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expert tips and analysis, who will win? form guide, verdict, odds, predicted trifecta, first 4

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Stuck trying to find the winner of the 2022 Melbourne Cup? We’ve got you covered.

Our expert runs through the field and tells you why every horse can, and can’t win, Tuesday’s great race.

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ULTIMATE GUIDE: Everything you need to know

DUMMIES’ GUIDE: How to place a bet

FULL FORM GUIDE: Why our expert is tipping a big upset

Cup parade returns to Melbourne | 02:31

1. GOLD TRIP Barrier: (13) Approx Pointsbet win/place odds: $15/$4.60

FOR: Class. He has the highest international rating in this big field, at 119, two points higher than next-best (the favourite, Deauville Legend). That’s why he was imported from Britain for last year’s Cox Plate. That didn’t happen, but he’s hit his straps this spring with a great second in the Caulfield Cup (2400m), still the best guide race for this, and a decent Cox Plate run. Top stable, great jockey, handles wet. He’s a stallion, and eight of those have won this in the last 14 runnings, four of them the same age – six. And No.1 is equal third most successful, with 11 wins. AGAINST: Whilst very talented, hasn’t raced past 2400m. British-breds can mostly make the 800m leap, but particularly if they’re younger and lightly-weighted (4YOs Rekindling, with 51.5kg in 2017, and Cross Counter, with 51 the year after). Big elephant in room though is despite coming close in some big races, he’s only won one of 15. Since starting stalls came into this race, in 1924, barrier 13’s only had four winners, though the last was fairly recently in 2011.

2. DUAIS (10) $31/$8

FOR: Classy staying mare whose trainer Ed Cummings learnt from the master of this race, his grandfather Bart, who trained 12 Melbourne Cup winners. She won two G1s against some of the best in the country over 2000m and 2400m last autumn, and tuned up for this ominously with a steady grind into eighth place in the 2400m Caulfield Cup, hinting she’d be peaking for the 3200m here, showing things were back on track after a flat run over 2000m the start before. Good gate – the equal-second best with seven wins, latest in 2008. Handles soft going, decent jockey in Hugh Bowman. Equal third-highest rating (116). Right age as a 5yo (44 wins, only one less than the top, 4YOs). No.2 equal third-best saddlecloth with 11 wins. AGAINST: Possibly the wrong gender, as only 14 Cups have been won by mares, and one mare accounted for three of those (Makybe Diva). And none won between her last in 2005 and Verry Elleegant last year, so, law of averages, etc. If it’s heavy, she doesn’t go well. Hasn’t raced beyond 2400m. And 55.5kg is a hefty weight over 3200m for a 5YO mare.

3. KNIGHTS ORDER (22) $16/$4.80

FOR: Tough, front-running stayer who has a great front-running jockey in Tim Clark. Has won two from three over 3200m and handles soft and heavy. Co-trainer is the great Gai Waterhouse, who won this in 2013 with Fiorente. Great, tough, run when a length third in Caulfield Cup after crossing to lead from gate 17. He’s an 8YO, and one of those won this two years back. Barrier looks bad but has had a fair five wins. AGAINST: still does have the widest barrier, and this horse is a leader, so might be hard to join that list of winners from gate 22 as he’ll have to work to get across to his favoured spot. No.3 has a pretty plain record, with only five wins. And while an 8YO won two years back, he was just the third in the history of this race. So he’s really the wrong age, and has not run a place in five starts at this track.

4. MONTEFILIA (11) $11/$3.50

FOR: Talented staying mare who powered to the line when fourth in the Caulfield Cup (for the second year running). Handles soft and heavy, top jockey in Jason Collett. Good middle barrier (nine wins, the best there is, although though none since 1989), and has the joint-best saddlecloth number in the history of the race, with 12 wins, including a mare last year. Right age at 5. Class: has equal third-highest rating (116) and has won four Group 1s. AGAINST: She’s another mare with 55.5, racing beyond 2500m for the first time. Jockey’s capable but has won only five G1s from 167 attempts. Also, if you’re big on averages, we’re seeking two winning mares in a row.

