Melbourne Cup tips - Runner-by-runner guide to the Melbourne Cup

Lucia Valentina, Lidari and Brambles will all contest the Melbourne Cup.

Twenty-four horses will battle it out for the 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday. We assess the chances of all 24 in our runner-by-runner guide.

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1. Admire Rakti
The Japanese-trained raider who was an outstanding last start winner of the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and is expected to be even better suited by 3200 metres on the roomier Flemington track. He has won over 3400 metres in Japan and handles all track conditions but no horse has carried 58.5kg to win the Melbourne Cup since Think Big in 1975.
 
2. Cavalryman 
Only managed 12th in this race two years ago but wasn’t ridden to his best advantage then. Now a nine-year-old but is reported to be in career-best form after he won the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3200m) two starts back and trainer says he is now a physically better horse. Has won three times at 3200 metres.

3. Fawkner
An in-form stayer who finished sixth in this race last year and connections say he is much stronger this year. Only went down by a head when second in last week’s Cox Plate (2040m) carrying 59kg and drops two kilograms in the handicap here. Has yet to win beyond 2400 metres but has won 10 times, including last year’s Caulfield Cup.
 
4. Red Cadeaux
Contesting this race for the fourth year in a row after close seconds behind Dunaden in 2011 and Fiorente last year. Now a nine-year-old and no horse of that age has won the Melbourne Cup but he seems to relish 3200 metres around the big Flemington track. Needs good footing to perform at his best.

5. Protectionist 
A German-trained stayer who turned in an eye-catching run for fourth in one of the traditional lead up races, the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11. Carried 59kg then and drops to 56.5kg here. Winner over 3000 metres in France in August and champion jockey Ryan Moore takes the mount.


 
6. Sea Moon 
Finished a well beaten 13th in this race last year and has only had two starts this preparation for a 5th over 2500 metres on this track on October 4 and a last in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18. Blinkers go on but he will have to work hard from a wide draw and others preferred.
 
7. Seismos 
English-trained stayer who beat Willing Foe when winning over 2670 metres at Newbury in August and that followed a 4th over 2800 in France. Finished a well beaten 15th inn the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 but struggled to cope with the tight bends there. Will be better suited by the big roomy Flemington track. Outside chance.
 
8. Junoob
A former European galloper who has really progressed since joining the Sydney stable of Chris Waller and is the winner of 11 races. Has yet to succeed at 3200 metres but he was a strong winner of The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick two starts back and wasn’t suited by the tight track when 7th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start.
 
9. Royal Diamond
Irish-trained stayer who was a Group 3 winner over 3200 metres at Ascot 12 months ago. Now a nine-year-old and no horse of that age has won a Melbourne Cup but he is coming off a strong 2nd in the Irish St Leger Trial (2800m) in August  when carrying 61.5kg and drops 6kg in the weights here. Drawn well.
 
10. Gatewood
A consistent English-trained seven-year-old who has returned a dividend 18 times from 25 starts and is in career best form with three wins and two 2nds from his last five starts. Unknown over 3200 metres but won over 2500 metres at Deauville in August and narrowly beaten over the same distance last start. Has a wide draw to overcome.


 
11. Mutual Regard 
Irish-trained six-year-old who has been in great form this year and is well proven over 3200 metres with two wins and a 2nd at the distance and he has also won twice at 2400 metres. Coming off a last start win over 2800 metres at York when carrying a big weight and drops to just 55kg here. In-form jockey Damien Oliver has the mount.
 
12. Who Shot Thebarman 
Stayer who won this year’s Auckland Cup (3200m). Only 13th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start but was unsuited by the tight bends there and never got into his normal rhythm. He is a different horse at Flemington, where he has already won twice this spring, the most recent over 2520 metres. Has won in the wet and dry.
 
13. Willing Foe
A lightly raced English-trained eight-year-old who has recorded five wins and five placings from 15 starts. Finished 2nd behind Seismos over 2700 metres at Newmarket in August and is coming off a last start 4th in the Irish St Leger (2800m). Has a wide draw to overcome but he has impressed in trackwork and top New Zealand-born jockey James McDonald rides.
 
14. My Ambivalent 
A classy English-trained mare who was specifically brought to Australia for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) but suffered bruised heels which kept her out of that race. Has been successful at Group 1 and Group 2 level and finished 3rd in the Dubai Sheema Classic (2400m) this year. Gets in well at the weights.
 
15. Precedence 
A nine-year-old who is having his fourth attempt at this race after an 8th in 2010, 11th in 2011 and 9th in 2012. No nine-year-old has ever won this race but his co-trainer is Bart Cummings, who has won a record 12 Melbourne Cups. Got galloped on when finishing 5th over 2500 at Moonee Valley last Saturday when carrying 59kg.


 
16. Brambles
Six-year-old who followed up a close 3rd in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on this track on October 4 with another good run for 4th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) a fortnight later. Disappointed when 9th in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) here on Saturday and may have to work hard from a wide draw.
 
17. Mr O’Ceirin
Seven-year-old who has shown plenty of ability in the past but needs a wet track to perform at his peak. His best run this time in has been a 4th in the JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley two starts back and he was a well beaten 7th in the Cranbourne Cup (2025m) last start. Could be suspect at 3200 metres.
 
18. Au Revoir
A lightly raced French five-year-old who has only had 14 starts for three wins. Tried to lead all the way in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) last week and was run down late. Will be improved by that run and drops 3kg in the weights here. Has no form over 3200 metres however and a very wide draw to overcome.
 
19. Lidari
A former European-trained six-year-old who has strung together several minor placings since joining the Peter Moody stable including a close 2nd in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on this track two starts back. Followed that with a useful 6th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) but he has yet to win past 2400 metres and could be suspect at the distance.
 
20. Opinion 
A former European-trained six-year-old now in the powerful Chris Waller stable. Runner-up behind Junoob in The Metropolitan (2500m) two starts back and then unsuited by the tight Moonee Valley track when 6th over 2500 last week. Placed twice at Group 1 level and his connections are confident he will run a strong 3200 metres. Drops 1.5kg in the handicap here.



21. Araldo
A German import now prepared by former New Zealand trainer Mike Moroney, who won the 2000 Melbourne Cup with Brew. Has the outside draw to overcome but he turned in an eye-catching run for 5th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start and that followed a 3rd in The Metropolitan (2500m). A definite lightweight chance if he gets an economical run.
 
22. Lucia Valentina 
New Zealand bred and owned mare who was favourite for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 where she wasn’t suited by the muddling tempo and also covered plenty of extra ground before running home strongly for 3rd. That followed a strong win in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on this track when beating Lidari. Unknown at 3200 metres but gets in well at the weights. Any rain will enhance her chances.
 
23. Unchain My Heart 
An eight-year-old mare who has won at 3200 metres in the past and finished 3rd over 2400 metres three starts back but her last two performances have been poor with a 9th in the Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and second to last in the Caulfield Cup (2400m). Needs to improve many lengths to rate any chance in this.
 
24. Signoff 
A progressive five-year-old stayer who earned a start in this year’s cup with a dominant win in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on this track on Saturday. That was his second win at 2500 metres and his connections are confident he will run out a strong 3200 metres. Will be ridden by one of the best jockeys in the world in Joao Moreira.


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Melbourne Cup tips - Runner-by-runner guide to the Melbourne Cup

Twenty-four horses will battle it out for the 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday. We assess the chances of all 24 in our runner-by-runner guide.

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