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Melbourne Cup day

It doesn't get any better than this. Well, actually Derby Day (last Saturday) is the best day of racing in the world IMO due to the quality in every race, but the Cup is the race everyone talks about. And in the best city in the world, Melbourne, they even get a holiday for it. Brilliant.

Who will win it? It's a tough race this year, with eight raiders from Europe, some very handy Kiwis and an Australian contingent markedly weaker than any year I can recall. The Europeans want to make it a genuine staying test, with the Ballydoyle support staff (can't say pacemakers!) ensuring the race will be run at a steady clip. I can see a lot of runners going hard early and trying to sit up close. Some will have to be parked wide for the trip...

Septimus is the class horse, but over the years, the class horses such as Drum Taps, Oscar Schindler, Double Trigger and Yeats have been sent home with their tails between their legs. Big weights in handicaps bring class horses undone. I think Honolulu is the best from Ballydoyle at the weights, and Profound Beauty is ridiculously short based on form, but does have the Dermot factor.

I'm going for Nom de Jeu, great run at Caulfield, suited by a fast pace and longer trip, followed by Barbaricus, in tremendous form of late, with Mad Rush in for third.

It's the day to bet the exotics - the pools for trifectas and first fours will be enormous, and there's always something at odds getting in the placings. The First 4 for the Caulfield Cup paid $916k... good luck landing one of them!

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We're back again for the greatest race on turf, the world's richest staying race and the only race in the world which creates a public holiday for millions of locals.




Once again a fine international field has been assembled and it's worth a deep look at the race. So get a cuppa and find a comfortable seat to plough your way through my preview!

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The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
Broadcasters - Network 10 (AUS), Racing.com (worldwide), SkySportsRacing (UK)


1. Cross Counter
Trainer - Charlie Appleby (one previous Cup win)
Jockey - William Buick
Breeding - Teofilo - Waitress
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British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes
£50k, Listed & Class 1, 3yo, 5f
York 1605

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