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The Melbourne Cup Power Rankings 2022 Edition 4 - Post Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Welcome to the last rendition of the Power Rankings before the race that stops the nation and in my opinion, the best race in the world. Not from a quality perspective but one of intrigue. 24 runners under handicap conditions over two miles really hits different. A lot has happened since the last edition, with Sheraz and Le Don Die Vie both dropping out, and many Australian gallopers failing to step up (but some are seriously flying under the radar).

Top 11-20 (No Write Up)

20 - Tralee Rose (Unranked)

19 - Durston (Unranked)

18 - Hoo Ya Mal (-2)

17 - Emissary (Unranked)

16 - Persan (+2)

15 - Young Werther (+5)

14 - Smokin Romans (-2)

13 - Stockman (Unranked)

12 - Alegron (-5)

11 - Montefilia (-2)

Top 10

10 - Duais

Previous Ranking: 8th (-2)

I still do not know how to rate how she is going. I feel she has disappointed at face value but there is more to unpack. First up she hit the line well after a setback. She was then lame in the George Main. 3rd up she was unsuited by the slow tempo but still should have finished off better in the race. 4th up she was back near last on another slow tempo. She worked to the line like a stayer, not showing a serious turn of foot but a consistent run. That is why I have her ranked above Montefilia who savaged the line. Personally, I do not like horses that hit the line with a really impressive last 200-400 as to me, it says that is their peak trip and the step up takes away that burst whereas a consistent speed typically proves better. Constaninople 2019 Caulfield Cup and Avilius in the 2020 Caulfield Cup are examples that spring straight to mind. Last Start: 8th in the G1 Caulfield Cup

9 - Camorra

Previous Ranking: 11th (+2)

Jumps 3 due to others losing stock. Is a true stayer decided to just forgive the Irish St Leger run. Not without a chance at all

Last Start: 8th in the G1 Irish St Leger

8 - Vow & Declare

Previous Ranking: 13th (+5)

Keeps going really nicely. Super run in the Caulfield Cup being wide and sticking on like a true stayer. Has not put a foot wrong this entire prep and is a strong chance to run a good race. Qualified due to his 6th in the Caulfield Cup. Last Start: 6th in the G1 Caulfield Cup

7 - Daqiansweet Junior

Previous Ranking: 4th (-3)

Drops 3 due to no fault of his own. Just others having their stock slightly bumped up. Genuine stayer and was unlucky last start with all prior runs being good.

Last Start: 9th in the G3 Bart Cummings Hcp

6 - Deauville Legend

Previous Ranking: 6th (+0)

No change. Jumped Daqiansweet due to El Bodegon running very well in the Cox Plate but others have pushed their stock in a very positive direction. Again, I just feel 55kgs which is 58kgs without penalties and when Cross Counter won, would have been 59kgs is an obsurd weight and for a horse who is yet to press on past 2400m, I will look elsewhere.

Last Start: 1st in the G2 Great Voltigeur Stakes

5 - Lunar Flare

Previous Ranking: 14th (+9)

Another one flying under the radar. Historically, the winner of the Bart Cummings performs very well in the race and she was awesome in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup as well, being the only thing that got near the rampaging Francesco Guardi. 51.5kgs is a great result. Also remember, she beat Floating Artist who was 4th in last years cup.

Last Start: 2nd in the G2 Moonee Valley Cup

4 - Knights Order

Previous Ranking: 10th (+6)

A huge jump here as I finally need to take notice. He is a genuine two miler and has not put a foot wrong this prep. Stuck on very gamely when it looked as if many horses would pass him but like the true stayer he is, he grinded well to the line. Will eat up the two miles and a genuine winning chance. Wet is better.

Last Start: 4th in the G1 Caulfield Cup

3 - Loft

Previous Ranking: 3rd (+0)

No change here. Genuine stayer. I will make a comment he won the same race Amade won the year before but did it 3L superior to 2nd. However, Amade did not measure up against ours but did have jumping problems.

Last Start: 2nd in the LR Chester Stakes

2 - Without a Fight

Previous Ranking: 1st (-1)

The reason for the drop is the Metrop form stacking up and my confidence being slightly raised when it comes to making the field. Again, I cannot stress enough that this is the only horse that has come down that has no connection to Australia. That alone says enough.

Last Start: 2nd in the LR Godolphin Stakes

1 - Realm of Flowers

Previous Ranking: 2nd (+1)

At number 1 we have a horse no one is considering in Realm of Flowers. The reason for the jump is that the form from the Metropolitan has been very solid. No Compromise did flop in the Caulfield Cup but was dealt no favours and not a good ride. Stockman who was 4th won in Sydney. 6th was Durston who won the Caulfield Cup on a drier track admittedly. 5th Sacramento was 3rd behind Stockman and then pulled up with a throat condition in the MV Gold Cup. 8th from that race Arapaho was 2nd in said race. Carif has been the only disappointment for mine from it. For mine, Realm of Flowers has made gigantic steps with each run this prep. With the first essentially being a barrier trial, showing solid improvement second up and unlucky to not win the Metrop 3rd up. She has historically hit her peaks later in her prep. As said previously, her Andrew Ramsden run was freakish good. The best non G1 performance I have seen in staying races in the past few years in Australia. She will be better over 3200m as she sticks on very well in runs. Wet track will suit and the forecast suggests anywhere between good 4 and soft 6 I would say at this stage.

Now I want to discuss the elephant in the room, the order of entry. Currently, she sits 29th in the order of entry, which she will be pushed back to 30th after the winner of the Hotham Hcp on Saturday (suspect Interpretation wins that). So we have to look above her to see who may drop out. 5th in the OOE is Gold Trip. He backed up into the Cox Plate so they may decide to not run him. I will say it is probable that he does not run, hence why I have left him out of my list. 14th we have Alegron. He was only moderate in the Caulfield Cup but he stuck on well. Cummings may decide to wait until next year as he is a young horse but I think they will push on. Young Werther is 16th. They went to the Cox Plate but I suspect they will launch from there into the Melbourne Cup. 18th is Persan. Originally, the goal was not the Melbourne Cup but with how well he has been performing, I think they push onto the 1st of November. 19th is Great House. I cannot see Waller pushing on after his Caulfield Cup run. 20th is Grand Promenade. While his target was the Melbourne Cup, he has been travelling very poorly and think they do not run him. Has been striking wet tracks though which are unfavourable. 23rd is Nerve Not Verve. I cannot see them pushing on with how poorly she has been running. 25th is Crystal Pegasus. I cannot see Waller running him with how he has been running. Maybe he keeps Crystal Pegasus and Great House in to try and set the race up for Durston. 26th is Midnight Blue. I do not think he runs as O'Brien said he would not run him if he did not feel he was going well enough and it is hard to say he is. So that is 9 horses that may not run. She needs 6 of them to drop out to get a run. At this stage, I would lean towards 50/50.

Last Start: 3rd in the G1 Metropolitan

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