The Professor on assignment for WHAB...
Hopefully he'll at least be able to get some internet bets on and find coverage of the Cup on Al Jazeera. Anyway, I'm getting dribs and drabs from the man, so we'll piece together his tips. Let's roll!
1. DUNADEN 59 Williams/Delzangles
Captain: If you saw his win in the Caulfield Cup, on a day when nothing was running on from the back, consider that the only other horse with 58kg to even run a place in that event in the last 30 years was the great Northerly, and yeah, remember that he won this race last year, if you consider all this and don't have him in your multiples, then you sir, are an assclown.
Chaos: Indeed. 59 kg in the Melbourne Cup is a lot of weight. A lot of weight. At the same time, 58 kg was a lot of weight in the Caulfield Cup. Mot impressive Caulfield Cup run in my memory, and for me a must have.
2. AMERICAIN 58 Oliver/De Royer Dupre
Captain: Staggering how a horse that won this in 2010 and with any sort of luck would have won last year as well was offered at 30/1. That's right, 30/1 on a horse who is just perfectly suited to this race. Like I said, with any sort of luck in the run would have won last year, so to try and take luck out of the equation, Oliver replaces Mosse, who despite riding a great race on him in the 2010 Cup, has preferred the company of revellers on the grandstand fence in recent times. Ran a very nice Caulfield Cup, better suited here at two miles, and meets Dunaden 4.5kg better than in last year's Cup. Anyway, I see they're currently offering $6 on him...
Chaos: Beginning to drift in the market, now out to $8. I think the run in the Caulfield Cup was good, though nowhere near the quality of Dunaden's run. A must for your top four, but I prefer the other two French horses, though only barely.
3. JAKKALBERRY 55.5 O'Donoghue/Botti
Captain: Racking up the frequent flyers, some of his runs on his World Tour have been really good, others not so good. My biggest concern is he's never drawn anywhere near gate 19, never raced in a 24 horse field, and I think they are big issues for him here. Has ability but will have to pass.
Chaos: Passing on Jakkalberry. Some good runs, I just prefer others.
4. RED CADEAUX 55.5 Rodd/Dunlop
Captain: Beaten the width of a pubic hair last year and will be going close again. Curiously has been slugged 2kg on last year for winning a Group 2 in the UK...Dunaden carries 4.5kg more for winning a Melbourne Cup, a Hong Kong Vase and a Caulfield Cup. Perhaps a bit harshly dealt with considering, but he will be in the finish nonetheless and any rain would help.
Chaos: Along with Dunaden, this one is my top pick for this years running. The weight turnaround on Dunaden is enough to give this a real shake. All runs since have demonstrated that he hasn't gotten worse since last year, and at least we know he runs the trip and can deal with a field of this size.
5. WINCHESTER 55.5 Mott/Sadler
Captain: Probably the greatest plugger to ever visit these shores, he's always thereabouts. By thereabouts, I mean plugging home solidly for 7th. Just plugs all day. Unfortunately for Winchester, you can't win a Melbourne Cup plugging...at the price is worth a thought for multiples though.
Chaos: Every year, only 10 horses or so genuinely run the trip. This will be one of them - so at $41 he's worth a ticket. The form in the lead in has been good enough as well.
6. VOILA ICI 55 Duric/Moody
Captain: I was on him at big odds for the Caulfield Cup, he jarred up, ran last, and that is about the worst lead up you can have for a Cup. Moody even said himself that there are others who deserve to be in the Cup more than this, but selfishly accepted anyway. In fairness, I would have done the same. He'll play the role of the Aidan O'Brien runner, set a Lightning Stks tempo and knock up near the tail. Big wooden spoon hope.
Voila Ici at the 600m...
Chaos: The captain twisted my arm to have a good piece of this in the Caulfield Cup. I won't be doubling up here.
7. CAVALRYMAN 54 Dettori/Bin Suroor
Captain: Cavalryman circa 2009 goes pretty close to winning this. Not sure about this year's edition, seems a lot more dour these day, but obviously two miles looks his go and this is the least amount of weight he's ever carried. I will leave him out, but won't consider you an assclown if you throw him in...
8. MOUNT ATHOS 54 Moore/Cumani
Captain: I have the utmost respect for Luca Cumani, and his daughter is a good sort, but question where this one is in the market here. He's been winning comfortably but he's not beaten much, granted he's been carrying some bullshit weights, but this is a huge acid test. At the odds, would you really back him before the two Frenchies?
Chaos: Will likely start favourite given the last few hours of betting. I'd prefer the three French horses to him, but I understand why you'd chase this one.
9. SANAGAS 54 Hall/Bart Cummings
Captain: I was about to tee off about how fucking hopeless this thing is, but upon further investigation, perhaps it's not so bad. Hard to see it winning but if I'm being honest, it's form is probably as good as Viewed's was going into this, if not better...one to think about if you want some really juice in your multiples...
Chaos: I am not seeing what the Captain is seeing here. Pass!
10. ETHIOPIA 53.5 McLeod/Carey
Captain: Despite Pat Carey usurping Lloyd Williams as the racing industry's king of spin-doctoring, you should keep this one very safe. Originally one of my two Cups horses for the Spring, I've had to endure Carey's will he or won't he bullshit for the last 12 weeks, when he should have straight up said Ethiopia was always being set for the Cup and nothing but the Cup. Only time he stepped out to a trip he powered home from last to win the AJC Derby. Would be something if he had just his second career win in the Cup...
Chaos: Form is very good, and this to me is by far the pick of the Australian runners. Along with the French horses rounds out my top four.
11. FIORENTE 53.5 McDonald/Waterhouse
Captain: I'll grant that this has ability but I'm leaving it out.
