Things are starting to ramp up in England now, while Australia battens down for winter and ensures all the various stables have their star gallopers literally wrapped up in cotton wool.
Andrew Ramsden Stakes
We’ve been through significant pre race coverage of this Melbourne Cup ballot exempt race: the Andrew Ramsden Stakes, which was raced last Saturday (May 25th).
If you were successful with the trifecta or first four, I doubt you would’ve got any value, as the first four horses across the line were also the four best backed.
Steel Prince ridden by Damian Oliver was the victor, just narrowly ahead of recent Adelaide Cup winner Surprise Baby and Tasmania visitor Eastender in third.
It was a close run thing with the first two horses, on what was a cold and miserable day in Melbourne.
One horse gets the chocolates, the rest get the crumbs and they will now have to find other ways and means of qualifying for the big race in November.
Steel Prince wins the Andrew Ramsden and a golden ticket into the #MelbourneCup! 🏆
The two-horse race was decided by a photo with Surprise Baby. 📸 pic.twitter.com/3GPfB1MVSA
— Racing.com (@Racing) May 25, 2019
The Lindsay Park operation will soon have two more staying stars joining the stable.
Rostropovich we’ve known about for some time would be joining the Euroa stable, but is currently eating lots of green grass over in New Zealand prior to making his way over to Australia.
The other horse of interest is the former French galloper Neufbosc.
He ran unplaced in last years Prix D’larc De Triomphe behind Enable, but ran a close up second to British star three-year-old Kew Gardens in the Prix de Paris.
The Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig team have many staying types in their stable for the upcoming season, and now they’ve added two more.
That stable will be ones to watch for sure.
Over in the UK
All eyes will be on Epsom this weekend with the running of the Investec English Derby (2400m).
It’s a time honoured race and usually the winner goes on to bigger and better things.
This years edition features three chances from the Irish stable of Aidan O’Brien: Anthony Van Dyck, Broome, and the lightly raced Sir Dragonet who appears to be the race favourite even though he was not originally nominated to start.
The owners however have stumped up the cash to have him at the start line at what will only be his third race.
The other last minute supplementary entrant is the Hughie Morrison trained Telecaster.
Of interest to connections down under, Anthony Van Dyck is a Galilleo colt and is a half brother to former star Kiwi sprinting filly Bounding, who was voted the best sprinter in New Zealand during the 2013-2014 season, and won group races on both sides of the Tasman.
So it will be interesting to see how the bloodlines work out on Saturday.
However, preceding Saturday’s Derby Day, is Friday’s Investec Oaks and Coronation Cup.
The latter is the race we are mostly interested in, as another Aidan O’Brien star in Kew Gardens (who we mentioned above) lines up.
He’ll be joined by his stablemate Cypress Creek, Hughie Morrison’s Marmelo, two John Gosden representatives in the mare Lah Ti Dar and stablemate Coronet, while Godolphin will be represented by Old Persian who won recently at Meydan/Dubai.
Factor in last start winner Morando, Defoe, Communique and Salouen, and we have a cracking field of ten.
Most of the action takes place at Doomben this weekend, with the running of the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m).
Recent South Australian Schweppes Oaks winner Princess Jenni is lining up as the favourite here, though there are many other chances.
If you believe the hype and the media, every trainer reckons his filly is the one to beat, but they can’t all win the race.
Much will depend on the track conditions and who gets the best run.
Other than the favourite, others to watch for include: Etana, Aliferous, Angel Of Heaven and the Kiwi invader Our Intrigue; the stablemate of The Bostonian who is on fire in Queensland at the moment.
SportsBet’s All-In Odds
It might be a bit premature to start placing all-in bets for a potential Melbourne Cup winner this far out.
But that won’t stop betting agencies like SportsBet from throwing a hook, sinker and bait into the murky waters of speculation.
Some horses to consider in their long range tips include: Marmelo, Cross Counter, Ispolini, Torcedor, Latrobe, A Prince Of Arran, Rostropovich, Neufbosc, Kew Gardens, Dubhe, Old Persian, Best Solution, Glory Vase (from Japan) plus the local hopes from Australia and New Zealand including Avilius, Finche, Steel Prince, Surprise Baby, Shraaoh and Glory Days.
That’s all for this weeks Melbourne Cup Watch Report. Keep checking in with KRUZEY for more, as we count down to the first Tuesday in November 2019.