Melbourne Cup Day 2023 is finally here and a massive 10-race program awaits punters at Flemington for one of the biggest days on the Australian sporting calendar. The 163rd running of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) headlines proceedings, with 24 runners looking to etch their name into equine immortality. A perfect spring day is forecast, with a top of 29 degrees forecast for Flemington. The track will be a Good 4 following the favourable forecast leading into Melbourne Cup Day, with the rail coming out 2m the entire circuit. These track conditions are subject to change following VRC Derby Day.
A massive day of racing is set to commence at 10:45am AEDT.
Keep reading for our free race-by-race preview and quaddie selections for Melbourne Cup Day 2023
Race 1: Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m)
The traditional opener to Melbourne Cup Day, the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) has attracted a small field of eight juveniles set to do battle down the Flemington straight. Admitted was a dominant debut winner at Bendigo on October 21 and looked to be a classy animal in doing so. The Brazen Beau colt made all under his own steam and if he can translate that form to the Flemington 1000m, he is going to be hard to run down. James McDonald takes the steer and with Blue Stratum expected to lead, Admitted can just sit outside the favourite, and with a bit of luck, prove too strong for his rivals late.
TheListed Melbourne Cup Day Plate (1800m) has attracted a relatively small field, but we’re confident the race sets up perfectly for Forgot You. The five-year-old hasn’t won in over two years, but he may not got any better opportunity to do so then what he does on Tuesday. He was beaten a half-length in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley when running into an in-form galloper, and meets a field that is no harder. In the small field, Blake Shinn will have Forgot You in a striking position on the home turn. If the real Forgot You arrives at Flemington, he should prove a touch too good for his rivals late on.
One of our better bets on Cup Day comes in the Listed Batman Stakes (1800m) as Aztec State looks hard to go past. The three-year-old gelding was a hard luck story at Caulfield on October 18 when struggling to find clear air at the right time. He quickened nicely on debut to score his maiden win at Bendigo on September 27, and everything he has shown so far in his two start career suggests the 1800m will suit perfectly. Mark Zahra will look to find a spot midfield with cover from barrier 10, and if Aztec State can take natural improvement from his first couple of starts, he should just be simply winning on Tuesday.
Godolphin hold a strong hand in the fourth, but we’re hoping Stanislaus can get the better of his more-favoured stablemate Barber. The three-year-old gelding arrive in time to win his last start at Rosehill over the 1100m, but we have no issue with him stepping back to the 1000m. There looks to be a fair bit of speed with the likes of Capitalisation, Holy Racket and Wiggum looking to lead the field up. That should mean Damian Lane can take a sit just off the speed and stalk the leaders, pull out with 300m to go and hopefully Stanislaus can arrive in time once again.
Our best bet of the day comes up in the BM96 over 2800m as Mr Waterville looks to bring up an overdue win. The Chris Waller-trained stayer was beaten 0.8 of a length in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m), and that race is much harder than what he faces here on Tuesday. Barrier 13 is offset by the fact he will be at the rear of the field upon settling and should get the race to suit perfectly. Rebel Racer will make this a genuinely run 2800m event, but if Mr Waterville can absorb the pressure and see out the trip, he looks to be the best horse in the race, with the right form lines.
The traditional BM90 for grey horses only is one of the most visually pleasing sights in racing. A field of 13 greys will vie for the $150,000 on offer and we’re expecting Platinum Wolf to walk away with a major share of the prize packet. She has been getting too far back in running at Murray Bridge and then at Morphettville at his two starts this campaign, but Flemington should suit him perfectly. The son of Puissance de Lune has a thunderous turn of foot for this level and despite perhaps giving her rivals a class edge, Platinum Wolf should finish over the top of her rivals in fine fashion.
Right To Party put in an eye-catching run when finishing fourth, beaten a half-length in the Listed William Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. The Zoustar filly produced a strong finish to suggest that the 1400m at this stage of her campaign should suit her perfectly. From barrier four on Tuesday, Beau Mertens can have this filly settled a touch closer to the speed compared to where she has been settling in her recent starts. With a genuine clip expected, Right To Party has one of the best finishing sprints in the event, and with even luck can cause an upset at a nice each-way price with online bookmakers.
In the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m), we’re hoping the Mark Walker-trained Skew Wiff can bounce back to her best. The four-year-old mare was racing in tight room at Caulfield in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) when beaten 1.3 lengths. Her win the start prior in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) is more than good enough form to take out a race like this Group 3. Opie Bosson will look to roll forward having drawn barrier 12, with the Kiwi mare set to lob outside expected leader Kazou. She brings genuine weight-for-age form, and as long as Skew Wiff is clean from the barriers, he can claim Group 3 glory on Tuesday.
Dubai Poet is five weeks between runs, but we are confident he can send us home a winner on Melbourne Cup Day. The five-year-old gelding was a handy Sandown winner two runs back, before he chased home the in-form Rheinberg when racing without much luck. He can settle in the first four under Damian Lane, having drawn barrier four. This is Dubai Poet’s first look at Flemington, but the way he can build through his gears, and produce a smart turn of foot, it should suit the Flemington 1400m perfectly.