Thanks to Just Horse Racing, the form guide is below. Pick your horse for the win, then find the horse’s name in the comments below. REPLY to that comment, with the horse you want to pick, and leave a comment. One entry per person, clearly!
So are you going with the best odds? Or will you back a New Zealand horse, owner or jockey?
1. Big Orange (7)(GB)J: JAMIE SPENCERT: MICHAEL BELLW: 57KGPREDICTION: 8THCOMMENT: Comes in with good form winning 2 x G2’s in England. Stuck on very well in Melb Cup last year finishing 5th. Will make own luck out in front and stable are confident. Concern is there looks to be good pace in the race but he is a big winning chance. Good e/w bet.
2. Our Ivanhowe (6)(GER)J: DWAYNE DUNNT: LEE & ANTHONY FREEDMANW: 57KGPREDICTION: 4THCOMMENT: Has gone through his gears nicely leading into race. Big run in the Caulf Cup last start suggesting 3200m will be perfect dist. Unlucky runner in Melb Cup last year and has similar conditions this year. Will get a good run from barrier. Big chance. Good e/w bet.
3. Curren Mirotic (18)(JPN)J: TOMMY BERRYT: OSAMU HIRATAW: 56.5KGPREDICTION: 22NDCOMMENT: Comes into the race out of form and 9YO so improvement is unlikely. The only plus is he will make his own luck on speed and Japanese horses have always gone well in our big races but his track work/form says he can’t win. Others better.
4. Bondi Beach (5)(IRE)J: RYAN MOORET: AIDAN O’BRIENW: 56KGPREDICTION: 5THCOMMENT: Lightly raced consistent stayer with plenty of upside. Comes into race on the back of two good runs in Irish G3’s with the step up to 3200m to suit. Luckless in last years Melb Cup where he hit the line well when he got room. Looks a big chance.
5. Exospheric (13)(GB)J: DAMIEN OLIVERT: LEE & ANTHONY FREEDMANW: 56KGPREDICTION: 11THCOMMENT: Ran a good third in Caulf Cup last start where he stuck on okay. Based on Caulf Cup run the 3200m looks a concern and other Internationals come in with better form. Others look better.
6. Hartnell (12)(GB)J: JAMES MCDONALDT: JOHN O’SHEAW: 56KGPREDICTION: 6THCOMMENT: Devastating win in the G1 Turnbull before a distant 2nd to Winx in Cox Plate. Deserving favourite based on Turnbull win and has a lot of class but the 3200m is a query after finishing 15th in Melb Cup last year, he was unlucky but he didn’t hit the line with too much authority when he got room. Big chance but better value elsewhere?
7. Who Shot Thebarman (20)(NZ)J: HUGH BOWMANT: CHRIS WALLERW: 56KGPREDICTION: 15THCOMMENT: Looked the winner in the MV Cup before being run down late. Ticking along nicely and is proven over 3200m. 4th in Melb Cup last year so has to be respected. Place chance. Worth an e/w bet.
8. Wicklow Brave (24)(GB)J: FRANKIE DETTORIT: WILLIAM MULLINSW: 56KGPREDICTION: 9THCOMMENT: Last start G1 Irish St Leger winner who has won 6 times over 3200m. Strong stayer who will run a big race but will need some luck from outside barrier. Proven over the trip and will give a good site. Opposing trainers have marked him the horse to beat. Good e/w bet.
9. Almoonqith (19)(USA)J: MICHAEL WALKERT: D & B HAYES & T DABERNIGW: 54.5KGPREDICTION: 12THCOMMENT: Has to be respected on his Caulf Cup run when he hit the line well late. If he can get a good run from the wide barrier he has the turn of foot to win but can be a hit or miss horse. Place chance.
10. Gallante (2)(IRE)J: BLAKE SHINNT: ROBERT HICKMOTTW: 54.5KGPREDICTION: 20THCOMMENT: Good run in the Naturalism behind Jameka two starts ago before a very disappointing run in MV Cup last start. Won this years Sydney Cup over 3200m so he gets the trip but on his last start its hard to have him. Take on trust.
11. Grand Marshal (9)(GB)J: BEN MELHAMT: CHRIS WALLERW: 54.5KGPREDICTION: 13THCOMMENT: Didn’t look to be going too well until a good MV Cup win last start. Has won Sydney Cup over 3200m so he will stay the distance, will need rain to be a winning chance. Place chance at best otherwise. If it rains get on.12. Jameka (3)J: NICHOLAS HALLT: CIARON MAHERW: 54.5KGPREDICTION: 7THCOMMENT: Impressive Caulf Cup winner. 3200m looks ideal despite breeding saying otherwise. Has had a few small set backs and her odds are on the drift but based on her Caulf Cup win she looks hard to beat. Good winning chance.
