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Findabet’s The Melbourne Cup Form Guide 2017

We break down and analyse the form of every runner of the 2017 Melbourne Cup. See our guide for picking Melbourne Cup winners to better understand what we are looking for.

 

1. Hartnell (12)

 

Odds - $31

Carrying – 57.5kg

 

Prize Money: $4.5m

Handicap Rating: 114

 

7yo Gelding

Jockey: Damian Lane

 

Trainer: James Cummings

 

Form: Hit an uncharacteristic form slump this spring, running 9th in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last start. Hartnell has been rested ever since. Before that Hartnell ran 2nd in both the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), both races he was a short-priced favourite to win.

Summary: Proved his class with a third placing in the 2016 Melbourne Cup, 4.5-lengths off the winner Almandin. Carries an extra 1.5kg in 2017, so will need to be finding some improvement to deliver Godolphin their maiden Melbourne Cup. The stable opted to prepare Hartnell very differently this time round, sitting him out of the Cox Plate and laying low for much of October after a poor showing in the Caulfield Stakes.

Findabet Verdict: While Hartnell hasn’t shown the Spring form in 2017 of previous years, we are suspicious that this may be a deliberate ploy by the stable to keep him in top shape for the Cup. He’s a very talented horse and we think he’s worth a bet at odds of 30-1.

 

2. Almandin (14)

 

Odds - $10.5

Carrying – 56.5kg

 

Prize Money: $4.3m

Handicap Rating: 112

 

8yo Gelding

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

 

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

 

Form: Ran 4th last start in the Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500m). Importantly he was making ground down the straight and ran on strongly. Ran 1st and 2nd in his earlier lead up races over 2500m and 2040m.

Summary: As the winner of the 2016 Melbourne Cup, he deserves to be amongst the favourites. Will have to do it with an extra 4.5kg in 2017 and as an 8yo, would become only the third horse in over 150 years of the cup to win at that age. Last year’s champion Jockey Damian Oliver has been suspended, giving the famous Frankie Dettori his chance to win a maiden Melbourne Cup.

Findabet Verdict: Almandin is a very classy horse, but we can’t back him with the extra 4.5kg which by some estimates is a 9-length penalty.

 

3. Humidor (13)

 

Odds - $10

Carrying – 56kg

 

Prize Money: $2.5m

Handicap Rating: 114

 

5yo Gelding

Jockey: Blake Shinn

 

Trainer: Darren Weir

 

Form: Almost shot Bambi a week ago, pushing Winx all the way home in the Cox plate (2040m), coming 2nd by only half a length. Finished 5th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m), a run that some thought was disappointing given he was one of the favourites.

Summary: Many commentators thought that Humidor’s 56kg was far too much weight for a horse who had just 1 group win over 2000m. That was until he almost knocked off Winx, pushing her all the way in her famous 3rd Cox Plate Victory. Having been a favourite for the Caulfield Cup and falling short, then pushing Winx in the Cox Plate, Humidor will have to essentially peak for a third time this Spring to win the Cup.

Findabet Verdict: There is still the question over Humidor running the 3200m, but we are happy to put some money on him given the way he finished his last two runs.

 

4. Tiberian (23)

 

Odds - $34

Carrying – 55.5kg

 

Prize Money: $517k

Handicap Rating: 110

 

6yo Stallion

Jockey: Olivier Peslier

 

Trainer: Alain Couetil

 

Form: Won his last two starts the in the Group 2 Grand Prix De Deauville (2500m) and the Group 3 Prix De Reux (2500m), though is yet to be raced in Australia

Summary: This classy European stayer is used to carrying big weights over long distances and winning. No doubt he will have spent time in Australia and had a chance to adapt to the conditions. We don’t like to back horses who are unraced here. Has drawn a tough barrier.

Findabet Verdict: Going to leave him out

 

5. Marmelo (16)

 

Odds - $9

Carrying – 55kg

 

Prize Money: $365k

Handicap Rating: 109

 

5yo Stallion

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

 

Trainer: Hughie Morrison

 

Form: Ran 6th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m), finishing strongly from far back in the field. Before that he was coming off some success in Europe with a win and a 2nd place over 3000m and 2800m respectively.