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I wish I win! noses the Golden Eagle! | 00:45

5. NUMERIAN (7) $61/$14

FOR: Excellent trainer in Annabel Neasham, and showed good form with tough fifth in Caulfield Cup after being ridden up on the pace. Great barrier from which to find a good position. Handles the wet and the weight isn’t much for a tough 7YO gelding. No.5 is equal 10th-best with eight wins. AGAINST: Barrier looks good but has only had two winners in Cup history. Hasn’t raced past 2400m. Some can make the leap, but the way this guy races – tending to run strongly and fight the jockey, rather than settle into a nice, calm rhythm, creates doubt about him getting the journey. They’ve put a cross-over nose band on him, which keeps their mouths closed and hopefully makes them settle better. It’s also a sign the stable has some doubts about him seeing out the trip.

6. WITHOUT A FIGHT (17) $11/$3.50

FOR: Tough looking English stayer with good form up to almost 2800m, which suggests he’ll get the trip. His dad is a great sire of stayers in Teofilo, who’s had two sons win this since 2018. Handles soft going and is at his peak with two wins in past three starts. Great international jockey aboard in England’s William Buick. The fact he’s made the long trip is a good sign. No.6 is OK, with eight wins and no fewer than seven since 1980. Barrier looks rough but has had a reasonable four winners, including a recent one in 2016. AGAINST: He’s untried in heavy going, if the rain sets in. Those recent wins have been in small fields, including a three-horse race three runs back. Has to battle 23 rivals this time, and from a wide gate. And if you’re superstitious, what kind of name is this for a racehorse?

7. CAMORRA (16) $51/$12

FOR: Is a stayer from Ireland and they’ve won a couple of these, including the first in the international era with Vintage Crop in 1993. Has won up to 2816m, two runs back, so he’ll probably stay the course. Has won in soft going and placed two from four in heavy. Jockey goes alright, with 17 G1 wins. AGAINST: While he won two runs ago his last start was a poor eighth, beaten 20 lengths, over the same course and distance. No.7 hasn’t been hugely successful in this race, with four wins. And gate 16 is very tricky, with only three winners.

8. DEAUVILLE LEGEND (9) $3.50/$1.60

FOR: Is a 4yo, and that’s the most successful age group in this race with 45 wins. He’s actually an English horse so he’s biologically only three, and they’ve come here to win a couple of times lately in Rekindling (2017) and Cross Counter (2018). Great number – lucky Chinese No.8 – which has had nine wins (equal fifth best). Handy barrier and a top jockey to navigate in Kerrin McEvoy, who’s won three of these. Formidable last start win in a top race over nearly 2400m, beaten a horse who subsequently came here and ran third in the Cox Plate. And he’s won at 2615m, and races like 3200m won’t worry him. Second-highest international rating at 117. Profiles well. AGAINST: The odds are the main thing. Looks incredibly short at around the $3.60 favourite mark, given there are always a handful of doubts about European visitors: How they acclimatise? Will they run a tough Australian-style 3200m, where most horses are eager to go harder throughout the race, as opposed to a more gently-run English versions where they bowl along and sprint home? And the big occasion – 100,000 people hooting and hollering. Many visitors haven’t seen such a thing before, and they can lose the plot before the race. He’s got 55kg, whereas Cross Counter and Rekindling had 51/51.5, And perhaps most importantly he’s untried in the wet. And whilst favourites have a handy overall record in the race (34 wins and 75 placings), only four have placed since 2006. Not to say he can’t win, but gee they’re skinny odds.

9. STOCKMAN (2) $29/$8

FOR: Profiles well as one of these tough Australian geldings who’ll go all day. Won over 2600m in Sydney two starts back. Good inside barrier from which to take up a good spot (two wins). Light enough weight and he’s an honest trier who always puts in, typical of the horses in Sydney trainer Joe Pride’s stable. His best thing is he loves the wet. Four wins and five placings in 14 runs on soft; four wins and two placing in 10 goes on heavy. AGAINST: Has had an unusual prep for a Melbourne Cup in that it’s all been in Sydney, and he’s in fact never been the Melbourne way of going (anti-clockwise). That’s a slight worry, but not a major one at spacious Flemington. Jockey Sam Clipperton isn’t so much known as a big race rider. No. 9 isn’t among the most successful, with five wins.

