Despite the lack of Internationals coming over for this year’s race, the cup field is not as bad as some
may have you think. We have the 2020 champion in Twilight Payment returning and he has been in
great form around the world, we have a very highly rated Spanish Mission over and despite the vet
checks he is quality. We also have the flying Incentivise and a few other very good locals who have
been in good form and even though Incentivise deserves to be favourite it is a pretty fair field.
Below I will go through a For and Against for each horse and a top 4 VALUE selections as well as what we
would do with $100 betting strategy around the favourite who we’d want to be $3.50 or better.
Speed Map: Knights Order and Twilight Payment will roll forward and take up the lead ensuring
there is a genuine tempo in the race. Incentivise may roll forward, but definitely expect Delphi and
Pondus to be prominent early from their good inside draws. Floating Artist, Tralee Rose, Sir Lucan,
Spanish Mission, Grand Promenade and Persan all big chances of rolling forward from wider draws.
Verry Elleegant may also sneak more forward than she was last year, most of the others drawn wide
will likely settle towards the back of the field and try get a position with cover.
1 – Twilight Payment J McNeil (2) 58kg Joseph O’Brien $15.00
2020 returning to defend his title, he returned to Ireland after last years cup and has been racing in
better form than last year, however he would need to be better as he is now a 9YO and is carrying
2.5kg more this year. Likely leader and will give them something to chase especially if he looks to
make it a true staying test and set a good tempo like he did last year. Chance if gets own way.
2 – Incentivise B Prebble (16) 57kg Peter Moody $2.80
The deserved 2021 Cup favourite after winning 9 on the trot coming in to this race including the
Maykbe Diva, Turnbull and Caulfield Cup, the latter being a very good lead up race traditionally for
the Melbourne Cup. He rises 1.5kg on his 3.5L win at Caulfield and is a well-deserved favourite
despite the bad barrier. What price he actually starts will be interesting because right now he is the
shortest favourite since 1971 and Phar Lap was the last to win at such a short price. I feel he will drift
as punters look around for value, but this horse could be an absolute freak and I will be keeping a
close eye on his price on Cup day and try back him at his peak price. Could win by lengths.
3 – Spanish Mission C Williams (14) 57kg Andrew Balding $10.00
An extremely high-quality import and if he was coming in issue free, he would be much shorter than
his current price. In saying that, an import that has had a few issues while at Werribee is usually a bit
of a red flag coming into a Melbourne Cup. If he is 100% then he definitely represents value as he
smashed Twilight Payment over 4000m when they met and has 2 wins over Selino who won Sydney
Cup. Drawn to follow Incentivise and might just try and out stay him in the straight. Exotics Yes
4 – Verry Elleegant J MacDonald (19) 57kg Chris Waller $17.00
She was sensational last year on a Good 3 (expect same here) where she carried 55.5kg and coming
off a Caulfield Cup win, she settled almost last and then when pressed the button ran into the back
of horses 2 or 3 times and finished extremely well, will stay and feel team Waller have aimed her at
this race this year and J Mac jumps back on, 57kg and barrier 19 this year but there are a few she can
follow early and get a more forward position than last year. If it was Wet track, would be all over
her, but happy to have her in exotics as she will stay and be there at the finish.
5 – Explosive Jack J Allen (4) 54kg Maher & Eustace $41.00
Drawn an inside barrier and gets back so might just get stuck in behind too many and despite Johnny
Allen being the in-form jockey at the moment, the task might just be a bit too much for him from the
back carrying 4kg more than some of the others that will be making runs from in front of him who
look to be going much better into this race too. Wider exotics chance.
6 – The Chosen One D Lane (5) 54kg Baker & Forsman $41.00
Likely to also settle more towards the back from an inside draw and was going well into the Caulfield
Cup finishing 2nd behind Delphi carrying 59kg, meets him 1.5kg better off and they both flopped in
the Caulfield Cup backing up a week later so perhaps the back up was no good for either of them. He
ran 4th in this race last year carrying 0.5kg less following a 3rd in the Caulfield Cup so was going better
then however does stay and could be one for the wider exotics – definite place chance.
7 – Delphi D Oliver (3) 53.5kg Freedman bros $19.00
Was heavily backed into 2nd fav in the Caulfield Cup after showing some good form prior and
absolutely flopped, was drawn wide and went forward and was just too keen out in front and could
be said that with an inside draw he will be able to get a lovely run in transit outside Pondus just
behind the leading bunch and could recapture his form from before Caulfield Cup. There is a bit of a
concern with him however on Cup eve as he presented with Lameness in his left foreleg so will need
to be passed fit to run on Cup morning, this is not ideal, so wait and see the outcome of that vet
check on Tuesday morning. If he is fine, then definitely a big each way chance.
