Ahhh The Cup. The form. The betting. The booze. The women.
Here's your 2014 field for the great race....
1. ADMIRE RAKTI (8) 58.5 Umeda/Purton
Captain: Allegedly only the 28th best stayer in Japan, this bastard unleashed a stonking Caulfield Cup finish which cost me a big win. And that's racing. But then the connections can't even string a sentence of English together in the post race celebrations. Not even a heavily accented "You fucking little ripper!". Goes up half a kilo on that barnstorming effort which seems almost generous, but his best form does appear to be around 2400m. Also worth considering some of the great horses who haven't been able to win mired down with such a big weight. A chance but I am leaving him out, there are likely better placed horses here over two miles. Ah so.
Professor: I would think that the 58.5 kilos will be the end of the Admire Rakti tilt over the 3,200 metres. At $6 I will quite happily watch it go around.
2. CAVALRYMAN (3) 57 Bin Suroor/Williams
Captain: Ran a creditable 12th (from 22nd) in the ghoulish 2012 Cup where they had their walking canes out in front. Current form is good and will get the trip. I am leaving him out because I am a betting man. Godolphin have never won the Cup despite having a thousand starters. The last thousand horses without a lead up run in Australia have won zero (0) Cups. And no 9 year old has ever won it. So $21 doesn't excite.
Professor: Not even close to the best $21 shot in this year's Cup.
3. FAWKNER (9) 57 Hickmott/Hall
Captain: It's no secret that this is my favourite horse, and, bias aside, while he is more up in the weights than I'd like I think he's still a big chance. Comes off a great Cox Plate run as did Fiorente last year. There seems to be a perception that he doesn't genuinely stay but he has had two runs of 2400m+; an impressive win in the 2013 Caulfield Cup, and a stonking 24th-6th finish when given a barrier trial by the Williams camp in last year's Melbourne Cup. I think the Williams' are up to something. Like Wes Mantooth. Go the Fawk!!!!!
Professor: It's not clear why he's up 1.5 kilos from last years run...While you only get 0.5 kilos for a caulfield cup... That said he's got to be close to the top pick in this year's Cup.
4. RED CADEAUX (15) 57 Dunlop/Mosse
Captain: Obviously loves this race but recent form doesn't get me excited about the $17...especially when past editions of him in good form could still could only run 2nd...
Professor: Finished alongside Admire Rakti in this years Tenno Sho. Has a 1.5 kilo swing over Rakti, and is clearly a big fan of this race. If you're going to back Rakti, you'd have to back this guy at triple the price, right?
5. PROTECTIONIST (11) 56.5 Wohler/Moore
Captain: I have a lot of respect for this guy, his run in the Herbert Power points to a strong performance here. But this is where you have to factor in absolutely everything. And while I think he can win this race, I don't think his jockey can. He doesn't get the Melbourne Cup for mine. Flashing home late from no man's land on Mount Athos and Dandino...and while the horse was brilliant, did anyone actually think his ride on Adelaide was any good?!? I hereby anoint thee "The English Pumper"! Ring a ding ding!
Professor: Great run in the Herbert Power, and is actually better weighted than the one that the handicapper "missed" in Signoff. That said, it's not $6 material to me.
6. SEA MOON Scratched
Captain: Heard that he was about to cop a huge spray from WHAB and clapped on a fever. Wise move Sea Moon!
Professor: Shifty Lloyd Braun strikes again. Last minute Fawkner scratching coming.
7. SEISMOS (1) 56 Botti/Newitt
Captain: If he only plugs home after getting buried away from gate 1 to finish in the 2nd half of the field, as I'm predicting, we know it won't be Newitt's fault. He'll belt the shit out of it...
Professor: I decided I couldn't be fucked with Seismos.
8. JUNOOB (7) 55.5 Waller/Bowman
Captain: In good form, the Caulfield Cup run was pretty good, and the Professor has a boner for him. I still have a query on him at 3200m and am going to leave him out. But never mind me, what do you think Professor?!?
Professor: Run of the race in the Caulfield Cup for this race. Got back, got lost on the corner, and then cracked home to only go down by 2.3 lengths. It's the kind of performance that justifies a much shorter quote than $26! Or maybe you'd rather be on one of the Godolphin runners at that price..
9. ROYAL DIAMOND (6) 55.5 Murtagh/Arnold
Captain: When he finished 12.5 lengths behind a horse who was beaten 7.5 lengths in last year's Cup, connections understandably scrambled to book flights and accommodation...
Professor: This years short priced favourite for the Sandmason lifetime achievement award for flying over here for no good reason!
23th of 23
5 Nov 2002
FLEMINGTON R7 TOOHEYS NEW - MELBOURNE CUP (G1) OPEN
35.53 / 3:23.77
|10 days||STEVE ARNOLD (12)||55.5/55.5||$3,675,000|
Captain: Never run beyond 2500m in 25 starts despite doing most of his racing in Europe. You shouldn't have to ask yourself why. Gate 22 might help him see it out though.
Professor: This years Lloyd Williams award for quantity over quality goes to smarmy Simon O'Donnell who along with the OTI team have four horses that at the time of writing are all paying $71. Gatewood may be the best of them because he will likely stay a bit.
