We’re only hours away from the big race and Irish trainer Johnny Murtagh’s Mutual Regard has been backed from 33/1 into single figures since winning the Ebor at York.
He looks to have a lot in his favour as three-time Melbourne Cup winning jock Damien Oliver has been booked and the two-mile trip at Flemington should suit. Murtagh also runs former Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond – but I’d fancy Mutual Regard more.
Caulfield Cup winner and top-weight Admire Rakti carries the hopes of Japan and looks set to go off as favourite. But you have to go back to 1975 since a horse carried 9-3 to victory. I’ll pass him over.
Our buddies in Sportsbet reckon Fawkner is probably their best chance of keeping the race at home. The Robert Hickmott-trained charge ran a belter in the Cox Plate last time out and was a close sixth in this race last year in what looked a stronger Melbourne Cup.
Moore the Merrier
An easy punting strategy of late is to follow go-to jockey Ryan Moore in these big races. Fresh from winning the Cox Plate on Aidan O’Brien’s Adelaide, he rides German raider Protectionist who had a nice warm up at Caulfield when fourth to Big Memory.
Moore rides Protectionist for the first time and could easily land his second big race on Aussie soil.
You can’t really preview the Melbourne Cup without mentioning Red Cadeaux. Ed Dunlop’s charge was second in 2013 and 2011 and this is is his fourth successive run here. An obvious each-way contender.
I’m out here primarily to watch Slade Power in the VRC Sprint Classic on Saturday.
He’s had well documented barrier problems but we’re hoping for a high draw or the Stewards to see sense and let him run. Hopefully I haven’t traveled all this way only for those pesky stewards to ruin my holiday.
- Melbourne Cup Infographic: A handy guide to picking the winner of the race that stops a nation
- The Paddy Power Traders: Forget Ruby Walsh, we’ve got the inside track and here are our 10 to follow for the jumps season
- GIF: Lots of people falling over, plus a monster racing Money-Back Special that lasts all month