Summary: Has strong European staying form and has proven his worth with a classy run in the Caulfield Cup. That run the in the Caulfield Cup caught a lot of peoples’ attention, quickly brining his odds in from around 30-1. He’s a big horse and should handle the weight well.

Findabet Verdict: Ticks a lot of boxes and is hard to ignore.

 

6. Red Cardinal (24)

 

Odds - $23

Carrying – 55kg

 

Prize Money: $461k

Handicap Rating: 109

 

6yo Gelding

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

 

Trainer: Andreas Wohler

 

Form: Ran 5th last start to Marmelo in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m). Won the Belmont Gold Cup (3219m) in the United States and the Oleander-Rennen (3200m) in Germany before that.

Summary: A top stayer who has competed and won in multiple countries, he shot to Melbourne Cup contention when he won the Belmont Gold Invitational over the same distance as the Cup. Has been purchased by the Australian bloodstock team who would no doubt have had the Cup in mind when making the purchase. Has yet to be raced here and has unfortunately drawn the outside barrier, 24.

Findabet Verdict: He’s one of the leading international prospects.

 

7. Johannes Vermeer (3)

 

Odds - $11

Carrying – 54.5kg

 

Prize Money: $940k

Handicap Rating: 110

 

5yo Stallion

Jockey: Ben Melham

 

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

 

Form: Finished 3rd in the Caulfield after starting favourite. Was 2nd in his first run in Australia in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.

Summary: Johannes Vermeer has had some success in Europe and based on his two lead-up runs in Melbourne he looks set to be very competitive in the Cup. While there is no doubt that he’s a quality stayer over 2400m, the verdict is still out on his ability over 3200m.

Findabet Verdict: One we are keeping an eye on.

 

8. Bondi Beach (1)

 

Odds - $81

Carrying – 54kg

 

Prize Money: $562k

Handicap Rating: 106

 

6yo Gelding

Jockey: Michael Walker

 

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

 

Form: Ran 11th last start in the LR JRA Trophy (2500m), a distant 11-lengths behind Almandin. Finished 9th before that over 2000m at Flemington

Summary: Lining up for his third Melbourne Cup after finishing 16th and 13th over the past two years. Has shown plenty of talent over 2800m, but is yet to show anything Down Under.

Findabet Verdict: One we are happy to leave out.

 

9. Max Dynamite (2)

 

Odds - $17

Carrying – 54kg

 

Prize Money: $1.3m

Handicap Rating: 107

 

8yo Gelding

Jockey: Zac Purton

 

Trainer: William Mullins

 

Form: Coming off a win last start over 3419m in Ireland. Ran 9th the run before that over 3282m.

Summary: Max Dynamite had been raced very light over the past two years, since coming 2nd in the 2015 Melbourne Cup by 0.5 lengths to Prince of Penzance. Carried 55kg that year, so finds himself 1kg lighter this time around. It’s hard to gauge Max Dynamite’s form, but there’s no doubt he can see out the 3200m

Findabet Verdict: We’ll probably leave him out, but possibly good for a place.

 

10. Ventura Storm (6)

 

Odds - $41

Carrying – 54kg

 

Prize Money: $774k

Handicap Rating: 107

 

5yo Stallion

Jockey: Glen Boss

 

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

 

Form: Finished in the back half of the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start after a 2nd in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Finished 6th in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

Summary: Has had success in Europe over longer distances including a win in the group 1 Premio Jockey Club (2400m) and a 2nd place in the Group 1 English St Leger (2917m). Has since been brought out to Australia and is now under the care of Team Hayes. Made his Australian debut in May with a solid run at Flemington. While he hasn’t shown much this spring, he will no doubt run the 3200m

Findabet Verdict: Keeping an eye on him as a possible speculator

 

12. Wicklow Brave (8)

 

Odds - $71

Carrying – 54kg

 

Prize Money: $1.3m

Handicap Rating: 107

 

9yo Gelding

Jockey: Stephen Baster

 

Trainer: William Mullins

 

Form: Finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start and 4th in the Irish St Leger (2816m) before that.

Summary: Finished 22nd in last year’s Melbourne Cup. Has European Group 1 staying victories under his belt, though his most recent win came from a hurdle race.  No 9yo has ever won the Cup. Has been brought down under as a stable mate to Max Dynamite and Thomas Hobson.

