2019 Melbourne Cup Runner Preview

1. Cross Counter

B 4G Teofilo (IRE) - Waitress (USA) (Kingmambo (USA)).

Winner of 6 races from 12 starts. ($5,991,163) Not raced for 51 days. Even run last start when fourth, behind Search For A Song in Irish St Leger Stakes (3yo+) over 2816m on a good track at Curragh on 15th September beaten 4 lengths. Races off speed and closes strongly. Starred when winning this race last year but below that form in the back half of 2019. Rises in the handicap this year, so big performance required, but can’t be dismissed lightly.

2. Mer De Glace

B/BR 4H Rulership (JPN) - Glacier Blue (JPN) (Sunday Silence (USA)).

High-class performer second up from a spell. Won 8 races from 18 starts. ($5,509,145) Had a break of 17 days since resuming, winning the Caulfield Cup over 2400m on good going carrying 55.5kg. Settled back and swept around the field with a strong turn of speed to win readily. Ratings keep improving in a six-race winning streak. Not sure to stay two miles but in-form and a high-quality performer. One of the key chances.

3. Master Of Reality

B 4G Frankel (GB) - L'ancresse (IRE) (Darshaan (GB)).

Won 3 races from 12 starts. ($267,169) Not raced for 51 days. Improved last start fifth beaten 4 lengths over 2816m at Curragh in Irish St Leger Stakes (3yo+). Races on speed. Benefitted from a prominent ride when finishing close up in a slowly run Ascot Gold Cup but form has been solid throughout 2019 and he must be respected here.

4. Mirage Dancer

B 5H Frankel (GB) - Heat Haze (GB) (Green Desert (USA)).

Winner of 4 races from 17 starts. ($820,763) Had a break of 17 days since resuming, when third (beaten 1.2 lengths) behind Mer De Glace in the Caulfield Cup over 2400m. Never tried beyond a mile-and-a-half but very reliable and shapes as though he can cope with the longer trip.Has tactical pace and a leading jockey booked for the job. Others have more upside but he is a solid each way chance.

5. Southern France

B 4H Galileo (IRE) - Alta Anna (FR) (Anabaa (USA)).

Winner of 3 races from 14 starts. ($637,926) Not raced for 51 days. Ran well last start when third behind Search For A Song in Irish St Leger Stakes (3yo+) over 2816m at Curragh on 15th September beaten 4 lengths in a key lead-up to this. Strong stayer who will relish the two miles and has formlines that point to him being a match for several key contenders here.

6. Hunting Horn

B 4H Camelot (GB) - Mora Bai (IRE) (Indian Ridge (IRE)).

Does not win often. Won 3 races from 22 starts. ($1,387,989) improved last start winning the Moonee Valley Cup (4yo+) over 2500m in a steady time of 2:39.48. Pounced first off a slow tempo and stayed well. Untried this trip and looks unsure to stay but runs for one of the world’s great stables and that profile makes him worthy of consideration.

7. Latrobe

BR 4H Camelot (GB) - Question Times (GB) (Shamardal (USA)).

Won 3 races from 15 starts. ($2,015,252) Not raced for 51 days. Improved last start when sixth, beaten 5 lengths over 2816m at Curragh in Irish St Leger Stakes (3yo+). Just an even effort there but is the winner of an Irish Derby and looks sure to stay two miles. Placed in the Mackinnon Stakes in lone Australian run to date. Stable won the Melbourne Cup two years ago. Respected on that fact.

8. Mustajeer

B 6G Medicean (GB) - Qelaan (USA) (Dynaformer (USA)).

Winner of 4 races from 20 starts. ($1,450,746) Two runs back won: ran on strongly at York in Ebor Handicap (4yo+ Handicap) over 2787m defeating Red Galileo. Matched that form when running on into sixth last time in the Caulfield Cup when sent out at 11-1. Sound effort there. Untried at the trip but promises to do well for the step to two miles. Ebor winners have typically run well here. Must respect.

9. Rostropovich

B 4G Frankel (GB) - Tyranny (GB) (Machiavellian (USA)).

