: Richard Callander said on Sunday morning that if Bauer runs in the top 5, Luca Cumani should get International Trainer of the Year. I totally agree. Missed out by the width of a pubic hair on the '08 Cup but has had problems, and only two runs since. That is no preparation for a Melbourne Cup. And he's possibly the worst horse in the field on a really wet track. And he has a hoof problem apparently. No chance.
Professor: Tell it walking O'Donnell.
You know, I don't really want to talk about Bauer, just about what a smarmy fucker SOD is. And how he was probably a poor man's Tom Moody. That's right history. And while I am talking about cricket, I was considering how awesome it would be if Ian, rather than Greg Chappell was an Australian selector. And how his first move would be to retrospectively drop Steve Waugh for good in 1991. Take that history, Steve Waugh only played 11 tests and the captain of the Australian cricket team in the late nineties was actually Stuart Law.
19. HOLBERG (10) 53.5 Dettori/Bin Suroor
Captain: The word from the UK experts is that this guy is the best of their runners. And judging by the look on the face of Bin Suroor when attrition did it's job and he snuck in, they're on the money. I had a nibble at $26, and according to Michael Sullivan from Sportingbet, this fella will get backed in a lot shorter than that. Keep him very safe...
Professor: Another one that will be hard to leave out, though I will.
20. PRECEDENCE (15) 53.5 Shinn/JB Cummings
Captain: Doing everything right for a Cup horse, and trained by the ol' smarmy one himself, you'd think he's a big chance here. I, however, remember what happened when he started warm favourite in the Sydney Cup, which is a poor man's Melbourne Cup. Think he's a big risk at the trip in this company. Others appeal a lot more...
Professor: See Holberg -- though I am even more worried.
21. RED RULER (8) 53.5 Du Plessis/Sargent
Captain: With the 24 horse field of the Melbourne Cup, it's nice when you get to a runner that you can simply say.....fuck no.
Professor: I used to back this every start thinking that G Sargent knew something. Turns out G Sargent is a fuckwad.
22. LINTON (23) 52 Prebble/Hickmott
Captain: I backed this guy weeks ago at huge odds, and while initially being disappointed when he didn't win the Lexus, I'm now feeling bullish about his chances again. The disappointment was more to do with him needing to win to guarantee a Cup start rather than his actual performance, but thankfully, attrition has struck again. I've re-watched the Lexus numerous times and Linton finishes off like a two-miler after getting a slop ride by...you guessed it, the Boss-man! He also meets Maluckyday 1.5kg better. On drawing gate 23, after Zipping drew 16, Nick Williams came up with this classic brownie points winner: "Considering my wife drew the barriers, I'd say they're both perfect". That man's gonna see some serious action. A good lightweight chance, and still at generous odds...and doesn't he just remind you a bit of that other big grey bastard from the Lloyd Williams camp...?!?
Professor: I've been spruiking this for months, another that I have taken at a very nice quote, and I'll probably have more on it tomorrow, looks like it will run the trip right out, though I would prefer the track to be good.
23. ONCE WERE WILD (11) 51.5 Cassidy/Waterhouse
Captain: Improved run in the Lexus but it really is hard to see her turning the tables on the first two there. Gai's unorthodox prep for this one makes it hard to line up her form with any certainty, but I'm prepared to say that she's not good enough, and at the very least, she's way under the odds. Pass.
Professor: Has been backed like a good thing today, and I can see the logic here, I think $29 is as short as you'd want, though sometimes you want to get on board with the smart money, especially as Gai might just have something up her sleeve.
24. MALUCKYDAY (6) 51 Nolen/M, W & J Hawkes
Captain: A huge chance if he can back up from the Lexus, but I won't be diving into him at $7.50. As the Hawkes' have said, he's not the finished product, and they had to seriously think about whether they'd actually run him in the Cup. He looks like next year's hot favourite, all being well, but just not representing good value to me this year. That said, I'm scared of what this guy might do if he can cope physically with his meteoric rise. I'm calling it that he either wins or runs nowhere.
Professor: Backed this on Saturday morning at the fuck you price of $81. Very excited. Can win. Would love it to be no worse than slow, just quietly.
Captain: Boxing these...
6. Harris Tweed
So that should be a juicy first 4 there with any luck! If any of these other than Shocking get up I'll be profiting handsomely on the day, or in the case of Linton, I'll be blowing off some serious steam!
Professor: My top four on dead/slow: Maluckyday, Linton, Manighar and Profound Beauty.
On the Slow/Heavy: Descarado, Manighar, Linton, Harris Tweed..
Two good roughies: Once were Wild and Illustrious Blue
I'm concerned about Shoot Out and I'll probably include it!
Always fun to bring this Cup guide to our legions of fans but with Race 1 at the ungodly time of 9:20am Brisbane time, I'm off to catch some z's! Happy punting!