Your guide to the Melbourne Cup

Your guide to the Melbourne Cup
Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup 3 years in a row. Photo: Osedgeman, Wikimedia Commons

If the only race you watch all year is the Melbourne Cup then this is the guide for you! This article will give you a brief run-down of all the horses running, and help you work out which one is which in your office sweep.

The horses

Each horse will be wearing a number to make it easy to identify, although confusingly the numbers have nothing to do with the barrier that the horses will start in. The Melbourne Cup is also a handicap race, meaning that horses with a track record of recent success will carry extra weight.

The race is also 3200m, and is by far the longest big race in Australia. Most of the races in Australia’s spring racing season compete in sprints, and so many horses running will not have raced over this distance before. The current wonder horse, Winx, doesn’t even try to race at Melbourne Cup distances.

There is no outright favourite for the main race, with none of the top 3 horses from last year running again in 2018. Here are the horses competing this year, along with where they are from and the weights they will carry.

  1. Best Solution – Irish bred, trained in Britain. Carrying 57.5 kg.
  2. The Cliffsofmoher – Irish bred and trained. Carrying 56.5 kg.
  3. Magic Circle – Irish bred, British trained. Carrying 56 kg.
  4. Chestnut Coat – Japanese bred and trained. Carrying 55.5 kg.
  5. Muntahaa – Irish bred, British trained. Carrying 55.5 kg.
  6. Sound Check – German bred, New Zealand trained. Carrying 55.5 kg.
  7. Who Shot Thebarman – New Zealand bred, Australian trained. Carrying 55.5 kg.
  8. Ace High – Australian bred and trained. Carrying 55 kg.
  9. Marmelo – French bred and trained. Carrying 55 kg.
  10. Avilius – British bred, Australian trained. Carrying 54.5 kg.
  11. Yucatan – Irish bred and trained. Carrying 54.5 kg.
  12. Auvray – French bred, Australian trained. Carrying 54 kg.
  13. Finche – British bred, Australian trained. Carrying 54 kg.
  14. Red Cardinal – Irish bred, Australian trained. Carrying 54 kg.
  15. Vengeur Masque – Irish bred, New Zealand trained. Carrying 54 kg.
  16. Ventura Storm – Irish bred, Australian trained. Carrying 54 kg.
  17. A Prince of Arran – British bred and trained. Carrying 54 kg.
  18. Nakeeta – Irish bred, Scottish trained. Carrying 53 kg.
  19. Sir Charles Road – New Zealand bred and trained. Carrying 53 kg.
  20. Zacada – New Zealand bred and trained. Carrying 53 kg.
  21. Runaway – Australian bred and trained. Carrying 52 kg.
  22. Youngstar – Australian bred and trained. Carrying 51.5 kg.
  23. Cross Counter – British bred and trained. Carrying 51 kg.
  24. Rostropovich – Irish bred, Australian trained. Carrying 51 kg.

The favourites

The favourites are Yucatan, Magic Circle and Cross Counter, although none of these are particularly short priced. Youngstar, A Prince of Arran, Avilius, Marmelo, Muntahaa, The Cliffsofmoher and Best Solution all have decent chances, and it would be a surprise to see all three of the frontrunners place on the day.

In short, the race is very open this year and an outsider has a very good chance of taking out the whole thing, in the manner of Rekindling last year. There is no outright superstar like Makybe Diva in her prime.