Almandin bio 2015 Melbourne Cup

Almandin (Will not be nom for the Cups, has been taken out of Spring Markets)

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $35

Form Summary: 6 starts, 2-3-1, $89,158 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 2040-2200

Key form line races: Won 2014 Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Baidschen Unternehmer

Despite joining the Lloyd Williams/ Robert Hickmott stable in 2014 we are yet to see this six-year-old galloper in an Australian race. However, his 2014 form lines through Protectionist make him worthy of consideration in the 2015 Cups.

His first five career starts yielded a win in a maiden race and four placings in maiden or allowance races. He was among the outsiders in his debut at Group level – in the Group 2 Grosser Preis Der Baidschen Unternehmer – but defied the odds to beat home Protectionist by three quarters of a length at set weights.

This performance saw Lloyd Williams attempt to buy both horses after the race. “I wanted to buy both those horses after that race, but they would only sell me 50 per cent of Protectionist so I just bought Almandin,” Williams has since been reported as saying.

Williams had Melbourne Cup success with an overseas-bred galloper in 2012 when Green Moon saluted. While his stable has had a relatively quiet 2015 to date, they can never be counted out.

Agent Murphy bio 2015 Melbourne Cup

Agent Murphy

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $41

Form Summary: 7 starts, 4-1-2, approx. $210,000 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 1600-2700

Key form line races: Won 2015 Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes, Won 2015 Listed Buckhounds Stakes, 3rd in 2015 Group 2 Grand Prix De Chantilly

A five-year-old by Australian ages but a four year-old in the northern hemisphere, Agent Murphy has established himself as a progressive stayer despite only racing on seven occasions.

His three-year-old campaign in 2014 saw him race four times – all below black type level – for two wins and two placings.

He resumed in May of this year with a strong three-length victory in the Listed Buckhounds Stakes over 2400 metres before travelling to France and running third in the Group 2 Grand Prix De Chantilly over the same distance.

It was his last start effort which brought him squarely into the Melbourne Cup discussion, when he was victorious by five lengths in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes over 2700 metres. Third in that race was Red Cadeaux, a three-time runner-up in the Melbourne Cup.

He is now likely to compete in the Group 1 Irish St Leger before a final decision is made on a trip to Melbourne. On his 2015 to date, he must be respected.

Singing bio 2015 Melbourne Cup

Singing

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $35

Form Summary: 15 starts, 4-2-2, approx. $200,000 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 2000-2400

Key form line races: 2nd in 2014 Group 2 Hansa-Preis, 4th in 2015 Group 2 Hansa-Preis, 5th in 2015 Group 1 Grosser Preis

This German galloper had been sent for a 2014 Melbourne Spring campaign before injury intervened and his form lines from that year tie in quite strongly for a Melbourne Cup.

Over his two and three-year-old career in 2012 and 2013 he recorded three victories but was also unplaced in all three attempts at Group-level racing.

While his four races in 2014 did not add to his win tally, he did run second in the Group 2 Hansa-Preis over 2400 metres, along with second and third-placings at Group 3 level. The Hansa-Preis run is of the greatest interest though – at set weights, he was beaten only one length by his stable mate Protectionist, who went on to win the 2014 Melbourne Cup. This form line suggests that Singing would have been very competitive had he been healthy and made the trip south last year.

He resumed in June of this year with a win in an allowance race before running fourth (beaten less than one length) in the 2015 edition of the Group 2 Hansa-Preis. The most disappointing run of his campaign thus far came at his last start though, when he was beaten by almost seven lengths in the Group 1 Grosser Preis, also over 2400 metres.

His poor last start effort has trainer Andreas Wohler concerned that he may not be able to replicate the feats of his former stablemate and that improvement would be required before a decision to bring him to Melbourne for the Cup was made.

Forgotten Rules bio 2015 Melboune Cup

Forgotten Rules

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $31

Form Summary: 6 starts, 4-0-1, approx. $570,000 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 2800-3200

Key form line races: 3nd in 2015 Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup, Won 2015 Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes, Won 2014 Group 2 Long Distance Cup

Dermot Weld is very well known to Australian racegoers with his gallopers Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2002) both winning the Melbourne Cup and in Forgotten Rules he may have another contender – his first since Galileo’s Choice finished down the track behind Green Moon in 2012.

Forgotten Rules commenced his career in 2014 with two arrogant victories – the first by 13 lengths and the second by eight lengths. This ensured a swift rise through the grades to Group 2 level, where he continued on his winning ways in the Group 2 Long Distance Cup over 3200 metres at Ascot on October 18 before going out for a spell.

He commenced his 2015 campaign in May with a win in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes over 2800 metres to maintain his undefeated streak. However, he had his colours lowered for the first time when finishing third behind Trip To Paris and Kingfisher in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup over 4000 metres. While this run was still more than respectable, a seven-length defeat in the Group 3 Curragh Cup over 2800 metres was far more concerning.

Perhaps the greatest concern when considering a Cup bet on Forgotten Rules were the comments of Weld after the Curragh Cup, noting that his galloper is far better on rain-affected tracks and thus any fears of a firm Flemington track may see him opt not to make the trip south.

Curren Mirotic bio 2015 Melbourne Cup

Curren Mirotic

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $41

Form Summary: 30 starts, 6-5-5, approx. $3.2 million prize money

Distance range of career wins: 1800-2000

Key form line races: 3rd in 2015 Group 1 Tenno Sho, 2nd in 2014 Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen, 5th in 2014 Group 1 Hong Kong Vase

This eight-year-old (by Australian ages) galloper took a number of years to reach Group-level racing, recording 20 career starts (for five wins and eight placings) before his Group debut in November 2013.

