Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Well folks, it's hard to believe, but Precedence somehow outlived Bart. As we all pay tribute to one JB Cummings in the lead up to this year's Cup, ol' Precedence just couldn't get there for one last crack at the top 10 in the Great Race.

Precedence after getting towelled up in the Moonee Valley Cup...

No time for shedding tears though, let's get into it!

Hope you've all managed to get the day off, my missus happens to be "getting her wisdom teeth out" on Tuesday, what a coincidence!

1. SNOW SKY (16) 58 Sir Stoute/Moore $51

Captain: I have never really come to terms with the art of handicapping and I am no closer when I consider this guy hasn't even won a Group 1 and is lumped with 58kg. Topweight in the Melbourne Cup is usually reserved for horses who have won the Cup last year or some other serious race!

Professor: When I saw this was top weight I thought I was looking at a solid running of the Launceston Cup. *good* form around *champion* English stayer Brown Panther, combined with top weight makes this a hard pass for me.

2. CRITERION (4) 57.5 Hayes and Dabernig/Walker $13

Captain: This is really a crystal ball job as to whether he runs two miles. The Derby runs are good without over-exciting me. I am going to leave him out.

Professor: Gets a champions weight, reflecting the fact that he is a champion. However, that weight was all earned at shorter trips and I don't think it reflects his ability over the two miles. I may back it, but it's a heart bet.

3. FAME GAME (12) 57 Manukata/Purton $3.50

Captain: My early Cup tip, hit the line hard in the Caulfield Cup, but has been grossly over-bet by the public since then. He's still my top pick to win but certainly not any value at that price, so I will leave no stone unturned, I will scour the ends of the earth, I will use whatever means necessary, and drum up a gorilla's worth of free bets to plonk on this guy!

Professor: As strong a cup trial as you will ever see in the Caulfield Cup. Top line Japanese form. Should win.

4. OUR IVANHOWE (22) 56 Freedmans/Melham $26

Captain: Can't dismiss after Caulfield Cup run but all form around 2400...

Professor: Steadily improving and the Caulfield Cup run, while not flashy suggests this could be a good chance at odds.

5. BIG ORANGE (23) 55.5 Bell/Spencer $51

Captain: I may have mentioned this last year but I think it's something like the last 1000 horses to run in the Cup without a lead up run in Oz since Vintage Crop (1993) have won zero (0) Melbourne Cups. Maybe this guy will change it all, providing he doesn't get flogged by 14, 25 or 42 lengths as he has done in the past 6 months.

Professor: Our former co-writer must be hammering this? And if it loves a sauce moat as much as him it won't be winning. Oh pass the condiment-o's.

6. HARTNELL (17) 55.5 O'Shea/McDonald $34

Captain: I may have mentioned this last year also but at last count I think it's like 2000+ Godolphin horses who have run in the Cup for zero (0) wins. Also, I would love to hear Greg Carpenter's explanation as to how a horse who carries 52kg in the Sydney Cup, gets flogged by genuine two milers Grand Marshal and TheBarman, finishes no better than 4th in any race since then...gets 55.5kg in the Melbourne Cup.

Professor: With all the buzz around Hartnell, the question that one should ask is does Hartnell stay? Evidence to date suggests that a slowly run Sydney Cup, or a Brisbane Cup, or even a Perth Cup would be well in his reach. Does he stay in this field? Not so much.

7. HOKKO BRAVE (20) 55.5 Matsunaga/Williams $34

Captain: A poor man's Fame Game.

Professor: Obviously the less fancied of the two Japanese runners based on form in both Japan and in the Caulfield Cup. Wide run at Caulfield but showed nothing at the business end. And that's where you have to get it done. The business end. You can hit as many 300 yard drives you want but what's the point if you can't sink a three footer?

