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By Darren Winningham | Monday, November 5, 2018


Melbourne Cup Day 2018 – always a tough day.

Stay with whatever you do to pick the winners … be it jockeys colours, birth dates of your children or maybe you just like the name!

I am sure there are many other notions on how to find the winner.

We will be on a “GOOD” track and the rail is out 2.0 metres.

They are forecasting rain but the word is around 10 mm. The track was lightning fast on Saturday so hopefully it will just take the sting out of it and not deteriorate.


R1 – Champagne Boom (1) from 11,6,12

R2 - Seductive Miss (11) from 2,7,12

R3 – Fifty Stars (10) from 13,15,5 (rough chance 12)

R4 – Azuro (11) from 12,10,14 (rough chance 3)

R5 – Nomothaj (1) from 3,6,5 (rough chance 8)

R6 – Into The Abyss (9) from 11,17,13 (rough chances 2,3 & 5)

R7 – THE MELBOURNE CUP (see below)

R8 – Take It Intern (14) from 11,7,3 (rough chances 1 & 9)

R9 – First Among Equals (2) from 9,6,16 (rough chances 7 & 14)

R10 – Savatiano (12) from 13,16,17 (rough chances 3 & 7)

Race 7 The 2018 LEXUS Melbourne Cup (Group 1)

This looks a tough race as it is each year!

I was on Marmelo (9) last year and I thought there was some excuses for it. This year he returns with a trainer one year wiser for the run and the preparation! It’s the two Hughies! Hughie Morrison who trains this six-year-old stallion and Hugh Bowman looking to claim his first ever Melbourne Cup.

The runs leading up to the Cup have been outstanding. Despite not being seen in Australia this year prior to the Cup all reports from Melbourne is that he has settled in well and has been working well. What a unique double it would be if Bowman could claim a Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year! I am not even certain this has ever been done – that will give the horse racing scribes something to write about post-race!

Yucatan (11) has been all the rage since his dominant run in the Herbert Power just over three weeks ago. He is part owned by the Williams team who make it their mission each year to win this race. Again, another jockey James “Jay Mac” McDonald is looking for his maiden win in the great race. After the last 12 months he has had it would be exciting to see him win the Cup. Not the he needs any validation. He has always been a wonderful and talented jockey!

I normally do not like to put in the winner of the Saturday race leading into the Melbourne Cup as they normally do not have a great record in the race. However, if A Prince Of Arran (17) has eaten up and taken no harm from the run on Saturday. I think he must be given some consideration. He raced handy on Saturday and was much too good for the field. He was ridden a treat by Kiwi jockey Michael Walker who partners him again in the race. This is another jockey looking for his maiden Melbourne Cup victory and he will be throwing everything at this six-year-old if he is travelling into the race at the infamous clock tower at Flemington.

Cross Counter (23) is a Godolphin runner who has some very good form. Rumours have circulated that he hasn’t settled in well and may have missed some work, however, on his past efforts I think that he must be given a chance with such a light weight and with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle who is looking for his third victory in the Cup.

Another Godolphin runner is Avilius (10) who has rocketed into contention with some very good performances leading up to this race. He has not won over the distance – that is my only concern – however, he does he a wonderful turn of foot and sprint in the final 200 metres. If he can stay look for him to be powering over the top of them late.

Now the three runners at the top of the card alsohave all claims on the race.

Best Solution (1) won the Caulfield Cup and I can see no reason why he could not claim the unique Caulfield – Melbourne Cup double. The nonsense that he has too much weight and will not cope I think is rubbish. He was strong to the line in the Caulfield Cup, but will he run out a strong 3200 metres – the first time he looks at this distance ever!

The Cliffsofmoher (2) is another team Williams runner and there has been little said about this runner. Do not be surprised if he ends up producing a massive result. The run in the Caulfield Cup was huge. He looked like he was building momentum late in the race and this will be his third run in Australia leading up to the Cup. He looks well placed and the timing of his preparation looks ideal.

Magic Circle (3) has been in the news due to his owner Dr Koukash planning to get a G string on if he wins after the race when collecting the Cup trophy! I just noticed that since his last run Magic Circle (3) has been gelded. I just hope that if he wins the race his owner Dr Koukash has done some man scaping down there before exposing himself on the television around the world! I see that Corey Brown gets the ride on this runner – looking to win back to back Melbourne Cups!

Selections: 9-11-17-23 rough chances 1,2,3 & 10


Early Quaddie (races 3 to 6 NSW only)

10,13,15 / 10,11,12 / 1,3,6 /9 ,11,13,17 - cost is $108 to $1

Quaddie (races 7 to 10)

3,7,11,14 /2,9,11,17,23 / 2,6,9,16 / 12,13,16,17 - cost is $320 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 7 to 10)

11,14 / 9,11,17 / 2,9 / 12,13,16 - cost is $36 to $1

Treble (races 8 to 10)

2,9,11,17,23 / 2,6,9,16 / 12,13,16,17 - cost is $80 to $1

Good luck and good punting

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