10. VOW AND DECLARE (4) $26/$7

FOR: The thing that’s screaming out: he’s won this before. In 2019. Precious few horses have been able to win this race twice – it’s hard enough to win one – but it does answer the biggest question about this race: will they get the trip? You know he can. Plus his astute trainer Danny O’Brien can. Great barrier (seven wins, third-best overall) and a top jockey in Blake Shinn, who’s also shown he can win these things, having won it in 2008. Is proven on soft going, and while he’s had one flop run on heavy, that was in an unsuitable 2000m WFA race. He’s more a handicapper. He won the Cup with just 52kg in 2019, and because of that had to carry some hefty weights like 61kg subsequently, and ran poorly. But whilst he faded out of viewi for a couple of years there, he seems back to his best this spring, and ran a great sixth in the Caulfield Cup. AGAINST: There’s still some doubt about his liking for heavy going. And that damning stat about dual winners: only five in the history of the race, and the latest was a freak in Makybe Diva who won three of them. No.10 not so flash, with four winners.

11. YOUNG WERTHER (19) $41/$9.50

FOR: A stablemate of Vow And Declare, so he’s from a Cup-winning stable. Is a 5YO gelding, so that’s a good profile, and has run some tidy placings in big races, including a second in the ATC Derby at Randwick. Proven in soft going. Good big-race jockey in Damian Lane. AGAINST: Has had a big reputation since those 3YO days but hasn’t really lived up to it, having won only once in 14 career starts. Ordinary last start 10th in Cox Plate. Doesn’t seem like he’s in the form or has the ability to overcome that wide gate.

12. HOO YA MAL (14) $15/$4.50

FOR: That profile of an English 3YO/Australian 4YO. Has won up to 2816m in England, which makes it likely he’ll get the 3200m. In a top stable with Gai Waterhouse (who won this in 2013 with Fiorente) and co-trainer Adrian Bott. Great jockey in Craig Williams, who won this in 2019. Proven in soft and heavy. Big thing is a lucky number – No.12 having the equal-best Cup record with 12 wins. Good middle barrier, with five winners overall, and three since 2003. AGAINST: No.12 has gone well historically, but only one win since 1978. And his 54kg is, again, not exactly 51.5 or 51 over this gruelling trip. Another who’s been beating small fields in England recently.

13. SERPENTINE (21) $81/$19

FOR: Good run on Saturday when second in a traditional lead-up to this, over 2500m, the Archer Stakes. Won the English Derby in 2020, so he obviously has class on his side. Has a good jockey aboard for distance races in John Allen and, perhaps most importantly, comes from the stable of mega-owner Lloyd Williams, who always sets a big plan to win this race and has done so seven times before. No.13’s unlucky for some, but has had eight wins. AGAINST: Ordinary wet form, and hasn’t been beyond that 2500m of Saturday, and having raced on Saturday means he has to perform the quick back-up over this big test, and from a wide gate.

14. DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (12) $41/$9.50

FOR: Best thing is his 3200m form. He’s won once and placed third once, and both were this year. Has a capable rider in Daniel Moor who finally cracked into the Group 1 sphere only last season. Astute trainer in Phillip Stokes. AGAINST: Those 3200m races were lowly-rated affairs, winning the Adelaide Cup and placing third in the Sydney Cup. Wet form ordinary. No.14 nothing to write home about, with four wins. Gate 12 has also had just two wins, and none since 1949!

15. GRAND PROMENADE (1) $81/$19

FOR: Top stable in Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace. Has some strong staying form and is a big horse suited to Flemington, where he’s won over 2600m and 2500m, and ran a very meritorious sixth in last year’s Cup. Good inside barrier, with two wins since 1990. AGAINST: That form was in the lead-up to last year’s Cup, and this year it’s a different story. Ran fourth in the Moonee valley Cup last start over 2500m, but was 12 lengths behind the winner. No.15 not among most successful saddlecloth numbers, with five wins.

