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2013 Melbourne Cup Preview

November 4, 2013

2013-11-04 1900 AET

In a tough year, I’m leaning towards Sea Moon and Brown Panther. Both are good odds at around $15 (as is most of the field considering it’s so even) and both are proven over the distance and with enough class.

Sea Moon is the quality, and while he hasn’t produced his best in Australia, he’s been improving, with a second (only lost on tight protest) and a win with big weights in his last two races, and I trust Lloyd Williams’ judgement. Body language of his son at the barrier draw was at his most confident and genuine when talking about Sea Moon.

Sea Moon winning the Herbert Power Handicap at Caulfield 2013-10-12

Sea Moon winning the Herbert Power Handicap at Caulfield 2013-10-12

Black Panther has beaten most of his opponents here already in England. He’ll be up near the lead, potentially with the race run at a good speed, and will run it out. My vision is him leading with Sea Moon running him down. Black Panther is the horse Michael Owen owns, so obviously the one for Liverpool fans.

In my 5-horse box trifecta I’ll add Fiorente, Mount Athos and maybe Royal Empire or Dandino. I’m unsure about the fifth option.

I’ll have a nibble on Fawkner, considering I won $200 on him at Caulfield Cup and I like the greys.

Note, the Caulfield Cup has become rubbish in recent years, with most Melbourne Cup horses by-passing it for fear of gaining a penalty if they win or fear of the horse being beaten around on the tight course in a notoriously rough race, leaving it to second-raters or specialty 2400 horses. Delta Blues in 2006 was the last winner through the Caulfield Cup (third). Be skeptical. Be dismissive of Geelong Cup and Lexus Stakes this year too.

There are some statistically proven rules about selecting potential Melbourne Cup winners, which helps with the process of narrowing it down to the strongest few.

Melbourne Cups are nearly always won by first-time runners. Unless the horse returning has improved significantly or has retained the similar weight and run very well the previous year, historically they just don’t improve their result, so ignore all previous runners. Previous winners must improve to compensate for the higher weight they carry. They rarely do. An obvious example of a horse that returned and did improve to cope with increased weight was Makybe Diva 2003-2005. Americain fourth in 2011 did well after winning 2010. Brew in 2000 was the last non-winner to return and win. He’d struck a purple patch of form, winning the now Lexus Stakes, and carried no weight in the Cup as saddle-cloth 24. Tawriffic in 1989 ran in 1988, while Empire Rose in 1988 ran in the two previous Cups, starting with a fifth in 1986. She finished second in 1987 before winning the following year. Fiorente is the horse poised to fulfill that role this year. Mount Athos was fifth last year and is back.

With international horses, if you haven’t seen them run in Australia, best be skeptical. Some won’t perform, some will. It’s down to luck. Red Cadeaux second in 2011 is a close exception of a first time international winning, while Vintage Crop in a bygone era did win in 1993. Mares are notoriously flighty and fickle and unlikely to be used to Australia’s tight, big fields, so straight out ignore them. None have shown much. Colts (3yo males) also lack a proven record (mostly due to such few attempts), so ignore.

Most of the field won’t run the distance. Ignore those without proven record of at least beyond 2400. Anything with a record beyond 3200, also ignore, for being too slow. They won’t have the sprint.

Those that lack the class, especially if not showing improvement through lead-up runs, and especially in this modern era of highly competitive fields and compressed weights, ignore.

Those out of form, ignore.

Now to eliminate horses, using these codes as first character: previous runner (P), weight (W), distance (D), class (C), poor form (F), slow long distance stayers/hurdlers (S) and international first time run (I). Marginal cases are in lowercase. A (*) means no serious demerit could be found.

W 01 _ 3228 Dunaden (1) cw J Spencer 58.5 $26

W 02 _ s599 Green Moon (10) tc B Prebble 57.5 $26

W 03 _ 9624 Red Cadeaux (23) w G Mosse 56.5 $41

* 04 _ 0021 Sea Moon (7) w S Arnold 56.5 $14

i 05 _ s115 Brown Panther (6) dw R Kingscote 55 $21

p 06 _ 6143 Fiorente (5) wh D Oliver 55 $7.50

D 07 _ 1024 Foreteller (15) twh C Newitt 55 $21

d 08 _ 2212 Dandino (4) w R Moore 54.5 $9

F 09 _ 5004 Ethiopia (14) R McLeod 54.5 $61

D 10 _ 7531 Fawkner (8) twn N Hall 54.5 $16

P 11 _ s787 Mourayan (19) tdw B Avdulla 54.5 $101

C 12 _ 0917 Seville (9) m H Bowman 54.5 $19

D 13 _ 4935 Super Cool (13) th C Brown 54.5 $41

F 14 _ 0320 Masked Marvel (2) M Rodd 54 $31

p 15 _ 1582 Mount Athos (22) b C Williams 54 $7.50

i 16 _ 1122 Royal Empire (11) K McEvoy 54 $21

I 17 _ 1321 Voleuse De Coeurs (21) dwh J McDonald 54 $12

D 18 _ 1457 Hawkspur (18) wb J Cassidy 53.5 $11

S 19 _ 4223 Simenon (12) dw R Hughes 53.5 $19

C 20 _ 1801 Ibicenco (17) dw L Nolen 53 $41

I 21 _ 2511 Verema (3) w C Lemaire 53 $14

D 22 _ 3832 Dear Demi (16) tw C Munce 51 $16

I 23 _ 3211 Tres Blue (20) wh T Berry 51 $19

C 24 _ 3321 Ruscello (24) t C Schofield 50 $41

Have a lucky day!

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