Which Melbourne Cup Horses Can Handle The Wet Track?
The weather should be fine, but the Flemington track will definitely be rain-affected for the Melbourne Cup.
So which horses will be suited? And which will be disadvantaged?
Well, first you need to know that Racing Australia has a track-grading system that assigns a numerical rating to a track, according to how wet or dry it is.
1. Firm. Dry hard track
2. Firm. Firm track with reasonable grass coverage
3. Good. Track with good grass coverage and cushion
4. Good. Track with some give in it
5. Soft. Track with a reasonable amount of give in it
6. Soft. Moist but not a badly affected track
7. Soft. Rain affected track that will chop out
8. Heavy. Rain affected track that horses will get into
9. Heavy. Wet track getting into a squelchy area
10. Heavy. Heaviest category track, very wet, towards saturation
It looks very much like Flemington will be a "Soft 6" on Tuesday, after around 20 mm of rain fell in Melbourne from Derby Day onwards. What does this mean for your horse?
We've listed each of the 24 Melbourne Cup runners below, with their form on soft tracks as a guide.
1. CROSS COUNTER. Trainer: Charlie Appleby: Jockey: William Buick. Barrier: 5. TAB Odds: $13
Last year's winner has had one start in soft going for one win. He'll be fine.
2. MER DE GLACE. Trainer: Hisashi Shimizu: Jockey: Damian Lane. Barrier: 2. TAB Odds: $8
The Caulfield Cup winner and Melbourne Cup favourite has had only one start on a soft track without being placed. A worry.
3. MASTER OF REALITY. Trainer: Joseph O'Brien. Jockey: Frankie Dettori. Barrier: 1. TAB Odds: $26
He's had six starts on soft going for two wins. Should handle it fine.
4. MIRAGE DANCER. Trainers: Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young: Jockey: Ben Melham. Barrier: 13. TAB Odds: $34
Three starts for two placings on soft going. Not a problem.
5. SOUTHERN FRANCE. Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace. Jockey: Mark Zahra. Barrier: 14. TAB Odds: $21
Three starts in the soft for a win, a second and a third. No dramas.
6. HUNTING HORN. Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Seamie Heffernan. Barrier: 11. TAB Odds: $51
Seven starts for three placings on soft tracks. Should be fine.
7. LATROBE. Trainer: Joseph O'Brien. Jockey: James McDonald. Barrier: 22. TAB Odds: $23
Four starts on soft going for two placings. No issues.
8. MUSTAJEER. Trainer: Kris Lees. Jockey: Damien Oliver. Barrier: 6. TAB Odds: $17
He's British. He's won three times soft going. Because of course he has.
9. ROSTROPOVICH. Trainers: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig . Jockey: Dwayne Dunn. Barrier: 12. TAB Odds: $81
A win and a placing in four starts on soft going. Will handle it.
10. TWILIGHT PAYMENT. Trainer: Joseph O'Brien. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Barrier: 19. TAB Odds: $51
Eleven starts on soft tracks for a win and eight placings. Is definitely comfortable.
11. FINCHE. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy. Barrier: 4. TAB Odds: $8
Two wins in five starts on soft tracks. Giddy up.
12. PRINCE OF ARRAN. Trainer: Charlie Fellowes. Jockey: Michael Walker. Barrier: 8. TAB Odds: $19
Seven starts for just two placings on soft tracks for this otherwise consistent galloper. Not his best surface.
13. RAYMOND TUSK. Trainer: Richard Hannon. Jockey: Jamie Spencer. Barrier: 3. TAB Odds: $21
Has never started on soft going in his 10 starts. Your guess is as good as ours.
14. DOWNDRAFT. Trainer: Joseph O'Brien. Jockey: John Allen. Barrier: 15. TAB Odds: $21
Five starts for two wins and a placing on soft turf. He'll plough through it easily.
15. MAGIC WAND. Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Ryan Moore. Barrier: 24. TAB Odds: $26
Five runs for two placings in soft going. Seems to handle it OK.
16. NEUFBOSC. Trainers: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig. Jockey: Luke Nolen. Barrier: 23. TAB Odds: $126
Two starts in the soft for no bananas. Not confident.
17. SOUND. Trainer: Michael Moroney. Jockey: James Winks. Barrier: 10. TAB Odds: $101
He's won thee times in 10 starts on soft going. He'll be perfectly SOUND. Obviously.
18. SURPRISE BABY. Trainer: Paul Preusker: Jockey: Jordan Childs. Barrier: 20. TAB Odds: $15
Never raced on soft tracks, but has started once on heavy going for a win. So should be fine.
19. CONSTANTINOPLE. Trainers: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig. Jockey: Joao Moreira. Barrier: 7. TAB Odds: $9
One start on slow tracks for a second placing. Should be fine.
20. IL PARADISO. Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Wayne Lordan. Barrier: 17. TAB Odds: $15
Raced once, won once on soft going. Say no more.
21. STEEL PRINCE. Trainer: Anthony Freedman: Jockey: Brett Prebble. Barrier: 16. TAB Odds: $67
Two starts, no joy on soft tracks. Has placed once on a heavy track though, so all is not lost.
22. THE CHOSEN ONE. Trainers: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman. Jockey: Tim Clark. Barrier: 18. TAB Odds: $71
Won twice in six starts on soft going. Kiwi horses generally love it.
23. VOW AND DECLARE. Trainer: Danny O'Brien. Jockey: Craig Williams. Barrier: 21. TAB Odds: $11
Three starts in the slow for one placing. Would prefer dry for this Aussie horse, but he's not hopeless in the wet.
24. YOUNGSTAR. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Tommy Berry. Barrier: 9. TAB Odds: $34
Eight starts, three wins in the soft for this mare. No dramas.
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