8. MAX DYNAMITE (2) 55 Mullins/Dettori $14

Captain: There are things that a man just can't handle in life, and one of those for me will be the day a hurdler wins the Melbourne Cup. I don't give a fuck if it's an elite pastime in the UK, hurdling is only interesting to Aussie punters who have polished off a bottle of vodka for breakfast and think AR1 is all of a sudden a good idea, if you know what I mean Professor?!? Ah the good old days!

Pre-race breakfast at the Professor's circa 2002!

Professor: Hurdler, turdler, girdler.

9. RED CADEAUX (8) 55 Dunlop/Mosse $31

Captain: Now older than Precedence and with more 2nds than the NSW Origin team, unfortunately the window for winning the Cup has closed on this ol' timer. But he is just always there at the finish over 3200 at Flemington, you could do worse than throwing him into your multiples.

Professor: In 2019 he'll still stay better than half of these. Why not take some of the juicy odds that it will finish in the top seven? Why not?

10. TRIP TO PARIS (14) 55 Dunlop/Berry $9

Captain: Obviously will get the trip and obviously not a Winchester one-paced plugger on his lead up run in the Caulfield Cup. His trainer is proven in producing a quality Cup runner. Include in multiples.

Professor: Its trial run in the Caulfield Cup was impressive but not quite as impressive as that turned in by Fame Game. In all of my exotics but I won't be backing it outright.

11. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (6) 54.5 Waller/Shinn $17

Captain: Well backand widest inthe Caulfield Cup butran on nicely. Would havewon the Sydney Cup ifnot for a stonking GrandMarshal finish, 3rd inthe Melbourne Cup lastyear andwith Kris Lees having noidea andruining Protectionist with manyruns toomany, andRed Cadeaux now olderthan Precedence, thisguy hasto bein allmultiples.

Professor: There is a market for a top seven finish and TheBarman is paying $2.70 in that market, and I think that is just about a license to print money. He's demonstrated the ability to run this trip out (half of this field won't) he's had another year with Waller, and while I think he will find a few better he's a special to finish somewhere from third to seventh.

12. SKY HUNTER (7) 54 Bin Suroor/Buick $41

Captain: Bin Suroor always brings horses that haven't run the trip, and don't particularly look like they want to run the trip. Melbourne's a lovely place to be this time of year though. Also, not wanting to sound like a broken record, but Godolphin have brought out 10,000 odd horses to run in the Cup now and have won zero (0) Cups.

Professor: At $41 this actually looks to have some of the more interesting form of the euro runners. Still, probably not winning, that's 0/497 Godolphin.

13. THE OFFER (13) 54 Waterhouse/Oliver $51

Captain: A Country Cups merchant this campaign, his latest outing in the Bendigo Cup he knocked off a last start Pakenham Park BM70 winner. He won a Sydney Cup too...but Brigantin ran 4th in that one. Brigantin.

Professor: Likely to stay, but would need mandatory flippers and snorkels to be troubling these.

14. GRAND MARSHAL (15) 53.5 Waller/Cassidy  $41

Captain: Possibly the biggest horse to have ever lived, being ridden by possibly the smallest man to have ever lived...

It's a match made in heaven, and with the Pumper announcing his retirement after the Carnival, there would be nothing more fitting than Grand Marshal being driven to Cup glory along the Grandstand rail, Pumper's favourite place to be. Clackety Clack. Ring A Ding Ding.

Professor: Silly silly price available for in form Sydney Cup winner. Probably won't win, but double figure place odds seem generous.

15. PREFERMENT (11) 53.5 Waller/Bowman $10

Captain: Form is great outside of the completely unsuitable Cox Plate...

Professor: Best of the Aussies by a good margin. 2,500 metres was no problem as a developing three year old. Form this campaign has been impeccable. Clear second pick for me.

16. QUEST FOR MORE (21) 53.5 Charlton/Lane $126

Captain: His run in the Geelong Cup does not augur well for a few of these, including the dirty hurdler. And with Lane on board, I am going to suggest the Quest For More lies somewhere a long fucking way away from Flemington...