16. ARAPAHO (18) $81/$19

FOR: Not a great deal. But the main thing is wet form, with five wins and four placings from 14 soft starts, and a win and three placings from seven on heavy. Fair second last start behind Stockman over 2600m at Randwick. One of two female jockeys in the race, if you like backing them. Barrier 18 had the winner only last year! AGAINST: Pretty plain form for a race like this. Has to overcome the wide barrier and jockey Rachel King hasn’t got a great record in big races. That win last year was just the second barrier 18 ever. Can lightning strike twice in successive editions?

Loft ruled out of the Melbourne Cup | 00:23

17. EMISSARY (3) $41/$9.50

FOR: Won the Geelong Cup last start, and that’s been a great lead-up to this, with recent winners of that and then the Cup being Media Puzzle (2002), Americain (2010), and Dunaden (2011), and with Bauer coming a narrow second at Flemington in 2008. Canny trainer in Mike Moroney who’s won this before with Brew in 2000. AGAINST: Wet form just ok, with one soft win and no placings from two heavy starts. Hasn’t gone beyond 2500m, when he was third in last year’s Archer Stakes. Not a huge big race jockey in Patrick Moloney, competent though he is.

18. LUNAR FLARE (12) — SCRATCHED

19. SMOKIN’ ROMANS (15) $16/$4.80

FOR: Top female rider in Jamie Kah, and leading stable in Maher-Eustace. Won Turnbull Stakes two runs back to become favourite for the Caulfield Cup, where he finished seventh, not far off the winner, and jockey Kah wasn’t that proud of her ride. Proven in the wet. AGAINST: Despite that ride, where the horse got cluttered up around the turn and then found the worst part of the track, you’d have liked to have seen more in the straight, especially rising to 3200m when his longest race has been 2500m. Barrier 15’s had only three wins, latest back in 1971.

20. TRALEE ROSE (20) $91/$21

FOR: Is a grinding, staying mare who can probably see out 3200m. Won the Geelong Cup last year, and is proven on soft going. Fair run in Caulfield Cup leading into this, when 13th but not beaten by far, and grinding along in the straight like she was looking for more distance. AGAINST: Came ninth in last year’s Cup as one of the fancies, which was a bit plain. Testing wide barrier. Untried in heavy, and trainer Simon Wilde and jockey Dean Yendall aren’t known as big day people really.

21. POINT NEPEAN – SCRATCHED

22. HIGH EMOCEAN (8) $51/$12

FOR: The Maher-Eustace touch, and is a last-start winner, having taken out last week’s Bendigo Cup. Winning form is good form, they say. Has won up to 2500. Great barrier, with eight wins (second best) and she’s an honest mare who should find a good spot for a good young jockey in Teo Nugent. Light weight and good in the wet. AGAINST: Bendigo Cup-Melbourne Cup double winners have been few and far between in recent decades. Class factor isn’t great, with her rating of 102 the second lower.

23. INTERPRETATION (6) $41/$10

FOR: The Maher-Eustace touch again. Good inside barrier. What else? … What else? Oh yeah – No.23 won back-to-back Melbourne Cups in 2018 and 2019! AGAINST: Quite a lot, like an abject absence of form, including last start sixth in the Geelong Cup. And barrier six hasn’t won here in the past 40 years. His wet form is ordinary, and he has the lowest rating in the race, on 100. Enough said.

24. REALM OF FLOWERS (5) $9.50/$3.10

FOR: Quite a lot. Will stay all day, has a very light weight in 50kg, is well proven on soft and heavy, and has a great barrier, with six winners. Also from canny trainers in father-and-son team Anthony and Sam Freedman. Has won at the track, and was shaping as a decent Cup chance last spring before going amiss. Has won up to 2800m, at Flemington, and has been fifth over 3200m in a Sydney Cup. Gate 5 has a good recent record, winning this back-to-back in 2012-13 and six times overall (fourth-best). AGAINST: Not a great deal. Jockey Damien Thornton is capable but not known much for the big events. And this mare was entered on Saturday but scratched to go straight into this. So trainer could think she’s ready, or was there a bit of doubt about the how she’s going? Not a huge worry though, as it’s probably the former, and trainer Anthony Freedman has been involved with five Cup wins when working his his brother Lee back in the day.

TIPS: 1. VOW AND DECLARE; 2. Duais; 3. Montefilia; 4. Without A Fight

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