11. MUTUAL REGARD (12) 55 Murtagh/Oliver
Captain: Looks like another UK plodder to me, we don't need a lead up run downunder, we'll plod our way to victory. Yet to race in a group race. $11 is great value, snap that shit up...
Professor: If any horse was going to be the first to win the Melbourne Cup without a lead up run in Australia, it's this guy. But at $11 would you bet against those kind of stats?
12. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (13) 55 Waller/Boss
Captain: Whilehe'll probably beathome more than will beathim, ultimately, hejust doesn'thave the classhere and yethe's $17.
Professor: $17 just seems all wrong. Junoob and Araldo put in far better Cup trials than this guy and are paying a lot more. Auckland Cup winners haven't fared well in the past, which could be randomness or it could reflect the fact that the Auckland Cup is on par with Lavazza Long Black as a form race.
13. WILLING FOE (17) 55 Bin Suroor/McDonald
Captain: I'm going through a lot of form here, and we're trying to get this published, and I have to brutally honest at this point, this thing is fucking no chance. That $21 ticket could double as toilet paper.
Professor: Apparently super punter Sean Bartholomew has sought this one out. I double checked it to see what I'd missed. Still looking.
14. MY AMBIVALENT (4) 54.5 Varian/Atzeni
Captain: One start beyond 2400 was sound. Facing acid test as a stayer here. 1st up at 3200m. Big call but admire the confidence!
Professor: I have mixed feelings about this one.
15. PRECEDENCE (20) 54.5 Monobrow & Son/Rodd
Captain: Now even older than Bart, he'll run accordingly on Tuesday.
Professor: I wonder if Precedence has grown a cracking monobrow!
Precedence after trackwork on Cup eve...
16. BRAMBLES (21) 54 Moody/Nolen
Captain: Ran a great Caulfield Cup, then an ordinary Mackinnon with some excuses. I just think he's had enough.
Professor: OTI throwing another $71 shot in. Probably doesn't get the trip. Maybe it's their equivalent of Seville.
17. MR O'CEIRIN (19) 54 Maher/C Schofield
Captain: Shocked when I saw this one in the field but on closer analysis is in great form and has had a perfect prep for this. Looks like he'll run two miles without cracking a sweat.
Professor: Mr O will likely beat a few home.
18. AU REVOIR (23) 53.5 Fabre/G Schofield
Captain: Will be bid "Au Revoir" at around the 800m.
Professor: OTI throwing its version of Masked Marvel against the wall. Pass.
19. LIDARI (10) 53.5 Moody/Melham
Captain: I doubted him over the 2400 of the Caulfield Cup and while he was solid there, I don't believe he genuinely stays.
Professor: This run of OTI whackers has me running out of steam.
In 30 years it will be Glenn Maxwell with 5 Cup runners for The Big Show Racing Syndicate...
20. OPINION (14) 53.5 Waller/Angland
Captain: 2nd in the Sydney Cup, but if you take The Offer out that race, it was pure ghoul. Butchered by Purton last week but in all seriousness, Prince Of Penzance would be struggling for a top 12 here...
Professor: I literally am without an opinion here. $61 seems I don't know... Fair?
21. ARALDO (24) 53 Moroney/Dunn
Captain: Last two runs have been fantastic, charging home from last in the Metrop and last in the Caulfield Cup for a 3rd and 5th respectively. The gate is awful but I expect him to be coming home again to juice up my first four...
Professor: Weaved through the field at the death of the Caulfield Cup. You'd have to think another 800 metres plus Flemington will help.
22. LUCIA VALENTINA (2) 53 Lees/McEvoy
Captain: Ran a super Caulfield Cup, was wider and deeper than Admire Rakti and stormed home. Right in this.
Professor: Had to get too far back in the Caulfield Cup and really ran well considering. It's hard to knock based on that. Top pick, and the best value for me. Hopefully doesn't give them too much start this time.
23. UNCHAIN MY HEART (5) 51.5 Hayes & Dabernig/Yendall
Captain: Is the Andrew Ramsden Stakes a qualifying race for the Cup?!? If so, it fucking shouldn't be! That's all this C-grade hacker has ever won. Richard Freedman said that this fella should leave on Monday if he's going to win the Cup. I think he should have left in early September. Even then it would have been tight...
Professor: Apparently it's too easy for the foreign horses to get in to the Cup, and then we throw this one in to fly the flag for Australia! Spare me.
24. SIGNOFF (16) 51 Weir/Moreira
Captain: The one to beat. Trained to perfection. Weighted to perfection. And with Joao fever sweeping the country, likely to be ridden to perfection. If he backs up/stays, he wins. Everything points to that for me.
Professor: No weight, super jockey Joao Moreira, a fantastic run in the Lexus.. What's not to like? Most years, I gravitate to Lexus winners, and most years it costs me. Let's do it again!
CAPTAIN'S FINAL SELECTIONS
3. Lucia Valentina
3. Lucia Valentina
Take your pick. These internationals are hugely over rated this year for mine, my blowout result will be Protectionist.
PROFESSOR'S FINAL SELECTIONS:
1. Lucia Valentina