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Melbourne Cup Tips - Who our experts are backing and why

  • Experts give their selections for the Melbourne Cup
Melbourne Cup

Who will win the 2019 Melbourne Cup (3200m)? The tipsters give their verdicts on who they think will triumph at Flemington on November 5.

Can Cross Counter go back to back? Will it be a home runner who adds their name to the honour roll? Or will another international come out on top this year?

The team will give their verdicts on who will win the Melbourne Cup.

Check out their Melbourne Cup predictions below.

Aaron Hamilton

Sticking with the Danny O’Brien-trained VOW AND DECLARE after tipping him in the Caulfield Cup where he was runner-up to the Japanese horse Mer De Glace. The winner went past Vow And Declare and quickly put a couple of length on him, but Vow And Declare was coming back again near the line to finish one length away. He did the same thing in the Queensland Derby (2400m) when Mr Quickie outsprinted him but Vow And Declare was closing hard late to whittle down the margin. He then won the Tatt’s Cup (3000m) where he clocked a quicker final 600m, 400m and 200m than he did in the Derby and, while both races were at Eagle Farm, the Cup was on a slightly inferior surface which should have yielded slower times. His sectionals over 3000m are comparable to Cross Counter’s sectionals in last year’s Melbourne Cup, and that shows Vow And Declare is a serious stayer. He’ll take plenty of improvement from his Caulfield Cup effort which was his second run this time in, and he can repel the international challenge and give the locals something to cheer about. 

Jackson Oldham

I can’t go past the current favourite CONSTANTINOPLE. He finished second behind South Pacific three starts ago, that horse wasn't awful behind Stradivarius in a Goodwood. He then went to the G3 Gordon Stakes (2412m) and was all over the place in the straight and cost himself the race really behind Nayef Road. Last start in G2 Voltigeur Stakes (2385m) he finished second behind the unbeaten Logician who franked that form winning the G1 English St Leger at his next start. Although the race as a whole didn’t rate well, what Constantinople did in the Caulfield Cup was outstanding. While others like Vow And Declare were able to build momentum and get an uninterruped run, Constantiople was ducking and weaving and got checked twice. He ran only the fifth-fastest 400m-200m split in the race and flashed home in the fastest final 200m of the race. The 3200m should suit and his timeform rating of 120 puts him right in this race.

Adam Cusworth

I am going with one of the local hopes in the Melbourne Cup and that horse is SURPRISE BABY. The lightly raced five-year-old takes on some serious international contenders but ticks a number of boxes from a Melbourne Cup perspective. He was an easy winner of the Adelaide Cup (3200m) back in March and following that he just missed out in a stirring battle in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington. He looks to have come back in great order this preparation and is on the up. When resuming, he ran on for 4th over the unsuitable 1600m in the Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, before producing a real dominant performance in Group 2 company in the Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington. The son of the 2009 Melbourne Cup winner, Shocking, Surprise Baby has a real sense of timing about him and can go very close in the race that stops the nation. 

Gary Emmerson

I really like the chances of PRINCE OF ARRAN this year. He ran a blinder 12 months ago to finish third, just three days after winning the Hotham Handicap to get into the Flemington showpiece. He has an added 1kg to carry compared to 12 months ago, that coming about for his penalty for the winning Geelong Cup last start. Prior to that run Prince of Arran was a gallant second to The Chosen One in the Herbert Power. He will be 1.5kg better off with that rival and getting weight this time from Cross Counter who conquered him in both the Cup and Dubai Gold Cup, and Ispolini who was second in that Dubai race. There's a lot to like about this globe-trotting international and I want this fighter in my corner. 

Steve Bennett

Having just 10 career starts behind him, SURPRISE BABY has already proven himself over the two mile journey by winning the Group 2 Adelaide Cup in fine style and has enjoyed an almost perfect preparation for the feature Spring Carnival event. Beaten a lip by Steel Prince in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes, the five-year-old son of former Cup winner Shocking missed a ballot exemption due to that loss and had to follow another path. The gelding did this and is now guaranteed a start after winning the Group 3 Bart Cummings (2520m) comfortably with 57kgs. He carried 53kgs to win the Adelaide Cup and will carry just a half kilo more than that in the cup. He is so well-weighted for a two-mile feature race winner, he should be there when the whips are cracking.

Trent Orwin

Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien prepares four-year-old gelding VOW AND DECLARE who finished second in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) earlier in the year. He then went on to win the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (3000m). He will be low down in the weights with 52kg and has the stamina to run out two miles. This campaign has been excellent with a fourth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and second in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m). The extra trip and an extra 1kg advantage over Mer De Glace gives Vow And Declare the chance to not only turn the tables on the Japanese stayer but capture the race that stops a nation. 

Mark Milnes

Last year's third placed horse PRINCE OF ARRAN is the one for mine. There’s been a lot to like this prep from the 5yo with a credible second in the Herbert Power before subsequently winning the Geelong Cup after having to do a ton of work last Wednesday. He has been slapped with a 1kg penalty for that win, however will still carry just 54kgs compared to the 58kg he has lugged in his last two runs. The extra distance shouldn’t be a factor. He looked like he still had plenty in the tank in last week's Geelong Cup victory and has a real shot of taking out the Melbourne Cup race in 2019.  

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Melbourne Cup Tips - Who our experts are backing and why

Who will win the 2019 Melbourne Cup (3200m)? The tipsters give their verdicts on who they think will triumph at Flemington on November 5.

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