One of the most prestigious and important races in the annual calendar is, of course, the Melbourne Cup, and this year’s event from Flemington looks set to be an absolute cracker.
The 24-horse field is expected to again “stop a nation” when the action gets underway on November 3rd and one horse who is attracting more headlines than most is Red Cadeaux, who has been handed a commemorative wreath by the Victoria Racing Club ahead of his fifth run at the famous racecourse.
Despite never winning in four previous attempts, all the sounds coming from the nine year old’s stable is that he is in great shape and, far from simply making up the numbers, he is looking like a solid bet to finally get the monkey off his back this year.
His trainer, Ed Dunlop, has suggested that he is surprised about the generous odds that Red Cadeaux has been afforded at this year’s event – especially given his previous experience of finishing second on three previous occasions at this venue – and has gone on the record to state that the horse looks “spot on” in terms of his preparations and training.
Whilst this might be Red Cadeaux’s final attempt to win – or perhaps because it might be his final attempt – this horse could well be worth a flutter, and so I would encourage you to embrace the romance of the sport and pick an each way or on the nose bet at Betway.com.
Some other horses that might also be in contention for the $3.6 million top prize include another of Dunlop’s runners, Trip To Paris, who possesses excellent stamina over both 3800 and 4000 meters. He was just edged out Mongolian Khan – who is also expected to compete at Flemington – in the most recent Caulfield Cup, but now has a proven sprint finish and will be well-backed across the field.
Mongolian Khan himself would be a decent shout too, having won over 2400 meters on three previous occasions, but he has never been tested over two miles and the four year old from New Zealand also has to manage a 1 kg penalty as a result of that Caulfield Cup victory.
Criterion would also be worth a look, given his strong showing in the Cox Plate earlier in the season, and would love to back that up with victory in the Melbourne Cup, but will carry a weight penalty that might make the second half of the gruelling two-mile race just too much of an ask against a very strong field.
The romantic in me would love to see one final moment of magic for Red Cadeaux, but Ed Dunlop may have a better chance with Trip To Paris – but as ever, this will be an amazing race that will capture the attention of the Australian nation and depending on where you place your money, it might just capture the attention of a small corner of this nation too.