24-runner handicaps are seldom the easiest races to find the winner of, however the Melbourne Cup (Tuesday 1 November, 4am) provides some solid statistics which we’re going to use to try to narrow down the challengers. And the three main criteria for finding the winner in the last decade are age, weight and barrier (the draw).
Winners in the last decade have been aged either 4, 5 or 6, with five 6-year-olds winning, three 5-year-olds and two 4-year-olds. Therefore, it looks worth taking a chance on ruling out all the horses older than six, and this includes Almandin, Almooqith, Current Mirotic, Excess Knowledge, Grand Marshall, Heartbreak City, Our Ivanhowe, Qewy, Rose of Virginia, Secret Number, Sir John Hawkwood, Who Shot The Barman, and Wicklow Brave.
Meanwhile, the last 10 winners have all carried between 53KG and 57KG to victory and, if history is to repeat itself, then it’s possible to exclude the bottom nine runners – which allows us to also exclude Beautiful Romance, Assign, Grey Lion, Oceanographer, and Pantathlon, whilst Secret Number, Qewy, Almandin and Rose of Virginia fail on a second count.
A horse’s barrier (stall) has also been another important factor in the last decade, with 7 of the last 10 winners being drawn in stalls 1 to 10, whilst the other three where drawn in 11, 13 and 22. Therefore, though horses can win from a wide draw, the percentage play is to concentrate on those drawn in stalls 1 to 10. Using this theory means we can also exclude: Exospheric and Hartnall.
Amazingly, that leaves us with a shortlist of just four horses, which are Big Orange, Bondi Beach, Gallante, and Jameka – so it’s worth taking a closer look at those horses’ profiles.
Big Orange 12/1
Sent off 33/1 for last year’s Melbourne Cup after winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Goodwood Cup, and finished a very respectable fifth after trying to make all. Even more impressive this year in repeating his wins in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Goodwood Cup, and he’s much better drawn in stall-7 this year, after having to use up too much energy early to get a good position from stall-23 last year. Looks sure to go close.
Bondi Beach 9/1
Could finish only 16th of 24 in last year’s renewal, but this race was an afterthought them, whilst this year his whole season has been geared towards this race. Met all sorts of trouble in running last year from stall-16, but should be able to get a better early position from stall-5 this time around. Is 2KG worse off with Big Orange though.
Must put a disappointing run in the MV Cup behind him, but his effort behind Jameka in the Naturalism, and his win in the Sydney Cup give him a theoretical each-way chance.
A few reported setbacks have seen her odds drift recently. However, she’s definitely the one to beat on her stunning Caulfield Cup win, and she has an obvious chance.
2016 Melbourne Cup Tips
Punters looking for one at big-odds could do worse than an each-way wager on Gallante, whilst there’s no better target trainer on the planet than Aidan O’Brien. However Big Orange is a better horse than Bondi Beach in my opinion and, though an English trained horse has yet to win the Melbourne Cup, the front-running Big Orange looks sure to give you an each-way run for your money. However, I’m also recommending backing Jameka as she looks to have the perfect credentials for this race, including a potent turn of foot.
Big Orange 1 Point Each-Way – 12/1 Bet365, Betfred
Jameka 1 Point Win – 7/1 WilliamHill, Ladbrokes, PaddyPower
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