Cup day is finally here, and with one of the most open fields we’ve ever seen picking a winner is an almost impossible task. We’ve taken a good look at the field and our brutally honest assessment of each runner should help you sort out the bolters from the bludgers.
Happy punting, everyone!
- Best Solution: More than a few punters will look at those four straight wins in the formline, including the Caulfield Cup, and throw their cash at it. Unfortunately, it’s trained by Saeed bin Suroor, who can’t win this race for his life despite having the world’s best horses at his disposal for years.
- The Cliffsofmoher: It’s generally a good idea to steer clear of horses whose names are smushed together to fit the 18-character limit, especially when the owners could’ve just dropped ‘The’ and still got the point across.
- Magic Circle: A lot of hardcore racing types are pretty excited about this one, despite the fact he’s having his first run off a six-month spell. Shaping nicely as one of the big duds that thousands of armchair experts lose their cash on.
- Chestnut Coat: Boy, they got really creative when they named this one didn’t they? Might as well have just called him ‘Brown Horse’. Unless you’re still hung up on the Delta Blues/Pop Rock quinella of 2006 there’s no reason to back this Japanese plodder.
- Muntahaa: One of the favourites and our winner pick, in honour of the thousands of people set to get absolutely munted during the course of the afternoon. Also, he’s got pretty good form if you care about that sort of thing.
- Sound Check: Jockey Jordan Childs will be wearing purple silks with white stars, so this one’s sure to be a favourite with little girls all over the country. Unless this applies to you, avoid like the plague.
- Who Shot Thebarman: After three failed attempts followed by a scratching last year, this guy will be trying to win it as a 10 year-old. That’s about as likely as Kieren Perkins coming out of retirement to win gold in the 1500 at Tokyo 2020.
- Ace High: Unless you’re a hardcore Iron Maiden fan there’s no way to justify betting on this bloke after his dismal Caulfield Cup run.
- Marmelo: Flopped big-time as favourite last year, but might do better at longer odds this time around. If you’re a casual who doesn’t understand why Winx isn’t here, you can at least bet on her jockey Hugh Bowman.
- Avilius: The legend of Bart Cummings lives on through his grandson James, and after testing the waters with old warhorse Hartnell last year, he’s got another chance this year with Avilius. Sadly, it’s part of the Godolphin stable so he won’t get off the mark this year.
- Yucatan: Here he is, this year’s undeserved favourite! Unproven at the distance and jumping from the carpark, watch as he sucks the money out of lazy punters across the country.
- Auvray: Yeah he can cover the distance, but backing him would still be like picking Steve Moneghetti to beat Usain Bolt over 100 metres.
- Finche: Third in the Geelong Cup is probably the most uninspiring form of any of the serious runners. Likely to be about as successful as his namesake was captaining the Aussie One Day team on Sunday.
- Red Cardinal: We had this fella running second last year due to a similar name to Red Cadeaux, but he gave us nothing. If anything he looks even worse this time around – steer clear.
- Vengeur Masque: The name translates to ‘masked avenger’, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately that’s about all it’s got going for it, with an ugly formline and an inexperienced jockey.
- Ventura Storm: Shocked us all by actually winning a race, taking out the Moonee Valley Cup on Cox Plate day. Still, this is the same horse that got flogged by Who Shot Thebarman in the Sydney Cup earlier in the year, so it’s a hard pass from us.
- A Prince of Arran: Clearly just trying to leech off of the success of 2015 winner Prince of Penzance. Not gonna happen, buddy.
- Nakeeta: They gave us our Nakeeta back, Mac! Had a dream run last year to come fifth but probably used up all its luck in that one.
- Sir Charles Road: Can maybe win if a freak blizzard hits Flemington mid-race.
- Zacada: Rank outsiders have a habit of sneaking into the placings in The Cup, but the only way it’s happening for Zacada is if we get 21 late scratchings.
- Runaway: Gai Waterhouse’s runner is sure to be a favourite with the once a year punters, largely due to the jockey rocking a picture of the Gryffindor logo on his silks. Runaway ran away with the Geelong Cup, and as a true-blue Aussie he’s our pick of the roughies.
- Youngstar: This is the only mare in the field, so expect plenty of support from the ladies. She’s not a bad horse either, having given Winx a tough outing in the Turnbull Stakes. A good local hope for patriotic Aussie punters.
- Cross Counter: Yucatan might be favourite, but this is the pick we’re seeing from a lot of the experts. Sadly, it has the misfortune of being in the Godolphin stable, so we’re going to be seeing thousands of dollars go down the toilet on him.
- Rostropovich: Every year there’s a horse that you talk yourself into backing the more you look at it, and this guy’s solid form and big odds lead us to believe he’ll be that horse for a lot of punters this year. Sadly, this is the kind of horse that will go on to do absolutely nothing in the big race.