Ultimate Melbourne Cup form guide

Leading Herald Sun form analyst Michael Manley gives his take on the 24 runners in this year’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington as we provide the most informative package to pinpoint the winner.

In early betting, Japanese stayer Mer De Glace has displaced Constantinople as the favourite despite both horses faring well at the barrier draw.

Mer De Glace firmed to $7 outright favourite after coming up with gate two in the 24-horse field, just ahead of Constantinople ($8) who drew seven.

Find out who you think can win with the most comprehensive form guide in the business.

Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

BEAT YOUR MATES: DOWNLOAD YOUR CUP SWEEP

CUP DAY FACTORS

Gates open: 8.30am

First race: 10.55am

Melbourne Cup: 3pm

Last race: 5.15pm

Track: Soft (6)

Rail: Out 3m entire circuit

Weather: 18C increasing sunshine.

BY THE NUMBERS

For most successful saddlecloth numbers, barrier numbers, silks and lucky initials scroll down to end of racefield.

LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS

1. CROSS COUNTER (GB) — 57.5KG

Jockey: James Doyle

Trainer: Charlie Appleby (Eng)

Barrier: 5

Teofilo-Waitress

5YO Bay gelding

Starts: 12: 6-2-1

Prizemoney: $5,999,553

Biggest win: 2018 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m)

Win range: 1740-3200m

Strike rate: Win 50% Place 75%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $15 Current $13

Stuck to his task when nk, 1¾ len 3rd of 8 (3) $4 61kg Stradivarius, Dee Ex Bee 3219m G B – Goodwood G1 Goodwood Cup Good July 30. Always handy before finishing 4 len 4th of 10 (7) 6/4F 61kg Search For A Song 2816m Ire – Curragh G1 Irish St. Leger Firm Sept 15. Last year’s winner returns off the back of strong staying form in the UAE (winning the Dubai Gold Cup in March) and the UK. Rises 6.5kg on his winning weight last year but warrants strong consideration again.

MANLEY SAYS: Remarkable win at only his eighth run when unleased a powerful finishing burst to win last year’s Melbourne Cup. His last 200m was run in 11.20 – amazingly the fastest last 200m for the meeting. He’s gone up 6.5kg but he’s won at Group 2 level in Dubai before a third and two fourths at Group 1 level at home. Take beating.

2. MER DE GLACE (JPN) — 56KG

Jockey: Damian Lane

Trainer: Hisashi Shimuzu

Barrier: 2

Rulership-Glacier Blue

5YO Bay horse

Starts: 17: 7-2-5

Prizemoney: $2,333,413.

Biggest win: Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 3 Kokura Kinen (2000m) at Kokura in 2019.

Win range: 2000-2400m

Strike rate: Win 44% Place 83%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $26 Current $6.50

Made it five on end with nk win of 13 (8) $2.60F 57.5 Cadenas, Noble Mars 2000m Japan G3 Kokura Kinen Firm Aug 4. Stormed home from well back to score len win of 18 (17) $8. 55.5kg Vow And Declare, Mirage Dancer 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. High-class Japanese galloper who came from second last early to swamp them in the Caulfield Cup at his first run beyond 2200m. Has now won all five starts this year and could cap an amazing Melbourne spring for the Japanese raiders if he can run the extra distance. Major player.

MANLEY SAYS: Japanese raider who sat back and swooped home to win the Caulfield Cup. He’s won his past six starts and will again have the services of Damian Lane. He’s in remarkable form and the only query is that he’s never raced over 3200m before.

3. MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) — 55.5KG

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien (Ire)

Barrier: 1

Frankel-L’Ancresse

5YO Bay horse

Starts: 12: 3-1-2

Prizemoney: $264,854

Biggest win: Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes (2800m)

Win range: 2400-2800m

Strike rate: Win 25% Place 50%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $26 Current $17

Held on after leading to finish 2 len, 2 len 3rd of 6 (3) $4 62kg Southern France, Downdraft 2816m Ire – Curragh G3 St Leger Trial Soft Aug 16. Didn’t finish it off when 4 len 5th of 10 (3) $15 61kg Search For A Song 2816m Ire – Curragh G1 Irish St. Leger Firm Sept 15. Did his early racing in France before being purchased by Lloyd Williams and transferred to the care of Joseph O’Brien with this race in mind. Last year’s attempt was aborted but he looks to be recapturing his best form with the stable pushing forward after his midfield finish in the Irish St Leger. Must be kept safe.

MANLEY SAYS: Wasn’t far off second at his last start in the Irish St Leger which is the same form line as several key chances in this. Goes forward and is a dour stayer. His third to Stradivarius three starts ago in the Ascot Gold Cup is strong form.

