Which horses are running in the 2019 Melbourne Cup?

1. Best Solution

Best Solution Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Bay Horse

Sire: Kodiac (GB)

Dam: Al Andalyya (USA)

Jockey: Pat Cosgrave

Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor

Career: 22 (9-2-3)

Best Solution takes top weight into the 2018 Melbourne Cup after four wins on the bounce. The last of those was an impressive victory in the Caulfield Cup on debut in Australia. The Godolphin star fits the profile to a tee: a proven European stayer with form over 2400m. The five-year-old has never raced beyond 2500m, but the sit-and-sprint nature of the Melbourne Cup should suit it down to the ground.

2. The Cliffsofmoher

Cliffsofmoher Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Bay Horse

Sire: Galileo (IRE)

Dam: Wave (IRE)

Jockey: Ryan Moore

Trainer: A O’Brien

Career: 17 (3-2-3)

The Cliffsofmoher attracted plenty of attention on its Australian debut, smashing the last 600m of the Caulfield Stakes to finish fourth. The Irish runner followed that up with a placing in the Caulfield Cup, where it crossed just under two lengths behind Best Solution. Like that horse, The Cliffsofmoher is untested over two miles and gives up a bit of weight to the major contenders.

3. Magic Circle

Magic Circle Melbourne Cup 2018 7yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Makfi (GB)

Dam: Minkova (IRE)

Jockey: Corey Brown

Trainer: Ian Williams

Career: 21 (8-1-1)

Magic Circle approaches its Australian debut in career-best form. The seven-year-old gelding stormed home by six lengths in a first-up win at the Chester Cup back in May, then breezed home by a similar margin two weeks later in the Henry II Stakes. It made some very handy horses looks very pedestrian in the latter run, including Red Verdon and Weekender.

4. Chestnut Coat

Chestnut Coat Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Chestnut Horse

Sire: Heart’s Cry (JPN)

Dam: White Veil (JPN)

Jockey: Yuga Kawada

Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi

Career: 18 (4-5-1)

Chestnut Coat struggled in its first Australian run, winding up 13th in the Caulfield Cup. That was not the Japanese stayer’s first failure on a soft track, so connections will be hoping for much firmer conditions at Flemington. Distance should not be a factor after the five-year-old finished less than two lengths back of the winner in the 3200m Tenno Sho.

5. Muntahaa

Muntahaa Melbourne Cup 2018 6yo Grey Gelding

Sire: Dansili (GB)

Dam: Qertaas (IRE)

Jockey: Jim Crowley

Trainer: J H Gosden

Career: 15 (4-1-4)

Muntahaa arrives on the back of a sensational win over 2816m in the Ebor Handicap in York. Jim Crowley was in the saddle for that race and takes the reins again at Flemington. A lack of lead-up races in Australia means there is no real hype around the son of Dansili, even though the horse has taken on more distance than the likes of Best Solution and The Cliffsofmoher.

6. Sound Check

Sound Check Caulfield Cup 2018 6yo Brown Horse

Sire: Lando (GER)

Dam: Sky Dancing (IRE)

Jockey: Jordan Childs

Trainer: M D Moroney

Career: 17 (7-2-1)

Sound Check came into the Caulfield Cup with two wins and two placings under the belt, but the leisurely pace of the race did not suit the German-bred galloper at all. It can handle the distance, however, having won two starts ago in a 3200m at Group Two level. Form around top weight Best Solution in Europe also works in Sound Check’s favour.

7. Who Shot Thebarman

Who Shot Thebarman Melbourne Cup 2018 10yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Yamanin Vital (NZ)

Dam: Ears Carol (NZ)

Jockey: Ben Melham

Trainer: C J Waller

Career: 55 (11-7-4)

Will it be fourth time lucky for Who Shot Thebarman? The 10-year-old Kiwi is something of a cult hero at Flemington, having run third behind Protectionist in 2014 and fifth to Almandin two years later. It won the Sydney Cup over two miles earlier this year and finished well in the Moonee Valley Cup last up. Expect this name to feature in more than a few exotics and place bets on Tuesday.

8. Ace High

Ace High Melbourne Cup 2018 4yo Brown Horse

Sire: High Chaparral (IRE)

Dam: Come Sunday (AUS)

Jockey: Tye Angland

Trainer: David Payne

Career: 22 (5-3-0)

Track conditioning is the key for Ace High, which has gone unplaced in all six of its runs on soft ground. One of those was last time out in the Caulfield Cup, where it ran 15th in a field of 18. The son of High Chaparral has never raced further than 2500m, but it won the Victoria Derby last year and should enjoy the firmer turf at Flemington this week.