13. Heartbreak City (23)(FR)J: JOAO MOREIRAT: TONY MARTINW: 54KGPREDICTION: 3RDCOMMENT: Huge win in the Ebor last start and before that another good win in a Galway Hurdle. Comes into the race in very good form and he will definitely get the distance. Has a good turn of foot for an out and out stayer but will need luck from barrier. Very good e/w bet.
14. Sir John Hawkwood (14)(IRE)J: BLAKE SPRIGGST: JOHN P THOMPSONW: 54KGPREDICTION: 21STCOMMENT: Good win in the G1 Metrop before disappointing run in Caulf Cup. Untried at the distance which is a concern and hard to have him on his last start otherwise he rates well at the big odds. Decent long shot chance.
15. Excess Knowledge (21)(GB)J: VLAD DURICT: GAI WATERHOUSE & ADRIAN BOTTW: 53.5KGPREDICTION: 18THCOMMENT: Ticking a long okay this prep. Looked the winner in last years Melb Cup at big odds before finishing 7th but was going better this time last year. Place chance at best.
16. Beautiful Romance (1)(GB)J: DAMIAN LANET: SAEED BIN SUROORW: 52.5KGPREDICTION: 19THCOMMENT: Stuck on well in the listed Nayef Stakes in GB last start running 3rd. First up in Melb Cup and other Internationals look better but gets inside barrier so she will get an easy run but will need a lot to go her way to win. Happy to leave out.
17. Almandin (17)(GER)J: KERRIN MCEVOYT: ROBERT HICKMOTTW: 52KGPREDICTION: 1STCOMMENT: Lightly raced stayer. Awesome/easy win last start in G3 at Flem over 2500m when eased down. Gets into the Melb Cup low in the weights and has been set for the race. With luck from barrier he looks very hard to beat. Our top pick. Very good e/w bet.
18. Assign (22)(IRE)J: KATELYN MALLYONT: ROBERT HICKMOTTW: 52KGPREDICTION: 17THCOMMENT: Won a weak Herbert Power last start but race has been a good form line for Melb Cup’s in the past. Drawn poorly and looks to be 3rd best from stable in the race. Will need a lot to go right for him to figure. Place chance at best.
19. Grey Lion (16)(IRE)J: GLEN BOSST: MATT CUMANIW: 52KGPREDICTION: 14THCOMMENT: Was gallant running 2nd in Geelong Cup last start where he had the sit on winner Qewy and was out stayed. Before that he didn’t look to stay 3000m in a France G2 so distance is big query. Prefer others but a win won’t surprise.
20. Oceanographer (11)(GB)J: CHAD SCHOFIELDT: CHARLIE APPLEBYW: 52KGPREDICTION: 2NDCOMMENT: Scintillating win in Lexus Stakes and looks like he will relish 3200m. Godolphin did everything to get him into field which says a lot. Will be his third race in 2 weeks but if he can back up he looks very hard to to hold out in what looks to be a race with a good tempo. Huge chance.
21. Secret Number (10)(GB)J: STEPHEN BASTERT: SAEED BIN SUROORW: 52KGPREDICTION: 16THCOMMENT: Good win/place record in questionable form races but looks like he will get the distance. Has only raced twice in 12 months which is a concern but with light weight and a decent turn of foot he could surprise. Place chance.
22. Pentathlon (4)(NZ)J: MARK DU PLESSIST: JOHN WHEELERW: 51.5KGPREDICTION: 23RDCOMMENT: Nothing in his form says he is good enough to win this race. Well beaten in Lexus Stakes last start where he dropped out of race. Can’t see him in the finish and odds support that.
23. Qewy (15)(IRE)J: CRAIG WILLIAMST: CHARLIE APPLEBYW: 51.5KGPREDICTION: 10THCOMMENT: All the way winner in Geelong Cup holding off rivals. Will run on the speed and make his own luck and has placed at every start over 3200m. Rock hard fit stayer who will take a lot of running down. Looks over the odds. Good e/w bet.
24. Rose Of Virginia (8)(NZ)J: BEN THOMPSONT: LEE & SHANNON HOPEW: 51KGPREDICTION: 24THCOMMENT: Rank outsider of the field and deservingly so. There is nothing to suggest she can go close in this race. Can’t win.