Professor: Form around Trip To Paris but flopped at Geelong... Hard pass.

17. ALMOONQITH (10) 53 Hayes and Dabernig/Dunn $14

Captain: I never trust something that doesn't have a 'u' after a 'q', Qantas for example. More importantly, I also don't trust anything in a Melbourne Cup that has been done by Brown Panther over 2 miles to the tune of 7 lengths and is paying $15.

Professor: If you like The United States, and I do, you should like this one as well. Ran on fiercely behind the States at Caulfield and then convincingly won the Geelong Cup. $15s a little skinny but a very good chance,.

18. KINGFISHER (9) 53 Sissy O'Brien/O'Donoghue $41

Captain: I am going to suggest that if you back a horse in the Melbourne Cup that has been beaten by 16L and 43 L in it's lead ups, hasn't had a lead up run Downunder, and is trained by Sissy O'Brien, then you are off you're fucking trolley.

Professor: The newest arrival from the Lloyd Williams conveyor belt of stayers. Form okay, but sight unseen it's a hard pass from me.

19. PRINCE OF PENZANCE (1) 53 Weir/Payne $81

Captain: Couldn't overcome the might of The United States at the Valley, not the worst but won't be having it.

Professor: The ease with which The United States hunted this down over the shorter trip suggests it will find at least one far better. That said, it likely will stay, and a top seven finish is a decent bet.
20. BONDI BEACH (18) 52.5 Sissy O'Brien/Prebble $21
Captain: There are things I look for in a Melbourne Cup horse and this thing has none of them circa 2015. Maybe next year if Sissy O'Brien is replaced by Hickmott. Not wanting to sound like a broken record but there have been some 30 million Internationals since Vintage Crop without a lead up in Aus combining for a total of zero (0, zilch, nada, nil, sweet fuck all) Cup wins.

Professor: This one will start far too short tomorrow. Average UK form and then you have Sneaky Lloyd Williams talking it up which means: hit The United States.
21. SERTORIUS (5) 52.5 Edwards/Newitt $Write Your Own Ticket

Captain: Ah for fuck's sake, it's 11:37pm on Cup Eve, the punters are sweating on us publishing this and I'm supposed to deal Sertorius right now?!?

Professor: At his best, two years ago I'd fancy this to finish in the top half of the field at best.

22. THE UNITED STATES (3) 52.5 Hickmott/Moreira $20

Captain: Ask anyone from the U S of A and they'll tell you this guy is gonna win the Cup for sure!

Professor: Best roughie in the field. Was really impressive gobbling up Prince Of Penzance over 2,500 metres last start and they gapped the rest. Gives the impression that the track and distance may suit as well. I'll be including this in all of my multis.

23. EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (24) 51 Waterhouse/McEvoy $34

Captain: Only in the field because Terry Bailey has never had the balls to uphold a perfectly reasonable protest in a feature race ever. Zanteco's connections are reportedly in talks with Dan Nikolic...

Professor: Winners of the Lexus/Saab/Lavazza/Steggles always start unders... Sometimes the race unearths a Shocking. Most of the time it finds Big Pat.

24. GUST OF WIND (19) 51 Sargent/Schofield $34

Captain: If I knew for certain she ran two miles then she'd be my top pick here. Want to know who the last horse to beat Winx was?!?

Professor: Hard to see any reason why an each way ticket would hurt here. Every run leading in has suggested that 3,200 at Flemington would be perfect.

1. Fame Game
2. Grand Marshal
3. Who Shot TheBarman
4. Trip To Paris
5. Gust Of Wind
The only others that I will consider for multis are The United States and Preferment.
Win bets (three or four out of)
Fame Game, Preferment, Gust Of Wind, The United States, Almoonqith.

First four (boxed)

Some final food for thought from the great man:

“You had a tear in your eye,” remarked a racing scribe to Bart Cummings, after the Cummings trained Saintly had just won the Melbourne Cup.

 “Yeah, I didn’t have enough on it”