The 2019 Melbourne Cup is one of the most fascinating cups on record. As a collective we have never seen a fitter field than what we will have here in this Edition.
The key to winning the Melbourne Cup is ROCK HARD FITNESS and this years field has an amazing array of tough horses the like of which we haven’t seen before and interestingly it’s a field that most Aussies won’t really recognise such is the lure of the Cup.
Obviously there has some been some hugely controversial decisions from RVL this year already and being a licensed person I would be silly to voice my opinion and risk a fine, but there are some serious precedent being set and it will be interesting to see what happens next year with nominations as its certainly ruffled some feathers both here and abroad.
With the race this year with so many amazingly fit horses I think it’s set up to see a gruelling lung busting Melbourne Cup and this will certainly count against the Locals.
With the exception of Green Moon and Fiorente’s years there was no surprise as those years where basically barrier trial/hacking speed and not true staying test. For the locally trained horses you can almost put a line through every runner as our trainers can’t condition a horse like their European counterparts, not due to ability (in most cases) but due to the ridiculous program they are forced to operate in.
Interestingly this year we have Danny O’Brien’s Vow and Declare and Paul Preusker’s Surprise Baby where they have been in work basically like a European for the past 8-12 months. If the locals have any hope it sits with these two horses only and you can confidently pen the rest of them.
With this in mind to have the winner you need firstly a horse with a minimum of 10,000 racing metres in their legs in this preparation.
Given the European horses have been fit and well looked after all year they have a distinct advantage as they have been fit for so long and have only required “tick over training“ where the locals have been allowed to spell and have to get up to fitness in a short period of time which in turn creates more chance of injury or poor form due to the rushed nature.
With this in mind I think you really need closer to 15000 this year just to let the horses cope better for what should be a slog fest. Once we have determined the horses who will be at least fit enough you have to then look for the class and this year the only possible chances are Mer De Glace, Cross Counter, Southern France, Il Paradiso, Latrobe, Mustajeer, Magic Wand, Twilight Payment, Raymond Tusk and True Self.
Mer De Glace on its Japanese numbers will be a huge distance doubt, Cross Counter’s been reported to have numerous issues and possibly isn’t at his peak this year, ditto Southern France. Il Paradiso comes from a very weak batch of 3yr olds and has a big ask to do it and run a career peak. Raymond Tusk and True Self all with reports of medium to serious issues since being here
With so many brutally fit horses we should see a fast run race, my thoughts on each horses chances available below as well as a speedmap and rated prices.
Best of luck
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