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Melbourne Cup and Victoria Derby reviews


Verry Elleegant wins the Melbourne Cup

Our review today kicks off with the first 2 meetings of the Melbourne Cup Week Carnival, the Victoria Derby and the Melbourne Cup. Derby Day saw crowds, albeit small return to Flemington for the races. The Melbourne Cup meeting was memorable once again and the race that stops a nation retains that ownership with events and lunches all over the country.  

She was a great run in the Cox Plate and also her Melbourne Cup run of 12 months prior alleviated any concerns over the ability to stay. However there were two nagging issues that were the 57kg (that only 2 horses had carried to victory in the previous 45 years Gold and Black 1977 and Makybe Diva 58kg) and barrier 18. 

On reflection there was nothing to worry about with the lack of international stayers in this years Melbourne Cup. She had a clear class edge and managed to carry the 57kg with ultimate ease having a 3 wide cover run and putting them away early in the straight. She now positions herself with the likes of Makybe Diva (albeit she did it 3 times) as one of the greats (certainly mares) of the Melbourne Cup. 

The most notable aspect of the Melbourne Cup this year was the gaps between the finishers with 10 lengths separating 1st to 6th and 53 lengths covering first to last. It was a bit of a reminder about why the overseas horses are important. Group 1 races worth 7 million dollars should be more competitive than that. We feel that the answer of Internationals or not has been well and truly answered with this years race. We can expect with relaxed COVID conditions that the Melbourne Cup next year will return to the norm as a truly international horse race.

Autumn Racing Carnival target races:
Verry Elleegant will no doubt follow here previous Autumn campaigns at weight for age level culminating in the Ranvet and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.

Incentivise and Spanish Mission

Its worth touching on the Melbourne Cup runner up as one was the shortest price fav we have seen in a long while, Incentivise. He was brave on pace and we heard post race had a possible fetlock injury in the race with some strong inflammation showing up post race. A nice effort and the best of the overseas brigade, of which there were few was Spanish Mission. It had its hope given a great run in transit but no match for the winner. Incentivise and Spanish Mission are likely to tackle Verry Elleegant in the Ranvet or Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. The other option would be the Australian Cup at Flemington as part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.

Melbourne Cup 2022 Betting Odds market

Verry Elleegant and Incentivise both sit equal favs for the 2022 Melbourne Cup at 14-1. Spanish Mission is on the third line of betting at 21-1. 


The Victoria Derby was a one act affair at Flemington to kick of Melbourne Cup Week as the lightly raced Hitotsu raced past the field like they were nailed to the fence. It was an extraordinary training performance at just its third run back from a spell. This horse has TREMENDOUS upside, it won a maiden first up finished 5thin the Caulfield Guineas and then didn’t run until the Victoria Derby. It was third up from 1600 to 2500m and to win like that is quite brilliant. It looks a future WFA star and no doubt a Cox Plate is on the agenda for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2022. Hitotsu sits on the fifth line of betting for the 2022 Cox Plate at 15-1.

Autumn Racing Carnival target races:
Autumn has Sydney 3yo classics written all over it with the Rosehill, Randwick Guineas and ATC Derby all key races.

Read our review on James McDonald https://itipsports.com.au/melbourne-spring-racing-carnival-wrap/

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