4. MIRAGE DANCER (GB) — 55.5KG

Jockey: Ben Melham

Trainer: Trent Busuttin & Natalia Young

Barrier: 13

Frankel-Heat Haze

6YO Bay horse

Starts: 16: 4-5-3

Prizemoney: $466,505

Biggest win: Group 3 Glorious Stakes (2412m) at Goodwood in 2018.

Win range: 1400-2400m

Strike rate: Win 24% Place 76%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $34

No match for the winner when 2¼ len 2nd of 5 (4) 4/6F 57.5 Desert Encounter 2412m GB – Goodwood G3 Glorious Stakes Firm Aug 2. Slow away then checked near the 200m when len, hd 3rd of 18 (9) $16 56.0 Mer De Glace, Vow And Declare 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. Well-performed UK stayer who was terrific in the Caulfield Cup, making good late ground to finish third behind Mer De Glace and Vow And Declare. Has very consistent form up to 2400m and has clearly adapted quickly to the local conditions. Looks for a major showing

MANLEY SAYS: One of many unlucky horses in the Caulfield Cup at his Australian debut where he was checked with 200m to go but recovered with a resolute finish to gain third in a manner which suggested 3200m will suit.

MORE NEWS

Cup tips: Our experts pick their winners

Melbourne Cup: Everything you need to know

Punting made easy: how to place a bet

5. SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) — 55.5KG

Jockey: Mark Zahra

Trainer: Ciaron Maher-David Eustace

Barrier: 14

Galileo-Alta Anna

5YO Bay horse

Starts: 14: 3-3-3

Prizemoney: $626,385

Biggest win: Group 3 Irish St Leger (2816m)

Win range: 2400-2800m

Strike rate: Win 21% Place 64%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $26

Pulled clear late for 2 len win of 6 (2) $3.50F 61.0 Downdraft, Master Of Reality 2816m Ire – Curragh G3 St Leger Trial Soft Aug 16. Stuck to his guns when 2¼ len, 1½ len 3rd of 10 (5) $10 61kg Search for A Song, Kew Gardens 2816m Ire – Curragh G1 Irish St. Leger Firm Sept 15. A son of Galileo with solid staying form in the UK including running staying yardstick Stradivarius to three-quarters of a length in the Yorkshire Cup (2800m) in May. Tuned up for his Australian trip with a handy third in the G1 Irish St Leger (2816m) and looks a genuine threat. Keep in mind.

MANLEY SAYS: Surged into Melbourne Cup calculations at his last two starts with a win in the Irish St Leger trial easily defeating Master Of Reality and then a third in the St Leger, a race in which Cross Counter finished fourth when trained by Aidan O’Brien. Been purchased by Australian connections for this race.

6. HUNTING HORN (IRE) — 55KG

Jockey: Seamie Heffernan

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien (Ire)

Barrier: 11

Camelot-Mora Bai

5YO Bay horse

Starts: 22: 3-2-5

Prizemoney: $1,541,491

Biggest win: Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), Group 2 Hampton Court (2012m).

Win range: 2000-2500m

Strike rate: Win 14% Place 45%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $34

Set the pace before finishing 7½ len last of 8 (1) $67 60.5 Magical 2012m Ire – Leopardstown G1 Irish Champion Good Sept 14. Raced handy when scoring 1¼ len win of 8 (3) $4.20 56kg Mr Quickie, Downdraft 2500m M Valley G2 M. Valley Cup Good (4) Oct 26. Widely-travelled member of the Aidan O’Brien yard who created a good impression at his Australian debut with an emphatic win over Mr Quickie in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m). That was his first win in 15 starts and the first time he had tackled a race over that trip. Place hopes are best.

MANLEY SAYS: Sat mid-field and proved too strong in excellent Australian debut to win the Moonee Valley Cup. In Europe he’s often been the pacemaker in feature races for more illustrious stablemates. Showed what he could do last start and should be suited by 3200m.

Ryan Moore and Hunting Horn take out the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
media_cameraRyan Moore and Hunting Horn take out the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

7. LATROBE (IRE) — 55KG

Jockey: James McDonald

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien (Ire)

Barrier: 22

Camelot-Question Times

5YO Bay horse

Starts: 15: 3-6-1

Prizemoney: $2,000,679

Biggest win: Group 1 Irish Derby (2400m) in 2018.

Win range: 2400m

Strike rate: Win 20% Place 67%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $21

Always handy before scoring ¾ len win of 6 (3) $1.90F 61kg Guaranteed, Broad Street 2414m Ire – Leopardstown G3 Ballyroan Stks Firm Aug 8. Couldn’t pick up late when 5½ len 6th of 10 (2) $8 61kg Search For A Song 2816m Ire – Curragh G1 Irish St. Leger Firm Sept 15. Australians got their first look at this son of Camelot (GB) at last year’s carnival when he lost the G1 Mackinnon Stakes in a head-bobbing finish with Trap For Fools. Has raced consistently since heading back to Ireland including a runner-up finish in the G2 Curragh Cup (2800m) and a win in the G3 Ballyroan (2414m). Races in the highly successful Lloyd Williams colours and won’t appear if he’s not going to be competitive.

MANLEY SAYS: Talented galloper who was disappointing last start in the Irish St Leger. Previous form was sound with a second in the Curragh Cup behind Twilight Payment before a win at Group 3 level over 2414m in Ireland. He’ll carry Lloyd William’s colours and his best form is good enough to be a factor in this.

8. MUSTAJEER (GBR) — 55KG

Jockey: Damien Oliver

Trainer: Kris Lees

Barrier: 6

Medicean-Qelaan Lass

7YO Bay gelding

Starts: 20: 4-3-3

Prizemoney: $1,449,839

Biggest win: Ebor Handicap (2787m) at York in 2019.

Win range: 1600-2800m

Strike rate: Win 20% Place 50%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $15 Current $17

Came from midfield to score ¾ len win of 22 (2) $17 59.5 Red Galileo, Desert Skyline 2787m GB – York Ebor Hcp (C2) Firm Aug 24. Wasn’t far away when 1¾ len 6th of 18 (12) $12 55.5 Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. Brings good UK staying form to Australia including a strong win in the Ebor in August and showed he had adapted to our conditions with a nice sixth in the Caulfield Cup. Three-time Cup-winning jockey Damien Oliver sticks with him after that run and they look a competitive combination. Give serious thought.

MANLEY SAYS: Best work was late in the Caulfield Cup where he finished on for sixth. Tough win in the Ebor Handicap at York before that over 2787m against several of his rivals brings him right into calculations. Should be suited by 3200m.

9. ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) — 55KG

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & T Dabernig

Barrier: 12

Frankel-Tyranny

5YO Bay gelding

Starts: 18: 4-2-2

Prizemoney: $1,347,436

Biggest win: Group 3 Kilternan Stakes (2314m) at Leopardstown in 2018.

Win range: 1400-2400m

Strike rate: Win 22% Place 44%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $67

Overraced throughout when 4½ len 9th of 11 (9) $12 55kg Kings Will Dream 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct 5. Wide early then checked near the 150m when 7¼ len 16th of 18 (14) $31 55.5kg Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. Ran out of his skin to finish fifth in last year’s Cup then beat half the field home in the HK Vase. Hasn’t set the world on fire in his three lead-up runs this preparation but he has been dogged by poor barrier draws. Could be a sharp improver come Cup day.

MANLEY SAYS: On face value his form doesn’t look good but he had a litany of excuses in the Caulfield Cup as he was wide early, then over raced and then encircled the field at the half way mark to go from midfield to second and then was checked in the straight. He finished fifth in this race last year. He’s a blow-out chance.

10. TWI LIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) — 55KG

Jockey: Pat Cosgrave

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien (Ire)

Barrier: 19

Teofilo-Dream On Buddy

7YO Bay horse

Starts: 24: 5-9-5

Prizemoney: $500,140

Biggest win: Group 2 Curragh Cup (2800m)

Win range: 2400-3200m

Strike rate: Win 21% Place 79%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $81

Always handy before scoring nk win of 10 (7) $8 62kg Latrobe, Raa Atoll 2816m Ire – Curragh G2 Curragh Cup Good June 28. Failed to run on when 6¼ len 7th of 10 (4) $15 61kg Search For A Song 2816m The Curragh G1 Irish St Leger Firm Sept 15. Ultra-consistent Irish stayer whose form card contains regular top three finishes carrying big weightsin Group and Listed races from 2800-3200m. Won’t know himself with 55kg, will be strong at the finish and he races in Lloyd Williams’s colours so he ticks a few boxes.

MANLEY SAYS: Put together back to back wins in Ireland including a Group 2 win where he defeated Latrobe two starts ago at Group 2 level and followed that with mid-field effort in the Irish St Leger. Worth thought if he can reproduce his best.

11. FINCHE (GB) — 54KG

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Trainer: Chris Waller

Barrier: 4

Frankel-Binche

6YO Chesnut horse

Starts: 14: 4-1-3

Prizemoney: $917,566

Biggest win: Group 2 GP M-Laffitte (2000m)

Win range: 1600-2500m

Strike rate: Win 29% Place 57%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $26 Current $9

Just missed when sht hd 2nd of 11 (2) $5.50 55kg Kings Will Dream 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct 5. Raced three wide throughout when 1½ len 5th of 18 (15) $7.50 54.5kg Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. A multiple Group winner in France, this son of Frankel is yet to put in a bad run in six Australian starts including a terrific fourth in this race last year. Looks to have had the perfect build-up this year and was game in the Caulfield Cup after facing the breeze all the way from a wide gate. Comes right into calculations.

MANLEY SAYS: Brave effort to fight on and run fifth in the Caulfield Cup after racing wide throughout. He also ran well in last year’s Melbourne Cup when he finished fourth after hitting the lead a long way out. He’s had a long preparation for this and should be ready to fire.

Michael Walker rides Prince Of Arran to victory in the Geelong Cup.
media_cameraMichael Walker rides Prince Of Arran to victory in the Geelong Cup.

12. PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) — 54KG

Jockey: Michael Walker

Trainer: Charlie Fellowes (GB)

Barrier: 8

Shirocco-Storming Sioux

7YO Bay gelding

Starts: 37: 6-7-5

Prizemoney: $1,441,798

Biggest win: Lexus Stakes at Flemington in 2018, Group 3 Geelong Cup in 2019.

Win range: 1600-3200m

Strike rate: Win 16% Place 49%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $26 Current $21

Kept finding when ½ len 2nd of 13 (10) $8.50 58kg The Chosen One 2400m C’field G2 Herbert Power Good (3) Oct 12. Toughed it out for lg hd win of 11 (11) $4.20F 58kg True Self, Haky 2400m Geelong G3 Geelong Cup Good (3) Oct 23. Adapted quickly last spring on his first visit to Melbourne, running home nicely to place third to Yucatan in the Herbert Power before winning the Hotham on Derby Day then finishing a game third in the Melbourne Cup. His overseas form since has been moderate but he seems to like the Melbourne air, running 2nd in the Herbert Power this time around before winning the Geelong Cup. Has to go in.

MANLEY SAYS: English stayer who takes his game to another level out here with five starts here for a last start win in the Geelong Cup and four placings including third in last year’s Melbourne Cup. He drops four kilos on his Geelong Cup win and only carries a kilo more than he had last year in this race. Great each-way chance.

13. RAYMOND TUSK (GB) — 53KG

Jockey: Jamie Spencer

Trainer: Richard Hannon Jr (GB)

Barrier: 3

High Chaparral-Evening Shoes

5YO Bay gelding

Starts: 12: 3-3-1

Prizemoney: $426,073

Biggest win: Group 2 Gran Premio del Jockey Club Italiano (2414m) at Milan in 2018.

Win range: 1600-2400m

Strike rate: Win 25% Place 58%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $15

Safely held when 8¼ len 7th of 11 (10) $41 57.5kg Stradivarius 4014m GB – Ascot G1 Gold Cup Soft June 20. Had no luck when 2 len 4th of 22 (19) $17 61kg Mustajeer 2787m GB – York Ebor Hcp (C2) Firm Aug 24. UK stayer with consistent form at the top level. Had a totally luckless run in the Ebor at his latest run when he should arguably have won. Won’t know himself with 54kg and he looms as a strong each-way threat. Warrants serious consideration.

MANLEY SAYS: Massive effort to finish fourth in the Ebor Handicap at York convinced connections to head to Melbourne. On that occasion he was close to last with 800m to go and stormed home to finish fourth. He’ll run the distance right out.

14. DOWNDRAFT (IRE) — 53.5KG

Jockey: John Allen

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien (Ire)

Barrier: 15

Camelot-Cinnamon Rose

5YO Bay horse

Starts: 18: 7-2-1

Prizemoney: $287,283

Biggest win: Group 3 Hotham Stakes (2500m).

Win range: 1400-2800m

Strike rate: Win 38% Place 53%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $17

Irish stayer who won twice at Listed level before 2 len2nd of 6 (4) $6.50 61kg Southern France 2816m Ire Curragh G3 St Leger Trial Soft Aug 16. On pace and fought on bravely 1¼ len, nk 3rd of 8 (7) $3.90 56.5 Hunting Horn, Mr Quickie 2500m M Valley G2 M. Valley Cup Good (4) Oct 26. Sat behind the speed on fence then hit front top of stretch and kept on determinedly to win the G3 Hotham (2500m) on Saturday. Much harder now and this will be his third run in 10 days but gets a nice weight drop and could be avalue hope for exotics.

MANLEY SAYS: Another Irish raider. He held on nicely for third in the slowly run Moonee Valley Cup at his Australian debut and backed up with a convincing win in the Hotham Stakes on Saturday. Before that he had won twice at Listed Level in Ireland and he finished second to Southern France in the Irish St Leger Trial. He’s one of the main chances.

15. MAGIC WAND (IRE) — 53.5KG

Jockey: Ryan Moore

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien (Ire)

Barrier: 24

Galileo-Prudenzia

5YO Bay mare

Starts: 19: 2-7-2

Prizemoney: $3,388,858

Biggest win: Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes (2400m) in 2018.

Win range: 2300-2400m

Strike rate: Win 11% Place 58%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $26

Toughed it out for 2¼ len 2nd of 8 (5) $21 59kg Magical 2012m Ire – Leopardstown G1 Irish Champion Good Sept 14. Stuck to her guns when 3¾ len 4th of 14(2) $9 57kg Lys Gracieux 2040m M Valley G1 WS Cox Plate Good (4) Oct 26. From the powerful O’Brien stable and gave a great sight in the Cox Plate after taking up the early running. However the fact remains that he has only won two races and he has raced 14 times since the last win. Very honest and will give a sight again but place hopes may be best.

MANLEY SAYS: Game mare who always puts in a solid effort which again was seen with her brave fourth in the Cox Plate. She’s never raced at a distance of further than 2400m. Down in the weights and she’ll be in contention for a long way.

16. NEUFBOSC (FR) — 53.5KG

Jockey: Luke Nolen

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig

Barrier: 23

Mastercraftsman-Nonsuch Way

5YO grey gelding

Starts: 13: 3-2-1

Prizemoney: $371,118

Biggest win: Group 3 Prix Du Lys (2400m) in 2018.

Win range: 1900-2400m

Strike rate: Win 23% Place 46%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $101 Current $201

Checked near the 600m before finishing 30 len 13th of 14 (1) $11 55.5kg Come Play With Me 2400m R’wick G1 Metropolitan Soft (6) Oct 5. Began awkwardly when 4¾ len 9th of 11 (6) $31 58kg Prince Of Arran 2400m Geelong G3 Geelong Cup Good (3) Oct 23. Lindsay Park French import who hasn’t set the world on fire since arriving in Australia. Will need to improve.

MANLEY SAYS: Former classy French stayer who finished second to Kew gardens at Group 1 level in France last year. In Australia he hasn’t fired but has often struck trouble. Needs to lift on what he’s shown here though.

17. SOUND (GER) — 53.5KG

Jockey: James Winks

Trainer: Michael Moroney

Barrier: 10

Lando-Sky Dancing

7YO brown horse

Starts: 2: 7-2-1

Prizemoney: $498,655

Biggest win: Group 3 Oleander-Rennen (3200m) in 2018.

Win range: 1600-3200m

Strike rate: Win 29% Place 42%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $201 Current $101

Always in a similar spot when 3¾ len 7th of 11 (7) $151 54.5 Kings Will Dream 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct 5. Checked near the 200m before finishing 4¼ len 10th of 18 (6) $101 54kg Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. Finished down the track in this race last year but was never on the track. Found plenty of trouble in the straight in the Caulfield Cup but not sure he was going to be in the finish. Would need things to fall his way.

MANLEY SAYS: He started at massive odds in the Caulfield Cup but loomed early in the straight as a chance but his chances were ruined when he was checked with 200m to go. He looks as if he’s ready to strike his German form from 2018.

Surprise Baby proves too strong in The Bart Cummings.
media_cameraSurprise Baby proves too strong in The Bart Cummings.

18. SURPRISE BABY — 53.5KG

Jockey: Jordan Childs

Trainer: Paul Preusker

Barrier: 20

Shocking-Bula Baby

5YO Bay gelding

Starts: 10: 5-1-1

Prizemoney: $723,735

Biggest wins: Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m), Group 3 Bart Cummings (2520m) in 2019.

Win range: 1200-3200m

Strike rate: Win 50% Place 70%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $26 Current $15

Made good late ground when 2¾ len 4th of 15 (10) $9.50 59kg Homesman 1600m M Valley G2 Feehan Stks Good (4) Sept 7. Always in control when scoring 1½ len win of 13 (6) $2.50F 57kg Supernova, Wolfe 2520m F’ton G3 Bart Cummings Good (3) Oct 5. Won his way into the race with his success in the G3 Bart Cummings but it was his dominant victory in the G2 Adelaide Cup over this trip in May at just his sixth race start that had connections train their eyes on the Cup. Takes on the cream of the crop here but he has to be considered a key runner.

MANLEY SAYS: Lightly raced stayer who is getting better with every start. He won his way into this with a strong run on win in The Bart Cummings. He won the Adelaide Cup over 3200m at his sixth start. Looks a great lightweight chance.

19. CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) — 52.5KG

Jockey: Joao Moreira

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig

Barrier: 7

Galileo-One Moment In Time

4YO Bay horse

Starts: 9: 2-4-1

Prizemoney: $447,973

Biggest win: Group 3 Gallinule Stakes (2012m) at The Curragh in 2019.

Win range: 1600-2000m

Strike rate: Win 22% Place 78%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $8

Stuck to his task when 1¾ len 2nd of 5 (1) $3.50 57kg Logician 2385m GB – York G2 Voltigeur Stks Good Aug 21. Not much went right when 1½ len 4th of 18 (5) $6.50F 53kg Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. Well-performed import who was one of the unluckiest runners behind Mer De Glace in the Caulfield Cup. Really found the line after getting shuffled back through the field before the corner. Got chopped off at the 300m and did a remarkable job to get so close at the finish. Sure to have plenty of admirers.

MANLEY SAYS: Former Irish stayer who endured a torrid run when he finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup as he was unlucky in straight being held up and also crowded. Kept pushing through the gaps which presented for him and he surged late to finish fourth. Should relish the 3200m and is a great light-weight chance.

20. IL PARADISO (IRE) — 52.5KG

Jockey: Wayne Lordan

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Barrier: 17

Galileo-Famous

4YO Chestnut horse

Starts: 8: 2-2-2

Prizemoney: $125,154

Biggest win: Curragh 3200m Handicap.

Win range: 2400-3200m

Strike rate: Win 25% Place 75%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $15

Wasn’t far away when 1¼ len, nose 3rd of 4 (4) $21 53kg Stradivarius, Dee Ex Bee 3270m GB – York G2 Lonsdale Cup Firm Aug 23. Didn’t finish it off when 5¼ len 5th of 8 (2) $9 57.5kg Logician 2922m GB – Doncaster G1 St Leger Stakes Firm Sept 14. Lightly-raced stayer from the Aidan O’Brien yard who was forced to do all the chasing behind the tearaway leader in the UK St Leger at his latest run. Gave superstar stayer Stradivarius a scare in the Lonsdale Cup prior to that and looms as a serious lightweight threat here. Right in it.

MANLEY SAYS: Boasts a similar profile to the last two Melbourne Cup winners being a lightly raced English late three-year-old who will carry little weight. Two starts ago he finished third to Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup where he was only beaten 1.4 lengths then last start he wasn’t disgraced in the English St Leger.

21. STEEL PRINCE — 52.5KG

Jockey: Brett Prebble

Trainer: Anthony Freedman

Barrier: 16

Nathaniel-Steel Princess

6YO Bay gelding

Starts: 21: 8-5-1

Prizemoney: $605,012

Biggest win: LR Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington in 2019.

Win range: 1800-2800m

Strike rate: Win 38% Place 67%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $26 Current $67

Slowly away then held up near the 300m before finishing 4¼ len 6th of 11 (7) $7.50 57kg Brimham Rocks 2000m C’field G3 Foundation Cup Good (4) Sept 21. Always in a similar spot when 4½ len 7th of 11 (8) $6 57.5kg Prince Of Arran 2400m Geelong G3 Geelong Cup Good (3) Oct 23. His win over Surprise Baby in the Ramsden (2800m) at this track in May guaranteed a start in the Cup and was his second successive victory over the highly-fancied local hope. His form this preparation has seen him slowly build-up in trip and he ran a slick closing split in the G3 Naturalism at Caulfield before a forgivable effort in the Geelong Cup. Might be over the odds.

MANLEY SAYS: Won his way into the Melbourne Cup when he defied Surprise Baby to win the Andrew Ramsden Stakes in May. First two runs back from a spell were sound but his preparation for this was interrupted when he was scratched at the barrier in the Herbert Power Stakes. Played up before the start in the Geelong Cup and disappointed. Needs to lift.

22. THE CHOSEN ONE — 52KG

Jockey: Tim Clarke

Trainer: Murray Baker

Barrier: 18

Savabeel-The Glitzy One

4YO Bay horse

Starts: 15: 5-2-0

Prizemoney: $646,821

Biggest win: Group 2 Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield in 2019.

Win range: 1400-2400m

Strike rate: Win 33% Place 47%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $101 Current $101

Won the Herbert Power Oct 12 before he beathalf the field home when 4 len 9th of 18 (18) $13.00 52.0 Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. Backs up after 7-3/4 len 5th of 10 (3) $6 57.5kg Downdraft 2500m F’ton G3 Lexus Hotham Soft (7) Nov 2. Talented NZ galloper who beat half the field home in the Hotham on Saturday. An unknown quantity in this distance range and looks arough place hope at best.

MANLEY SAYS: Wasn’t disgraced in the Caulfield Cup after Herbert Power win but struggled in the Hotham Stakes. Can’t see him being a factor.

What they are all racing for: the Melbourne Cup trophy.
media_cameraWhat they are all racing for: the Melbourne Cup trophy.

23. VOW AND DECLARE — 52KG

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: Danny O’Brien

Barrier: 21

Declaration Of War-Geblitzt

4YO Chesnut gelding

Starts: 12: 3-3-2

Prizemoney: $1,072,690

Biggest win: LR Grand Cup (2787m) in 2017.

Win range: 1800-3000m

Strike rate: Win 25% Place 67%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $11

Caught the eye late when 1¾ len 4th of 11 (4) $17 54.5kg Kings Will Dream 2000m F’ton G1 Turnbull Stakes Good (3) Oct 5. Hampered near the 200m before finishing len 2nd of 18 (7) $8 52.5kg Mer De Glace 2400m C’field G1 Caulfield Cup Good (3) Oct 19. One of the major local hopes after running a bottler in the Caulfield Cup. Thrashed his rivals in the G3 Tatts Cup over 3000m at Eagle Farm in June and he’s crying out for the step-up in trip. Should be in the finish.

MANLEY SAYS: Two runs this time in indicate he’s spot on for a tilt at the Cup. Finished on strongly for second in the Caulfield Cup when he wobbled around the corner. He’s going to be much better suited at Flemington and he looks a great lightweight chance.

24. YOUNGSTAR — 52KG

Jockey: Tommy Berry

Trainer: Chris Waller

Barrier: 9

High Chaparral-Starspangled

5YO Bay gelding

Starts: 21: 4-1-4

Prizemoney: $998,587

Biggest win: Tatt’s Cup (3000m) at Eagle Farm in 2019.

Win range: 1500-2200m

Strike rate: Win 19% Place 43%

Melbourne Cup odds: Opened $51 Current $51

Plugged away when 3¼ len 7th of 8 (7) $10 57kg Verry Elleegant 2000m R’wick G2 Hill Stakes Soft (6) Oct 5. Held up on straightening then held up in the straight 2¼ len, ½ nk 3rd of 11 (1) $6.50 57.5kg Hush Writer, Carif 2600m R’wick St Leger Stakes Good (3) Oct 19. 2018 Qld Oaks winner who only got clear late when placed in the St Leger at Randwick last outing. Ran a creditable 6th in this race last year. She likes a bit of cushion and by no means the roughest.

MANLEY SAYS: She’s building to a big run. She found trouble in the straight when she ran on to finish third behind Hush Writer in the ATC St Leger last start. She worked home in last year’s Cup from a mid-field spot to finish sixth.

MICHAEL MANLEY’S TIPS

1st. VOW AND DECLARE

2nd. CROSS COUNTER

3rd. IL PARADISO

4th. CONSTANTINOPLE

Best roughie

LATROBE

SIMON MOY’S TIPS

1st. MUSTAJEER

2nd. CONSTANTINOPLE

3rd. YOUNGSTAR

4th FINCHE

Roughie:

SURPRISE BABY

WINNERS BY THE NUMBERS

HISTORY OF MELBOURNE CUP WINNERS

SADDLECLOTH

No. Winners (last winner in brackets)

1 10 (Makybe Diva 2005)

2 7 (Delta Blues 2006)

3 5 (Dunaden 2011)

4 11 (At Talaq 1986)

5 8 (Protectionist 2014)

6 8 (Efficient 2007)

7 2 (Just A Dash 1981)

8 9 (Americain 2010)

9 5 (Straight Draw 1957)

10 4 (Viewed 2008)

11 7 (Empire Rose 1988)

12 11 (Makybe Diva 2003)

13 6 (Ethereal 2001)

14 5 (Green Moon 2012)

15 5 (Let’s Elope 1991)

16 3 (Piping Lane 1972)

17 6 (Almandin 2016)

18 2 (Peter Pan 1932)

19 7 (Prince Of Penzance 2015)

20 3 (Gaulus 1897)

21 2 (Shocking 2009)

22 5 (Rekindling 2017)

23 3 (Cross Counter 2018)

24 4 (Brew 2000)

BARRIERS (WINS)

1 5 (Prince Of Penzance 2015)

2 2 (Might And Power 1997)

3 3 (Media Puzzle 2002)

4 4 (Rekindling, 2017)

5 5 (Fiorente 2013)

6 5 (Light Fingers 1965)

7 2 (Makybe Diva 2004)

8 5 (Viewed 2008)

9 4 (Efficient 2007)

10 6 (Protectionist 2014)

11 8 (Americain 2010)

12 2 (Foxzami 1949)

13 3 (Dunaden 2011)

14 6 (Makybe Diva 2005)

15 1 (Silver Knight 1971)

16 3 (Jezabeel 1998)

17 4 (Almandin 2016)

18 (no winners)

19 6 (Cross Counter 2018)

20 2 (Empire Rose 1988)

21 4 (Shocking 2009)

22 2 (Gurner’s Lane 1982)

23 3 (Brew 2000)

24 3 (Gala Supreme 1973)

RACING SILKS

Colour Wins

White 24

Yellow 24

Red 18

Green 15

Dark Blue 16

Royal Blue 10

*Grey or brown silks have won only three Cups.

Cross Counter's 2018 Cup win

Horse Racing: Cross Counter claims the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

THE SEX

Horse: 67 wins

Gelding: 54 wins

Colt: 21 wins

Mare: 13 wins

Filly: 3 wins

* Last year’s winner Cross Counter put a run on the board for the geldings, and our champion Makybe Diva was a three-time winner for the mares, but stallions dominate the numbers. There are two mares in Tuesday’s race — Magic Wand and Youngstar. There are 11 geldings and 11 stallions.

COLOUR

Bay: 69 wins

Brown: 39 wins

Chestnut: 34 wins

Grey: 6 wins

Bay/Brown: 5 wins

Black: 3 wins

Brown/Black: 2 wins

* The unfancied Neufbosc is the only grey in this year’s race and there are three striking chestnuts — Finche, Vow And Declare and Il Paradiso. But history is against them. There are 18 bays on Tuesday.

AGE OF WINNERS

THREE — The three-year-olds have won 23 Melbourne Cups, but there are none this year to add to that tally.

FOUR — There are four four-year-olds in this year’s race, including Constantinople and Vow And Declare. This age group is most popular, having notched up 45 wins.

FIVE — The five-year-olds have won 44 Cups, and dominate the numbers in tomorrow’s field. Race favourite Mer De Glace is five, and there are another 12 five-year-olds in the race.

SIX — There are three six-year-olds in this year’s Melbourne Cup — Mirage Dancer, Finche and Steel Prince. They have won 33 Cups.

SEVEN — There have been only 11 seven-year-old winners. Flying the flag this year will be Mustajeer, Twilight Payment, Prince Of Arran and Sound.

EIGHT — The greybeards have only saluted twice. It won’t happen again this year. There are no eight-year-olds.

WEIGHT

53kg: 9 wins

51, 52.5, 54.5kg: 8 wins

47, 48, 52, 56kg: 7 wins

WINNERS STARTING WITH EACH LETTER

T – 16 wins. This year we are looking at Twilight Payment and The Chosen One.

P – 14 wins. No runners in this category this year.

M & S – 12 wins. Looking at Mer De Glace, Master Of Reality, Mirage Dancer, Mustajeer, Magic Wand, as well as Southern France, Sound, Surprise Baby and Steel prince.

B & R – 11 wins. Short on for contestants this year with Rostropovich and Raymond Tusk.

NUMBER OF WORDS IN WINNER’S NAME

1 – 89 wins. There are 10 that fit this mould in tomorrow’s race including Constantinople, Finche, Downdraft and Latrobe.

2 – 63 wins. There are 10 runners with two-word names this year, including Cross Counter, Southern France, Raymond Tusk and Surprise Baby.

3 – 6 wins. Five three-word names in the 2019 Melbourne Cup, including Vow And Declare and Mer De Glace.

FIRST INITIAL WINNERS

A 11

B 11

C 9

D 9

E 5

F 2

G 10

H 5

I 0

J 5

K 6

L 6

M 12

N 4

O 1

P 14

Q 0

R 11

S 12

T 15

U 0

V 3

W 8

X 0

Y 0

Z 1

MULTIPLE WINNERS

Makybe Diva 2005, 2004, 2003

Think Big 1975, 1974

Rain Lover 1969, 1968

Peter Pan 1934, 1932

Archer 1862, 1861

LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS

Originally published as Ultimate Melbourne Cup form guide