1 0330x25x12 ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Hugh Bowman 3 58.5kg Pros: Epsom Derby winner, by the best stallion in Europe, deserved top weight. In form.
Cons: Trainer has had 15 runners in the Cup for no wins. Top weight. Out of a speedy Aussie family, and maybe too sharp for the distance.
2 54533×4626 AVILIUS (GB) James Cummings John Allen 10 57kg In mediocre form compared to earlier in his career. Ran 22nd last year in his only attempt at the distance.
3 21x395x900 VOW AND DECLARE Danny O’Brien Jamie Mott 4 57kg. Last year’s winner in terrible form who was going much better last year. Blinkers on for the first time is also a concern (might make him pull to much?)
4 3354x6221x MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Ben Melham 11 56kg. Last start winner in Europe. Arguably going better than last year when he ran 4th. Query on soundness with synthetic hoof filler going on (the AFL equivalent would be shoulder tape).
5 44x2x222x1 SIR DRAGONET (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Glen Boss 14 55.5kg. Impressive Cox Plate winner last start. Consistent. Only query is the distance, but is bred to do it. Keep safe in the betting.
6 x70x7x2113 TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Jye McNeil 12 55.5kg An 8YO who will cope with the distance, and is in good form. Trainer won this race 3 years ago. Might need a lot of rain.
7 42212×1411 VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ) Chris Waller Mark Zahra 15 55.5kg 0.5kg. If Anthony Van Dyke’s sire is the king of England, Verry Elleegant’s sire is the guy who cleans the public toilets at the park down the road. She’s a super tough consistent mare who is the epitome of a rags to riches story. In form, should stay. Only query is her trainer who has had 19 runners for no wins.
8 x1225x0098 MUSTAJEER (GB) Kris Lees Michael Rodd 2 55kg Goes okay, probably not up to this class, and out of form this time in.
9 2104xPx72x STRATUM ALBION (GB) Willie Mullins Jordan Childs 9 55kg Older horse who mixes his form, but can stay. Shrugs. No idea?
10 14579×1140 DASHING WILLOUGHBY (GB) Andrew Balding Michael Walker 19 54.5kg Good form in Europe but got beaten in the Caulfield Cup first time in Australia. If he can regain form, then is a place chance.
11 x51257x335 FINCHE (GB) Chris Waller James McDonald 6 54.5kg Another Waller runner, so trainer form against him. Is going ok.
12 20x3x36x34 PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) Charlie Fellowes Jamie Kah 1 54.5kg A bit of a punter’s favourite having his third crack at this race (2nd last year). The only other horse to win at her third attempt is Makybe Diva, who’d also won her first and second attempts, so obviously he’s not in that class. Kah is a brilliant rider who will give him every chance. Place chance.
13 132x415x29 SURPRISE BABY (NZ) Paul Preusker Craig Williams 7 54.5kg Last year everyone was talking about this horse. This year, he’s had a harder run to the Cup and hasn’t been as good. Ran fifth last year. Might surprise.
14 9x211x2x03 KING OF LEOGRANCE (FR) Danny O’Brien Damian Lane 18 53.5kg Third in the Geelong Cup is good form. Maybe.
15 2x411x2123 RUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE) Danny O’Brien Damien Oliver 16 53.5kg A top chance. In form, well weighted, trainer won with Vow and Declare last year. Quality stayer with a pedigree that will go the trip.
16 x4679x0331 STEEL PRINCE (IRE) Anthony & Sam Freedman William Pike 21 53.5kg 1.0kg Last start winner of Geelong Cup at a reasonable weight. Excellent chance.
17 38572×1873 THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Daniel Stackhouse 5 53.5kg Good run for 3rd in Caulfield Cup, but mixes his form. Maybe.
18 853x5x2241 ASHRUN (FR) Andreas Wohler Declan Bates 24 53kg Last start winner who is consistent. Definitely worth a bet.
19 755633×760 WARNING Anthony & Sam Freedman Luke Currie 8 53kg Bred to stay, probably not in good enough form.
20 6416341×04 ETAH JAMES (NZ) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Billy Egan 22 52.5kg This is the NZers omen bet. Co-bred and part owned by the nephew of Snow Lupton, who trained the 1983 Cup winner Kiwi. Classy stayer in good form. Solid chance.
21 3x12x1 TIGER MOTH (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Kerrin McEvoy 23 52.5kg 2.5kg Inexperienced young horse who has had only four starts. Given the trainer, probably there to give Anthony Van Dyke a good run. Might surprise?
22 07511×0003 OCEANEX (NZ) Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) Dean Yendall 17 51.5kg Quality mare who has struggled for form until last start. Light weight. Slight query over soundness, but passed fit to run by vets, so may only impact fitness? Worth a place bet.
23 1x84x40661 MIAMI BOUND (NZ) Danny O’Brien Daniel Moor 13 51kg Classy mare, light weight, last start winner. Should go close.
24 3121112121 PERSAN Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Michael Dee 20 51kg 1.0kg In-form lightweight. Must be a chance simply on that. Query over distance, but worth a place bet.