Melbourne Cup Runners - Runner-by-runner guide to the 2017 Melbourne Cup

  • The field for the Melbourne Cup has been finalised. Here is our runner-by-runner guide to the 24 contenders
Lloyd Williams has six runners in the 2017 Melbourne Cup

The field for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) has been finalised and there are 24 of the world’s best stayer set to do battle for the famous $6.2 million handicap race at Flemington. 

Here is our runner-by-runner guide to the race that stops the nation. 

1. HARTNELL (GB) (James Cummings) 57.5kg, Damian Lane (12)

Ran 3rd in this race last year, finishing four lengths behind Almandin and Heartbreak City. Carries top weight of 57kg but meets Almandin 3kg better off compared to 2016. Comes off a flat run in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) but his form prior to that was super and it would be no surprise to see him in the thick of things at the business end. 

2. ALMANDIN (GER) (Robert Hickmott) 56kg, Frankie Dettori (14)

Aiming to become the first horse since Maybe Diva to win successive Melbourne Cups and is a $7 favourite with ladbrokes after the barrier draw. Went down as a $2.10 fancy at Flemington in the Bart Cummings (2500m) at his last start but his stable will have him peaking for this. The lightly raced eight-year-old will go very close. 


3. HUMIDOR (NZ) (Darren Weir)  56kg, Blake Shinn (13)

Pushed the almighty Winx in the Cox Plate (2040m) last weekend, finishing a narrow 2nd. That followed an ok run in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) when 5th to Boom Time. Tends to do a few things wrong but is a two-time Group 1 winner at Flemington and is drawn very nicely. Provided he runs out the two miles he will go very close.

4. TIBERIAN (FR) (Alain Couetil) 55.5kg, Oliver Peslier (23)

The French galloper to be ridden by the world class jockey, Olivier Peslier and is a sneaky contender at the odds, despite drawing poorly. The son of a teaser Pony, Tiberian has won his last two starts, both over 2500m at Group level in France. 

5. MARMELO (FR) (Hughie Morrison) 55kg, Hugh Bowman (16)

Burst into Melbourne Cup calculations with what was arguably the run of the race in the Caulfield Cup, coming from well back on the turn to finish on the heels of the placegetters. The U.K galloper is expected to be better suited over the 3200m and the experience of the Caulfield Cup should hold good stead. If Hugh Bowman can find a spot from barrier 15, a top three finish by the five-year-old is on the cards.

6. RED CARDINAL (IRE) (Andreas Wohler) 55kg, Kerrin McEvoy (24)

German galloper that has snuck under the radar somewhat and is yet to race in Australia. His trainer, Andreas Wohler, claimed victory in the Melbourne Cup with Protectionist in 2014 and the six-year-old comes off a somewhat disappointing run when 5th in the Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville. However, he did not handle the ground that day and has performed well throughout his career, winning five from 10. The son of Montjeu has attracted some support in the market but will have to contend with the widest barrier. 

7. JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE) (Aidan O'Brien) 54.5kg, Ben Melham (3)

The Aidan O'Brien-trained galloper has put up two solid performances in his two runs to date in Australia, finishing 2nd to Gailo Chop in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before finishing 3rd in the Caulfield Cup when being slightly held up at the top of the straight. Has drawn ideally in barrier 3 and looks to be one of the leading contenders. 

8. BONDI BEACH (IRE) (Robert Hickmott) 54kg, Michael Walker (1)

One of six gallopers that will wear the Lloyd Williams colours on Tuesday, Bondi Beach has done little in his Australian runs to date but is rated by the stable and should be at his peak at his third run from a spell. Settled a mile back in the Melbourne Cup last year before working home well for 13th and will start at big odds. 

9. MAX DYNAMITE (FR) (Willie Mullins) 54kg, Zac Purton (2)

Finished runner-up to Prince Of Penzance in the 2015 Melbourne Cup and injury has since restricted him to just four starts. In August he finished 9th over the two miles, albeit in a hurdle race, while he claimed an easier affair over the 3400m at his last start. Unsure if that is good enough for this but if he runs up to his 2015 performance he can co close. 

10. VENTURA STORM (IRE) (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig) 54kg, Glen Boss (6)

Former import that has had five runs for the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable, including a seven length 2nd to Winx in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) as well as a 13th in the Caulfield Cup. It may pay to forgive him for his Caulfield Cup run as he pulled up sore, while it should be noted he finished ahead of Humidor prior to that. A sneaky chance. 

11. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) (Chris Waller) 54kg, Tommy Berry (20)

Chris Waller's veteran galloper comes off a win in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) and while he will line up at decent odds in the cup, he will stay all day and can push for a placing. Has come 3rd, 11th and 5th in his previous cup runs. 

12. WICKLOW BRAVE (GB) (Willie Mullins) 54kg, Stephen Baster (8)

One of two gallopers in the race for Willie Mullins, Wicklow Brave comes off a 12th placing in the Caulfield Cup but was good in some big races in Ireland prior to that, finishing 4th behind Order Of St George in the Irish St Leger Trial (2816) and the Irish St Leger (2816). The nine-year-old has some very solid form over the 3200m, having won seven from 19 and should improve off the Caulfield run. 

13. BIG DUKE (IRE) (Darren Weir) 53.5kg, Brenton Avdulla (5)

Missed out as favourite in the Moonee Valley Cup and will need to improve on that performance. Ran 3rd in the Sydney Cup earlier this year and will start at odds. 

14. US ARMY RANGER (IRE) (Joseph O'Brien) 53.5kg, Jamie Spencer (22)

Took out the Chester Vase (2500m) in the UK last year before running 2nd in the Epsom Derby (2400m) but his form has wavered since. He is a bit of an unknown quantity and is hard to have on recent form. 

15. BOOM TIME (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig), 53kg, Cory Parish (9)

Surprise Caulfield Cup winner and is attempting to become the first galloper since Ethereal in 2001 to complete the double. Hard to fault him based on that effort but may lack the class over the two miles.

16. GALLANTE (IRE) (Robert Hickmott) 53kg, Michael Dee (18)

Another from the Williams stable that will start at long odds. Hasn't shown much at all since taking out the 2016 Sydney Cup. Will need a wet track to be a factor but there is next to no rain forecast at the moment. Set to start at massive odds. 

17. LIBRAN (IRE) (Chris Waller) 53kg, Dwayne Dunn (7)

The Chris Waller-trained mare finished 2nd to her stablemate, Who Shot Thebarman, in the recent Moonee Valley Cup and will be out to emulate the feats of Prince Of Penzance, who claimed the 2015 Melbourne Cup after also finishing runner up at the Valley. The daughter of Lawman ran 2nd in the 2016 Sydney Cup but may just lack the class to match the big guns at Flemington. 

18. NAKEETA (GB) (Iain Jardine) 53kg, Glyn Schofield (19)

Nakeeta is the first Scottish-trained horse to tackle the Melbourne Cup and the Ebor Handicap (2800m) winner has reportedly worked well in quarantine at Werribee. The Ebor has proven to be some of a form reference with last year's runner up, Heartbreak City, as well as the 2007 runner-up, Purple Moon, coming out of the York handicap. Carries 53kg and is capable of a big finish. 

19. SINGLE GAZE (Nick Olive) 53kg, Kathy O’Hara (11)

Local mare that comes off a brave runner-up performance in the Caulfield Cup after doing a lot of the early work by leading until she was overrun in the closing stages. The Canberra galloper drew a touch awkwardly but look for her to push forward and possibly lead. 

20. WALL OF FIRE (IRE) (Hugo Palmer) 53kg, Craig Williams (15)

Snuck into the Melbourne Cup field after Qewy and Abbey Marie pulled out and comes off a 2nd in the Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield at his last start. Drops in weight off his last couple of runs and will be ridden by Craig Williams. 

21. THOMAS HOBSON (GB) (Willie Mullins) 52kg, Joao Moreira (21)

Royal Ascot winner from earlier in the year that can stay all day. Has won at distances of over 4000m and is two from five over the two miles. Joao Moreira takes the ride and has been posted as a $14 chance.

22. REKINDLING (GB) (Joseph O'Brien) 51.5kg, Corey Brown (4)

One of the youngest gallopers in the field (a three-year-old by northern hemisphere time), Rekindling will be another contender in the Lloyd Williams colours. Has some excellent recent form, winning the Curragh Cup (2800m) before being beaten by just under two lengths in the St Leger at Doncaster. Yet to race in Australia but has drawn perfectly and is well rated. 

23. AMELIE'S STAR (Darren Weir) 51kg, Dean Yendall (10)

Scored a birth in the Melbourne Cup after taking out the Bart Cummings at Flemington last month, a race in which the 2016 Melbourne Cup winner, Almandin, ran 4th. Subsequently ran 11th in the Caulfield Cup. Drawn in a handy spot and is a rough chance. 

24. CISMONTANE (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) 50kg, Beau Mertens (17)

Led all the way to take out the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day at Flemington on November 4 and that performance was enough to grant him passage into the field of 24. Tough on-pacer that will carry a feather weight and will aiming to become the first horse since Shocking to win the Cup after taking out the Lexus. 

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Melbourne Cup Runners - Runner-by-runner guide to the 2017 Melbourne Cup

The field for the Melbourne Cup has been finalised. Here is our runner-by-runner guide to the 24 contenders and how their chances rate.

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