Melbourne Cup preview
Updated: Oct 31
The 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup has its 24 runners.
Now allow me to get this out of the way... it's far far from the strongest Cup we've ever witnessed but the beauty of this race does lie beneath the surface.
There's a story everywhere you turn. And the 2022 renewal will uncover more stories than we'll know what to do with.
But - the race is weak and the tail is long.
I have 15 horses who cannot win... well, they can but if they do absolutely knock me down with a feather!
I'll mention those that can and leave out those that cannot. Like wise folk taught us, if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.
Here are my contenders...
1 GOLD TRIP (Barrier 14, Mark Zahra 57.5kg, Maher/Eustace)
Cannot believe I am putting him in the contenders list BUT here I am.
Almost won a Caulfield Cup, looked to have something to offer at Moonee Valley and arrives here as first horse since 2017 to tackle three majors in same spring. Could they strike?
6 WITHOUT A FIGHT (Barrier 18, William Buick 55.5kg, S. and E. Crisford) The under-the-radar Werribee prep for this fella.
A more exposed international raider but possesses a winning record (7/17). Wide alley but will go back anyway and look for gaps and luck. William Buick will be keen to land a blow.
He's my pick - away from Deauville Legend.
7 CAMORRA (Barrier 17, Ben Melham 55kg, Ben & JD Hayes)
Rekindling and Twilight Payment won the Curragh Cup before claiming our Cup. This horse won that race over 2800m but was then well outclassed by Kyprios over the same trip.
Carried 62kg to win that staying test so the two miles should be no problems. Huge price!
8 DEAUVILLE LEGEND (Barrier 9, Kerrin McEvoy 55kg, James Ferguson)
The horse almost everyone will be with. With the removal of Loft, this horse is the punters pal and everything sets up nicely.
K McEvoy going for a fourth Cup, gate nine works and James Ferguson is on the verge of becoming a household name for racing fans. The likely winner!
12 HOO YA MAL (Barrier 15, Craig Williams 53.5kg, Waterhouse/Bott)
Purchased a long way out for this race. Beat a small field convincingly but then failed over 2921m. Track blamed for that run.
Craig Williams, Gai Waterhouse, 53.5kg, there are a few ticks so keep him safe.
13 SERPENTINE (Barrier 23, John Allen 53.5kg, Rob Hickmott)
Look, I'd say the silks are tricking me but at some point Serpentine will replicate his Epsom Derby performance of 2020. On the back-up from a decent run in the Archer so maybe this is it - maybe.
21 POINT NEPEAN (Barrier 20, Wayne Lordan 51kg, Rob Hickmott)
Same as above. Navy silks with white armbands are luring me because they know how to win one of those. Goes here 3rd up but forget his previous couple.
Wayne Lordan arrives to ride. I would not be shocked and he's bigger odds than plenty who have less hope.
24 REALM OF FLOWERS (Barrier 5, Damien Thornton 50kg, A & S Freedman)
Withdrawn from Archer in readiness for this. Was excellent in Metropolitan. The bottom-weight mare can be Australia's darling and pinch this. $13 no spoil at all but she can win.
THE REST --
2 DUAIS - Just not going well enough. 3 KNIGHTS ORDER - Nah, doubtful. Not a complete stunner, though.
4 MONTEFILIA - Sure, Caulfield Cup run was good but doubt she can win against these at two miles.
5 NUMERIAN - Not for me. Not hopeless but just unlikely.
9 STOCKMAN - No way.
10 VOW AND DECLARE - Some will be with him, in fact many will say he can a 2nd Cup. Not me.
11 YOUNG WERTHER - Has won a maiden. That's it.
14 DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR - No way.
15 GRAND PROMENADE - Unlikely to be top 10 but hoping Swan Hill's Harry Coffey can strike.
16 ARAPHO - No way.
17 EMISSARY - Geelong Cup winner was huge in that race. Will two miles suit?
18 LUNAR FLARE - Stunningly short in the market. Another who would stun.
19 SMOKIN ROMANS - stable blamed jock, jock blamed luck in Caulfield Cup, I say he just was not good enough on the day and doubt he will be here.
20 TRALEE ROSE - almost chucked her in as a knockout hope. Beaten 4L in Caulfield Cup but many of the 12 ahead of her in that also have little hope here.
22 HIGH EMOCEAN - stable a plus, soft deck a plus, low weight a plus, maybe she can but I would be surprised. Goes in widest quads.
23 INTERPRETATION - been nothing but disappointing since arriving in Oz with a boom. Another who is lucky to be in the race.
Point Nepean from 20 goes forward, as does stable mate Serpentine from 23. Knights Order is the only other horse who seems likely to go forward so will someone else make a surprising move or will the Williams pair get an uncontested lead? Very interesting.
Deauville Legend, Without A Fight, Camorra, Hoo Ya Mal and Realm of Flowers will all get back and look to run on strong at the end of 3200m. But will the tempo be there?
In the mould of Twilight Payment in the same silks, there's got to be some chance Serpentine or Point Nepean could pinch this race without any pressure.
1 DEAUVILLE LEGEND ($3.80) - The obvious one. Maybe only bad luck beats him?
2 WITHOUT A FIGHT ($11) - Underrated raider with exposed form, staying prowess, a winner's record and a proven yard. Like!
3 REALM OF FLOWERS ($13) - A very talented mare, best of the Aussies.
4 CAMORRA ($61) - Well over the odds for the Hayes boys.
5 SERPENTINE ($81) - Respect the camp. He was good on Saturday and might run a bold race out front.
$100 SPEND -
$50win DEAUVILLE LEGEND
$30 win WITHOUT A FIGHT
$10 win HOO YA MAL
$10 F4 DEAUVILLE LEGEND to win from 1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 24 / 1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 24 / 1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 24