Findabet Verdict: No thanks.

 

13. Big Duke (5)

 

Odds - $21

Carrying – 53.5kg

 

Prize Money: $1.2m

Handicap Rating: 107

 

6yo Gelding

Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

 

Trainer: Darren Weir

 

Form: Ran 4th last start in the Mooney Valley Gold Cup (2500m) when starting as a $2 favourite. Won over 2600m at Randwick before that and came 2nd in the Group 1 Metropolitan(2400m)

Summary: Another import who is now permanently based in Aus with the Australian Bloodstock team. Big Duke has established himself as a top Australian stayer, doing the rounds over the past 12-months. He failed last start as the short-priced favourite and doesn’t look to quite have the class of some of the other Cup runners.

Findabet Verdict: His price indicates plenty of punters still like him, but we’ll leave him out.

 

14. US Army Ranger (22)

 

Odds - $71

Carrying – 53.5kg

 

Prize Money: $856k

Handicap Rating: 104

 

5yo Stallion

Jockey: Jamie Spencer

 

Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

 

Form: Came 6th of 6 last start in the Group 3 Enterprise Stakes (2414m) and 8th in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup (3218m)

Summary: Has beaten some quality international stayers but is without a win in his last ten races and is without a run Down Under. Has possibly flown under the radar and can still pick up some decent prize money by finishing in the top-ten.

Findabet Verdict: We’ll leave him out.

 

15. Boom Time (9)

 

Odds - $31

Carrying – 53kg

 

Prize Money: $2.5m

Handicap Rating: 105

 

6yo Stallion

Jockey: Cory Parish

 

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

 

Form: Coming off a 1.3-length win last start in the Caulfield Cup (2400m). Ran 4th in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and 3rd in the JRA Cup (2040m) at Monee Valley.

Summary: Has Incurred a 1kg weight penalty for his Caulfield Cup Victory. At $31 to win the Melbourne Cup, he is set to start as the longest odds Caulfield Cup winner in the Cup’s history. His odds reflect the fact that Single Gaze, Marmelo, Humidior and Johannes Vermeer were all finishing strongly behind him in the Caulfield Cup and looked more likely to run on over the 3200m

Findabet Verdict: We won’t rule him out completely but he’s not one of our favourites.

 

16. Gallante (18)

 

Odds - $151

Carrying – 53kg

 

Prize Money: $2m

Handicap Rating: 99

 

7yo Gelding

Jockey: Michael Dee

 

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

 

Form: Came 7th last start in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m). Finished last in the Group 3 Naturalism (2000m)

Summary: Finished 20th in last year’s Melbourne Cup with an extra 1.5kg. Won last year’s Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at a lighter weight, but has shown little form since.  Has drawn a wide barrier.

Findabet Verdict: 150-1 for a reason. Steer clear.

 

17. Libran (7)

 

Odds - $51

Carrying – 53kg

 

Prize Money: $1m

Handicap Rating: 107

 

7yo Gelding

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

 

Trainer: Chris Waller

 

Form: Coming off a 2nd placing last start in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m). Finished 5th at Randwick before that and 6th in the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) before that.

Summary: An Irish import who has now been around the stayer traps Down Under for some time. He is an honest performer with a decent barrier and not too heavy a weight, but is a little out of his class here.

Findabet Verdict: We’ll leave out.

 

18. Nakeeta (19)

 

Odds - $41

Carrying – 53kg

 

Prize Money: $567k

Handicap Rating: 105

 

7yo Gelding

Jockey: Glyn Schofield

 

Trainer: Iain Jardine

 

Form: Coming off a win last start in Great Britain, in the Ebor Handicap (2787m) and a 4th and a 2nd before that in June in Great Britain.

Summary: A quality stayer who’s had a mixed career over the years, but has proven that he can run the 3200m nonetheless. He won the Ebor Handicap last start, which is the same race that last year’s runner-up HeartBreak City won before running in the Cup. He is untried in Australia.

Findabet Verdict: A quality stayer, though there are likely better internationals in the race.

 

19. Single Gaze (11)

 

Odds - $61

Carrying – 53kg

 

Prize Money: $2m

Handicap Rating: 109

 

5yo Mare

Jockey: Kathy O'Hara

 

Trainer: Nick Olive

 

Form: Coming off a 2nd placing in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start after placing 4th in Group 1’s, the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and the Underwood Stakes (2000m).

