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Melbourne Cup 2016 – Runner by Runner Analysis

Mon, Oct 31, 12:18am by Senior Writer

Statistically there is no harder race in Australia to pick a winner than the Melbourne Cup.

With 24 runners, with form coming from almost every part of the world, it is a race which often confounds. Last year we had a $101 winner, yet it seemed every man and his dog had $1 each way on Prince of Penzance.

Ahead of this year’s race, we’ve gone through every runner in the Melbourne Cup and assessed the reasons why and the reasons why they can’t win.

WATCH: Our Preview of the Melbourne Cup

  1. Big Orange (7)
    T:Michael Bell
    J:J P Spencer W:57 kg

Pros: Finished fifth in this race last year, which is the best placing of any of the eight horses which are backing up from 2015 into this, which include heavily favoured pair Hartnell and Bondi Beach. From a good barrier, will likely take up the lead, make his own luck and give them plenty to chase. Is in good form off his most recent win in the Goodwood Cup.

Cons: No international horse since Vintage Crop in 1993 has won this race without having a run in Australia first. It’s also extremely rare for a horse to lead all the way and win this race. Only one horse has carried 57kg or more to win this race in 39 years, while the No.1 saddlecloth has only saluted once in 62 years.

  1. Our Ivanhowe (6)
    T:Lee & Anthony Freedman
    J:D Dunn W:57 kg

Pros: A strong stayer, who was a solid sixth in the Caulfield Cup. Was somewhat unlucky when 10th in this race last year and did win the Group 1 Doomben Cup since. His trainer is a five-time winner of this race.

Cons: Not in the same sort of form this year as he was last and he has a big weight

  1. Curren Mirotic (18)
    T:Osamu Hirata
    J:Tommy Berry W:56.5 kg

Pros: Superb 3200m horse, who has run some big races in fast times back home in Japan. Was second in the Tenno Sho in May, beating home last year’s Cup favourite Fame Game.

Cons: No nine-year old has won this race and he has not won any race in nearly three years. Will have his work cut out from a wide barrier to get a comfortable run.

  1. Bondi Beach (5)
    T:A O’Brien
    J:Ryan Moore W:56 kg

Pro: Quality European on the up who has been set for this all year. Gets the help of the world’s best trainer and arguably the world’s best jockey in Ryan Moore. Should get a nice run from barrier 5.

Cons: Was beaten a long way in this race last year. Only two Cup winners in the past 28 years have come off a previous unsuccessful Cup run.

  1. Exospheric (13)
    T:Lee & Anthony Freedman
    J:D Oliver W:56 kg

Pros: Was an excellent run in Caulfield Cup, working home to third from the back of the field. Had very good European form before coming here around the likes of Big Orange. Again, trainer has won this race on five occasions.

Cons: Some query over the 3200m trip.

  1. Hartnell (12)
    T:J A O’Shea
    J:J B Mc Donald W:56 kg

Pros: Has the class and form edge on his rivals. Smashed Jameka in the Turnbull Stakes, and then finished second behind the superstar Winx in the Cox Plate. Is well weighted when you consider his form.

Cons: Struggled in this race 12 months ago and was beaten six lengths. Some query over whether he may have peaked with that Turnbull run, while his two 3200m runs in Australia have been disappointing.

  1. Who Shot Thebarman (20)
    T:C J Waller
    J:H Bowman W:56 kg

Pros: Loves Flemington and is greatly experienced over the 3200m, having had six starts for a win and two placings including a third in this race two years ago. Seems to be back in form. Has a great jockey and a quality trainer.

Cons: Questions over whether he is going as well as he was a couple of years back. Has to overcome a wide barrier, while eight-year olds have won just two Melbourne Cups.

  1. Wicklow Brave (24)
    T:W P Mullins
    J:L Dettori W:56 kg

Pros: Irish St Leger winner, who has six wins over 3200m and has the services of a champion jockey and a very canny trainer. Has strong European form.

Cons: Wide barrier is a concern and he is another eight year old with history against him winning this. Comes off no lead-up Aussie run, which no winner has done since Vintage Crop in 1993.

  1. Almoonqith (19)
    T:D & B Hayes & T Dabernig
    J:M J Walker W:54.5 kg

Pros: Terrific run in the Caulfield Cup, where he charged home for fourth.

Cons: Form has been poor until that last run. Has not placed in eight runs since his most recent win in November last year.

  1. Gallante (2)
    T:Robert Hickmott
    J:B Shinn W:54.5 kg

Pros: Sydney Cup winner who returned with a great second behind Jameka in the Naturalism. Gets a good barrier.

Cons: Was poor in MV Cup last start. Doubt over whether he has the class of his rivals.

  1. Grand Marshal (9)
    T:C J Waller
    J:B Melham W:54.5 kg

Pros: Loves the 3200m, having won the 2015 Sydney Cup. Comes off a good win in the Moonee Valley Cup.

Cons: Probably needs a soft track to excel. Failed in this race last year.

  1. Jameka (3)
    T:C Maher
    J:Nicholas Hall W:54.5 kg

Pros: In great form, having won the Caulfield Cup emphatically. Gets a good barrier which gives his jockey plenty of options.

Cons: Caulfield Cup winners don’t have a great recent record in this race having not won the double since 2001.

  1. Heartbreak City (23)
    T:A D Martin
    J:J Moreira W:54 kg

Pros: Dominant winner of the Ebor last start. Has a very savvy trainer and one of the world’s best jockeys on board.

Cons: Wide barrier is worry as does the lack of a previous start in Australia ahead of this race.

  1. Sir John Hawkwood (14)
    T:John Thompson
    J:B Spriggs W:54 kg

Pros: Won the Metropolitan Handicap well a month back.

Cons: Was poor in Caulfield Cup and has never won over further than 2400m. Has an inexperienced Cup jockey.

  1. Excess Knowledge (21)
    T:G Waterhouse & A Bott
    J:V Duric W:53.5 kg

Pros: Does like Flemington having won the Lexus last year. Has been very honest this campaign without winning. Ran well when seventh in last year’s Cup.

Cons: Form seems a notch below his rivals having been beaten easily in the Moonee Valley Cup.

  1. Beautiful Romance (1)
    T:Saeed Bin Suroor
    J:Damian Lane W:52.5 kg

Pros: Her best form is pretty good, having ran third in a G1 2400m on Champions Day at Ascot last year. Gets the inside alley, the same as Prince of Penance had last year.

Cons: Form this year hasn’t been great, while the 3200m is a definite query,

  1. Almandin (17)
    T:Robert Hickmott
    J:K Mc Evoy W:52 kg

Pros: Has been in outstanding form this campaign winning his past two impressively. Cup winning jockey with a Cup winning trainer.

Cons: Queries over who he beat in those two victories. Has been knocking around in the class below and steps up to Group 1 company for the first time. Never won over further than 2500m.

  1. Assign (22)
    T:Robert Hickmott
    J:Katelyn Mallyon W:52 kg

Pros: Won last start after a good second behind Almandin before that. Gets in with a light weight.

Cons: Doubt over whether he has the class to win this. Didn’t beat much last time. Has never won over further than 2400m and has a wide barrier,

  1. Grey Lion (16)
    T:Matthew Cumani
    J:G Boss W:52 kg

Pros: Was a very good run when second in the Geelong Cup. Has a three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop in the saddle.

Cons: His European form looks a level below a lot of these. His one race over further than 2500m was a failure.

  1. Oceanographer (11)
    T:Charlie Appleby
    J:C Schofield W:52 kg

Pros: Was outstanding winning here on Saturday, backing up from a promising run in the Geelong Cup. Barrier 11 is the most successful in the Cup.

Cons: The three runs in 13 days is the one query over him. Doesn’t have much 3200m form.

  1. Secret Number (10)
    T:Saeed Bin Suroor
    J:S Baster W:52 kg

Pros: Has plenty of talent and ran a good race in the 2600m Queens Cup here 12 months ago. Gets a good alley.

Cons: Hard to assess his form as he has three starts in two years. Hard to see a Cup winner coming off a victory over 2000m at Ayr.

  1. Pentathlon (4)
    T:J R Wheeler
    J:M R Du Plessis W:51.5 kg

Pros: Old fashioned tough two-miler who will relish this trip. Drawn to get a nice run.

Cons: He lacks the class to go with these, and was beaten 11.5 lengths here in the Lexus on Saturday. Would need a downpour to be competitive.

  1. Qewy (15)
    T:Charlie Appleby
    J:Craig Williams W:51.5 kg

Pros: Great win in Geelong Cup considering his best form is over much, much further. That looks good after Oceanographer’s win. Will relish the distance.

Cons: Was running in 4000m hurdle races six months ago. Would probably prefer some cut in the track.

  1. Rose Of Virginia (8)
    T:Lee & Shannon Hope
    J:Ben Thompson (a0) W:51 kg

Pros: Was second at her most recent 3200m run – the Auckland Cup.

Cons: Quite possibly the worst horse to make a Melbourne Cup field this century. Beaten 15.5 lengths by Oceanographer on Saturday,

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