Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Test, Day 5 Recap

England batted on and on at their own pace, declaring unsportingly, with no team any chance to win. The Poms looked more intent on padding their stats rather than getting stuck into the collapse-prone Aussie batting order. Yes our bowling was shite, and everything Mitchell Johnson did was terrible beyond adequate description, but seriously, what is with these fucking road pitches on days 4 and 5 of a Test match? I want to see a killer minefield out there, with confused and terrified batsmen, not guys knocking around double centuries. I want old school Test matches where chasing 150 in the final innings was treacherous. Where balls would fly off the pitch at some hapless batsmen's throat. Where you'd see guys bowled out by mully-grubbers! Fuck these curators. Now we go to the biggest road of them all in Adelaide, which will be 5 days of my life wasted watching another draw. Being pretty handy as a kid against a tennis ball in our street, I'd fancy myself to bludgeon a century at Adelaide Oval.

Johnson finished with match figures of 0/170, took 32 mins and 19 balls to score 0, and dropped a catch to kill off the game as a contest. It was the single-most useless all-round performance in a Test I've ever seen and if the selectors think he's worth a shot in Adelaide, then they're kidding themselves, insulting the fans, and depriving Johnson of some practice time back with WA. I can just see them, after bringing Bollinger and Harris into the squad, and making it seem like they're serious, not having the balls to make the change. That's how they roll. Show some gumption you pussies. And by the way, if you play two spin bowlers, Marcus North is not a fucking spin bowler just because Strauss got heat exhaustion and his brain snapped. Although he'd be pretty handy if he could bowl to himself...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Test, Day 4 Recap

With England at 0/119, Johnson, in pursuit of a performance of unrivalled uselessness, dropped a simple catch after Strauss mistimed a drive off the X Factor. And that was the match. When Strauss was finally out, England were only 20 runs behind. I don't care what anyone says, if Strauss is out when the Poms are 89 behind, it's a whole different ball game. The dropped catch, coupled with Ponting's lack of urgency to end day 3, leaves you wondering what might have been. I guess we should have known this was going to happen with our hopes resting on 'tards like Ponting and Johnson.

The numbers don't lie; Johnson has match figures of 0/131 (so far), scored 0 off 19 deliveries, and has 0 catches, with a dropped catch...if he's in your Ashes Fantasy team, well, you're fucked!

First Test, Day 3 Recap

For two-thirds of the day, this was the Hussey/Haddin show. It made for great viewing, especially when Haddin started to open up. When we were eventually bowled out, after being subjected to Johnson's 0 run, 19 ball innings, it should have seen some nervous times for the Pommy openers. Instead, they were let off the hook by Punter, who just refuses to act sanely for the duration of a Test match. When the blowtorch needs to be applied, you don't throw the ball to Marcus fucking North as first change bowler. To mystify Aussie cricket fans even more, he bowled North in tandem with the toothless Johnson. Way to release the pressure valve dipshit. It was just inexplicable. North at one end, Johnson at the other, Strauss and Cook thanking their lucky fucking stars. After bowling Hilfy and the Sid out, surely the next best option was Watson. The ball was swinging and the conditions just seemed perfect for a medium pacer. But no, I'll bowl our bullshit part-time spinner, instead of our real spinner, and our only pace bowler who doesn't move the ball at all. Brilliant (i.e. retarded)...

Friday, November 26, 2010

First Test, Day 2 Recap

After grabbing the ascendency on Day 1, the Aussie batsmen, somewhat predictably, gave it right back to the Poms, despite a solid start by our openers. Hussey, with the assistance of a patient Haddin (?!?), and generous English bowling, has put us back on track for a tidy first innings lead. England would have been sitting down to dinner tonight convinced that the Huss can indeed cut, and can definitely pull as well. It was a cutting and pulling exhibition from the Huss in response to England's awful tactics bowling to him. And we needed it with Punter unforgivably getting caught down legside, Clarke clearly not fit to be playing, and North reverting to his tried and tested way of scoring in single digits. Channel Nine were showing stats today, confirming our middle order woes; our batting averages from 3-6 in the line-up are all well down in the period 2008-2010 in comparison to 2005-2007. And it's very noticeable. The other thing I noticed today was that not only was I bombarded with KFC ads, but the sight-screen was emblazoned with an ad for Chicken McBites...there is no escaping greasy chicken this summer people. Nor is there any escaping a fat, sausage-gobbling, hair-stapled-to-his-head Steven Seagal. Here's some of Seagal's better work, complete with Nordic sub-titles:

"Take a receipt...'cause you just bought some!"