His Group-level debut was in the Group 2 Kinko Sho over 2000 metres, where he was a dominant winner by two and a half lengths. In the nine runs since he has yet to return to the winners circle but has stamped himself as a Cups contender via some strong performances. Chief among those was a third-placing behind Gold Ship and reigning Melbourne Cup favourite Fame Game in the Group 1 Tenno Sho over 3200 metres. A fifth-placing in last year’s Group 1 Hong Kong Vase over 2400 metres also demonstrates his ability to compete with the world’s best stayers.

His last start effort when 13th in the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen appeared disappointing on paper but Japanese racing expert Naohiro Goda suggested that the 2200 metres of that race was well below his preferred distance range and that a return to the 3200-metre journey would see a marked improvement.

It is likely that he will have one lead-in run ahead of the Melbourne Cup – in either the Group 1 Caulfield Cup over 2400 metres or the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes over 2000 metres (which is run one week prior to the Caulfield Cup).

His run in the Tenno Sho makes him a must for Melbourne Cup considerations, while his ability to race near the speed may also see him avoid much of the traffic of tiring horses which backmarkers need to weave a passage through.

Contributer bio 2015 Spring Carnival

Contributer

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Caulfield Cup $19 Cox Plate $11 Melbourne Cup $29

Form Summary: 14 starts, 8-2-1, $1,064,394 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 1400-2000

Key form line races: Won 2015 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes, Won 2014 Group 3 Coongy Handicap

Much as with stable mate Hartnell, Contributer has converted form at around the Listed and Group 3 level in Europe into Group 1 success within a short timeframe upon being transferred to Australia by the powerful Godolphin outfit.

He raced six times across his two and three-year-old seasons for a return of two wins, two second placings (at Group 3 and Listed level) and a fourth-placing in his Group 1 debut (over 2400 metres).

His four-year-old European campaign saw him race three times – all at 2000 metres – for wins in the Listed Magnolia Stakes and Listed Woflerton Handicap, along with a third placing at Group 3 level.

However, it was his Australian debut which acted as the catalyst for things to come – a comfortable victory over Noble Protector and Signoff (who subsequently ran fourth in last year’s Cup) in the Group 3 Coongy Handicap marked him as a horse of great promise.

While he was unplaced in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes during last year’s Melbourne Cup carnival, he was unstoppable in the 2015 Sydney autumn – winning the Group 2 Apollo Stakes over 1400 metres, the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600 metres) and the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000 metres), where he defeated a strong field including Japan’s Tosen Stardom.

While his class cannot be denied, he may be aimed towards the Cox Plate over 2040 metres rather than the Melbourne Cup, where he is likely to be allocated 58 kilos or more for the two-mile handicap.

Who Shot Thebarman bio 2015 Melbourne Cup

Who Shot Thebarman

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $29

Form Summary: 20 starts, 8-3-1, $1,515,801 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 1600-3200

Key form line races: 3rd in 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup, 2nd in 2015 Group 1 Sydney Cup, Won 2014 Group 1 Auckland Cup, 4th in 2015 Group 1 The BMW

Who Shot Thebarman will be out to emulate the feats of Fiorente in 2013 by winning the Melbourne Cup one year after finishing in the placings.

He did not make his racing debut until his four-year-old autumn but quickly became a horse to watch, winning four of his first six starts. As a five-year-old, he became one of New Zealand’s premier stayers by winning the Group 2 Avondale Cup over 2400 metres and the Group 1 Auckland Cup over 3200 metres, before finishing ninth in the 2014 running of the Group 1 Sydney Cup.

Moving to the Chris Waller stable as a six-year-old for the 2014 spring, his progression continued, winning the Group 3 Bart Cummings Stakes over 2500 metres by two and a half lengths. He was beaten by four lengths in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup but showed his toughness and his affinity for Flemington when finishing third behind Protectionist and Red Cadeaux in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

His 2015 autumn campaign was strong albeit winless, finishing within two lengths of the winner twice at Group 1 Weight-For-Age level (in the Chipping Norton Stakes and The BMW) and being edged out by Grand Marshal in the Group 1 Sydney Cup over 3200 metres.

He may not have the class of some other contenders but he is as tough as nails and will stay the distance strongly, making him a genuine each-way contender.

Max Dynamite bio 2015 Melbourne Cup

Max Dynamite

Flemington Sportsbet fixed odds: Melbourne Cup $21

Form Summary: 18 starts, 3-3-2, approx. $400,000 prize money

Distance range of career wins: 2200-3300

Key form line races: Won 2015 Group 2 Lonsdale Stakes

This Irish stayer may have spent most of his 2015 campaign going over the hurdles but his last start effort on the flat has seen him vault into Melbourne Cup contention.

As a two and three-year-old he ran exclusively on the flat. After a win and two placings in his first four runs, he ran in Group company on five consecutive occasions without running in the first three.

After a lengthy spell, he was transferred to new trainer Willie Mullins with a hurdling career in mind. His next six starts were all over the jumps, with a return of one win and one second-placing to show for it.

His next two starts both resulted in runner-up finishes over 3200 metres – albeit one was on the flat and the other over the jumps.

These results were strong enough to see him entered in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup – also over 3200 metres. Here he defied his status as the third-least fancied runner (in a field of eight) to race away to a resounding four-and-a-half length victory.

Mullins brought Simenon over for the 2013 Melbourne Cup (where he ran fourth to Fiorente) and believes that Max Dynamite appears to have more potential. It is intended that Max Dynamite comes to Australia early enough to have one lead-in run before the Melbourne Cup.

The weight he is allocated will be all important. With no Group-level form to recommend him before the Lonsdale Cup win, he may be weighted so lightly that some luck may be required to make it to the final field. But if he does make the field, his form lines through the likes of Simenon make him a contender.