BGP – From

With The Informant sadly announcing that there will be no comeback, we thought we better pull finger and get an article out to those of you who provided feedback to The Informant that you liked reading what we are up to and our take on some of the industry complications and matters.

Brian has offered to host this as part of The Optimist, so hopefully, you enjoy reading it, and we can continue to add a bit of energy into a battling industry we all love.

For me, it’s personally been pretty sad to see so many people want to help The Informant in some way, but the offer has come when it’s been too late. A good reminder for us to support the things we care about while we can.

An interesting dynamic from our end is the amount of advertising spend that The Informant would have had. Where does that money go now? Does it get spent at all? Do those readers and users of The Informant turn away from racing?

As always, plenty of activity is underway behind the scenes with BGP, and when winter racing kicks in, it gives us a bit of a breather to figure out what we want to achieve next and where we should direct our energy. One of those things is whether we pull the trigger on building a mobile APP and what it will involve – that’s before thinking about how we’d fund it.

We don’t have the luxury of falling back on corporate bookmakers to fund our activities through affiliate systems like our mates over in Australia. Tell you what, we’ve had countless conversations about where we’d be if we did!

BGP bought a 50% share in a Savabeel weanling which we’ve already nicknamed Savage. He’s had the once-over from the vet and has given the all clear.

Next week he heads home from the dusty pastures of Australia for that real clean green Masterton grass. Here he’ll be nurtured into a sales topping colt (shit we are optimists) by the team at Little Avondale. We are looking forward to updating everyone with Savage’s progress and taking people along the journey of weanling to yearling.

On the event front, we can finally take a breather, or can we? We are having a day out at a low-key Wanganui day which is on Jewels Day. Our harness man from the south, Fitzy, has sorted a day out at the Jewels on course in Christchurch. It’ll be good to get down to the South and link up with some of our Southern brothers for what will be the first time for many.

Further to this, we are getting pretty serious about nailing down exactly how many ‘events’ we have each year to avoid dulling the flavour of the BGP experience. This will mean that we have to have some pretty frank conversations with clubs – if they can’t deliver ‘x’ back to BGP we won’t be coming. There’s a lot of admin that goes into making a BGP event happen, and clubs need to sort their offering out rather than looking to BGP to bring them a crowd.

One of the boys has backed way too many Greyhounds on a Friday night and now reckons he is going to put a syndicate together to race a dog so that should be fun. Some of the early BGP family will remember a great bitch called Zipping Tay that was part-owned by a BGP syndicate and won a couple of races to get the boys paid. Greyhounds are a bit different – less on-going costs – so it makes it a lot more affordable for younger people to get involved.

Our Paid Supporters Membership has been well received early on, and we’re starting to look at grabbing a percentage of a lease in a horse to give the members a taste of the horse racing experience. Our membership cards turned up and are multi-purpose; they not only open bottles of beer but you can use them to rule a line through scratchings or one of your mate’s selections – the ones that tip like a cat!

The BGP Foundation auction for the Redzel silks finishes on Friday, and someone is going to pick up a great piece of history so if you are a Redzel fan get to the first post on the Facebook page and throw in a bid. We were tempted to throw them on Jakkifromthenaki on the weekend for her debut – it was good to see the big ginge finally have a hit out down in the Taranaki.

All going well, she may head to Hawera next start where some of you will be surprised to know I spent some time on the committee trying to learn more about this sport. This Johnny-come-lately can sympathise with some of you stalwarts about shifting a rail – tedious, especially when hung over.

Look after yourselves,

Boys Get Paid!!

Young People In Racing | Te Rapa 4th May

At the bottom of this page you’ll find an e-mail I sent to a small group of racing participants on Monday 27/08/2012 8:19 PM

The 2012 date is not a typo but will probably give you an insight into a problem I could see 6 years ago and how I thought we might be able to solve it. I don’t really know what had me sitting down typing this at 8.20pm on a Monday but it’s probably the same thing that has me sitting here on a Sunday typing this one too. For some reason I care.

When The Informant announced they will have to cease publication this week I was really hurt for them and also surprised at the amount of people who suddenly want to support something they could have been supporting during it’s publication. Hopefully they get the support they need.

