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The 2013 Melbourne Cup runs at 3.00pm AEDT, and we’ll bring you live updates, winners and losers, results and all the updates from the track as Australia’s richest race gets closer.
Preview: The Melbourne Cup is the richest handicap event in the world, with over $6 million dollars in prize money on offer in this two-mile (3200m) global event.
Over 100,000 race goers flock out to the Flemington track, while 700 million people are expected to be viewing the event on their television screens throughout the world.
The world’s richest 3200m handicap has now progressed from the race that stops the nation to the race that stops the world.
Many internationals now send their horses to Australia in bid to claim the huge prize money on offer, and this year we see British, Irish, French, and German horses take on the Aussies.
The quality of horses to miss the Melbourne Cup this year again highlights the strength of the field, which is considered to be the best ever. Not even Bart Cummings could get a horse into the race – the Moonee Valley Cup winner Precedence missing out of the final field.
However, we look forward to watching the Cup field, not those that missed out. And we’ll start here with the Internationals.
Since the superstar Vintage Crop was the only international horse to win the Cup on his Australian debut, 66 international horses have tried to win without a lead-up run. None have won but quite a number have run a place. That means it won’t be easy for the internationals who haven’t had a start in Australia: Can any of Mount Athos, Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Brown Panther, Royal Empire, Voleuse de Coeurs, Verema, or Tres Blue rewrite the history books?
There are four horses who are real roughies: Ethiopia, Mourayan, Ibicenco and Ruscello. While Ibicenco and Ruscello have won at the last start, they were in weaker than usual lead up races. Ethiopia has been out of form for more than a year and Mourayan isn’t going well enough. Could one of these outside hopes get up and cause a shock?
The Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente is the current $7 favourite. He finished second last year carrying 53.5kg (55kg this year) before four excellent runs this year, winning the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) along the way. Drawn well in barrier 5 and has Damien Oliver on board.
Can he win as the first favourite since Makybe Diva in 2005?
Dandino was keenly backed before the Caulfield Cup, and after his excellent run to finish second many more have jumped on. He has great overseas form (beating Mount Athos easily) and that form was franked after his first-up performance. Can he go one better than at Caulfield?
One of the best outsiders is Super Cool. His Australian Cup win in March was exciting, but apart from his first up run in the Memsie this spring, most of his runs since have been a little underwhelming.
The handicap conditions are definitely going to suit (carrying 54.5kg). Can he ice the field?
Another Australian is the Chris Waller trained Hawkspur, who has strong claims. He was the Caulfield Cup favourite before settling too far back, but he ran on strongly from the tail to keep his Melbourne Cup dreams alive.
Can he be the first to win the Queensland Derby and the Melbourne Cup?
Dear Demi has been absolutely faultless so far this preparation. She was third in the Underwood and Caulfield Cup, second in the Mackinnon on Saturday and won the VRC Oaks this time last year. She is only carrying 51kg but has to run the distance. Can she win for owner John Singleton?
Sea Moon looks to be Lloyd Williams’ best chance of going back to back, and just one of five horses he has in the race. Sea Moon has superb overseas form and his last two starts have proven he could be back to his best. Lloyd’s others include Fawkner, the Caulfield Cup winner who is well fancied, and Seville, Masked Marvel, Mourayan, as well as last year’s winner Green Moon. Green Moon isn’t quite matching his form from last year and has a heavier weight to carry. Can Lloyd do it again?
Simenon rounds the field – a good Irish stayer who ran well behind Sea Moon at Caulfield. He enjoys the long trip, will be strong at the end, and has had a run in Australia to show his stuff. Can he win for Irish trainer Willie Mullins?
Enjoy this fantastic edition of the Melbourne Cup and happy punting.