Day 3 recap to follow!

First Test, Day 1 Recap

Thanks to the power of Foxtel IQ, I've just finished replaying the whole of the first day's play in a mere 2 hours. Great stuff! Peter Siddle with a red ball is the business. Hopefully the selectors never give him a white ball ever again, because you can't take 7 or 8 overs to get in rhythm in an ODI. A couple of fiery Siddle spells has England reeling in the First Test, and that's the way we Aussies like it. Hilfenhaus had an uncharacteristicly wayward sort of day, and Johnson was just extra baggage as usual, but Siddle simply swung Johnson over his shoulder, and carried him on his way to a hat-trick and a 6 wicket haul. If not for some rubbish glovemanship from Haddin, it would have been 7. It's worth re-living the hat-trick moment again, complete with English confusion/referral tomfoolery:

For most guys, a "Birthday hat-trick" means something completely different...or maybe the Sid completed an unprecedented double Birthday hat-trick! Wow, the man's got it all! Respect.

As mentioned before, Hilfy had an off day. But he still contributed something, getting the big early wicket of Strauss. Watson bowled solidly and produced a corker to knock over Trott. The X Factor bowled superbly on a first day pitch, tying down one end with some quality spin bowling. It was good to see him bag a couple of wickets in the end because he was crucial to the overall success of the day's play. Even Punter had a decent day, some good bowling changes and some decent fields for once. I won't get too carried away there because there's a high probability of him doing something stupid to try and get the Poms back in it. That leaves Johnson, who had no impact whatsoever. No consistency, no movement, and no wickets. He was just extra baggage. I hereby officially call for him to sacked. Go back to WA and work on it son. Because there will likely be times in this series when we won't be able to afford having dead weight in the side. I think of how good a Test pace trio of Hilfy, the Sid and the Rhino (aka Ryan Harris) would be and how angry it makes me that I can't have it because of Johnson sending daily photos of himself posing with his Sir Garfield Sobers trophy to the selectors. We can go with a guy who's form for Australia over the last year has been diabolical, or a guy in great form at present...who is called the Rhino...that's a no-fucking-brainer.

Check back in tonight for the Day 2 Recap!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things That Have Angered Me Since My Last Blog Post

- Mitchell Johnson.

- After giving Clarke the benefit of the doubt for not bowling Steve Smith in the 1st ODI, who I've got no doubt would've had Malinga skying a catch within two overs, I see Smith named for the 2nd ODI. So clearly, Smith wasn't injured at all as some reports had suggested. And even more clearly, Clarke has no testicles and is every bit as shithouse at captaincy as Punter.

- Mitchell Johnson's tatts. He's got his whole arm inked up but as the guy on Cricinfo said, the only tatts he needs are one on his left arm inked with "line" and one on his right with "length".

- The inexplicable decision to not play Xavier Doherty in the 2nd ODI after his brilliant debut performance in the 1st ODI. I was gobsmacked when I saw Hauritz was replacing him. There is no sane reason for a decision like this and the selectors can go royally fuck themselves for it.

- Johnson, when interviewed during the coverage of the 3rd ODI, saying that he was focusing on bowling really fast and wasn't paying any attention to media reports about his fucking horrendous bowling. How about bowling better instead of fast and actually taking it on board when people are saying you're fucking terrible, because generally criticism comes your way for a reason you fucking douchebag.

- After seeing the batting line-up for the ill-fated 2nd ODI, I did some calculations in my head; I subbed out Cameron White, dropped Brad Haddin down the order to 7, and subbed in Simon Katich and Marcus North...well fuck me, that's our Test batting line-up! That's what you want in an ODI!

