Skip to main content


The On-Course Eye, Edition 1

A new feature on the blog, a regular column from on-course expert Kiaran O'Brien.
================== THE ON-COURSE EYE The On-course Eye is a view from the racecourse where Kiaran O’Brien will attempt to pinpoint future winners based on recent performances. As we know there is no proven scientific formula to finding winners but with over twenty years of racecourse experience he hopes this column will highlight horses that may have slipped under the radar or could still be ahead of the handicapper. All views are his own. For many the countdown clock for the Cheltenham Festival in March is activated at Prestbury Park with a fantastic three days of National Hunt racing. Reputations will be enhanced, bubbles will be burst, gambles will be planned and ante-post portfolios built. Finding winners as ever will not be easy. High on the list of ‘must see’ participants will be the Colin Tizzard-trained FINIAN’S OSCAR who holds an entry on Friday in the Steel Plate and Section Novices’ Chase over 2…
Recent posts

Melbourne Cup preview

I was going to pen a lengthy analytical preview for the Race That Stops The Nation but that was rendered futile when I got the email notification for this magnificent piece of work - Andrew Hawkins' Complete Guide to the 2017 Melbourne Cup. For all the background, all the detail, video links, back stories (read the one about Tiberian especially), go there, you won't find a better analysis anywhere.

So instead I'll keep it short and sharp, which based on the lack of sleep I've had in the past week, can only be a good thing!

AU$6 million
Group 1 Handicap, 3200m
1500 local, 0400 GMT

1. HARTNELL - third last year when looked poised to win at top of straight. Has been 'running more like a two-miler' this prep according to trainer, but hasn't run beyond 2000m either. History isn't kind to horses coming back a second time to win (actually it's his third attempt) especially high in the weights. No.

2. ALMANDIN - defending champ an…

Melbourne cup preview - the pedigree angle

There are many different ways of analysing a horse race and thankfully, they don't all come up with the same answer. Some rely on weight ratings, others focus on time or their own visual assessment. On Cup Day, it's incredibly popular to use a dart or go by colours, when you'll always hear about the winners from your once-a-year punter friend, but never any evidence based on a useful sample size. 
Another angle of research which some people swear by is by deep analysis of the breeding. You'll hear plenty of debate about certain horses and whether they can stay 3200m, That's when you look to the pedigree analysis from experts such as Winning Edge Investments.
Melbourne Cup Preview By Geoff Mcmurray @mcmurray_geoff
So who will and who won’t run the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup. Let’s review all this year’s runners and make an assessment from pedigree as to who will be the strongest stayer at the end of 3200m.