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Melb Cup preview II

After Davy Lane, @LosCharruas, declared Protectionist an absolute moral last year, then it's only fair he gets another go again this year!

The Melbourne Cup through the eyes of a devoted believer...

1. Don't believe the prevailing narrative that he was bought to go hurdling in Ireland.

2. Max Dynamite is of imperious Japanese and German stock. He is by Japanese sire, Great Journey (out of the great Sunday Silence) and his dam is by Monsun (sire of last year’s winner, Protectionist). This is a Normandie bred French GROUP 1 Classic contender, masquerading as an Irish hurdler.

3. Dettori (who is close to Willie Mullins) rode Max Dynamite in the 2013 Prix Niel, Arc prep. race. He lost to the Japanese Derby winner, Kizuna, and English Derby winner, Ruler of the World, in a bunch finish. He was soon acquired by Ricci for Mullins and next up romped home in a 2 Mile hurdle race under Ruby Walsh. My hunch is that Dettori (who is on the record as saying the Melbourne is the race he most wanted to win) had a word with Mullins. Mullins had a word with Mr. Ricci. And then Mr. Ricci had a word with Mrs. Ricci. The horse’s hurdling races was only ever designed to get his stamina right for the two miles at Flemington.

4. Max Dynamite’s return to the flat in the Northumberland Plate was designed to test the horse’s ability to handle large fields. He finished a fast closing 2nd after weaving through the pack from last in the final furlong. Once he was drawn wide, you can bet the instruction to Martin Harley to do just that. They were teaching the horse to bob and weave. The 2nd in the Galway Plate was both a stamina test and another large field exercise. Next at York, they tested his afterburners. He blew the field away, including Ascot Gold Cup winner, Trip to Paris, who lagged 5 lengths behind. It was interesting to note the reaction of Dettori after winning the Lonsdale Cup. He kept referring to the Ascot Gold Cup. This showed to me that Dettori was in on it. Max Dynamite had long been entered been in the Melbourne Cup, yet not a word was said about it by Dettori or Mullins. The Mullins crew like a bet.

5. Willie Mullins has won more than his fair share of 2 mile plus races at Royal Ascot in recent years. He has perfected the stamina training technique down for stayers. Generally Mullins does this with reformed hurdlers and handicappers, but Max Dynamite is not some long in the tooth retread. He is Group 1 beast. Big difference.

6. Like Andreas Wohler last year, Willie Mullins has made a preliminary trips to Werribee a couple of weeks ago. Neither Roger Charlton, Ed Dunlop, Aiden O’Brien, Sir Michael Stoute and Saeed bin Suroor did so. Another clue is that he sent the recently retired jockey David Casey along with the stable lass to watch over the horse 24/7. The preparation has been meticulous.

7. While Ryan Moore (UK) and Joao Moreira (Hong Kong) and Javier Castellano (USA) maybe the best jockeys in the world in recent seasons, FRANKIE DETTORI has been the best for the past two decades. This is the race Frankie wants.

8. And the intangibles have been falling Max Dyanmite’s way. Two of his main contenders Mongolian Khan (colic) and Amralah (cortisone overdose) are out of the race. Max Dynamite was drawn 2. Perfect for Frankie to put the pack to sleep. It has rained at Flemington, which favours Max Dynamite and makes life harder for other main rival, Fame Game, who has never raced on anything but firm. His other main contender Our Ivanhowe has drawn 22. This complicates the ex German stayers chances, no matter what Lee Freedman says. The same poor draw will also inhibit live bottom weight, Gust of Wind. Other threats such as Snow Sky and Criterion have too much weight. And the United States needs more than a Magic Man. Bowman, Buick and MacDonald are always dangerous, but it’s not clear their horses are as dangerous as Max Dynamite. BET THE FARM! KABOOM!

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