9. Marmelo

Marmelo Melbourne Cup 2018 6yo Bay Horse

Sire: Duke Of Marmalade (IRE)

Dam: Capriolla (GB)

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Trainer: H Morrison

Career: 16 (5-6-1)

Connections claimed Marmelo was underdone after it ran a disappointing ninth in last year’s Melbourne Cup. The British and Irish stayer came into that race off a win in the Caulfield Cup, but this time around it heads to Flemington without lead-up races in Australia. The recent form is good, however, with two wins and two placings in four runs.

10. Avilius

Avilius Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Brown Gelding

Sire: Pivotal (GB)

Dam: Alessandria (GB)

Jockey: Glyn Schofield

Trainer: James Cummings

Career: 12 (6-1-2)

Avilius has starred in Australia, winning four on the trot before running fourth to Winx in the Cox Plate. The Godolphin galloper was especially impressive in The Bart Cummings, where it carried hefty weight over 2500m. The gelding is untried at this distance, but it does have plenty of form around the likes of Cracksman and Finche back in the UK.

11. Yucatan

Yucatan Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Bay Horse

Sire: Galileo (IRE)

Dam: Six Perfections (FR)

Jockey: James McDonald

Trainer: A O’Brien

Career: 13 (3-3-3)

Yucatan bolted into Melbourne Cup contention with a comprehensive win over 2400m in the Herbert Power. The margin of victory was only around 1.25 lengths by the time it crossed the line, but only because jockey James McDonald put on the brakes with the result well and truly wrapped up midway down the final straight. The five-year-old son of Galileo will be hard to beat at middle weight.

12. Auvray

Auvray Melbourne Cup 2018 8yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Le Havre (IRE)

Dam: Ameyrah (IRE)

Jockey: Tommy Berry

Trainer: R A Freedman

Career: 39 (8-4-1)

Auvray has registered only one placing in its last four runs, but the most recent of those was a strong effort on heavy ground in the Metropolitan. Middling results mean the eight-year-old Irish gelding will start as a rank outsider at Flemington, although it has decent form over comparable distance with a pair of wins at 3000m.

13. Finche

Finche Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Chestnut Horse

Sire: Frankel (GB)

Dam: Binche (USA)

Jockey: Zac Purton

Trainer: C J Waller

Career: 9 (3-0-3)

Finche has a few admirers after finishing well to run third in its Australian debut at the Geelong Cup. That followed a comfortable win over 2500m in the Prix de Reux at Deauville, where the son of Frankel outclassed a former Melbourne Cup runner in Tiberian. The pedigree is there, and UK form around the likes of Avilius and Cracksman is promising.

14. Red Cardinal

Red Cardinal Melbourne Cup 2018 7yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Montjeu (IRE)

Dam: Notable (GB)

Jockey: Damien Oliver

Trainer: D K Weir

Career: 16 (5-3-2)

Red Cardinal was a $16 chance in the Melbourne Cup last year, but it failed to keep up with the pace and ran 11 lengths behind Rekindling. The Darren Weir-trained gelding has recorded only one placing in its last four starts and will need to show considerable improvement to have any hope of contending at Flemington on Tuesday.

15. Vengeur Masque

Vengeur Masque Melbourne Cup 2018 7yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Monsun (GER)

Dam: Venetian Beauty (USA)

Jockey: Patrick Moloney

Trainer: M D Moroney

Career: 26 (4-5-0)

If nothing else, Vengeur Masque has pedigree in its favour. The seven-year-old gelding is a son of Monsun, from which came Melbourne Cup winners in 2014 (Fiorente), 2016 (Almandin) and 2017 (Rekindling). Although it has not placed in four starts, Patrick Moloney’s mount put together a solid run in The Bart Cummings and won the Queen Victoria Stakes here last year.

16. Ventura Storm

Ventura Storm Melbourne Cup 2018 6yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Zoffany (IRE)

Dam: Sarawati (IRE)

Jockey: Mark Zahra

Trainer: D & B Hayes and T Dabernig

Career: 29 (7-3-2)

Ventura Storm comes in off a track-record win in the Moonee Valley Cup. The six-year-old Irish import also looked good in the Caulfield Cup despite the sluggish pace of the race and was not far behind superstar mare Winx in the Turnbull Stakes. Ridden by Mark Zahra, the gelding has a few followers despite having no experience over two miles.

