The Melbourne Cup (Tues 1st Nov) may be the race that’s stops Australia, but that hasn’t stopped trainers from other countries such as Germany, New Zealand, Japan, France and Ireland winning it – and it could be a good time to take a closer look at how the potential British and Irish Raiders may fare this year.
Bondi Beach 14/1
Aidan O’Brien’s high-class 4-year-old could only manage to finish 16th last year, but that came on the back of a battle in the St Leger, a race he lost, won in the steward’s room, and then lost again on appeal. This time around he has been meticulously campaigned with a view to winning this, and Aidan O’Brien showed just what he can achieve when he puts his mind to it by sending out the first 3 in this year’s Arc.
Wicklow Brave 16/1
The run of Order Of St George in finishing third in the Arc, also seems a pointer to the chances of Wicklow Brave, who beat that horse in the Irish St Leger. That run may have flattered him slightly though, but he also finished a close-up 5th in the Goodwood Cup this season. Willie Mullins also went close in the race last year with Max Dynamite.
Heartbreak City 20/1
This looks an afterthought for the Tony Martin trained runner after he landed a big gamble in the Ebor Handicap in August, but he was one of the easiest looking winners of that race that I can remember. Purple Moon, a previous winner of the Ebor, also went close to winning a Melbourne Cup though, and he can’t be ruled out.
Secret Number 33/1
Really impressed in winning his prep race at Ayr, and he’s been aimed at this all season. His trainer Saeed Bin Suroor is also in cracking form, and this one has the class and pace to be a serious threat.
Big Orange 14/1
Fifth last year, Michael Bell’s dual Goodwood Cup winner may find he has a lot more weight to carry this time around. However, her was terribly drawn last year and, granted more luck in that department, he could well make a bold bid from the front. He also loves fast ground, and has looked hard to get past in two impressive wins this season.
Looks the best of a potentially 5-strong Charlie Appleby raiding party, and this group-3 winner will have the pace to lay-up whatever the pace. Stamina a worry, but not all Melbourne Cup winners have screamed stamina.
Melbourne Cup Tip
Big Orange trying to win the Melbourne Cup from the front could be a great site, but I can’t help thinking that Secret Number will arrive here under the radar – and he looks the ante-post value amongst the home raiding party at 33/1