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Melbourne Cup Power Rankings 2022 Edition 2 - Post Weights

Welcome to the Melbourne Cup Power Rankings Edition 2 - post weights. There has been a lot of action within this space with weights being released and plenty of internationals that I had once liked flopping. Cleveland drops out due to them not deciding to come over which I am baffled at considering Lloyd is in the ownership and Hoo Ya Mal due to his poor run.

10. Deauville Legend ($8)[Shortened]

Previous Ranking: 1st (-9)

So a horse wins an overseas G2 race in good fashion but gets downgraded from 1st to 10th. This may seem like a very odd decision but I have some logic and how sound it is, I will let you be the judge. The first argument I will make is that the weight he got was far higher than I was expecting. In my weight predictions, I gave him 53.5kgs, the same as Russian Camelot who won one of the strongest renditions of the SA Derby this century in dominant fashion and was a very unlucky 2nd in a G1 at WFA and yes, this field is worse but that is a very big weight. Especially for a horse that has serious queries around the trip which is my second argument. His longest win has came over 2600m and it was his least impressive. He then improved again when he dropped back to 2400m. The reason I suggest he improved at 2400m was because both place getters in Al Qaarem and Walk of Stars were both much further off him when they clashed at this distance. Hoo Ya Mal also stinking it up in the St Leger does not help him but I believe that was due to him not seeing out the trip. Is this ranking too low, maybe? Is he carrying a lot of a weight for a NH4yo on a trip he has serious queries at, yes? And that is why for the time being, I will be against him.

Last Start: 1st in the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes

9. Daqiansweet Junior ($34)[Held]

Previous Ranking: Unranked

The first of many genuine two milers that makes the list. Daiqiansweet Junior improved out of sight in the Autumn, winning a G2 Adelaide Cup and running 3rd in a G1 Sydney Cup. His first up run was deceptively strong as well, being taken back from the 800->400 but working home for 10th which was very reminiscent of another horse that ran that day (more on her later) and he only finished 4 lengths off them. To be honest, this ranking may be very low and it would not surprise me to see him jump even higher. One I will most definitely be keeping my eye on to the point that I might back him each way before Saturday but he probably needs to take another step to win this race. His weight was around expected.

Last Start: 10th in the LR Heatherlie Hcp

8. Loft ($13)[Shortened]

Previous Ranking: 8th (+0)

The only horse on this list to have held his spot on the rankings comes in at 8 and my second internationally trained horse. He is a genuine two miler, winning Group 2s overseas (USA & Germany) and it was enough to convince JMac to ride him but not enough at this stage for me like him, especially at those current odds. German staying form is typically moderate, as is the USA and his last start in England, he could only manage a second in a listed race but admittedly, gave the winner a ridiculous amount of weight. He is yet to beat any horse of noteworthy calibre which is what makes him so hard to rate. His videos make him seem slow but slow in a 2 mile race is not bad at all, you need to be able to stay. I find him very hard to assess. His weight was around expected.

Last Start: 2nd in the LR Chester Stakes

7. Spanish Mission ($15)[Held]

Previous Ranking: 4th (-3)

He went super first up and is the best true stayer in this country so why the drop? It is simple, weight. Regardless of what some may try tell you, weight matters. Duais beat him twice at WFA and is carrying 1kg less disregarding her penalty which does not make me excited for him at this stage as a betting prospect but he does deserve respect. He carried 57kgs last year though and this is only 1kg more and for a bigger horse like him, weight is not as much of a big deal so I am potentially overreacting here but time will tell. No surprise if he jumps back into the top 4 though.

Last Start: 3rd in the G2 Feehan Stakes

6. Grand Promenade ($51)[Held]

Previous Ranking: 9th (+3)

Six through four are hard to rate for me purely as they have not had many starts and/or I am not sure how they are going. Grand Promenade is one of them. His rise is more to do with me softening on some below him. As stated previously, he had the toughest race in last years Cup, with Kerrin doing him little favours pulling him out from behind Incentivise 2 wide with cover on the back straight to 3 wide no cover on speed around the bend which is just unnecessary. However, that run may have cooked him. After a poor showing in the winter which was really just a trial, his jumpouts and trials have looked average and while that is not a good indicator for a stayer, the fact he has been nominated twice for a first up assignment so far and yet to start makes me think the stable are not keen on how he is travelling at all. The Naturalism will be telling as to if he goes into my top 3 or drops out of my top 10 or something in between. If he matches last years form and gets a slower go out front, I do not see why he cannot win but he needs to show something first up. His weight is around expected, maybe slightly less.

Last Start: 7th in an Open Flemington 1800m Hcp

5. Realm of Flowers ($51)[Held]

Previous Ranking: 3rd (-2)

I was actually really impressed with her second up. I know that is an odd thing to say when coming third by 7.5 lengths but she ran surprisingly well. She clearly was not fit first up and second up you could expect her to not be ready which she clearly was not however, it looked like she was going backwards but at the 200m, she quickened and passed one that had passed her She seems to be a horse that hits her peak later into a prep as her 2021 Melbourne Cup prep runs were similar. Hit the line well 1st up, bit dour second up and looked to be in great order 3rd up. So if she makes the necessary improvement 3rd up, I will be keen. Wet track is ideal and the La Nina helps that. Also got less weight than I expected but that is not exactly a good thing and now, she essentially needs to win a race to qualify.

Last Start: 3rd in the LR City Tatts Cup

4. Montefilia ($26)[Held]

Previous Ranking: 6th (+2)

The last of the three horses that I am struggling to get a good read on. Montefilia is the second best galloper in this field but she is yet to have a start. Her trial work has been ordinary but she normally is not a flash trialler. She has won a Metrop and ran well in a Caulfield Cup. She won a Ranvet but poor in the Queen Elizabeth. She is a super 2000-2400m horse for Australian standards but I want to see how she is going first up. 4th is still a very strong ranking. Also has question marks if she can get the 3200m. Her weight like Duais, was below my expectations as well making me more excited.

Last Start: 8th in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

3. Without A Fight ($34)[Shortened]

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Without A Fight is clearly the top international in my eyes. Loft seems to be getting the hype from the older horses but for me, he is the creme de la creme. He won a G3 at his last start pretty easily but that is not what excites me. Start prior, he beat Euchen Glen and Kemari, not world beaters but solid. His Meydan form was excellent, going toe to toe with Hukum who is a very good galloper and 5.75L off Shahryar is actually reasonable form. Are queries if he can get the 3200m but he has done well at the 2800m so why can't he? I will be placing a future on him at some stage. His weight was around expected.

Last Start: 1st in the G3 Silver Cup Stakes

2. Duais ($13)[Shortened]

Previous Ranking: 7th (+5)

A sneaky good run that does not have a lot of people talking. Her last 200m sectionals suggested she is going very sound. The handicapper most certainly missed her, as I had her carrying 56.5kgs and Spanish Mission only 56kgs (should probably have been 56.5kgs). She meets him 2.5-3kgs better than expected here and I cannot help but feel they have missed it. I now seriously like her in the Caulfield Cup and while I am unsure if she can get the 3200m, she seems to be going very well. The George Main will again hopefully see her run top 4 and she is the best horse in this field. As a heads up, I will be taking some of the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double with her.

Last Start: 10th in the G1 Memsie Stakes

1. Sheraz ($51)[Held]

Previous Ranking: 10th (+9)

It is interesting that the horse I ranked 1st has dropped to 10th and the horse I had 10th has jumped to first. It could be a little reactionary but I am in love with Sheraz's first up run. After having the majority of his starts around the two miles, Sheraz stormed home first up and while the field was not overly strong, the fact we know he is better over further speaks volumes. He is a proven two miler with surface not bothering him. The Sydney Cup form also appears to be good for once (margins suggested at the time it would be decent form for the top 3) with Knights Order winning at WFA first up. He is nominated this week and this will be telling if I have overreacted and while I do not expect him to win, if he can run a strong race where he hits the line well, I will continue to be keen on him. I will be backing him E/W in the cup before his first up run as well. His weight was around expected.

Last Start: 2nd in the LR Heatherlie Hcp

I believe the race is incredibly open and very even with many missing at this stage that could stake claims. or the Aussies that are still on my radar, Vow & Declare ($26) was my 11th selection. Him missing the ballot is not a concern (always concerned with those that have lower weights) as all he needs to do is place in a group race however, I thought he would carry less. Knights Order ($26) was my 12th pick but with a reasonable weight and queries on if he can run anti-clockwise, I elected against. Alegron ($26)[Sportsbet $41] is up there but first up was only moderate. Young Werther ($21) was strong first up but I have queries at the two miles. Midnight Blue ($101) has been running very well to start his prep and should not be discounted. Emissary ($34)[Sportsbet $81] was also quite handy first up but queries around the trip for me. Persan ($51) does not appear to be running strongly, if I were the trainer, I would be tempted to pull up stumps and attack a Sydney Cup. Point Nepean ($26) was a forgive first up considering it was not there to win at all. Night Endeavour ($101) is an interesting one but will need to win a group race to make the field.

As for the internationals, Hoo Ya Mals ($18)[Look elsewhere to TAB if you like, Sportsbet have him as $41] flop has made me remove him from the top 10 and I am glad I always believed Deauville Legend was better. However, I think the flop was more him not seeing the trip out. When you have queries about being able to stay 2400m, 3200m is always going to be harder and I know it is too late but the Caulfield Cup should be the aim. He is far better suited for that and it will likely be a weaker field with a more suitable distance. Eldar Eldarov ($18) is too short for the weight and will not be coming (if he does, he would be in the 11-15 range) so save your money. Camorra ($15) was in my top 3 before his recent run in Ireland. Am I overreacting too much? He did not miss the top 10 by a lot though as I am willing to forgive and it will not surprise me to see him run well on race day. Point King ($51) was also in my top 5 before his disastrous run in Ireland. I can forgive but it is hard not to be disappointed and my understanding is the vets found nothing wrong. I am very rarely a fan of Ebor form and Alfred Boucher ($41 Sportsbet, unknown TAB) and Earl of Tyrone ($51) do not excite me. I have never believed Rodrigo Diaz ($51) was that good and seems to be running at a career worst. Temple of Artemis ($51) and Waterville ($51) are both internationals who are yet to pass the ballot clause and have very low weights. Both should be 200/1 at this stage.

Anyway those are my power rankings. Interesting that while there was a lot of internal movement within horses between rankings 1 and 2, only 2 horses came in and came out. If I knew Cleveland was not going to run, Daqiansweet Junior may have made the top 10. I do believe though that when I release the next one which will be after the Bart Cummings & Metrop, that the picture will be somewhat clearer as most of the Aussie horses will have had one to two more starts.

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