Melbourne Cup preview 2020

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Well I’ve been pretty confident the last few years but the market this year is pretty spot on and I don’t see where much value can come from.

Here are my thoughts on each runner and selections below that. Feel free to share this preview with any once a year punters if you think it will help them.

**For those new to the site, this is just my honest opinion and you can do with it what you please. I accept cash and bacardi on winning bets. (joking)** Have a great day whatever you get up to!

1-ANTHONY VAN DYCK– Genuine star who went super in the Caulfield Cup. Constantly running in some of the best races in the world and running well. My gut says he will run out the 3200m but it’s just the big weight against some very good horses that is a query. I’m sure he’s around the money somewhere. 

2-AVILIUS– Good animal on his day. Just feel he’s better when the track is wet. If he wins I will lose. 

3-VOW AND DECLARE- Last years winner and that’s about as positive as I can be with him this year. Up 5kg on that win and not going anywhere near as well. Blinkers going on may be a master stroke but I think it’s desperation.

4-MASTER OF REALITY– No idea. Don’t think I knew what to do with him last year and he ran 4th beaten 0.4L. Stable are geniuses so you have to give him a chance.

5-SIR DRAGONET- Winner of the Cox Plate (god bless him) and that was on his favoured wet track. Many are saying he doesn’t like the firm ground, I think it’s more he loves the wet. He’s run very well at 2900m overseas and although the 3200m is a little query, he can win. He has a brilliant turn of foot and the WFA form is excellent when dropping 3.5kg into the cup. There hasn’t been many run as well as he did in the Cox plate that go to the cup (So You Think the best comparison). The ones that have run well. Boss rides and if he times it right this horse can win.

6-TWILIGHT PAYMENT– I have him down as a plodder but he’s now been in the new stable for a year and they are about the best in the world. I can’t have him winning but don’t really want to bag anything from the O’Brien yards.

7-VERRY ELLEEGANT– She’s a 5 time G1 winner and she comes here off a Caulfield Cup win. A genuine staying freak who has been unbeaten at 3x 2400m runs. Who knows how good she could be at 3200m and this is the year to try with 55.5kg. Might just grab the back of Sir Dragonet who is drawn one gate inside. If it was wet she’d nearly be on top for me. I do much rather her when she can get her tow into the ground.

8-MUSTAJEER- Can’t have him winning but he’s not the worst in the race. 

9- STRATUM ALBION- He’s a hurdler who can run over 4500m+. I’d usually give him no hope at all. I’ve said that about Willie Mullins horses before and paid the price. Not going to say ‘no’.

10- DASHING WILLOUGHBY- One of the great queries of this years cup is why M.Walker would ride this over the spring instead of Prince Of Arran? Not for me.

11- FINCHE– The most consistent horse in the race. He just lacks a turn of foot to actually win races. Gets the perfect run and probably runs another really nice 6th.

12-PRINCE OF ARRAN– Has run really well in two Melb Cups. He’s legless in the U.K but improves out of sight when he gets to oz (can’t blame him). He was the flashing light in the Caulfield Cup and ran the best L200m of the race there. This is the first year they haven’t had to win their way into the cup and he draws well. Has to be a leading hope for trifecta players.

13- SURPRISE BABY– I can’t actually explain how good his run in the Cup was last yr. His L600m (33.44) -400m (22.40)  was breathtaking. His entire 12 months since has been aimed at this one race. This year he draws a barrier and Williams takes the ride. The stars are aligning and if he is in front at the 200m they will have to be very good to run over the top of him.

14- KING OF LEOGRANCE– Probably better than the $51 suggests. You have to remember they knew they were in the race so they have only had one thing in mind and that is to peak on the 3rd of Nov. He improved sharply 2nd up and looked to peak. He will improve again off that and he’s a little underrated. 

15- RUSSIAN CAMELOT– How did this horses quote get bigger off his Cox plate placing? He was enormous! He was on a hot tempo and was still the 5th best L200m of the race. It was one of the best Cup trials you could see and they wound his price out? I gave him no hope in that race and have always thought this is his race. He drops 3kg from the WFA and I’m sure Oliver will come out of the gate and flop straight onto the back of Verry Elleegant who is drawn one barrier inside. She will give him a free tow into the race and he is a star this bloke.

16-STEEL PRINCE- For the League followers out there, this is your Dale Finucane/Brandan Smith type, he might not win the Dally M but he will keep turning up for you. This horse might not win a Melb cup but he will fight to the death and probably finishes top 10. With luck in running may finish top 5. 

17- THE CHOSEN ONE– He has got good runs in him but he’s about as consistent as I am with house work. He often backs a good run up with a flat one and that’s the query.

18- ASHRUN- I’m a fan of the jock but he went way too early in a G1 on Saturday and will have to be more patient here. The negative on this horse is three runs in 13 days and the trainer has said that all along wasn’t ideal. The positives are the massive weight drop (8.5kg) from Saturday, his feet seem to have improved and he will relish the 3200m. I’ve gone from not liking him at all to thinking he can be given serious thought for first 4’s etc.

19- WARNING- His first two runs this prep were very good and just seemed to be a bit flat last start. There have been some vet checks which is never ideal but cleared to run. He ha good ability on his day so he’s hard to knock but he’s not in my numbers.

20- ETAH JAMES- Light weight and sure to run the trip out so he will beat a few home. 

21- TIGER MOTH- Might simply be better than them. This horse could be anything in 12 months time and he’s the one I’ve wanted to be on for the last month or so. The nothern hemisphere 3yr old’s have a wonderful record in recent times and he might be as good as any of them. Cross Counter was able to go right back and reel them in, can this guy? 52.5kg is a fair weight and he’s one of the main hopes for sure, that gate has just caused me to second guess myself. 

22- OCEANEX- They won their way in early in the year and all has been aimed at Tuesday. She has improved all prep but has had a few little issues this week. She is a nice horse but i’d be shocked if she was a major player here.

23- MIAMI BOUND- She was going poorly until she hit wet ground last start. That win was excellent but she doesn’t get that ground in the Cup. Not sure what to do with her, light weight is good but she hasn’t made my numbers.

24- PERSAN– Congratulations to the owners for getting a start in the big race.


My play will be to back SURPRISE BABY and RUSSIAN CAMELOT. They will be very good results and I might just have enough on TIGER MOTH to cover my bets so he isn’t a losing result.

Gibbo’s 2020 Melbourne Cup