- Johnson being comprehensively out-bowled by the relatively inexperienced Clint McKay and debutante Mitchell Starc in the 3rd ODI. McKay picked up a 5-for and Starc bagged 4. In case you're wondering, Watson got the other wicket. In his first match, Starc showed exactly where a left-hander should be consistently bowling. Maybe that's why he had 4 times more wickets in one game than Johnson had in 3 games. And we're backing this guy for the fucking Ashes. Fuck me sideways.

- Finally, bumfuck sports journalist Robert Craddock basically blaming our misfortunes on Dave Warner, Cameron White, Shaun Marsh and James Sutherland's 14 man Cricket Australia team being over-loaded. Boy has this fucktard missed the point. Dave Warner...a T20 specialist. Cameron White...after being highly critical of White over the years, all I remember in recent times is him smashing us out of trouble in the late overs on numerous occasions; in fact, I think the team plan in the short form of the game of late is to pretty much leave it all up to White to smash us to a decent score/victory...Shaun Marsh, has definitely been disappointing, but does he make Johnson bowl bad? Does he make inane selections at the selection table? Does he make the testicle-less calls not to bowl a potential match-winner? Does he neglect to mention how fucking shithouse Johnson is bowling at present?...Sutherland, well, anyone who knows anything about cricket knows that the guy is a complete fucking boob and has no idea how he got his job. But seriously Robert Craddock, if that's your conclusion then you are an even bigger fucktard then I already knew you were. You could've slagged off Ponting, Johnson, the selectors, Hilditch, the regime in general, but you came up with the most fucking off the mark article in the history of cricket. You're shit, and you know you are and you can seriously go fuck yourself...and then do it again...

Friday, November 5, 2010

But Mostly, Fuck Mitchell Johnson

After the loss in the first ODI, and being subjected to some of the most stupid bowling imaginable...where to begin...okay we'll start here: Fuck you Johnson you piece of shit. And fuck you Michael Clarke for throwing that fucking joker the ball when the game was on the line. Honestly, Clarke/Ponting, what the fuck's the difference? Clarke makes all the same fucked up calls as Ponting does. He just hasn't mastered bringing himself on at the death yet. Seriously, that worked once, and it was all ass rather than class. Johnson and Siddle, as senior bowlers bowling to Malinga and Matthews was just downright unwatchable. I went and tidied the kitchen instead, hoping that when I came back they'd be not bowling anymore. Short, wide, short and wide, legside, every form of a pie-delivery you could think of, they bowled it. It was pretty much business as usual for Johnson. England must have been licking their fucking chops watching that. Siddle seemed to be working on a cunning plan of getting a catch on the boundary off a mistimed hook shot. How about this plan...bowl at or near the fucking stumps and on a length! Hastings wasn't much better but I can forgive him on the grounds he's only played a couple of games. Tim Nielsen describes what he saw: "We kept bowling bouncers that were chest high rather than head high, we bowled a few wides, we bowled a few slower balls that we didn't land properly, and we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary". Yep. Thanks Tim. Now how about you do something about it you giant douchebag. The worst part of it all was that Clarke clearly had no idea what to do. It looked like he was going to break down and cry. Harden the fuck up princess!

But you've got to always look on the bright side. No matter how fucked everything else was, Xavier Doherty was superb. He should be waited on hand and foot by his teammates who fucked him over from the man-of-the-match award in his debut performance...maybe Johnson could give him his Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, because there's no way he fucking deserves it...

Monday, November 1, 2010


Since it became apparent how competitive it is, the theme of this year's Cup has been value. I've backed Linton, Campanologist, Harris Tweed and Holberg at big odds but none of them are my top pick. It's nice being able to outlay a smallish amount for a possible phat payday. We're likely looking at a wet track of some description, dead at best, so that is what we've based this form on. It's the most difficult Cup to pick since I've been interested in racing...so here goes!!!

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:

Because You're God-Damn Ugly, Bob!

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...

Professor: Pass

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.

Cleo's 1993 4th Sexiest Man On The Planet...And All-Round Smarmy Fucker...

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...

1. Descarado
2. Americain
3. Linton
4. Holberg
5. Shocking
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!


Will be up tonight!!!