The "race that stops a nation" returns to our screens in the early hours of Tuesday morning and we have previewed the chances of all 24 contenders down under.
Winner of this race last year from a feather weight before following up with a win in the Dubai Gold Cup. Progress seems to have come to a halt subsequently and looks vulnerable to better-handicapped sorts this time around.
Mer De Glace
Impressive in the Caulfield Cup last time out, travelling much the best before picking off his rivals, despite a wide trip. Interesting up in trip, particularly on softer ground having done most of his winning on fast ground in Japan.
Master Of Reality
At his best on soft ground and the emphasis on stamina will suit but it’s hard to imagine he’s well-handicapped from this sort of mark; booking of Dettori is a plus.
Last seen finishing third in the Caulfield Cup to Mer De Glace, possibly doing too much too soon. However, previous UK form suggests he’s going to struggle in a race this competitive from this sort of mark; all his best form is on fast ground.
Career best when third in the Irish Leger last time out and has often given the impression a step up to this sort of trip will suit. Debuts for new yard, feasibly handicapped and well worth considering.
Got his head back in front when dropped in class to Group 2 level at Moonee Valley last time with Downdraft back in third. Worse off at the weights with that rival as a result though and has stamina to prove at this trip.
Irish Derby winner but probably flattered a bit by that run. No suggestion he’s well-handicapped for this sort of event and others make more appeal.
Won the Ebor in good style and ran with credit in the Caulfield Cup last time out, denied a clear run. Step back up in trip certain to suit and versatile with regards ground conditions; leading claims.
Group 2 winner as a juvenile and one of his better recent efforts when fifth in this last year from bottom weight. Hasn’t built on that for his new yard and doesn’t looked well-handicapped in any way.
Narrowly got the better of Latrobe in a Curragh Group 2 in what is probably close to a career best effort but well beaten on debut for this yard in the Irish Leger last time out. Needs to improve to have any say here.
French Group 2 winner as a three-year-old and he was a good fourth in this race last year. Not seen to best effect in the Caulfield Cup last time and had been in good form prior to that run. Step back up in trip will suit.
Prince Of Arran
Third in this race last year and gets a huge swing in the weights with the winner. Has been ticking over nicely, landing the Group 3 Geelong Cup last time out.
Good fourth in the Ebor handicap last time out and gets a 5lb swing with the winner, Mustajeer for a 2½L defeat. Looks well-handicapped on Aus debut here and first-time headgear could yield improvement.
In behind Hunting Horn at Moonee Valley prior to a Group 3 win here at the weekend. Versatile with regards ground and perhaps capable of hitting the frame if everything drops right for him but others are probably better handicapped.
Hasn’t won since a Group 2 success at Royal Ascot in 2018. At her best on quicker ground than this and stamina has to be taken on trust. Feasibly handicapped if she does see it out.
Group 3 winner back in 2018 but has been in poor form for this yard since being gelded and has it all to prove at present.
In poor form this term and beaten a long way in this race last year; hard to make a case for at present, particularly in a race this competitive.
Added to a Group 2 success in March with a Group 3 win here last time out. Hard to imagine he’s anything but averagely handicapped for this though against a strong European challenge.
Unlucky loser in the Caulfield Cup last time. Still looks inexperienced at times but there’s every chance he’s well handicapped from this sort of handicap mark and nature of this contest could suit; fascinating contender here.
Bolted up in a 2m handicap at the Curragh in July and not disgraced in a decent staying race at York behind Stradivarius. Soft ground could suit and not ruled out but will have to bounce back from a very poor effort last time out.
Looked progressive earlier in the year but handicapper would appear to have caught up with him now. Step back up in trip will suit at least.
The Chosen One
Got the better of Prince Of Arran last month in Group 2 company. However, unproven at this trip, has struggled subsequently and was no match for Downdraft last time out.
Vow and Declare
Group 3 winner who was only beaten 1L in the Caulfield Cup last time, well suited to coming off a particularly strong gallop. More on his plate here back up in trip though and a very wide draw isn’t ideal; soft ground probably not ideal either.
Hit and miss performer, largely out of form this year. Stayed on for sixth in this last year but hasn’t been in the same sort of form this time around.
1. Raymond Tusk
Article Posted on Monday 4th November 2019 @ 18.14
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