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2015 Melbourne Cup day: Tips and previews for all 10 races

Fame Game looks a good bet in the big one. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Expert
2nd November, 2015
13
7193 Reads

Welcome to Melbourne Cup day, punters! It’s a great day for Melburnians of course, getting a public holiday to celebrate the great race, but it is the greatest three minutes in sport the nation sees each year.

Derby day was a tough one for punters in some regard, with another meeting of outrageous bias after the same thing occurred at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day last week.

2015 MELBOURNE CUP LIVE UPDATES, RESULT

Outside the Cup itself, there are another nine races for us to win money on, so let’s see if we can!

More 2015 Melbourne Cup
>> 2015 Melbourne Cup news
>> 2015 Melbourne Cup preview and top tips
>> 2015 Melbourne Cup runner-by-runner guide
>> Melbourne Cup weather

Race 1
Only four of these fillies have started in a race, and these early two-year-old races are often a step into the unknown.

Missrock won the Debutant Stakes at Caulfield three weeks back, and the horses that filled the placings behind her that day ran very well at the Valley last week. One of them, Valliano, would have won if not for the bias of the day, so the form is strong.

Missrock is the short-price favourite though, and not many of them win in Cup week. Who knows if any of the unraced fillies could be a special talent?

Selections
1. Missrock 2. Bangs 3. Stop Making Sense 4. Infra Dig

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Suggested bet: Perhaps have your first beer or champagne of the day – 10:40am isn’t too early, is it? If you must act, perhaps pick your favourite colours or a name you like.

Race 2
The smallest field of the day gives us a nice chance to get a collect surely? Particularly this race, which doesn’t bat too deeply.

The two class mares of the field are Zarzali and Precious Gem, which have both been competitive in much stronger races than this in their campaigns so far.

Zarzali will get back and charge home, relishing the long Flemington straight. Precious Gem is better than she has shown at her last two, both of which were strange races.

A few of the others can run well, but their winning chances might be limited.

Selections
1. Zarzali 2. Precious Gem 3. Mrs President 4. Lilly Dazzler

Suggested bet: The winner should be a good thing at a short price, so let’s have some fun with a first four, with her one-out – 1 / 2, 3, 6 / 2, 3, 6 / 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Race 3
A staying race in honour of the late, great Bart Cummings, who made this day his own on a record 12 occasions. And it’s fitting that the race is full of tough, hardy stayers, but it makes finding a winner devilishly difficult.

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Renew has been running well in better grade at his last couple, and might have found a race for him here, but has been allocated Barrier 20, which might make life tough. De Little Engine is in a similar boat, running his heart out and looking for this distance, but will be jumping from almost as wide.

Adelaide horses always pop up in the winners stall in Cup week, so are always worth watching. Jim’s Journey is progressive stayer that keeps getting better as he steps up in distance, and will likely get the run of the race. Four Carat is equal favourite, and you can do worse than just back Chris Waller’s horses all week.

The form of Pop N Scotch looks great after Zanteca almost won the Lexus on Saturday, but is another treated unkindly with the barriers. There are plenty of other chances too.

Selections
1. Pop N Scotch 2. Jim’s Journey 3. Four Carat 4. De Little Engine

Suggested bet: Hmm. Tough race. Luck from wide barriers will go a long way to determining the result. Back something you like each-way in the $10 to $15 region.

Race 4
Good Project is the warm favourite in this seven-furlong race, in most consistent form carrying big weights up in Sydney. The Hugh Bowman-Chris Waller combination is hard to top right now, but a widish gate from the 1400-metre start at Flemington could make things sticky for him.

Malaguerra the second favourite has been doing similar form to the favourite, except down in Victoria, and is weighted to win. He was just edged out by Weinholt, a Peter Moody horse that has always had ability. Durendal is a nice horse in the making and will get the box seat run at his home track.

Turnitaround is a good first-up horse that can be there when the whips are cracking at 20-1. Sentfromthestars isn’t the worst horse at big odds, but can she run the 1400 metres right out?

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Selections
1. Malaguerra 2. Durendal 3. Turnitaround 4. Weinholt

Suggested bet: Malaguerra gets the right run, and looks a safe each-way bet if you want some sort of a collect and haven’t had one yet.

Race 5
This is a 1000-metre sprint down the straight for three-year-olds, and it might be a straight-forward affair, with a couple of these having excellent form around horses than ran well at Group 1 level on Saturday.

Spill The Beans is the favourite, and rightly so. His last-start second to Counterattack, which ran third in the Coolmore on Saturday, stands out like the dogs proverbials. He’s also the highest rated horse, but hasn’t been penalised at the weights under the conditions of the race. If he handles the straight, he probably wins.

Ability has been close enough behind Keen Array at his last two, and that horse ran second in the Coolmore (and probably wins if the track races fairly). He’s got outstanding claims, obviously, if you’re not a favourite punter, but want to back something in the market.

Chances to a few others, but it’s hard to line them up. Forget Miss Gidget’s last start, she was given no hope in the run.

Selections
1. Spill The Beans 2. Ability 3. Viceroy 4. Faatinah

Suggested bet: You hate to suggest backing a favourite, but sometimes the obvious is exactly that for a reason, and it turns out that way often enough. Spill The Beans to win.

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Race 6
A typically open fillies race, with a host of chances. If you really like something in this, you’re getting great value.

