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Melbourne Cup 2015

"Hyperion" (Robert Bishop), interviewed in Sydney, comments:

"After the Caulfield Cup, I felt that the winner, giant Mongolian Khan, could well become the 12th dual winner of the Caulfield-Melbourne cup double if he was ridden in a slightly different way and not sent to the front so early in the long Flemington straight. However its late withdrawal due to colic has ensured that Fame Game from Japan will start one of the shortest favourites in living memory. Fame Game is currently $3.50 on the TAB and $4.20 on Betfair and at those prices I would be inclined to lay the horse on the exchanges, particularly given its weight of 57 kgs.

This seems one of the most competitive Cups I can remember and you can make out an argument for most of the 24 runners. Sentimental favourite is Red Cadeaux running in his fifth Melbourne Cup and having secured an amazing three second places, including last year. Sadly I do not believe that this will be a fairytale ending for the 10-year-old and overall I prefer trainer Ed Dunlop’s other horse Trip to Paris, who won the Ascot Gold Cup in June this year and then was second in the Caulfield Cup last month. Trip to Paris can handle the distance as we saw at Ascot as the Gold Cup is over 800m longer than the Melbourne Cup and, most importantly, I particularly like his style of running where he hugs the rail, is anonymous for most of the race and then appears at the business end of the race with an impressive turn of foot. Trip to Paris carries 55 kgs. I re-watched the Ascot Gold Cup on YouTube again this morning and Trip to Paris looks an ideal type for this race.

For second place I prefer like Preferment who carries only 53.5 kgs. The 4 year old is last year’s Victoria Derby winner and has in-form Hugh Bowman on board. He is a horse with a sense of destiny about him.

David Hayes has trained Criterion especially for the Cup and is one of the class horses in the race but I can't help feel that his heavy weight of 57.5 kgs will mean that he is likely be caught out by some of the low weights at the finish unless he has a dream run throughout. If Criterion wins with 57.5 kgs he will be up in the Pantheon.

For third I like Gai Waterhouse’s Excess Knowledge who won the Lexus on Saturday and only carries 51 kgs. Excess Knowledge is currently 33 to 1 on Betfair. The 6 year old also likes a rails run and has an ability to get out of trouble.

Of the others for the forecasts, value may lie with Lloyd Williams' The United States, Aidan O'Brien trained Kingfisher and Godolphin's Sky Hunter, the latter currently trading at circa 50-1 on the exchanges and a lover of soft going.

So my order is:

1. Trip to Paris
2. Preferment
3. Excess Knowledge

Others (for the trifectas) : The United States, Kingfisher and Sky Hunter.

Good luck."

Robert Bishop

"Carbine" (Andrew Beattie) predicts:

1.Trip to Paris
2. Criterion
3. Preferment
4. Max Dynamite

1 November 2015

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