Melbourne Cup preview 2023

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Interesting cup this year, let’s go through them runner for runner (in my opinion). Feel free to share with anyone who’d be interested.

1-GOLD TRIP– Winner last year and is airborne this prep, going as well as he ever has. Incredible in the Turnbull on this track before a good Caulfield Cup run and an excellent Cox plate run. Has the big weight but loves this track and can win again. Doesn’t look like any rain around, if there was he’d be on top. He’s run the best L200m split in 3 of his 4 runs this prep.

2-ALENQUER– Form reads terrible but feel he’s going a little better than it reads on paper. Hard to see landing in the money but might beat more home than beat him.

3-WITHOUT A FIGHT– Caulfield Cup winner and in what I feel is the best stable in the land. Key to him is the dry track and we’ve seen what he can do his last two preps. Flying at the moment, his jockey is in great form and no reason he can’t win. Some will query the 3200m which might be fair enough but he was strong at the end of 2400m. (Best L200m of the race)

4-BREAKUP– Very good Japanese stayer. Looked plain in the Caulfield Cup but they went at a brutal tempo and he wasn’t far off that lead. Will improve from the run and will appreciate the bigger Flemington track. He can improve sharply here and his best would make him a winning hope.

5-VAUBAN– One of the worlds best staying trainers in Willie Mullins. Started as a hurdler but has been aimed at this race for a long time. Just keeps getting better and was a dominant winner at Ascot this year. Moore rode that day and jumps back on here. Everything looks to have been timed perfectly and from all reports his work this week was excellent. He looks to map perfectly and looks like the horse they all have to beat.

6-SOULCOMBE– Just been ticking over beautifully all prep. All runs at 2400m+ have been very good and has a good set of lungs. In the leading stable, has a world class jockey on top, decent gate and can be around the money for sure. Has been missing the start but blinkers come off to try and help him jump better here.

7-ABSURDE– This looks the value bet for me. Was well beaten by the stablemate and fave Vauban three starts ago but was still a good run that day. Come out and won the Ebor handicap last start and that is always a good formline. Needed to draw well and get cover in the run and that happened. At $23 and $6 a place I think he’s a place bet at least and he can land in the money for sure.

8-RIGHT YOU ARE– This horse is just a gem. Doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Will be somewhere up on speed for a long time, the question is the 3200m….. May be a trip too far.

9-VOW AND DECLARE– An old marvel. His 4th Melb Cup and another tough old bugger who will be strong late when others are getting a stitch. Doesn’t make my numbers but will be in the top 10 somewhere.

10-CLEVELAND- Been going ok and won the Moonee Valley cup at his last start. Looked good winning that night but the draw isn’t great and not sure that MV form will measure up here.

11-ASHRUN– This horse has good ability but has had injuries and may not be at his very best now. Ran 2nd in the Geelong Cup but I felt he had every chance and was well placed there. Far from the worst, in a very good stable who will have him peaking today.

12-DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR– Lacks class but the positive is that he’s a winner over 3200m and a genuine stayer. Her’s 100/1 but feel he runs better than those odds suggest. Maybe a top 10 hope.

13-OKITA SOUSHI– Just average in the lead up run in the Caulfield Cup. Is better than we witnessed there, in a good stable but I’m a bit unsure off that run.

14-SHERAZ- I’ve liked it in easier races where it’s gone poorly. Not for me here.

15-LASTOTCHKA- This is the one I don’t have a clue about. Struggled to find replays but from all reports she has some class. The replay I did find of the last start win was good and off that could be in the finish. Light weight, will be up on speed and stable is very happy with her work since she has been in Australia. Could run well here and not surprise.

16-MAGICAL LAGOON– Had a bit of support in the Geelong cup and ran an improved race. Not sure it has the class to win a Melbourne Cup though.

17-MILITARY MISSION- Like all Waterhouse horse this will have support. She (and Adrian) will have poured the work into it and won’t be a fitter horse in the race. Another who can give some cheek but I can’t have it as a winning chance for me.

18-SERPENTINE- Another tough Waterhouse horse who always gives his best and the big positive is the light weight for him. Has been lumping 58-59kg and drops to 51kg here. Will sit right behind the leaders and get every chance. Lacks some class but will look a chance on the corner.

19-VIRTUOUS CIRCLE– Really liked the way his whole prep was going until the Geelong Cup. Thought he was poor there and this is a lot harder.

20-MORE FELONS- Thought this was one of the best roughies until the barrier draw. Got back in the Geelong cup and showed a good turn of foot to look the winner at the 100m. Just died on the run there and should improve lengths from that run. If it gets luck in the run it can be considered for those playing trifecta’s etc.

21-FUTURE HISTORY– This is a horse who has just kept improving all prep. Won the G3 Bart Cummings over 2500m by leading two starts ago and then come from behind in the G2 MV Cup and very good again. Just 50kg here and can be in this for a long way.

22-INTERPRETATION– Has good ability but just hasn’t showed his very best. Even though he won last start I feel his best would have put a gap in them. This is a big step up and even though I rate him, I think it’s too big of a jump.

23-KALAPOUR- I always like the winner of the Lexus on the Saturday leading into the Cup. You know they are in form and fit, just a matter of handling the backup. This is a good horse but just can’t see him figuring in a Melb Cup.

24-TRUE MARVEL– No, not for me.


VAUBAN is short enough at $3 but he’s just a very good horse who looks to get a great run in transit and has been aimed at this for a long time. The trainer is a genius, the jockey is a ripper and I think with even luck, he should win. ABSURDE, his stablemate looks well underrated. He can over race a bit so the key for him was to draw a gate where he can get cover and try to relax in the run. He got that and he gets possibly the best jockey in the world on top. He will be one of the strongest late and at $6 a place, that’s a bet for me.

GOLD TRIP is the class. He is absolutely flying and would just love a drop of rain. Can still perform on good ground, he’s just a couple of lengths better with the cut out of the track. Can he go back to back? Big ask but you’d be brave to say he can’t because he is airborne. WITHOUT A FIGHT has been exceptional for the Freedmans. Had a very good winter in Qld and has been exceptional this prep, including a Caulfield Cup win. Little query at 3200m but gets a dry track which is the key and was good through the line at 2400m.

Can’t fault anything SOULCOMBE has done and the blinkers come off to help him sit closer. BREAKUP is the one who could be the big improver. The barrier makes it a bit awkward and will need a good ride early. Scared to leave LASTOTCHKA out of things but also hard to be confident with her. MORE FELONS a chance at big odds for trifecta players, the barrier is just a concern.

*Great race and I’ll add selections closer to the race.


5-VAUBAN $3.50


1-GOLD TRIP $4.50



*My plays in the race will be VAUBAN as my main bet and my other play will be ABSURDE (place bet) around $6


*NEW sports show of a Thursday- FLOGS IN TOGS