8 – Ocean Billy D Thornton (13) 53.5kg Chris Waller $51.00
2021 Auckland Cup winner over 3200m in NZ who was definitely not suited by the soft track in the
Caulfield Cup and looks a possible each way chance here at big odds, he has drawn well to get a
good position in behind of those drawn around him who will roll forward. It would take an amazing
ride and run for him to win but he can stay all day and may grind away for a place, include in exotics.
9 – Selino R Stewart (24) 53.5kg Chris Waller $81.00
Sydney Cup winner and traditionally the Sydney Cup is not a great guide for this race, he is another
who flopped in the Caulfield Cup but has terrible form on wet tracks and his 4th in the Bart Cummings
carrying 58kg was full of merit and he meets Grand Promenade 1.5kg better off. His form since
coming to Australia has not been outstanding but he did match it with Spanish Mission in 2019 at
level weights so the fact he meets SM 3.5kg better is some upside. Include in wide exotics.
10 – Johnny Get Angry L King (22) 53kg Dennis Pagan $201.00
Likely to jump the outsider of the field and rightly so as he has really been out of form since winning
the 2020 Victoria Derby to secure his place here having only beat 4 horses home in 4 races. Trained
by former North Melbourne Premiership winning coach who may just know how to have horses as
well as AFL players primed for a Grand Final. Drawn poorly and can’t see him figuring in the race.
11 – Knights Order D Stackhouse (9) 53kg Waterhouse & Bott $201.00
Will be the first horse to go past the winning post, but not when it matters. He will join Twilight
Payment at the front of the field and will likely take up the early running and that will be all we will
see of him no matter how confident Gai may be that the horse can run a good race. No Chance
12 – Persan L Currie (11) 53kg Maher & Eustace $26.00
Ticks a lot of boxes here after finishing 5th in this race last year carrying 51kg however, but has come
back this year a lot more mature and an improved racehorse. Great form at the track winning 4 of 10
starts and was very good in the Caulfield Cup finishing 3rd . Drawn to either go forward and get a sit in
behind the leading bunch or let others outside him roll along and sit in behind them either way he
should get a good run in transit and be in it for a very long way. We know he stays and is a great
each way chance and should go in all exotics even adding him in the win selection as a just in case.
13 – Carif B McDougall (8) 52.5kg P & P Snowden $151.00
Won a Sandown cup over 3200m and came 2nd in the Brisbane Cup over 3200m beating Knights
Order who he meets 5kg better off here and despite drawing a good barrier to get a nice run in
transit behind Delphi and Pondus he may well get squeezed in with a large group of horses come
across, Blake’s rookie ride in the cup and can’t see him running past Delphi or Pondus. No Chance.
14 – Master Of Wine F Kersley (6) 52.5kg Team Hawkes $101.00
Was extremely impressive 2 back in the Bart Cummings flying from the back to get 3rd carrying
56.5kg but his form around that including 12th in the Caulfield Cup is just not good enough to really
challenge here. The genuine tempo in the race should suit him however he will be well back and on
the inside and there are others going better that will be in front of him. Only if you trust him.
15 – Pondus R King (1) 52.5kg R Hickmott $21.00
Camp Williams know what it takes to win a Melbourne Cup, they have 7 in the trophy cabinet, could
they make it 8. Barrier 1 is good for him as he will roll forward and take a nice position behind the
leaders and he and Delphi will keep those coming across wide if they want past the post the first
time. He won’t need to do much work and has weight relief from his 4 Australian starts. He led them
in the Bart Cummings where Lloyd Williams has stated he was unhappy with what Brett Prebble did,
and went early in the MV Cup he was sound in both and this camp will have him primed for this race
has to go in all exotics and at the price represents great value, never underestimate Team Williams!
16 – Grand Promenade K McEvoy (21) 52kg Maher & Eustace $15.00
The Bart Cummings winner where he carried 55kg and won well, been racing this prep since March
and has had a month freshen up going in to this race and this looks an ideal race for him as he is very
versatile and can either go forward or take a sit from this barrier. The booking of McEvoy is also
another massive plus and he has 3 wins and a 2nd from 5 starts here at Flemington so loves the track.
He ticks a lot of boxes and definitely one of the top VALUE selections. YES top 4
17 – Miami Bound P Maloney (17) 52kg Danny O’Brien $151.00
Finished 3rd in the Sydney Cup carrying 51.5kg and others meet her better off, finished 14th in this
race last year carrying 51kg and form this prep has been no where near as good as she was going last
year. If the heavens were to open up she might finish midfield. No Chance
18 – Port Guillaume H Coofey (23) 52kg B & J Hayes $151.00
His form before coming to Australia was excellent, just not been the same horse and can’t see him
improving here especially from the car park and having to go to the back of the field. Connections
may even try going forward and see if that brings a change in luck. No Chance.
