THE LONG-RANGE ASSESSMENT
from BRIAN BLACKWELL, Editor Practical Punting
The Japanese took out the Melbourne Cup in 2006 via Delta Blues and I suggest they can do it again with the top-class stayer FAME GAME. The tough 6YO has excellent credentials, particularly through his Grp 2 Copa Republic 2500m win in Tokyo on November 9 last year, his Grp 3 Diamond Stakes win over 3400m in Tokyo on February 21 and then his excellent 2nd/17 in the Grp 1 Tenno Sho 3200m at Kyoto on May 3, narrowly beaten by the superstar Gold Ship.
These are impeccable credentials. Fame Game has a reasonable 57kgs to carry. At time of writing he was listed at 8/1 favorite in the Cup market.
Fame Game is likely to tackle the Caulfield Cup and I think he will prove a major prospect in that race as well.
The other top chances for the Melbourne Cup as I see them at the beginning of October are as follows:
MONGOLIAN KHAN 20/1:
The NZ 4YO appears to have everything it takes to develop into a 2-miler. His expected run in the Caulfield Cup will be most interesting. He should prove a key runner in that race. Mongolian Khan won the ATC Derby 2400m (Grp 1) at Randwick on April 6 and then had a spell before returning on September 12. He ran to the line well for 4th/12 in the Grp 1 Underwood 1800m at Caulfield on September 26.
OUR IVANHOWE 25/1:
His effort for 9th/16 in the Naturalism 2000m (Grp 3) at Caulfield on September 19 was an acceptable first-up outing in Victoria. He ran a tremendous race to finish 6th/18 in the Japan Cup 2400m (Grp 1) in Tokyo in November last year and before that was a decisive winner at Grp 1 level over 2400m in Germany. He has a touch of class.
The four horses mentioned here are all fully qualified for the Cup and they are high up on the Order of Entry.
The James Cummings trained RULING DYNASTY 80/1 is still to pass the first ballot clauses. If he can gain qualification he will prove a chance with only 50kgs to carry.
Good luck with your Cup betting - and join the PPD Club to secure my daily best bets and longshots and my final raceday thoughts on all the big spring races.