1. Viewed Last years Melbourne Cup winner and this years Caulfield Cup winner, he came third in Saturdays Mackinnon running on nicely. He will carry 5kg more than last year but is a big strapping stallion who is capable of carrying that weight. He has the Bart Cummings touch and is currently favourite. So long as he hasn’t taken harm from being galloped on in the Mackinnon he will give a great show.
2. C’est La Guerre Third in last year’s Cup he has ran 13th, 10th and 15th at his last three starts. His previous Cup third shows he can handle the distance, but he is not in my top 5 picks.
3. Fiumicino This horse runs his best races when the track is rain affected and the going is slow or heavy. His last 2 races were 3rd in The Metropolitan on a heavy track then 5th in the Caulfield Cup. Put him in trifectas if the rain comes down.
4. Master O’Reilly The 2007 Caulfield Cup winner has run in the 2007 and 2008 Melbourne Cups. Last year he ran 4th to Viewed and this year meets him 5kg better at the weights. His last 3 starts (4th Yalumba, 6th Caulfield Cup and 5th Mackinnon) have all seen him running on well at the finish. He is a genuine hope.
5. Mourilyan This well-travelled galloper has raced in six different countries. He can carry weight and has ran in two 3200m races this year for two 2nds behind quality gallopers. An unknown quantity it depends on how well he can negotiate the large field.
6. Roman Emperor Winner of the AJC Derby and 2nd to stablemate Viewed in the Caulfield Cup this horse is Bart Cummings trained which is like having an extra leg at this time of year. A genuine chance and a must for the trifectas.
7. Ista Kareem One of two 9-year olds in the race he is one of only 4 Cup runners that have won over 2 miles (along with Viewed, Zavite and Spin Around). This is another horse who will improve if it rains. Will get the distance as he came from near last to win the Sydney Cup in April and is an each-way chance.
8. Crime Scene The Godolphin runner has had one start in Australia for 6th in the Geelong Cup. I wasn’t impressed enough with the Geelong run to put my money on him although he was carrying a lot of weight in that race.
9. Munsef This horse is 8 years old and the last time an 8 year-old won the Melbourne Cup was when Bart Cummings was 10 years old. However he is in the best form of his career in England and ran 2nd in Sweden last start after being trapped in a pocket. An each-way chance.
10. Zavite Winner of the 3200m Adelaide Cup this horse tends to be a front runner. His best recent start was 4th in the Herbert power behind Alcopop. Bred for the distance he does not appear to have the brilliance required to win.
11. Alcopop This is the peoples horse trained by a bush trainer and ridden by a jockey who hasn’t ridden Flemington. It would be nice to see him win and with only 10 starts for 7 wins and a second he is a genuine hope who has well and truly earned his place in the field. Make sure you put something on him and keep your fingers crossed.
12. Harris Tweed A New Zealand horse who has been very low profile in Australia. Ran 10th in the Caulfield Cup and did not show enough to back him here.
13. Kibbutz Lightly raced 5 year-old that has not been placed in 10 starts since he won the 2007 Victoria Derby. Has had foot problems and does his best when the ground is soft. His last start 4th in the Moonee Valley Cup was his best run in a long time.
14. Newport The good-looking grey ran in last years Cup and is a talented stayer. He also likes to get rid of his jockey soon after jumping. His 6th in the Mackinnon showed him making good ground in the last 200m and was a sound Cup trial. Each-way chance.
15. Warringah Warringah has good form in European staying races but has not raced here. Prefer to see.
16. Gallions Reach This New Zealand horse has 2 starts at 3200m for a second. His latest form has been plodding and my money won’t be on him.
17. Spin Around A nine-year-old who won the Auckland Cup over 3200m earlier this year. Has not shown much form in recent races.
18. Basaltico This horse is trained by Luca Cumani who has been successful with Melbourne Cup placings in previous years. He came 7th in the Geelong Cup and worked home well. Each-way hope.
19. Capecover Hasn’t shown enough this campaign to win here. His last start 7th in the Bendigo Cup showed some promise as he recorded the fastest final 800m and 600m splits of the field.
20. Daffodil This quality New Zealander is one of 3 mares in the race and is a genuine chance. Ran a lovely 4th in the Caulfield Cup despite getting a cut to the leg in the running. Make sure she’s in your trifectas.
21. Shocking Won The Lexus in solid style on Saturday and has hit form at the right time. Has been beaten twice by Alcopop and meets him 0.5kg worse off at the weights than their last encounter in the Herbert Power. One of the main chances.
22. Allez Wonder This mare won the Herbert Power in brilliant fashion after a win in a fillies and mares race, but was a little disappointing when 8th in the Caulfield Cup. The third of Bart Cummings horses, this is the one I would love to see win.
23. Changingoftheguard Previously trained by Aidan O’Brien this horse has only 7 starts but has shown itself to be a stayer. Could surprise.
24. Leica Ding This mare produced a strong finish to win the Geelong Cup and last years Geelong Cup winner Bauer finished 2nd behind Viewed in the 2008 Melbourne Cup. Trainer Darren Weir finished 2nd to Makybe Diva in the 2003 Melbourne Cup with She’s Archie and knows what it takes. Certainly not the roughest.