It’s the first week of November but for most keen punters this would already feel like Christmas. The day has finally arrived so strap yourselves in as we take a look at the Melbourne Cup for 2018! Once again on Moneyball we have a huge GPP with $2,000 up for grabs. This is the only place you can play DFS horse racing on Melbourne Cup day so don’t miss out! These some of my top picks for what looks like a cracking installment of our great race:
11, 23, 3, 9
11. Yucatan (23)
In the most unpredictable race that punters face each year, Yucatan could be the go-to horse for most and for good reason. His first Oz start in the Herbert Power was one of the best lead-in runs to a Cup you will ever see. He was at least 3 or 4 wide the trip and still cruised up to the lead at the 600, kicked away by 6-7 lengths and then was even eased down at the line. Beat plenty of horse that day who he faces again today and that form ties in well with what we have seen with some of those horses running well/winning since then. Top Jockey and an okay barrier certainly help as well. Query will be the distance as he has never been past 2419m Deserves favouritism and will be there in the finish.
23. Cross Counter (19)
Out of the prestigious Charlie Appleby stable, he gets into this race with no weight and is in super form. His worst finish is 4th albeit he has only had the 7 runs in his career so far. Form reads well though – smashed track record in G3 Gordon Stakes then ran a close 2nd in the G2 at York. Beat home the very smart Kew Gardens in that race who then came out and won the G1 St Leger at Doncaster. Query will be how he handles the 3200m and is also his first time travelling outside the UK. If he handles the conditions I would not be surprised to see him run a big race.
3. Magic Circle (17)
Comes into this race as second favourite and has an exceptional record overseas. This will be his first Australian start and has been primed in the lead up to this race. He thrashed Red Verdon by 6L last start who recently ran well in the Caulfield Cup and also beat Prince of Arran (by 9L if you don’t mind) who of course came out and won the Hotham Stakes on the weekend. 2017 Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown takes the ride as well which can only be a positive.
9. Marmelo (10)
Was equal favourite in this race last year after a strong performance in the 2017 Caulfield Cup. Was disappointing on the day after clearly not backing up well. The stable seem to have learnt their lesson as he arrives first up here and by all reports, ready to fire. Ran a close second to the gun Vazirebad and form leading into this looks very good.
2. The Cliffsofmoher (9)
Caught the eye in his Australian debut run where he finished fourth in the Caulfield Stakes. Then ran third in the Caulfield Cup however was poor towards the end of the race. Previous form reads well in winning a G2 at Naas considering Yucatan finished 3rd in that race. Arguably the world’s best jockey being on board won’t hurt his causes and if he gets the right sort of run in transit, could be there come the finishing post.
5. Muntahaa (13)
A stunning victory in the Ebor Handicap reads well considering the fast time in which it was run. That race was over 2800m and doesn’t look like the 2 miles will be an issue here. In form jock Jim Crowley goes on board having not finished outside the top 2 in his three runs in Oz so far. Form can be very up and down so can be hard to catch.
24. Rostropovich (21)
The bottom weight in the field is always going to be an advantage. Aidan O’Brien trained Rekindling to a Melbourne Cup win last year, who was also carrying a light weight and was similarly solid in the lead up to the Cup. Can’t knock his Cox Plate run behind the superstar mare either.
14. Red Cardinal (5)
Can never count out a runner from the Weir stable. He is a long distance specialist having won twice from three starts over 3200m. Form has been pretty average this prep but may be able to bounce back with a cheeky run.