Melbourne Cup 2011 - The race that stops a nation
By Andrew, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Andrew Brocker
Since Media Puzzle became the second international horse to claim the Melbourne Cup in 2002, Australians have become used to watching overseas-bred horses win their greatest race and this year appears no different. Here's a look at this year's field and a few views ahead of the race that stops a nation. Dunaden is selected in a wide open renewal.....
1. Americain (Stall 15)
Impressive in the Moonee Valley Cup in his first run in Australia this season, leaving him with an unbeaten record there. He is a powerful horse but he will carry extra weight and race wider out than when he started last year, which will prove difficult. Only multiple winners Think Big and Makybe Diva have won carrying this much weight in the past 40 years. If he wins, he will become only the seventh horse to win two Melbourne Cups.
2. Jukebox Jury (6)
At his last start in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville in France, he thrashed Americain and Dunaden. He will attempt to lead all the way in the Cup, which is extremely difficult and hasn't been done since Might and Power won in 1997. On European form he is the best of the internationals. Vintage Crop came out and won without running in any other Australian races, but it is difficult to back without having watched it race in Australian conditions.
3. Dunaden (13)
Dunaden has typically had the better of Americain when they have raced against each other in Europe. The difference in this race is that Dunaden will carry just 54.5 kilos, a considerable advantage over Americain. Dunaden had a great win in the Geelong Cup, which has shaped as the best form race for the Melbourne Cup in recent times.
4. Drunken Sailor (8)
Won the Glorious Stakes in England this year, but is now on its second tour of duty trying to win the Melbourne Cup and is still doesn't appear quite up to it. Could only manage seventh in the Caulfield Cup, in what increasingly appears to be a weak field this year.
5. Glass Harmonium (23)
Put in a strong performance to win the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday and clearly in excellent heart.
6. Manighar (21)
Oliver claims his runner in this year's Melbourne Cup seems more mature, stronger and better-placed to win this year's race. He finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup but didn't look as though he had a lot left to offer. Still, not without his chances on Tuesday.
7. Unusual Suspect (7)
A US Group One winner brought out especially to run in the Cup, he showed plenty in the Caulfield Cup where he finished sixth after being checked and held up for a clear run on the home turn.
8. Fox Hunt (19)
Mark Johnston's second runner after Jukebox Jury doesn't have quite the same level of hype, despite winning the German St Leger in September. Like Jukebox Jury, he has been unsighted in Australian conditions, making it difficult to put a line through his form although Johnston claims he is "tailor-made for the Cup".
9. Lucas Cranach (11)
Came over with solid form in Europe and big things were expected of him in the Caulfield Cup, but he ran fifth with connections citing a sore hoof as the chief problem. If he can produce the same late acceleration at Flemington, he is not without a chance.
10. Mourayan (14)
The Lloyd Williams-owned horse showed plenty in its second-placed workout in the Mackinnon on Saturday and appeared to have enough left in the tank for the longer journey on Tuesday. Stewards did report that it looked as though he pulled up mildly lame after the race though, which could be a concern.
11. Precedence (2)
Mug punters will tell you if Bart Cummings has two horses in the Melbourne Cup, then always get on the less fancied of the two. That fits Precedence down to the ground this year after a shocking run in the Mackinnon Stakes that leaves him well behind Bart's other horse, Illo. Precedence finished eighth in the Cup last year and is not without a chance of improving.
12. Red Cadeaux (16)
Red Cadeaux won the Curragh Cup in June, just like the great Vintage Cr0p did, and is also attempting to win the Cup without racing on Australian soil. Red Cadeaux finished fifth in the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville in August behind Jukebox Jury, but crucially ahead of Americain and Dunaden. He was again beaten by Jukebox Jury in the Irish St Leger, but this time he was only one length behind. Carrying just 53.5 kilos, he has to be in with a shot. Still a stamina c0ncern over the two miles.
13. Hawk Island (18)
Another international horse imported purely for the fact he would be guaranteed a run in the Cup. Finishing 13th in the Caulfield Cup and huge rag here.
14. Illo (1)
Cummings' German import has only had the one run on Australian soil and finished third behind Americain in the Moonee Valley Cup. That suggests he has to be in with a shot this year and even non-punters know you always pay attention to Cummings' horses when it comes to the first Tuesday in November.
15. Lost in the Moment (3)
Could this be the year that a Godolphin horse wins the Melbourne Cup? Perhaps but Modun probably looks the more likely of the stable's two runners this year.
16. Modun (5)
The second horse from the Godolphin stable but the more highly-rated of the two. Modun is a giant and powerful horse, which should hold him in good stead come Tuesday. Godolphin purchased the horse after it won the September Stakes at Kempton last month, which suggests they are still coming to terms with what the horse can achieve.
17. At First Sight (10)
Probably the best of Lloyd Williams' three runners this year, At First Sight finished second in the Bendigo Cup after storming home from the rear of the field. He achieved that feat with 58kg on his back, but will carry just 52.5kg in the Cup, which is why he has such a good shot at winning.
18. Moyenne Corniche (17)
Won England's biggest handicap, the Ebor in York this year and is capable of causing an upset.
19. Saptapadi (22)
The second Ellison runner in this year's Cup and the luckiest horse in the race. Only $944 separated Bauer and Saptapadi in prizemoney, which got the runner into the race over the more-fancied Cumani horse. You are probably still better off putting your money on Bauer.
20. Shamrocker (20)
Won the AJC Oaks in the autumn, but her spring form has been dismal. This was highlighted when she finished 12th of 14 in the Cox Plate. Avoid.
21. The Verminator (4)
Won the AJC Metropolitan at Randwick but then finished 11th of 12 in the Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday. Inconsistency doesn't win you many Melbourne Cups.
22. Tullamore (12)
Has done everything except win when it mattered this preparation. He finished third in the Caulfield Cup and was second behind Americain in the Moonee Valley Cup. If you follow the progression of Cups runs that means he should finish first on Tuesday!!
23. Niwot (9)
Twice this century the Lexus Stakes winner has gone on to win the Melbourne Cup with Shocking the most recent in 2009. The Hawkes stable also came close to achieving the feat last year when Maluckyday finished second behind Americain.
24. Older Than Time (20)
The only Australian-bred horse in the race. She did finish second in the Sydney Cup but has placed only once in her spring preparation and was an appalling 11th in the Lexus Stakes.
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