Chaos: Team Waterhouse is a concern - the distance races don't tend to suit the classic Waterhouse approach. However, this one is a recent addition, has form around the best European horses, and has been out-and-out missed by the handicapper. Add to that a scintillating gallop last week, and you have the pick of the roughies.
12. GALILEO'S CHOICE 53.5 Smullen/Weld
Captain: Dermot Weld has always given me the shits with his incessant pissin' an' moanin'. Apparently he's been in good spirits, hopefully this thing bombs, he becomes a cranky old bastard again and order is restored. Because it would make a mockery of our Great Race if a fucking hurdler gets up. That's right, he's been preparing for this over the jumps. Fuck me.
Chaos: Team Weld's supporters have smashed this overnight. Probably gets 2 miles without too much problems and has really in my opinion been missed by the handicapper.
13. GLENCADAM GOLD 53.5 Berry/Waterhouse
Captain: Worked early in the Caulfield Cup but more was expected and not delivered. I wasn't convinced of him getting two miles before and I am all but certain he won't after that. Will get in an epic speed battle with Voila Ici and they'll finish together, at the wrong end of the field.
Chaos: The shine is off after Caulfield. To an extent, you could say that Kellini went out and franked the Metrop form last week. If you can forgive the Caulfield run you could have this one at odds, but combine it with the front running style, and even with some considerable improvement this one is hard to see winning. Likely to SANDMASON this one and set up the backmarkers.
14. GREEN MOON 53.5 Prebble/Hickmott
Captain: No idea why he ran in the Cox, no idea why he started favourite there. Like Glencadam Gold, there is nothing in his CV that says he runs two miles. Under the odds.
Chaos: Favourite for everything this year a few weeks ago from the Metrop to the Cox, to the Caulfield to this race and next season of Masterchef. This is one overrated animal.
Green Moon gears up for Masterchef Series 5...
15. MALUCKYDAY 53.5 Cassidy/Team Hawkes
Captain: Even forgetting the farcically run Geelong Cup, the Tanby form was found wanting in the Lexus. Will be competitive, but agree with the Professor here, they really have got the Aussie market wrong. He's not the same horse as he was when he ran 2nd in this race in 2010.
Chaos: The form hasn't been good enough for me and shouldn't be the top Aussie chance - one has to think that Mourayan, Ethiopia and Lights of Heaven are going much better.
16. MOURAYAN 53.5 Bowman/Hickmott
Captain: I liked this guy last year but in typical Williams' camp fashion they waited till everyone had backed it before scratching it late. Nothing to say that won't happen again I guess, but if he runs, he's a chance. Will park just behind the speed and will run the two miles. That's exactly what you're looking for in a Cup, the only question is whether he is good enough. Throw him into your exotics.
Chaos: I'll let the Captain sell you on this one.
17. MY QUEST FOR PEACE 53.5 Brown/Cumani
Captain: I have the utmost respect for Luca Cumani, and his daughter is a good sort, but I wanted to see more form this one in the Caulfield Cup to pique my interest, he really had every chance there.
Chaos: Did enough in the Caulfield to warrant a serious look, but you can't have them all..
18. NIWOT 53.5 Dunn/Team Hawkes
Captain: Nothing in his recent form suggests he will improve on last year's 8th carrying 2.5kg more...
Chaos: I'll have a cheeky $5er on Niwot on the off chance that he finds his A-game. But, I do love Niwot. You aren't likely as emotionally involved, so best to leave alone.
19. TAC DE BOISTRON 53.5 Doleuze/Kent
Captain: No rain, no Tac.
Chaos: Would be a special if this was being run in New York last week.
20. LIGHTS OF HEAVEN 53 Nolen/Moody
Captain: I'd be backing this before Kelinni and Maluckyday at similar odds, that's for sure. Bred to stay and should be at her peak for this.
Chaos: Had all the favours in the Caulfield Cup. That said, this is a very well weighted horse and capable of upstaging the imports if they run this at a slow pace.
21. PRECEDENCE 53 Shinn/Cummings
Captain: I know he's out of Zabeel but he just doesn't get two miles. Bart is just taking the piss.
Chaos: Piss is being taken.
22. UNUSUAL SUSPECT 53 Schofield/Kent
Captain: This guy's form speaks for itself so instead, here's something more interesting...
Chaos: I suspect this one would be better off in the Long Black, where he'd still need to be paying double figures.
23. ZABEELIONAIRE: 52 Newitt/Corstens
Captain: Bryan Martin made the mistake of comparing his run in the Mackinnon to a Bart Cummings stayer. Then all the Channel 7 people picked up on it because they don't have any opinions of their own and it has just got out of hand. Fuck Channel 7. He'll beat more home than beat him but doubt he has the class to take this out.
Chaos: No better than Winchester in his Mackinnon run. And Winchester has the pedigree and has had a more consistent prep.
24. KELINNI 51 Boss/Waller
Captain: While you can't ever right off a Lexus winner completely, I'm not convinced the form there will stack up this time. At $19, well, Lights Of Heaven is at that price, and has much better credentials. No value at all.
Chaos: Waller is a training ninja, so to me this one can't be written off. And is there any greater ninja move than the 30 day break, run, and three day back up?
Let's Fighting Love!!!
3. Red Cadeaux
Boxing those four with Lights Of Heaven and Mourayan. Should be cleaning up big time!
Chaos: My top four are Red Cadeaux - Dunaden - Ethiopia - Fiorente. Obviously worried about Americain and Mt Athos. I could probably add Galileo's Choice to my bets as well.
For a $100 investment I will likely look at
$25 win Red Cadeaux = $212.50
$30 win Dunaden = $240
$15 win Ethiopia = $315
$10/$10 Fiorente = $310/100