Seville can deliver Cup
Ian Ogg's horse-by-horse guide to Tuesday morning's Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
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His 2011 victory in this race was the middle leg of a remarkable hat-trick but he had more in front than behind when a beaten favourite 12 months ago and he looks up against it from top-weight, even allowing for the fact that he wasn't at his best. The last seven year old winner was in 1938.
The reigning champion hasn't won a race since and was ruled out of the Caulfield Cup with a high temperature. This race will have been the plan, however, and he's entitled to come on for his run in the Cox Plate but the handicapper may well have his measure
Remarkable campaigner who came within a famous victory in this race in 2011 before a respectable eighth from a wide draw last year. His second in the Dubai World Cup in March suggests that he's as good as ever but needs more than that from this mark.
Impressive winner of the Hardwicke Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute and has gradually found his feet in Australia, passing the post in front on his last two starts. Should relish this trip and looks a leading player for connections who gear their horses' seasons around the Cup.
Has arguably performed as well as he's ever done this season, winning twice and shaping nicely on his prep before leaving for Australia. His work at the training centre has attracted positive comments from the home team as well but he doesn't look thrown in at the weights.
Group Two winner for Sir Michael Stoute who was runner-up in last year's renewal on debut for this yard and he has continued to perform with credit in the intervening period. Still feasibly weighted, caught the eye last time, and holds a favourite's chance to give trainer her first win in the race.
Beat the then Cup favourite over a mile here at the start of September and has run well in defeat subsequently but has plenty to prove as he steps up to this trip. Strong finish over the 10 furlongs of the Cox Plate offers some encouragement but he doesn't scream 'winner'.
Marco Botti saddled Jakkalberry to finish third at 80/1 last year and he has a far stronger candidate in this experienced six year old. Finished a good second in the Caulfield Cup, style of racing and shouldn't stretch his stamina and has a jockey with a point to prove after being slated by the local media for his ride in last year's race.
Failed to beat a rival home 12 months ago when injuring a hip and, while that clearly wasn't his running, it's hard to enthuse about his chances of burying that memory. Showed a glimmer of encouragement last time but no more than that.
Another of the six runners from the 'Williams stable' and he put himself in the frame with a close run in the Turnbull Stakes before winning the Caulfield Cup. A good track record offers hope that he can become the 12th horse to complete the double and overcome his penalty.
Beaten under five lengths into seventh last year so the demands of this test certainly suit but he's an infrequent winner at stakes level and is unlikely to improve on that record in a race as competitive as this.
Looked to have a big future when second in both the Racing Post Trophy and Dante Stakes but has only managed to add one win to his maiden success from 14 attempts. Continues to hint at latent ability, however, and every possibility this test could suit so well worth considering.
Pedigree doesn't scream two miles on paper but of more relevance is his decent form at around 10 furlongs, including a defeat of It's A Dundeel in 2012. He was a surprise winner that day though and would be a shock winner here.
The 2011 St Leger winner failed to give his running in the Cox Plate but he had been shaping promisingly prior to that and it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see him bounce back. The trip obviously holds no fears and he has the necessary change of pace to be effective in this contest.
Has had his whole season geared around improving on last year's fifth placed finish with connections opting to book a top local jockey with many pundits feeling he got a poor ride 12 months ago. Done no favours by the draw and not been in the same form but trainer has gone close in this race before. Short-listed.
Trainer has gone on record as saying that he believes this four year old represents Godolphin's best ever chance of winning the Cup. Enjoyed a decent season in Europe, looks feasibly handicapped, has the assistance of Kerrin McEvoy and has to be entertained.
Voleuse De Coeurs
Irish St Leger winner (career best run) was held in high regard by Dermot Weld prior to her surprise late transfer (for Aus$1.7m) and her new connections have been equally fulsome in their praise. Likely player if her A-game translates to this hemisphere although done no favours by the draw.
A one-time leading fancy for the Cup following his win in the Queensland Derby but that confidence has ebbed due to defeats in the Turnbull Stakes and Caulfield Cup (when favourite). Draw no help but connections are set to adopt more positive tactics and can make his presence felt.
Has developed into a leading stayer in Europe, finishing second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot , but proved that he was no slouch with a narrow defeat behind Sea Moon in the Herbert Power Stakes. That run should have teed him up nicely for this and well worth a second glance.
Useful performer in Europe who has taken a while to find his form in Australia. Won the Geelong Cup on his latest start and that race has proved a good guide to this contest in recent years and dangerous to assume that there isn't more to come as he steps back up in trip.
Trainer sent out American to win this race in 2010 so immediately fascinating that he deemed this filly worthy of a trip to the Southern Hemisphere. In career best form this summer, winning at Longchamp before beating Joshua Tree at Deauville. Well drawn,on a nice rating weight and looks a leading light on paper.
Caught the eye of some seasoned race-watchers with a close third in the Caulfield Cup and backed that up when going close in the Mackinnon Stakes at this track last time. Her owner has reportedly backed her to win Aus$5 million and there's clearly confidence behind her chances!
Progressive middle-distance performer for Henri-Alex Pantall before being purchased with this race in mind. Has reportedly worked well in preparation for this race and the trainer sent out Fiorente to run second on his stable debut 12 months ago.
Earned a place in this field with a shock success in the 'win-and-you're in' Lexus Stakes at the weekend. Clearly in-form and well suited by the demands of racing in Australia but the handicapper wasn't impressed with Saturday's win, deciding not to issue the four year old with a penalty!
Fiorente is a worthy favourite but only the legendary Makybe Diva has rewarded backers of the market leader in recent years while only one horse (Brew) in the past 23 years has won the race after being beaten the previous year.
All of that means that it's well worth taking on Gai Waterhouse's first string and the badly drawn Mount Athos. Dandino looks a player but his price doesn't excite and a chance is taken with Seville.
He looks feasibly weighted on the pick of his form and there's a chance that this test could help show him in a new light, especially given that Lloyd Williams' aims his runners at this race, and he didn't shape too badly when making late progress in the Cox Plate last time.
Stablemates Sea Moon and Masked Marvel are respected while Verema, Voleuse De Coeurs and Tres Blue are fascinating runners in a terrifically competitive race.