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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 ... Wait! What Happened to Door 2?

This is a partial opening of day 3, Melbourne Cup Day, because the logistics of Task 1 require it.

 

Task 1:  Pick your ponies!  MbD will post the horses scheduled to race as soon as they’re released; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order). 

 

It's time to pick your ponies, and the field has just been released, so while the main door will be opened properly on its day, this is the pre-post with all horses currently scheduled to race.

 

Anyone playing the 24 Tasks of the Festive Season who wishes to participate in this task, pick your three favourites to place 1st, 2nd and 3rd and tell us in the comments below.  It's not necessary to name them in order; as long as any of the three horses you chose finish in the top 3, you win!  Each person will receive one point for each horse they chose that finished in the top 3. A point will also be awarded to the person whose chosen horse came in last.

 

If anyone chooses a horse that's been scratched before race time (rare), they may choose a replacement horse up until the deadline - please EDIT your original comment to choose a new horse; a new comment may, if there are a lot of participants, get lost in the shuffle.   Alternatively, you may name your three horses and a replacement choice right from the start - just make sure to specify in your comment which of your picks is the alternate.

 

 

The race that stops a nation begins at 3:00pm, November 6th Australian EDT.  This equates to:

USA EST:  11:00pm November 5th  (deadline: 10:30pm)

USA PST:  8:00pm November 5th  (deadline: 7:30pm)

EU CET: 5:00am November 6th  (deadline: 4:30am)

UK GMT: 4:00am November 6th  (deadline: 3:30am)

 

The deadline to submit your guesses will be 2:30pm AEDT on the day of the race (the 6th).

 

The winners will be announced as soon as results are in, and in the event that someone here guesses all three correct horses (their 3 come in 1st, 2nd and 3rd), that person will receive 1 free book - print or digital - of their choice, valued at up to $25USD.

 

Below are the horses to choose from; their racing numbers in parenthesis.  I've included country of origin, jockey colors, and weights for those who prefer less scientific methods of choosing the winner.  Odds and comments are for those who might take things more seriously, and to add a bit of authentic atmosphere.  Comments are NOT mine - I got them from https://www.justhorseracing.com.au/melbourne-cup/.

 

Best Solution (1)  (Ireland)

 

W: 57.5KG
Best Odds: $13

COMMENT: Caulfield Cup winner who produced a career best to win the race. The Caulfield Cup is the traditional lead up, but in recent years it hasn't been the right form reference. 57.5kg is the heaviest, but he relaxes, he can sustain a run and is in form so there is enough boxes ticked to respect him. Out of the main hopes he has drawn well which puts him in good stead.

 

The Cliffsofmoher (2)  (Ireland)

 

W: 56.5KG
Best Odds: $16

COMMENT: I thought Bowman gave him every chance in the Caulfield Cup but wanted to lay in badly when put under pressure. I can't see him turning the tables on Best Solution and is a clear query at 3200m. Drawn well should get every chance.

 

The Magic Circle (3)  (Ireland)

 

W: 56KG
Best Odds: $10

COMMENT: This horse has clearly turned the corner since joining Ian Williams, winning 2/2 by six lengths each time where he has produced a slashing turn of foot which is needed to win the Melbourne Cup. Has looked sharp in work at Werribee. Stays and has a turn of foot. That's a winning formula for the Melbourne Cup. Looks the horse to beat despite an awkward draw.

 

Update:  The owner has stated that if The Magic Circle wins, he'll come to the podium in a g-string.  You can read all about it here.

 

Chestnut Coat (4)  (Japan)

 

W: 55.5KG
Best Odds: $41

COMMENT: Clear forgive run in the Caulfield Cup. Wide no cover for the trip and was a beaten horse on the turn. Didn't handle the wet track either. The step up in trip and on a bigger track, he can bounce back for sure as long as the rain stays away. Should get a good run from the barrier.

 

Muntahaa (5)  (Ireland)

 

W: 55.5KG
Best Odds: $11

COMMENT: He's the horse on everyone's lips. Visually, the Ebor win was outstanding. But what did he beat? There has been 21 subsequent runs from the race for just one win since. That's the negative, plus the form prior was just fair, and that he's a highly strung animal, but if he puts everything together and gets things to suit, he can certainly win with a little luck from the draw.

 

Sound Check (6)  (Germany)

 

W: 55.5KG
Best Odds: $41

COMMENT: He was another forgive in the Caulfield Cup. He was out the back and pulling his head off. Looked drunk around the turn but balanced up and his last 100m was encouraging. Big track, 3200m and a more genuine tempo could see him cause problems if he can get some luck from the wide barrier.

 

Who Shot Thebarman (7)  (New Zealand)

 

W: 55.5KG
Best Odds: $67

COMMENT: A grand old campaigner who will likely sit on speed and make his own luck. Would be a shock to see him win, but his Moonee Valley Cup run was encouraging and I think he's a top 10 contender at big odds.

 

Ace High (8)  (Australia)

 

W: 55KG
Best Odds: $67

COMMENT: Put a line through his run in the Caulfield Cup. Leading isn't his go, he wasn't happy on the surface and regular rider Tye Angland wasn't on. He will be much better at Flemington where he won the Derby last year. Two miles will be no issue if ridden with cover and will appreciate any rain that hits the track in lead up to the race. Can bounce back with some luck from the wide barrier.

