Melbourne Cup 2018 Free Tips

Tuesday, 6 November 2018, 3 PM Flemington Group 1



Practical Punting editor Brian Blackwell gives his thoughts on the Melbourne Cup.

Firstly, what about those qualified entries who have some Group 1 formlines: Taking it from the top of the entry order:

THE CLIFFSOFMOHER 20/1: The 5YO is at #6 in the entry order. He won over 2000m at Sandown in Grp 1 on July 7 after finishing 3rd/5 at Ascot 2400m Grp 2 on June 23. He's another from the O'Brien stable. Weighted on 56.5kgs.

ROSTROPOVICH 25/1: Won in Grp 3 at Leopardstown 2400m on September 15. Ran 2nd/12 to Latrobe in Grp 1 at The Curragh on June 30. Another O'Brien challenger with 51kgs.

MARMELO 20/1:  Ran 9th/23 in last year's Melbourne Cup. Also was 6th/17 in the Caulfield Cup 2400m, both Grp 1 races. On July 14 won in Grp 2 over 2800m at Longchamps. Unplaced in a Cup - hard to win 12 months later.

FINCHE 50/1: He's an Andre Fabre trained 5YO with 54kgs and #42 on the entry ladder. Ran 5th/7 in Grp 1 over the Longchamps 2100m on April 29.

A PRINCE OF ARRAN 33/1: This 5YO gelding from the Charlie Fellowes team has been btn in Grp 1 company. On June 30 he ran 2nd/10 at Newcastle 3300m Class 2 behind Withhold, who is currently at 14/1 for the Cup. Prince of Arran has 53kgs and is #54 on the entry order. Hard to fancy.

Now, let's have a look at other horses who are high in the betting market (as I write this).

AVILIUS 12/1: This import with the James Cummings stable has rocketed into contention on the back of three successive wins at Randwick and Rosehill over 1600m, 1900m and 2000m. He's disposed of some handy rivals. Can he stay the 2 miles? He's certainly shown plenty so far not only in Australia but back in France where he had 6 starts on turf for 2 wins and 3 placings. His wins were over 2000m and 1900m at Maissons-Lafitte and Chantilly in April 2017. Avilius looks like a key Caulfield Cup chance. The 2400m will be no concern. Then, the big Cup?

CROSS COUNTER 14/1: Charlie Appleby's got a good one with this classy 4YO on 51kgs and #22 on the entry list. His UK form is appealing even though it lacks Grp 1 races. He ran 2nd/9 York 2400m Grp 2 on Aug 22 and won at Goodwood in Grp 3 over 2400m on Aug 4. The signs look ominous.

MAGIC CIRCLE 14/1: I really like the look of this Ian Williams trained 7YO. He's around #10 on the order of entry and he's weighted OK on 56kgs. He won in Grp 3 class at Sandown 3200m on May 24 and going back to August 2017 he won over 3300m at York, so the staying caper's his game. Considering his lack of Grp 1 and 2 form it does seem the handicapper has been a touch tough on him? Nevertheless, he rates as a good Cup chance.

CHESTNUT COAT 20/1: Trained by Yoshiti Yahagi, has had 17 starts for 4 wins, including two Stakes victories this year. He finished 2nd in the Grp 2 Nikkei Sho (2500m) at Nakayama in March and ran 5th in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) at Kyoto in April. We know that Japanese stayers at the top level are equal to any stayers in the world so this one needs to be kept very safe with 55.5kgs. He's around #16 on the entry list.

BEST SOLUTION 25/1: Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin have a smart type with this 5YO although he's rated to his very best on 57.5kgs. He won at Baden Baden in Grp 1 2400m on Sep 18 after a 52 days break following a Grp 2 win over the same trip at Newmarket on July 18. He's #2 on the order of entry. No form beyond 2400m.

MUNTAHAA 25/1: This 6YO from the John Gosden stable won the Ebor 2800m at York on Aug 25. This race is an AOK line for the Melbourne Cup. Mostly, his form has been in Grp 2 and 3 races. He went to the line stoutly at York - a signal that the extra 400m and the roomy Flemington track may prove ideal. He's on 55.5kgs and is around the #15 mark on the order of entry.


Is the Melbourne Cup becoming little more than a freeding frenzy for the internationals? Are we killing our own goose to fatten the overseas geese?

The questions are pertinent this time around because there are now so many international raiders trying to secure a run in the race that we cannot even provide stabling and quarantine facilities for to cater for all of them?

We have, I believe, reached the point where a lid needs to be placed on the number of internationals allowed to race in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Why is it a free-for-all? You'd never see a country such as Japan or a place like Hong Kong opening their doors like this. They protect the local racing industry.

Sydney trainer Richard Freedman has made the following observations:

'Why does Australia feel the need to be a free-for-all for foreign horses? Try turning up in Japan or HK any time you like - probably the two most successful racing jurisdictions in the world. Perplexing.

'I don't blame the Euro trainers for targeting our races. They have great horses and mostly laughable prizemoney for them at home. Why wouldn't they plunder our races? We just need to control things more here.

A free-for-all is not healthy for our local industry IMO.'

Spot-on - but I wonder if there will be any positive reaction from the suits who currently run Australian racing? We shall see.


Now a bit of info about the Cup - and finding the winner.

The key races in which the Cup winner or placegetters may emerge are as follows:

Lexus Stakes, Turnbull, Bart Cummings, Geelong Cup, Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate.


Or you can simply find what could be a winning formula.

Check out each runner on the day with this following set of factors:

1. Ran in the first 4 in the Caulfield Cup.
2. Has won over 2400m or longer in the last 6 months.
3. International visitor who has won or been 2nd or 3rd at Group 1, 2 or 3 level in the last 12 months.
4. Is carrying 58kgs or less.
5. Is the horse 7 years or under? Anything older than 7 faces a black history.


Another betting plan is to back every runner listed at 20/1 or under on race day. Yes, back them all. You'll often nab the winner and get yourself a profit.


On the exotics market, the trifecta offers the chance of big rewards.

The ideal budget approach is to try to isolate the 2 horses who will run 1st and 2nd - and then link them with the rest of the field to finish 3rd.

In a 24-horse maximum field, this bet will cost you $44. You could win many thousands of dollars if the prices are right. will need a longshot bolter to fill the 3rd place!

***Follow Brian's regular updates on spring Cups betting and latest news on likely Cups prospects.

We shall alert you to Brian's regular updates on spring Cups betting and latest news on likely Cups prospects.


***Follow Brian's regular updates on spring Cups betting and latest news on likely Cups prospects.

We shall alert you to Brian's regular updates on spring Cups betting and latest news on likely Cups prospects.

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Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup 2018 Dates

WEIGHTS 12 September
1ST ACCEPTANCES Tue, 9 October
2ND ACCEPTANCES Mon, 29 October
FORM GUIDE Sat, 4 November
RACE DAY Tue, 6 November

17 °C (Wind Speed: 7.2 m/s) Clear sky

2017 Melbourne Cup Winner

Find out about the three key players - the horse, jockey and trainer that combined to win the 2017 Melbourne Cup

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