I find it interesting when I hear some people throw around chat that young people need to put their hand up and start helping out more. Not just in racing but other areas of the community too. That’s a great idea but will they be listened to or taken seriously? What happens when they do put their hand up? Should they care enough to keep chipping away like the 24 year old firing off e-mails at 8.20pm on a Monday evening?

Back to this 2012 e-mail. My favourite part of this story is to let you know that I didn’t get a response nor have anyone enquire about my genius plan. What an idiot. Me, not them. Thinking that it would be that easy.

When I sat with Te Akau’s David Ellis at Te Rapa on the 18th of August 2018 and he offered Boys Get Paid, two paid up 5% shares in their 2yo fillies, he wasn’t talking to me. He was talking to the 24 year old lad sitting as his laptop typing, trying to make a difference in an industry that’s probably made minimal progress in that same 6 years. David suggested I take 24 hours to think about it and whether we keep 5% for the group and 5% for BGP admin. I only needed 24 seconds to explain the 10% would be raced by anyone in the community that wanted to be involved and that any prize money would be reinvested into the group in the form of content and events.

Like everything racing, it’s a long game and unfortunately neither have hit the track yet. 1,000 people have however loved getting the updates and an insight into what a horse is doing in the background. For most of this 1,000, it is their first exposure to racing a horse.

On the 4th of May 2019, we are heading back to Te Rapa for a party and a celebration. A celebration of an idea that took 6 years to pull off. A party because why farking not. It’s been a huge last 6 months for both Te Akau and BGP. As racing starts to slow down for Winter, we’ll be busy behind the scenes working on our latest ideas, events and the ultimate goal of seeing those BGP silks pick up a Group 1 race.

Let’s make it a good one.

See you there,

SUBJECT: Young People In Racing
To whom it may concern, 

I hope this e-mail finds you well and you have the time to read it. 
Without getting into every detail, I would like to outline a plan to get young people into the New Zealand Racing industry and would value your opinion, thoughts and hopefully; support. 
As a young person (24) relatively new to the industry, I have heard many times that racing is not what it use to be and it is just not getting the support that it used to. Obviously there are a number of factors behind this including political and economic issues. However, I believe that racing is still an attractive sport and has many draw cards. Therefore, we need to be getting people of my generation involved so that we can find the next set of leaders of NZ Racing
In a nutshell, I am proposing a 500 member ‘syndicate’ where by every member contributes $100 at the start and in turn receives access to a website. This website will be content rich with details of the horse that would be purchased for $30,000-$40,000. Without getting carried away, any winnings of the horse would be returned to the industry in form of event days at the races where members would be paid for a day at the races etc.
As you know, there are a number of costs in racing and this is where we would require the support of people like yourselves. We would appreciate ‘sponsorship’ where by a stud could for instance sponsor the horses travel expenses for the year in return for advertising on the website initially and in the media once attention is gained. You will of course too, feel satisfaction that you are contributing to the overall goal that is enriching New Zealand Racing
This idea is about getting people to the track, increasing spending, gaining an interest and planting a seed to get the next generation of racing enthusiasts involved now.
I have tried to keep this e-mail relatively short and to the point. There is a lot more detail to be worked on and if you would like to get in touch with me then please find my cellphone number at the bottom of this e-mail.
There has already been a large amount of support from industry participants, including trainers offering free training etc. This has given me the encouragement to go further and talk to yourselves. I truly would value any feedback in the form of ideas, re-direction, support or even an expressed opinion that this won’t work so that we can hopefully prove you wrong!
Thank you for your valuable time. 
Luke Kemeys


The TAB has done well to embrace a very simple strategy that the Australian bookmakers use around promotions in early races.

The theory is that if punters are encouraged to bet early, they’ll end up betting throughout the day. That certainly worked for me and no doubt hundreds of other punters taking part in the March madness offer refunding you (up to $20) if your runners finished second through to fourth.

This should see turnover increase so the results will be interesting. The general feel I get from our group is that people haven’t been betting as much in March though; maybe a little bit of racing fatigue after the high of the Karaka Million and resulting come down.

I read somewhere that the TAB was $18million behind in turnover on last year, which I’d be worried about as a CEO and if reporting to my Board, but I imagine there will be some sound reasoning as to why. The frustrations of the TAB’s new platform would have been music to the ears of a lot of Australian bookmakers picking up Kiwi customers for the first time.

If we keep the status quo of the current racing administration, we really better hope a competitive product and promotions like March madness are good enough to bring punters’ dollars back, because I don’t think we can expect new people into the sport.

