Flemington will again stage ‘the race that stops a nation’ and we’ve picked out three runners for punters to consider in our Melbourne Cup tips.
European raiders have enjoyed great success in recent years, with Rekindling scoring for Joseph O’Brien in 2017 and Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter obliging last season.
The home trainers will be determined to restore Australia’s pride this term, though, so we’ve taken everything into account when assessing the Melbourne Cup odds and selecting this trio to follow:
FINCHE @ 7/1
This five-year-old son of the mighty Frankel had some smart form in France when trained by Andre Fabre, including Group-class victories at Maisons-Laffitte and Deauville, plus decent efforts behind Cracksman and Waldgeist.
He has continued to flourish since switching to Chris Waller’s stable Down Under, finishing fourth in this contest last term after hitting the front two furlongs out.
Pretty much everything has gone to plan this season, with a Randwick triumph and a Group One short-head second at this venue followed by an encouraging fifth of 18 in the Caulfield Cup.
Finche was just tapped for toe late on in that mile and a half event but should be seen to good effect again in this 2m showpiece, so he is rated a worthy favourite in our Melbourne Cup preview.
RAYMOND TUSK @ 16/1
Richard Hannon’s charge was last seen finishing a creditable fourth in the Ebor at York in August, having previously been very highly tried this term.
Jamie Spencer takes the ride on last year’s St Leger sixth, who has shown he travels well by picking up valuable prize money in Italy and Doha.
Tim Palin, racing manager for hugely successful syndicate group Middleham Park Racing, said: “Having a runner in Australia’s race that stops the nation has been a long-held dream for many an MPR owner and we are delighted to finally have a live contender.”
PRINCE OF ARRAN @ 16/1
The globetrotting six-year-old was an excellent third 12 months ago, having earned himself a last-minute starting berth by winning the Lexus Stakes just three days before.
Charlie Fellowes has been able to map out a more conventional preparation this time after Prince Of Arran confirmed his place in the final field with a narrow victory in the Geelong Cup just over a fortnight ago.
“This year has been very different,” said Fellowes. “He has had a much easier year and he is fresh and well and is peaking at the right time.
“He likes Australia because they are flat, round tracks round a couple of bends, which are usually raced on decent ground, and that brings out the best in him.”
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