 

Marmelo (2)  (Great Britain)

 

W: 55KG
Best Odds: $17

COMMENT: Horses who fail in a previous attempt at a Cup, generally struggle to improve at subsequent attempts. But this horse has got the ability to win so I am happy to give him another shot. If the race was a few hundred metres shorter he would be the horse to beat so if its a slow tempo he will be very hard to hold out. One of the main contenders after drawing well.

 

Avilius (10)  (Great Britain)

 

W: 54.5KG
Best Odds: $13

COMMENT: Earned his spot in the field via a narrow win in the Bart Cummings. Well held in the Cox Plate and IMO looks a clear risk at 3200m. He has been a up a fair while as well so it would take a great training effort from James Cummings. If he runs the distance he is right in the race but a risk at the price seeings he is likely to be stuck a bit wide.

 

Yucatan (11)  (Ireland)

 

W: 54.5KG
Best Odds: $4.80

COMMENT: If he runs up to the Herbert Power effort, he will go very close. But the price is very short and you're being asked to take $4.50 to see if he can run 3200m. There is enough evidence to suggest he may not and at the price, you couldn't back him. But anything similar to that win and he'll look the winner. Just needs to run the trip and get some luck from the horror barrier.

 

Auvray (12)  (France)

 

W: 54KG
Best Odds: $126

COMMENT: Hasn't raced in just under a month and was plain in what looked a weak race. Happy to let him go through to the keeper despite drawing the inside gate.

 

Finche (13)  (Great Britain)

 

W: 54KG
Best Odds: $27

COMMENT: I think he is 6-12 months away from showing his best. Geelong Cup run was good but I don't think that's the right form for the Melbourne Cup. Not this year anyway and will likely do it tough from the draw.

 

Red Cardinal (14)  (Ireland)

 

W: 54KG
Best Odds: $101

COMMENT: Earned his spot in the field via a narrow win in the Bart Cummings. Well held in the Cox Plate and IMO looks a clear risk at 3200m. He has been a up a fairVisually, the Moonee Valley Cup run was just plain, but it was a rock hard track and he hates that. Wants a track with give in it and the forecast is for a shower or two. If the rain comes his chances get a massive boost and the barrier definitely helps.

 

Vengeur Masque (15)  (Ireland)

 

W: 54KG
Best Odds: $67

COMMENT: Handy stayer for Michael Moroney but I thought he was just fair in the Caulfield Cup. Would need to produce a career best run do go close and I don't think he has that in him despite a good draw.

 

Ventura Storm (16)  (Australia)

 

W: 54KG
Best Odds: $31

COMMENT: Got his way into form with a Moonee Valley Cup win, but I'm putting that down largely to an absolute peach of a steer from Mark Zahra. He does normally save his best for Flemington though. Can he win? I doubt it, but he should be included in multiples with a likely good run from the gate.

 

A Prince Of Arran (17)  (Great Britain)

 

W: 53KG
Best Odds: $17

COMMENT: It is always tough to win the Lexus Stakes on a Saturday then back-up to win the Melbourne Cup on the Tuesday but the horses who try always run well. Of the Lexus winners in recent years A Prince Of Arran looks like one who can win the Cup with plenty of improvement in him as well as being a rock hard stayer but the barrier will make it tough.

 

Nakeeta (18)  (Great Britain)

 

W: 53KG
Best Odds: $101

COMMENT: Just snuck into the Field late on Saturday when Red Verdon was ruled out of the race. She was the last one into the race and will likely be the last one home in the race. Pass

 

Sir Charles Road (19)  (Australian)

 

W: 53KG
Best Odds: $126

COMMENT: Was game in the Bendigo Cup on Wednesday but that race was won by a near rank outsider. Here to make up the numbers.

 

Zacada (20)  (Australian)

 

W: 53KG
Best Odds: $201

COMMENT: Had no chance the way the track played in the Geelong Cup but his form prior isn't good enough to win a Melbourne Cup.

 

Runaway (21)  (Australian)

 

W: 52KG
Best Odds: $41

COMMENT: Aided by bias to win the Geelong Cup, but he led all the way and will be out of trouble on speed. Leading all the way in a Melbourne Cup is saved for champions.

 

Youngstar (22)  (Australian)

 

W: 51.5KG
Best Odds: $16

COMMENT: Thought she was the best run in the Caulfield Cup. Loved the way she attacked the line off a moderate. Start prior ran similar splits to Winx in the Turnbull. Very confident she'll run the two miles and is clearly in the mix.

 

Cross Counter (23)  (Great Britain)

 

W: 51KG
Best Odds: $11

COMMENT: Very progressive gelding for Charlie Appleby. Thought he was very good during the York Carnival when beaten a lip. Has had a setback or two at Werribee but appears over them. Have to respect the stable and their record down under.

 

Rostropovich (24)  (Ireland)

 

W: 51KG
Best Odds: $27

COMMENT: He was just okay in the Cox Plate. Sat on speed and fought on well. But his form at 2400m is suspect, so has to be a query at 3200m despite being trained by Aidan O'Brien.

 

Who did you choose and how/why?  Tell us in the comments below.