The Melbourne Cup form guide with the 100% winning record is back! And so is last year’s winner, Dunaden. But more of him in a second. For the undecided, the desperate and the vengeful trolls, here is the Tunnel’s rundown of this year’s Cup runners. Good luck to all.
It has been a big twelve months for last year’s Melbourne Cup winner. In between brokering a European bailout of Greece, carrying the Olympic flag for France and being involved in a love triangle with Francois Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler, Dunaden has still found time to win some very good horse races. Last seen in public winning the Caulfield Cup on two hind legs whilst reciting lewd anagrams of “Americain”. The handicapper has tried to put a stop to this by giving Dunaden an extra kilo. As the French say: pfffffffhh!
Don’t believe all the spin in the press about French comraderie. Americain hates Dunaden. Dunaden took what was rightfully Americain’s: last year’s Cup, the Olympic Flag and Valerie Trierweiler. Sure, Americain has the good looks and the much loved Damien Oliver aboard but all that jealousy is going to weigh Americain down when it really matters in the closing furlong. Will be there at the finish but probably behind Du-know-who.
European horse named after unpalatable Scandinavian ice cream. Will leave a similar taste in punters’ mouths if he somehow wins on Tuesday.
4. RED CADEAUX
Last year’s Cup runner-up is back again. Unless you are my father, who insists that Red Cadeaux actually won last year’s race and that the photo finish was a French conspiracy. Just like the Rainbow Warrior, or how Francois Hollande was elected president even though Dunaden got 69% of the popular vote. For my father’s sake, I hope Red Cadeaux runs well again. But, Papa, you can’t beat the French.
One of several “Australian” horses purchased from overseas to win “our” Cup. If you back this horse, you are condoning dodgy overseas imports. Either back a real Australian horse or be honest to yourself and back an overseas horse that is proud of where it comes from.
6. VOILA ICI
Former Italian horse with a French name, which no one on Sky Channel can pronounce. Worse still, these people actually think the name is Italian. However you pronounce his name, Voila Ici ran last in the Caulfield Cup, which is not a good formline for a longer race with better horses. Voili Ici is grey, though, so if you like backing greys, he will stand out. Particularly way back there at the rear of the field.
Picture the scene. It is a noisy, crowded TAB. Faces and voices swirl like a crowded 19th century ballroom. In the corner, Elizabeth Bennett sucks thoughtfully on a ballpoint pen as she debates who she will choose in this year’s Cup. With nimble, soldierly feet, you dance towards her and mutter, as if to no one, “God’s oath. That horse ran third in an Arc to Sea the Stars!’ Elizabeth turns towards you. “What did you say?” You hesitate, breathe in, then exhale: “Cavalryman.” Who cares if the horse doesn’t win? You may not win the battle but you’ll probably win the war.
8. MOUNT ATHOS
Early favourite for the race and another European runner. Do you see a pattern here? I am sure Tony Abbott will put an end to this overseas invasion, once he gets in. Oh my God. Did I just say Tony Abbott will be elected? Help! The Australian is making me think like them!!! And The Australian says that Mount Athos will run well. NO, NO, NO!!!
Melbourne Cup training legend and Australia’s most overrated comedian, Bart Cummings, has two horses with no chance of winning this year’s Cup. Sanagas is definitely his best chance of not winning. Watch it open at $15 on the tote, regardless. No wonder we are all going to vote for Tony.
Young rastafarian upstart who has no right to be running in the Melbourne Cup at only his eighth start. Cut your hair, get a job and run a proper Cups campaign. I do love the kid, though. Get up. Stand up.
Euro horse that Gai Waterhouse stuffed into her handbag at the duty free shop on the way back from her latest overseas trip. Husband Robbie was horrified to hear it cost her a million dollars. Gai insists she will get her money back straight away by winning the Cup. Except of course, if Glencadam Gold wins it. Why do people say Julia Gillard is a liar but they’re prepared to listen to Gai all the time?
12. GALILEO’S CHOICE
Students of astronomy will debate whether Galileo had a choice, given that the earth actually revolves around the sun. Luckily, Galileo isn’t alive in 2012 because he’d have no choice but to back this craftily-trained, part-time hurdling flat horse from Ireland. Only the Inquisition would doubt the great man’s wisdom.
13. GLENCADAM GOLD
Former Cup favourite whose trainer, Gai Waterhouse, insists has had a perfect preparation for the big one. For future reference, other horse trainers should note that a perfect preparation involves being beaten 8 lengths as a favourite at your last start, having an injury problem subsequently and changing the jockey to the one you previously took off because they weren’t experienced enough. Gai-liar!
14. GREEN MOON
If Galileo was alive today, he would tuck his Galileo’s Choice ticket into his pocket and tell you that the moon is definitely not green. And is definitely not made out of cheese either. Green Moon was Cox Plate favourite and ran a shocker. As Gai Waterhouse would say, a perfect preparation for the Cup.
Second placegetter two years ago with wonderful staying pedigree, by Zabeel out of Natalie Wood. Hang on – Maluckyday’s mother is Natalie Wood??? Why isn’t this a bigger news story? Natalie Wood drowned 31 years ago and now her 6 year old son is running in Australia’s biggest horse race. That just doesn’t make any sense. Where’s Galileo when you need him?
We wrote something pithy and witty about Mourayan last year and then he was scratched on race day. Sod him.
17. MY QUEST FOR PEACE
This Euro is actually called Quest For Peace but because there is an Australian horse with that name, they’ve had to bung “My” in front of it. Expect a change to “Your Quest for Peace” when it doesn’t win on Tuesday.
Aussie horse who couldn’t win last year with much better form. Has won a Sydney Cup since then, which he will probably be telling the other horses around him at the back of this year’s Melbourne Cup finish.
19. TAC DU BOISTRON
Dastardly grey French horse who managed to get through customs by asserting that he knew Americain and Dunaden. Promptly (or should that be, slowly) ran distant near last in Geelong Cup. Apparently needs it to rain a lot and for the other Euros to get on the piss at Crown Casino Monday night.
20. LIGHTS OF HEAVEN
We all make mistakes. I once told a punting acquaintance that Lights of Heaven was potentially the best horse that trainer Peter Moody would ever have. As in the guy who trains Black Caviar. Doh! But hang on: how many Cups has Black Caviar won? NONE!!! Whereas Lights of Heaven has just run a cracking third in the Caulfield Cup, has no weight and will sit on a potentially middling pace from a beautiful gate. I can just picture it now, Channel 7 racing coverage for the rest of the week dissolving to never-ending ad breaks to the strains of Maria McKee’s “Show Me Heaven”. But, obviously, only if Dunaden agrees to it.
Does. Not. Run. Two. Miles.
Bart knows this. I know this. You know this after the last two Melbourne Cups, don’t you? But yet, somewhere, everywhere, Australians will reach into their pockets and back Precedence because Bart is the trainer. Mugs.
22. UNUSUAL SUSPECT
No one knows why this horse is in the field. The jockey has been told to bring a letter of explanation to the barriers else he and the horse will be turned away, probably to Nauru. I doubt he could win there either.
Just when you thought every possible, wonderful punny name involving supersire Zabeel had been exhausted – and was there any better one than Jessicabeel? – along comes Zabeelionaire. Sure, he might not be the fastest horse ever but he has won a South Australian Derby this year and, hey, he has a cool name.
Won the Lexus on Saturday. You’d think he’d be happy with a car but, no, he wants to win the Cup too. Another of these greedy imported “Australian” horses. Pah.
THE TUNNEL SELECTS:
2 Lights of Heaven
3 Galileo’s Choice