I’m attending a business course this week with 25 business owners and the interest or knowledge of the racing industry in the room is next to nothing, which is staggering for a racing nut.

Back to the exciting stuff, we managed to pull in Tom Waterhouse from Australia to take part in our 10-week punters’ club last weekend. As our guest selector he had four horses for us to back and even with his expertise, we couldn’t land a profit. Hopefully the tide turns because it’s my turn to spend the $10,000 this weekend. Falling on my birthday and one of my favourite racedays centred on the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes, it’s almost like it’s meant to be. Bring it on!

Around 100 of the BGP community are off to Awapuni to take in the Group One action. The BGP silks will be represented too, with a couple of runners giving our people a look into ownership, so hopefully they end up in the birdcage after the race.

With the rugby season now in full swing, you lose a large audience of potential racegoers and it really makes you realise how summer racing probably needs to be our focus in terms of driving on-course attendance. Unfortunately, I can’t be there this weekend as I head off to Melbourne to get through a couple of meetings and spend some time with the family.

They aren’t impressed I booked a meeting for a Saturday but I don’t like turning down opportunities to learn and it’s my birthday so they can deal with it because we’ll be off to the pub after to watch what ever I whack $10,000 on.

By the time you get to read this column, our video from Launceston Cup Day should be floating around the internet somewhere (first stop the BGP Facebook page) so check it out. It was an entertaining day hosted by Tasmania Racing.

Last week we launched the very early stages of our paid subscription membership for supporters of BGP. I’m rapt to say the first 100 slots went very quickly so my mind is already turning to giving them value exceeding the cost and whether we could soon have a BGP employee.

That person had better like a day’s work though, because as you’ve probably figured out, we don’t muck around and we don’t sit still. See you all on the other side of the Sires.


As featured in The Informant
Written by: Luke Kemeys

BGP Karaka Million 2019 Punters Club

💥 BGP Punters Club Karaka Million 2019 💥 

Back bigger than ever in 2019. The bets and balance will be easier to find on the website but of course there will be live heatups on Facebook as the punters club progresses. 

Your selectors will be the originals:

🕴🏻Ted 🐐 The Goat 🙋🏼‍♂️ Kemeys
➕Guest selectors that we will be announcing before the day😯

💳Admin Fee
After underestimating just how big this would be last year, there will be a $5 admin fee to enter for the 2019 version.There’s also a clause in the Terms & Conditions that if we are to triple the money, $5,000 will be withheld to take the above selectors on a lovely trip(bender). 

🎟 Tickets
This year they’ll be online at ARC’s website (link is in the first comment) which will make signing up a bit easier, you can pay online and we’ll be able to leave sign up open longer. Once you have paid, Ellerslie will provide you with an e-mail confirming your entry into the punters club (note this doesn’t give you admission to the race day).

Every ticket gives you $100 into the eventual pool of the 2019 Punters club. 

Buy a ticket to the 2019 Karaka Million Punters Club

Karaka Million 2yo Runner by Runner Preview and Teds Tips

This is the richest race for the 2yos in New Zealand earning some nice money for the winning connections. The winning jockey will earn $400.00 for every second he rides in the race. The winning trainer will earn $800.00 for every second he watches and the winning owners just over $8000.00 for every second they watch.

The barrier draw yesterday has had a major influence on the runners and how this race may now play out. Without doubt the big winner from the draws was the horse that has now come into favourite in Whiskey Neat. With the two gate he can either lead or trail and if there a lot of early speed pop into the trail. The former favourite and now second favourite Probabeel is now more than likely be taken back from the outside gate and as such going to end up further back in the field than if she had drawn better.

The two inside gates will go forward to make use of them plus they are both forward runners anyway. Beauty Diva has blistering early speed and from gate six could she zoom over and look to take the lead. If so, then will Leith Innes try and keep her out on Whiskey Neat or take a sit behind Beauty Diva. Both Louis Luck and Challa are drawn handily at four and five are also both likely to go forward which means there could well be plenty of early pressure in the race as they look for positions and if that pressure is sustained throughout then something back in the field can come over the top of the leaders which is what Probabeel will be looking to do.