Won 4 races from 18 starts. ($1,351,507) rating dropped last start when sixteenth behind Mer De Glace in Caulfield Cup over 2400m. Ran fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year, settling just forward of midfield, but has been below that form since and a plain run at Caulfield last time has him looking hard pressed to figure today.

10. Twilight Payment

B 6G Teofilo (IRE) - Dream On Buddy (IRE) (Oasis Dream (GB)).

Winner of 5 races from 24 starts. ($498,518) Not raced for 51 days when seventh, beaten 6 lengths, over 2816m at Curragh in Irish St Leger Stakes (3yo+) on good going. Very adaptable and honest. Can race handy to the pace and goes on all ground. Well exposed and lacks the upside of some of these, several of which had too much punch for him in the Irish St Leger.

11. Finche

CH 5G Frankel (GB) - Binche (USA) (Woodman (USA)).

Consistent. Won 4 races from 14 starts. ($913,621) Two runs back second in Turnbull Stakes (4yo+) over 2000m at Flemington. Fifth last time after racing wide in the Caulfield Cup. Ran fourth in the Melbourne Cup last year. Races on speed and stays strongly with a huge stride. Sure to be suited by a return to two miles and has raced consistently well throughout this spring. Among the key winning hopes.

12. Prince Of Arran

B 6G Shirocco (GER) - Storming Sioux (GB) (Storming Home (GB)).

Honest and admirable galloper. Has won 6 races from 37 starts. ($1,434,754) Racing in great heart. Strong showinglast start, winning the Geelong Cup over 2400m, defeating True Selfon a good track. Worked forward from out wide and stayed on strongly under pressure. Third in the Melbourne Cup last year, travelled into the race like the winner before being gunned down late in a strong edition. Form is just as strong in 2019 and clearly thriving in Australia. Can race handy but adaptable and stays the trip well. Very likeable.

13. Raymond Tusk

B 4H High Chaparral (IRE) - Dancing Shoes (IRE) (Danehill (USA)).

Winner of 3 races from 12 starts. ($436,026) Not raced for 73 days. Record first up (1w-1p-4s). Fourth, finishing strongly after meeting trouble in running, in the Ebor last time. Closing sectionals strong. Strong form when placed over two miles at Ascot behind high-class stayer Dee Ex Bee. Terrific effort at lone try at the trip and long been a promising stayer. Looks a genuine threat.

14. Downdraft

B 4H Camelot (GB) - Cinnamon Rose (USA) (Trempolino (USA)).

Winner of7 races from 18 starts. ($468,641). Turned out quickly after winning the Hotham Stakes over 2500m on Saturday. Backed up good Australian debut when third in the Moonee Valley Cup (4yo+) over 2500m on good going on 26th October. In good form and getting better with every run. Is keeping very busy, however, and needing another new peak to score again. Can run well again but things are getting no easier for him and certainly facing a big task.

15. Magic Wand

B 4F Galileo (IRE) - Prudenzia (IRE) (Dansili (GB)).

Modest winning record. Won 2 races from 19 starts. ($1,915,848). High class form two runs back when finishing second, behind Magical, in Irish Champion Stakes (3yo+) over 2012m on a good track at Leopardstown on 14th September - beaten 2.25 lengths. Typically sound effort on speed when fourth in the Cox Plate last time, under pressure when they quickened but staying on well. No guide over the longer trip but stays on strongly at a mile-and-a-half and could do better for a test of stamina being by Galileo. Has stayed on strongly over a mile-and-a-half. Races prominently. Well handicapped on best form and runs for one of the world’s great yards. Demands respect.

16. Neufbosc

GR 4G Mastercraftsman (IRE) - Nonsuch Way (IRE) (Verglas (IRE)).

Won 3 races from 13 starts. ($377,182). Two runs back travelled well but quickly dropped out from the turn and finished thirteenth beaten 30 lengths over 2400m at Randwick in The Metropolitan (3yo+) on a soft track. Slightly disappointing last start, beating just two home and finishing ninth in the Geelong Cup, and his best form from France seems a distant memory now. Untried at this trip but little to suggest that he will improve for the longer journey. Others have better form.

17. Sound

BR/BL 6H Lando (GER) - Sky Dancing (IRE) (Exit To Nowhere (USA)).