Don’t Doubt Mamma has been running good races against some exceptional Group 1 horses, and is $8. Comprende dominated some handy horses in Adelaide last start, and Phillip Stokes has a superb record bringing them over, particularly to Flemington. $9.

Valley Sweetheart was great at the Valley last Saturday, at only her second start, and gives the impression the extra 200 metres is exactly what she’s after. Serenade hasn’t had much in her favour in three starts this campaign, and appeals as a great chance at $16 or so, especially given she should get a lovely run in transit.

Selections
1. Valley Sweetheart 2. Serenade 3. Don’t Doubt Mamma 4. Comprende

Suggested bet: Maybe box those four in a quinella if you like exotics, Valley Sweetheart the win if you’re a Peter Moody or Glen Boss fan, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, have an each-way crack at Serenade to get something in the kitty before the big one.

Race 7
The Melbourne Cup, the race we’ve all been waiting for. And doesn’t it shape as a cracker? Don’t forget to check out Andrew Hawkins’ world famous runner-by-runner preview here, or the one from the ever-astute Justin Cinque here. You’ll know everything you need to after reading the thoughts of those two, I can promise you that.

Fame Game is all the rage after he was ridden not to win the Caulfield Cup to avoid a penalty for this. But gee he’s under the odds. Trip To Paris ran second in that race, and if he can reproduce the turn of foot he showed there, he’ll win. The 3200-metre distance presents no problem for him, given he won the Ascot Gold Cup over 4000 metres earlier this year.

Preferment is a great chance for the almighty Waller-Bowman combination. Lee Freedman is incredibly bullish about Our Ivanhowe, and the trainer of Makybe Diva does know something about it! Almoonqith for David Hayes has hit his straps at the right time. The United States and Excess Knowledge must be considered down in the weights too.

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Quest For More is 100-1 after failing in the Geelong Cup, but if he brings the best of his overseas form, he can be right in the race. Plenty of horses run a place at huge odds in the Melbourne Cup, and he could be the one this year. At the very least, don’t despair if you’ve drawn him in the sweep!

Of the internationals we haven’t seen race here in the lead-up to the Cup, Max Dynamite appears to have the best chance given his credentials and barrier. And of course, how could we rule out Red Cadeaux!

Selections
1. Trip To Paris 2. Preferment 3. Fame Game 4. Almoonqith

Suggested bet: Use whatever formula you normally do, and you’ll probably do better than the tipsters! Personally, Trip To Paris ticks every conceivable box to run very, very well. Include him in everything if you’re playing the exotics.

Race 8
Bloody hard race this, possibly the hardest of the day.

Malice put in one of the outstanding runs of the day against the bias at Moonee Valley last week, and is ready to win after racing well all prep. He’s also been well backed since markets opened, so plenty of people are already on board.

He or She is a good horse with a bad barrier. He can win, but I couldn’t take short odds on him in this field. Scream Machine and Awesome Rock have long threatened to win a nice race, and last start second placings indicate they’re ready.

The likes of The Bowler, Jacquinot Bay and Sadler’s Lake are always hard to beat in this sort of grade. Hopfgarten is due for a change of luck.

Selections
1. Malice 2. Sadler’s Lake 3. He or She 4. Hopefgarten

Suggested bet: I’m already with Malice, and if I’m having a bad day he can get me out of it. If I’m having a good day, then he can make it a very good one!

Race 9
An open handicap straight race with about 115 runners. Good luck to all of us on this one.

Kuro has the best credentials in the race, but has been slightly disappointing this campaign. He got smashed last start, so may have finished third or fourth, but he was never going to win. Tough to back a favourite in this sort of race.

Gregers is a good mare that is better over this shorter trip than the 1400 metres of her last two starts. Her last run up the straight would all but win this, but she’s not well in at the weights. Griante is the other gun mare in the race, coming back from Group 1 weight-for-age. She’s been running well for two months, and is due for a win.

Chances elsewhere to Afleet Esprit, Pago Rock (hasn’t won since 1982, but could be best value), The Monstar, Mandla, Nautical at big odds and Villopoto.

Selections
1. Griante 2. Kuro 3. Gregers 4. Pago Rock

Suggested bet: It’s been a long day, so let’s sit this one out. If you have to, Griante will give you a shout for your money, if the outside isn’t inferior ground.

Race 10
A really good race to finish the day, Group 3 for mares over 1400 metres.

Wawail is the market-elect, a classy David Hayes horse that is a gun 1400 metre mare, drawn to get the absolute run of the race. Her last-start second, when just run down by Politeness, looks even better after that mare won the Group 1 Myer Classic on Saturday.

Nayeli is so tough and honest, she’s always in calculations. She’s Clean is the ‘weight’ horse under these conditions, pitched in relative to her rating. Lucky Lago has been running good races in similar grade and can win.

Traveston Girl is a Queenslander with a touch of class, and you get the feeling she’s been set for this second-up. Scarlet Billows will run well as a value selection. Thinking of You will be finishing harder than most down the middle of the track, and she’s ready now. Unequivocal come out of the same race as Thinking of You and Nayeli, and is yet another chance.

Tycoon Tara has been racing well against the best, and will appreciate the drop in grade, but rises in weight. She’s not the worst 20-1 shot today.

Selections
1. Thinking of You 2. Wawail 3. She’s Clean 4. Nayeli

Suggested bet: Last race of the day, so it’s time for a shot at the stumps! I’m chasing the value here, but those mares at high single-figure odds are all great value.

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