17. A Prince of Arran

A Prince of Arran Melbourne Cup 2018 6yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Shirocco (GER)

Dam: Storming Sioux (GB)

Jockey: Michael Walker

Trainer: Charlie Fellowes

Career: 28 (5-6-3)

A Prince of Arran booked passage to the Melbourne Cup with a well-executed win in the Lexus Stakes. The gelding has gone the distance before, winning a seven-horse affair in Dubai earlier this year. The big question is whether the son of Shirroco can deliver similar returns in a much bigger, much more competitive field in Australia’s biggest horse race.

18. Nakeeta

Nakeeta Melbourne Cup 2018 8yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Sixties Icon (GB)

Dam: Easy Red (IRE)

Jockey: Regan Bayliss

Trainer: Iain Jardine

Career: 38 (5-8-3)

Nakeeta ran fifth here last year after winning the Ebor Handicap, but the form line is nowhere near as impressive this time around. The eight-year-old has not managed a single place finish in the last 12 months and lost by seven lengths to Muntahaa in defence of the Ebor. Unsurprisingly, the son of Sixties Icon and Easy Red will start at long odds in this year’s Melbourne Cup betting markets.

19. Sir Charles Road

Sir Charles Road Melbourne Cup 2018 5yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Myboycharlie (IRE)

Dam: Giant Mystique (AUS)

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

Trainer: L O’Sullivan & A Scott

Career: 24 (6-5-4)

Sir Charles Road commenced its spring campaign with an uninspiring seventh behind Best Of Days in the Coongy Cup at Caulfield. It showed improvement in the Bendigo Cup, where it ran third while carrying 57kg. Two attempts over 3200m have returned a fifth in the Auckland Cup and a podium finish in this year’s Sydney Cup, but the five-year-old might lack the pure pace for this class.

20. Zacada

Zacada Melbourne Cup 2018 6yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Zabeel (NZ)

Dam: Lacada (AUS)

Jockey: Damian Lane

Trainer: M Baker & A Forsman

Career: 36 (4-7-5)

Zacada has shown plenty over two miles and looked set for a big spring after running second to Who Shot Thebarman in the Sydney Cup. That form has vanished, however, with no placings and a best finish of eighth in four runs since returning from a spell. That being the case, most punters are looking elsewhere for Melbourne Cup value bets.

21. Runaway

Runaway Melbourne Cup 2018 4yo Bay/Brown Gelding

Sire: Manhattan Rain (AUS)

Dam: Catshaan (AUS)

Jockey: Stephen Baster

Trainer: G Waterhouse & A Bott

Career: 17 (4-3-3)

Runaway lived up to its name in the Geelong Cup, where it led from the front and held on for the win. The four-year-old put on a similar show in April when it took out the St Leger over 2800m at Flemington. This is a horse to keep an eye on, to be sure, but 2018 might be a year too soon for the four-year-old Waterhouse and Bott prospect.

22. Youngstar

Youngstar Melbourne Cup 2018 4yo Bay Mare

Sire: High Chaparral (IRE)

Dam: Starspangled (IRE)

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: C J Waller

Career: 12 (4-1-3)

Youngstar has shone brightly since moving into open grade racing. The four-year-old mare impressed in the Tramway Stakes, then again in the Shannon Stakes, and especially when running within a length of Winx at the Turnbull Stakes. The talent is there for all to see, but does this rising star have the big-race experience to deliver Craig Williams his first Melbourne Cup win?

23. Cross Counter

Cross Counter Melbourne Cup 2018 4yo Bay Gelding

Sire: Teofilo (IRE)

Dam: Waitress (USA)

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Career: 7 (4-2-0)

When a horse’s worst finish in 12 starts is fourth place, punters are going to take notice. Two wins in three and only 51kg in the saddle has catapulted Cross Counter into serious contention for the Melbourne Cup. The Charlie Appleby-trained gelding recently copped a cut to the leg, but everything is looking hunky dory for its Australian debut.

24. Rostropovich

Rostropovich Melbourne Cup 2018 4yo Bay Horse

Sire: Frankel (GB)

Dam: Tyranny (GB)

Jockey: Wayne Lordan

Trainer: A O’Brien

Career: 13 (4-2-2)

Rostropovich has been there or thereabouts in each of its last five runs, which include a respectable fifth-place finish behind Winx in the Cox Plate. The four-year-old son of Frankel has good form around the likes of Latrobe and Saxon Warrior, but the 3200m journey might prove a little too much for a horse that has never attempted the distance before.

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