Won 7 races from 23 starts. ($500,890) Two runs back finished seventh behind Kings Will Dream in Turnbull Stakes (4yo+) over 2000m at Flemington and matched that form when tenth in the Caulfield Cup last time out. Not far away in those races but still below his best in all eight runs since coming to Australia. Beaten a long way in this race last year and looks sure to be sent around at big odds again this time.

18. Surprise Baby

B/BR 5G Shocking (AUS) - Bula Baby (NZ) (Kaapstad (NZ)).

Highly promising galloper. Won 5 races from 10 starts. ($723,735) Not raced for 31 days. Improved last start winning at Flemington in The Bart Cummings (Open) over 2520m defeating Supernova and booking his spot in the Cup. Has won over 3200m and stayed the trip well. Set for this race from a long way out and ratings have been steadily improving. Tactical versatile. Very genuine and races well with his runs spaced. Well handicapped and promising to run a career best. Looks one of the best winning chances.

19. Constantinople

B 3C Galileo (IRE) - One Moment In Time (IRE) (Danehill (USA)).

Won 2 races from 9 starts. ($447,457). Luckless last start hen fourth (beaten 1.4 lengths) behind Mer De Glace over 2400m in the Caulfield Cup. Found trouble in the run home. Finished strongly when clear. No match for Logician in the Great Voltiguer at York prior, but stayed on well there in a high-class race. Return to a big track looks a positive. Strong profile and promises to stay the two miles well. Talented and has the potential to be high-class himself. Sire is the world’s best influence for stamina. Big chance.

20. Il Paradiso

CH 3C Galileo (IRE) - Famous (IRE) (Danehill Dancer (IRE)).

Won 2 races from 8 starts. ($125,525) Not raced for 52 days. Worked hard on a strong speed last start when fifth, behind Logician in St Leger Stakes (3yo) over 2922m on good going at Doncaster on 14th September beaten 5 lengths. Ran a strong race in a small field over two miles at York, chasing a world-class stayer in Stradivarius. Lightly raced and highly promising. Stays well and unsuited by the pace of the race last time. Could have plenty more to offer and brings a hugely promising profile being by Galileo. Big player.

21. Steel Prince

B 5G Nathaniel (IRE) - Steel Princess (IRE) (Danehill (USA)).

Won 8 races from 21 starts. ($604,053) below best last time when seventh (beaten 4 lengths) behind Prince Of Arran over 2400m on a good track in Geelong Cup. Never raced over 3200m but earned his spot here with a strong win in the Andrew Ramsden over 2800m at Flemington where he stayed well to win a thrilling contest, beating leading Cup hope Surprise Baby. Missed a run prior to last time and could quickly get back on track with the benefit of that run - though certainly needs a new career best to play a part in the finish.

22. The Chosen One

B 4H Savabeel (AUS) - The Glitzy One (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS)).

Won 5 races from 15 starts. ($647,567) Two runs back won, powering home from the turn at Caulfield in Herbert Power Stakes (Open) over 2400m defeating Prince Of Arran by a length in 2:27.52 on a good track. Well held in the Caulfield Cup, racing back and working into the pack to finish ninth. Didn’t threaten. Herbert Power win was strong, mowing down a key contender in this race. Untried over further and some query up to two miles. Sharp stable and a light weight but faces biggest test.

23. Vow And Declare

CH 4G Declaration Of War (USA) - Geblitzt (AUS) (Testa Rossa (AUS)).

Winner of 3 races from 12 starts. ($1,072,690) improved last start when second, beaten just a length, in Caulfield Cup (Open) over 2400m. Winner over 3000m at Eagle Farm. Will race midfield and goes on all conditions. Improving with each and every run and brings a key formline to the race. Must be considered one of the chances.

24. Youngstar

B 5M High Chaparral (IRE) - Starspangled (IRE) (Danehill (USA)).

Winner of 4 races from 21 starts. ($987,337). Better effort last start when third, beaten 2.5 lengths, over 2600m at Randwick in Atc St Leger Stakes (3yo+). Ran well to finish sixth in this race last year but below best form since that run. Gets back in her races. Stayed on well last time, and should stay the two miles, but looks a long-odds chance to run them all down.

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