Best Melbourne Cup international runners with form and odds

Melbourne Cup international picks

THE international entrants in the 2016 Melbourne Cup will have a strong showing at Flemington on November 1 and we have sorted through the field to find the best value.

The 2016 Group 1 Melbourne Cup is worth $6.2 million this year and will be run on the first day of November. The Cup has a rich history of champion winners and the small but select field this year shouldn’t detract from that.

There are only 32 runners left in the nominations for the Melbourne Cup and 10 of those are trained internationally. The overseas runners have a strong record in the Cup and our top four picks will give punters a great sight in the race that stops a nation.

The first of our best Melbourne Cup international runners is trained by one of the best horsemen in the world and it has been well-backed in the market.

Bondi Beach – $11

Bondi Beach returns to the Melbourne Cup after finishing a disappointing 16th last year, but it bounced back with consecutive wins in Europe and it looks a solid winning hope.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained five-year-old horse was spelled after its Melbourne Cup failure but returned to win by 2.8 lengths at Limerick when carrying 61.5kg and again at Navan when winning the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes.

Its last two starts at Leopardstown have been fair, but part-owner Nick Williams is happy with how Bondi Beach has settled into Australia.

“Bondi Beach has arrived in Australia in great order, we are very happy with him,” Williams said.

“Aidan O’Brien is the best trainer in the world, there are no negatives with him and the Irish are eternal optimists. Ryan Moore will be flying in to ride him and his form this year has been very good.”

The son of Galileo has an average winning price of $4.90, so the $11 at Sportsbet for Bondi Beach is a great price and we’re expecting a much better effort than what it showed last year.

Curren Mirotic – $26

Punters must respect the Japanese form given the efforts by past Japanese Melbourne Cup runners. This year marks the 10th anniversary since Delta Blues and Pop Rock scored the quinella for Japan and they have been well-represented since.

The nine-year-old might not be at the top of its game heading into the 2016 Melbourne Cup, but its inconsistent form can be seen as a positive.

“He’s a dead-set stayer,” stable representative Kosuke Kawakami said. “The connections say he’s a very inconsistent horse.

“When he runs well, he runs super. When he doesn’t, he just (doesn’t finish).”

Kawakami believes the son of Heart Cry has settled into Australia well and its work has been impressive.

“The concern that connections had was actuallytravelling. He went to Hong Kong a couple of years ago and did not travel very well at all,” Kawakami said.

“This time he’s travelled really well, settled in really well and is eating well. So far, so good.

“He had some really good, strong work. We were very pleased with it. We worked over a mile and gave his partner a good ten lengths to start, and we caught up and went past him in the straight.

“Tommy Berry will come over here on Friday morning to give the horse a gallop.”

Curren Mirotic isn’t getting much respect in the betting market. The Japanese entrant is currently $26 at Sportsbet (better than $21 at CrownBet) and Kawakami is confident it will see out the distance.

“He’s not a very big horse, but he stays all day,” he said.

“Fame Game just missed out in the Tenno Sho and the he came to Australia, and Curren Mirotic is the same. This year in the Tenno Sho he only got beaten by a nose to the very good horse Kitasan Black.”

Form out of the Tenno Sho has always stacked up well worldwide so consider taking Curren Mirotic at the long odds.

Wicklow Brave – $17

Wicklow Brave is another runner from the Willie Mullins stable which goes well on the flat and over jumps.

Mullins lined up 2015 Melbourne Cup runner-up Max Dynamite last year and Wicklow Brave ($17 at CrownBet) brings in similar form lines.

The eight-year-old is a winner of nine from 29 starts and it comes into the Cup having won the Irish St Leger at The Curragh. That form should be good for the Melbourne Cup and top international jockey Frankie Dettori will be hoping for a better ride this time around, after he picked up a one-month ban in the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

“Frankie will ride and hopefully we’ll have better luck now,” Mullins said.

“Maybe we won a lucky Leger and maybe we need to find more improvement in Melbourne, I don’t know. But we know he stays so the pace of the race shouldn’t be a worry.”

Wicklow Brave last ran over the Melbourne Cup distance when finishing fourth in the Goodwood Cup, but it carried 61kg on that occasion and it will run with a much lighter weight on November 1.

To prepare for the Cup, Wicklow Brave has been getting in practice coming out of the barriers at Werribee and Racing Victoria spokesman Leigh Jordan is expecting a good run.

“There is no doubt Willie Mullins has got it in his head he will win this race. I think he knows what it takes to win the Cup,” Jordan said.

Stable representative, David Casey, also believes Wicklow Brave has what it takes to win.

“Wicklow Brave is probably a sharper type of horse to Max Dynamite. I don’t know if it’s confidence but we do have an expectation he will run a good race as his form is standing up,” Casey said.

“He was just behind Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup and we think he is better than he was that day. He showed that in the Leger.”

Big Orange – $15

Big Orange brings in some of the best international form into the Melbourne Cup having won the Goodwood Cup in July.

The Michael Bell-trained gelding is back for another attempt at the Melbourne Cup after finished fifth last year and it has since proven its worth on the world stage with two victories and two major placings.

It ran second in the Dubai World Cup in March before running third at Newmarket in the Jockey Club Stakes. It was then given a short break before winning the Princess Of Wales Stakes at Newmarket during the Royal Ascot carnival and it backed that up with a win in the Goodwood Cup.


Bell was preparing to line up Big Orange in the Irish St Leger, but opted to miss the Irish feature.

“I am very happy with Big Orange’s wellbeing and we are now gearing up his preparations for the Emirates Melbourne Cup,” Bell said.

“He has not run since July because he was being readied for the Irish St Leger until we decided to give that race a swerve owing to soft ground.

“I am very happy with the weight that he has been allocated as I think that he has improved since 2015.

“Last year was a very good reconnaissance trip – he ran an outstanding race and I’m really looking forward to taking him out there again. We learned that he handled the travelling well and he also handled the race day well, which can be quite an ordeal as the runners have to stand in the paddock for an hour and a half with 100,000 people looking on.

“Representing Britain in a race like this is an honour – it really feels as if you are flying the flag for the whole nation.”

We believe Big Orange is one of the top chances in the 2016 Melbourne Cup and the $15 at Sportsbet is worth taking.

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