With a prize pool of $6,000,000 Australian Dollars – that’s over £3,500,000 – the Melbourne Cup is rightly referred to as “the race that stops a nation”. A full field of 24 look set to go to post and our race preview and betting tips aim to help you back the winner.
Our two Melbourne Cup tips for 2016 are Bondi Beach and Exospheric, both Each Way. All major UK bookmakers have this race priced up online – Sky Bet are a market leading 6 places paid Each Way though.
Our first tip for the race is Bondi Beach, A P O’Brien’s 4 year old. A recognisable name from his British and Irish exploits, he has 4 victories from his 10 starts so far including two Group 3 wins. A 16th place in this same race last year saw him find trouble in running before staying on late, and Ryan Moore has been booked for this repeat effort.
A beautifully bred son of Galileo, his last two efforts have been thirds at Group 3 level at Leopardstown over 1m 4f where he found himself outpaced each time. He’s still unexposed at his preferred staying distances and it looks certain his season has been planned with this race in mind, so expect him to be peaking just at the right time.
Formerly known as Exosphere when owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah (and trained by Sir Michael Stoute), he was renamed when moved to Australia due to a name class with another Group 1 winner currently in training.
He comes into this in good form, having finished 3rd to Jameka over 1m 4f last time out in the Caulfield Cup earlier this month. He stayed on all the way to the line there, and gets a 3lb swing with the winner which will help here.
The big question mark is the step up in trip, but he appeared to settle much better last time out which seemed beyond him earlier in the year. His form over shorter would give him a phenomenal chance at the weights and there’s no doubt he’s one of the class acts of the race, having finished 5th in the Juddmonte International Stakes and been an easy winner of the Jockey Club Stakes earlier this year.
He gets weight from fellow raider Big Orange, having previously been beaten 3 lengths giving 3lb, and if he can settle as well as he did last time then he has an excellent chance here.
The current Melbourne Cup favourite is the Godolphin owned Hartnell, carrying 8 stone 11 pounds. Trained for the first two years of his career by Mark Johnston, he won the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy in the UK before being sold to Godolphin and moved to John O’Shea’s Australian yard.
He’s taken some time to get to grips with this classy horse, despite winning an early Group 1 win him – he put in a career best performance when comfortably winning the Group 1 Yellowglen Turnbell Stakes at the start of the month when sent off odds on. He followed that up with a defeat to Winx, keeping on all the way to the line over 1m 2f.
He ran in this same race last year, finished 15th at odds of 30/1, but was held up and never got into the race. He also had run averagely in his build up races to that, whereas this year he arrives in sparkling form. He clearly has a big chance but debatable he deserves to be the short odds he currently is with so many classy rivals in the large field.
We’ve analysed the top four contenders from both the Home Team and the European Challengers: