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The 2022 Melbourne Cup Preview

Welcome to the Preview of the best race from a viewing, history, intrigue perspective this country and honestly, the world has in the Melbourne Cup. I will be writing up every runner (some more than most) and providing my thoughts on each runner.

1 - Gold Trip

Been tracking nicely this prep. Caulfield Cup run was excellent and unlucky not to finish higher in the Cox Plate. Personally, I do not like the 3 runs in 2.5 weeks for him as he has had injury concerns before but the Cox Plate he did not get to let down plus if any stable knows what they are doing, it is them. Queries on 3200m but wet helps. Ciaron sees him as the best of the 5 but I do not.

2 - Duais

Flying under the radar. I feel analysts take too much out of savaging a line in a slowly run race. Her sectionals were consistent and I feel she gets a faster tempo here. At least a moderate one. Flemington gives her time to wind up and can win. Is 3200m on what is likely a heavy a bridge too far though?

3 - Knights Order

Would have personally loved him to draw 12. Or at least, not have the other most likely leader right on the outside of him. My guess he crosses him and leads but to win, he needs to be on the fence before the bend. You do not want to sit wide. He loves it wet, this was the aim and he can win but again, that barrier. Personally, I would roll forward and try to break them.

4 - Montefilia

One of the best horses in this nation. Savaged the line in the Caulfield Cup but, I do not like a savage on a slow tempo. Means they are likely better suited to shorter trips or in her case, 2000-2400m. I do trust David Payne though as I believe he is a terrific trainer of stayers. I think a heavy over 3200m might be too much effort at that weight but you never know. She is good.

5 - Numerian

Loves it wet but never got past 2400m. Neasham has limited experience training stayers albeit she did work with the best in this country. Pass

6 - Without A Fight

Easily the best international in my eyes. Won 2 before not being ridden to win at the latest and hit the line well. The second best chance in my eyes and will be running very well. Drawing 18 will not be the worst result either. Wet no issue. What I also love is that to my knowledge, this horse has no Australian connections. Every other horse that made the trip has. Deauville Legend and Rodrigo Diaz are owned by Australian owners or in Bon Ho's case, very supportive of Australian racing. El Bodegon, My Oberon, Hoo Ya Mal and Camorra all now with Aussie trainers. He is neither.

7 - Camorra

I did like him more. Won the Curragh Cup which was the same race that Twilight Payment won but appears to like it drier. Also had lameness concerns earlier in the week which I also do not like. Could surprise but personally, happy to skip.

8 - Deauville Legend

The hot favourite and I am sorry, for the life of me I cannot see why. Yes he has drawn well and has good overseas form, overseas form that has won this race before. Cross Counter won the race he came second in and came second in the race Deauville Legend won for example. However, he carried 51.5kgs, Deauville Legend is carrying 55kgs. By my maths, 3.5kgs is around 2L give or take half a length on this trip. People say this is a weak race but personally, I do not see the quality as much different. Without A Fight is similar to Prince of Arran and the Aussies are actually better as there were no horses of the calibre Duais, Montefilia, Gold Trip. Even Knights Order is better than the Aussies in that field. He has also never stepped out past 2600m and doing that with 55kgs on his back which translates to 59kgs at WFA I believe. The heavy is a bigger concern than people realise as well. Very closely related to Durston who was significantly better on the drying Caulfield Soft 6 compared to the Metrop and he had a feather on his back. Take the shorts if you want. I will be well clear.

9 - Stockman

Loves the slop. Absolutely loves it. Running well as well in Sydney particularly taken by his two prior. Very under the radar run in 3 days ago. Queries on the back up there, especially in another state but rain will be appreciated. Under the radar chance but slight queries on 3200m due to Sydney Cup failure.

10 - Vow & Declare

Called the horse a chance all the way back on my first power rankings and glad to see I was right. Horse has not put a foot wrong all prep. Would really be something if he were to win. Trip is not a query if it is moderate but concerns if it is fast on a heavy. Shinn on though.

11 - Young Werther

Again, another flying under the radar. 3L off them in a Cox Plate and meets Gold Trip 3.5kgs better which puts him as a 2-2.5L better off in my eyes although, Gold Trip should hav e been closer. Wide draw may not be the worst as most recent winners have came out there and while he is a little out of form, Damian is a terrific rider. Unknown on the wet and trip queries, especially as I see him as a 2000-2400m horse.

12 - Hoo Ya Mal

Deauville is a better horse but the market discrepancy is ridiculous IMO. Craig is flying at the moment, probably the 3rd best jockey at the moment on current form. Wet is a concern though, as is the trip. I know he won over 2800m but that field was pitiful as second was also spanked by Eldar Eldarov by a far margin but also won the start after they clashed by 4L so how bad is it? Still have queries on the trip.

13 - Serpentine

The English Derby winner. Finally showed something last start but not sure on that form. Heavy is not preferable but I am glad he is in because he will help inject some speed into this race.

14 - Daqiansweet Junior

The one at odds I am most interested in. Barrier 13 is perfect in my eyes. Allows him to settle midfield and likely get clear running. Sydney Cup run was awesome when spotting Knights Order and Sheraz a long way at the turn and closed better than anything else in that field. Wet is preferable as while he does not love it, he is unaffected whereas others will be. He loves the trip as well. Genuine 2 miler.

15 - Grand Promenade

It is funny. Thought his run was the 3rd best of last years cup sitting 3 wide on the final bend on that suicidal tempo covering the most ground with no cover. I actually backed him the second markets came out. But he has taken time to get through that run as many have due to how gruelling it was. Also has only struck wet tracks which he meets again. It is a shame as I like the horse but bottom chance.

16 - Arapaho

This horse likes it wet but I question how hard he has been worked. Baker has not let him up at all. He is not appearing to slow but 3200m on a heavy will be too far for mine.

17 - Emissary

Won the Geelong Cup impressively but feel it was a weak field. Rain is a serious concern. Not for me.

18 - Lunar Flare

I really liked her. Beat Floating Artist who ran 4th last year. First three runs this prep all built. Won the Bart Cummings, a good form race and chased a very good one latest, gapping third who seriously gapped 4th. Wet is fine but dry would have been preferable. This late vetting is concerning. Begg did not seem too confident and because of that, she drops from one of my top chances to just inside my top 12.

19 - Smokin Romans

An interesting one I feel people have forgotten about. A bit unlucky in the Caulfield Cup not receiving clear room until late. Barrier is fine I feel as there is not a stack of speed on the inside. If he stalks the leaders and does not use a lot of energy, he can win but would want a slower tempo.

20 - Tralee Rose

Cannot see her measuring up. Liked her last year and did have issues post race but she is in worse order. Caulfield Cup run was underrated though for what it is worth. Wet may be problematic.

22 - High Emocean

Not keen on her. Has not really put a foot wrong but not up to them in my eyes.

23 - Interpretation

Was close to two handy ones latest but thought that was a bit of a weird race. Vetting is a concern.

24 - Realm of Flowers

The one they have had to beat. I have said for a long time if she makes the field, she is my top seed and she made it and here we are. Unlucky not to have won a Sydney Cup. Andrew Ramsden win was freaky good against some handy horses in Miami Bound, Persan and Grand Promenade. Loves the wet, absolutely loves it and most importantly, has 50kgs on her back. Personally, I feel the barrier is a negative. She needs to jump well. If she does and can settle around 9th to 12th, one off the fence, she will be hard to beat. If she has to go back though due to a slow start, as much as it pains me to say, best of luck. A fast race would be ideal.

Race Shape

My gut says Knights Order leads. His chances come down to if he can cross them. Serpentine, Interpretation, Grand Promenade, Smokin Romans and Arapaho will all try lead or sit near it if I had to guess. How do Stockman, Vow & Declare and Realm of Flowers navigate the inside barriers. Does Hoo Ya Mal try go forward?

Horse Tiers

Cannot Figure

23 - Interpretation (would be 17th if not for vetting)

22 - Grand Promenade

21 - Numerian

20 - High Emocean

19 - Tralee Rose

18 - Arapaho

17 - Serpentine

16 - Emissary

15 - Camorra (Would be bumped up if it was not for soundness concerns earlier

Consider in the minors

14 - Hoo Ya Mal

13 - Deauville Legend

12 - Lunar Flare (Would have her 4th if not for the late vetting which seems problematic)

11 - Montefilia

10 - Gold Trip

Outside winning chances, but less so

9 - Young Werther

8 - Stockman

Outside Winning Chances

7 - Vow & Declare

6 - Smokin Romans

5 - Duais

Can figure

4 - Knights Order

3 - Daqiansweet Junior

Best Chances

2 - Without A Fight

1 - Realm of Flowers

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