Summary: One of only two mares in the 2017 Melbourne Cup and ridden by the only female jockey of the race. Ran a brave race in the Caulfield Cup holding on to 2nd place down most of the home straight. Has been ridden a lot this year, but looks to have improved with each ride.

Findabet Verdict: Deserves to be in the Cup but looks a little off the top stayers.

 

20. Wall of Fire (15)

 

Odds - $14

Carrying – 53kg

 

Prize Money: $357k

Handicap Rating: 105

 

5yo Stallion

Jockey: Craig Williams

 

Trainer: Hugo Palmer

 

Form: Coming off a 2nd placing last start in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m). Before that came 2nd in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer (2716m) in England.

Summary: Raced in the Dubai Gold Cup and Belmont Gold Cup earlier this year but is yet to break through for a major win. Has yet to win over 3200m but has shown he can run the distance nicely. He impressed on his Australian debut and now finds himself right in the betting at odds of $14.

Findabet Verdict: A strong race wouldn’t shock, but we won’t be backing him.

 

21. Thomas Hobson (21)

 

Odds - $17

Carrying – 52kg

 

Prize Money: $368k

Handicap Rating: 103

 

8yo Gelding

Jockey: Joao Moreira

 

Trainer: William Mullins

 

Form: Coming off a 2nd placing last start in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup (3599m) in Doncaster. Finished 7th in the run before that in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3269m)

Summary: One of the top European contenders who has more than proven his ability to run the distance. At a nice light weight of 52kg, he is the only runner carrying the same weight as last year’s winner, Almandin. Ridden by the jockey known as ‘the magic man’, Joao Moreira is known around the world for his ability to ride winners and has a history of setting records. Is yet to race Down Under

Findabet Verdict: Despite being unraced in Aus, he is our leading light weight contender.

 

22. Rekindling (4)

 

Odds - $12

Carrying – 51.5kg

 

Prize Money: $273k

Handicap Rating: 110

 

4yo Stallion

Jockey: Corey Brown

 

Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

 

Form: Placed 4th last start in the Group 1 English St Leger (2921m) and 2nd in his run before that in the St Leger Trial (2816m). Won the Group 2 Curragh Cup (2816m) in June.

Summary: The only 4yo in the 2017 Melbourne Cup. He has shown a lot of promise in the UK against the older, stronger stayers, coming 2nd behind Order Of St George in the Curragh Cup and putting in a strong race in the English St Leger. Yet to race in Australia.

Findabet Verdict: our 2nd pick amongst the light-weights.

 

23. Amelie's Star (10)

 

Odds - $20

Carrying – 51kg

 

Prize Money: $573k

Handicap Rating: 103

 

6yo Mare

Jockey: Dean Yendall

 

Trainer: Darren Weir

 

Form: Finished 11th in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) after winning the Bart Cummings (2500m)

Summary: The second of two mares in the Cup.Qualified for the 2017 Melbourne Cup by winning the Bart Cummings. This is the same race that Almandin qualified with for the 2016 Melbourne Cup before winning it. Unlike Almandin, she has managed to avoid a weight penalty for that win. Her run in the Caulfield Cup wasn’t great, but it’s very possible the trainer/owners were using the race as a warm up for the Cup. She’s at nice low weight, and has drawn a decent barrier to go with it. Possibly the best chance amongst the Australian horses.

Findabet Verdict: Potential for a placing.

 

24. Cismontane (17)

 

Odds - $61

Carrying – 50kg

 

Prize Money: $426k

Handicap Rating: 99

 

5yo Gelding

Jockey: Beau Mertens

 

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

 

Form: Qualified for the Melbourne Cup with a win on Saturday in the Lexus Stakes. Placed 3rd in both the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) before the St Leger (2600m) at Randwick.

Summary: Has the honour of carrying the lightest weight in the 2017 Melbourne Cup. Led the whole way down the straight in the Lexus Stakes, and managed to hold on for what looked like an unlikely win. While he somehow found something extra to win the Lexus, if he can do that over another 800m is different question altogether.

Findabet Verdict: We are still not sure how hhe managed to win the Lexus Stakes, so are very unsure as to how we can see him winning here.

 

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