19 – She’s Ideel C Newitt (20) 52kg Bjorn Baker $101.00
Another that is drawn out and will settle in the last few at the tail of the field, she was 4th in the
Sydney Cup after missed the start, had her preferred soft going in the Caulfield Cup and was on the
worst part of the track so a good track and a poor draw she will maybe finish midfield. No Chance
20 – Future Score D Yendall (15) 51.5kg Matt Cumani $201.00
Drawn to be able to pick where they go with him, but there is a slight chance he could be scratched
on cup day as he didn’t pass the cup eve vet check presenting with lameness in his right foreleg. He
will be vetted tomorrow morning, but if passed fit can’t see him troubling the top half. No Chance
21 – Tralee Rose D Holland (12) 51kg Simon Wilde $16.00
2 nd in the Bart Cummings behind Grand Promenade where she kept chasing carrying 54kg and then
went and won a true staying test in the Geelong Cup carrying 55.5kg on a good 4. She is 2 wins and 2
2nds from 4 starts here at Flemington and solid good track stats of 9 starts for 4 wins a 2 nd and two
3rds. She won a race here at Flemington over 2800m in Jan by an outstanding 7 lengths and then
went to the Adelaide Cup over 3200m where she was a beaten short priced fav finishing 4th however
it was discovered she had a knee issue and had minor surgery before this prep where she has gone
3rd , 3rd , 2nd and 1st in 4 runs, she has been progressing well and has drawn well here to roll forward
take a nice sit, she may even sit on the back of the fav and with 51kg a big chance, the trainer has set
her for this Will be definitely putting her in exotics and having a crack on her each way. Yes Top 4
22 – Floating Artist T Nugent (10) 50kg Maher & Eustace $15.00
Should have won the MV Cup last start carrying 55kg, drops 5kg here and meets Pondus 3.5kg better
off for beating him home there. This is his first prep here in Australia and Maher & Eustace have him
ticking along very nicely and gets in at 50kg drawn in a lovely barrier to roll forward or take a nice sit
just off the pace in the first half of the field with cover likely alongside Pondus and Delphi. Theo
Nugent stays on which a huge confidence boost for him, but could that hurt not having a more
seasoned jockey on when the going gets tough in the final turn and down the straight. Definitely
include in exotics and a good each way chance, just the jockey the worry.
23 – Great House M Dee (7) 50kg Chris Waller $26.00
Won the Hotham on Saturday and was good there with 57.5kgs drops down 7.5kg however was 5th in
the Caulfield Cup with the same weight and in that race, he was in the worst part of the track the
entire way around so the run had massive merit and puts him in good stead for this race as long as
the run on Sat didn’t take too much out of him, traditionally those backing up have run well. He has
been racing since June and has plenty of miles in the legs including a Solid Newcastle Cup win over
2300m carrying 54kg. Another who is drawn well and expect him to settle midfield with cover and
may even follow Pondus, Delphi and co in running. Definite each way chance and in all exotics.
24 – Sir Lucan G Boss (18) 50kg Waterhouse & Bott $26.00
A lightly raced European 3YO, where have we seen that before – Rekindling and Cross Counter – so
connections are trying to mirror previous winners here. Been sent to Gai and Adrian, who usually
send their horses forward so will be interesting to see if they do that here especially since he is
drawn wide. Not too sure what to make of this fella, was very keen on Rekindling and Cross Counter
previously, maybe it’s the Gai factor, however she usually spruiks every single horse she trains and
she has been awfully quiet here about this full brother to Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet. Keep an eye
on the market on the day and if there is a plunge on him late then have a bit each way on him.
Top 4 VALUE Selections (Favourite Out)
The favourite in Incentivise looks extremely hard to beat but I am going to look around him unless he
gets out to a better price of $3.50 plus. He is unknown at the distance and has to carry 57kg in his
first run over 3200m. However, if you like him, then for all money have a crack but we like Value!
Value Selection 1 – 16 – Grand Promenade (Currently $17.00 best)
Value Selection 2 – 15 – Pondus (Currently $26.00 best)
Value Selection 3 – 12 – Persan (Currently $26.00 best)
Value Selection 4 – 7 – Delphi (Currently $19 best)
Value Selection 5 – 21 – Tralee Rose (Currently $17.00 best)
Value Selection 6 – 23 – Great House (Currently $26 best)
$100 betting Strategy around the favourite
16 – Grand Promenade – $10 win ($16), $20 place ($4.50)
15 – Pondus – $5 win ($26), $10 place ($6.00)
12 – Persan – $5 win ($26), $10 place ($6.00)
7 – Delphi – $5 win ($19), $15 place ($5.00)
21 – Tralee Rose – $5 win ($17), $5 place ($4.50)
23 – Great House – $5 win ($26), $5 place ($6.00)
$100 Trifecta with Incentivise as winner – 100%
1 st – 2
2 nd – 1, 3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23
3 rd – 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23