Unlike last year when the race looked pretty easy to work out with Avantage drawing nicely at gate five and the race going to plan for her, this year’s race is a bit of a conundrum unless you think Whiskey Neat is unbeatable from the draw. In his two wins he has had it pretty soft in front without any pressure but I feel he won’t get that luxury on Saturday. He did wobble about under pressure over the closing stages of that win here last start and I did see him run off at the Te Aroha trials when going right handed before his debut. They have brought him up here a couple of times for gallops to help him but if he does come under pressure early I do wonder how he will react. He could also bolt in but I have enough concern that he could get rolled.

Opie has had the choice of five of the Te Akau horses as I mentioned and has chosen the filly with 54.5kgs and for Opie to get down to ride at that weight then he must feel pretty confident she can take the race out and give him and Jamie Richards a remarkable run of three wins in a row in the race. He has had to make the same decision over mounts the last two years and chosen correctly and that will be good enough for me on Saturday. I think this is a smart filly and will more than likely make a better 3yo but still capable of taking the race out. If Opie can go back, get some cover and then have her moving into the race turning in she can then sustain a strong run to the line and get up over them in the final meters.


1   12   Aotea Lad        (12)     56.5kgs

James McDonald

Trainer: Jamie Richards

2g Savabeel – Corsage

Purchase Price $200,000   Two starts: Won the G2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Trentham over 1100m on debut last month. Finished second behind Whiskey Neat here on New Years Day in the G3 Eclipse Stakes with Exuberant third. Got back that day before running home strongly. Drawn out and likely pattern again. Looks a nice type with James Mac to ride and with the right run hard to beat. Visor blinkers go on. $7.00FF

2   11   Whiskey Neat   (2)  56.5kgs

Leith Innes

Trainer: Tony Pike

2g Denman – Ouija

Purchase Price   $220,000 Two starts: Unbeaten. The first of them was at Otaki when winning by ten lengths creating a big impression and following that with a win at Ellerslie on New Years Day in the Eclipse Stakes beating Aotea Lad and Exuberant. Led in both starts and had drawn the best of the better backed runners in gate to. Will go forward and lead or trail and if he does things correctly right handed is right in this. $2.70FF

3   12   Neptune’s Spear (11) 56.5kgs

Johnathan Parkes

Trainer: Liam Birchley

2c Super Easy – Hestolemyroses

Purchase Price $140,000    Two starts: Australian trained galloper who won on debut at Doomben in November over 1050m. Second start, also at Doomben earlier this month over 1110m he finished second beaten three and a quarter lengths. Not knowing the Australian form around this horse it is difficult how to rate him against the NZ runners. Trainer has won the race twice previously so knows what is required to win.  $21.00FF

4   13    Exuberant    (15)      56.5kgs

Jason Waddell

2c  Savabeel  –  Merrily

Trainer: Stephen Marsh

Purchase Price  $160,000 Two starts:  Won the Listed Wellesley Stakes over 1000m at Trentham late October beating Last Sight and Appellant. Nearly ten weeks later he lined up in the G3 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Years Day finishing a good third behind Whiskey Neat and Aotea Lad. He will be improved for  that run but the disastrous draw makes it very difficult for him now. Will need luck,  probably go back and look to run on.  $15.00FF

5   12   Yourdeel    (13)    56.5kgs

Matt Cameron

2g  Dundeel  –  Miss Zapper

Trainer:   Jamie Richards

Purchase price   $100,000  Two Starts:  Won easily on debut at Te Rapa  last month by over five lengths beating Flaunting. Then lined up at Ellerslie two weeks ago and just went down to stablemate Probabeel in the last two strides, beaten a head after sitting outside the leader. An awkward draw to overcome and not sure how they will ride him from out there. Has to be one of the main dangers in the race with the right run.   $13.00FF

6   1   Louis Luck    (4)    56.5kgs

Shafiq Rusof

2g  Dissident  –  My Option

Trainer:   Jamie Richards

One start:  Won well on debut at Trentham  two weeks ago beating The Fugitive who is held in some regard by a length over 1200m in 1:08:61. Has a very good draw to operate with. Shared the pace on the inner in that Trentham win so most likely will be sent forward again to make use of the draw. He didn’t shirk the task in that debut win and if able to back up quickly can go well again.   $12.00FF

7 Challa (5)  56.5kgs    

Johnathan Riddell

2g  Dissident  –  Are There Any

Trainer:   Jamie Richards

Purchase Price   $100,000   Four starts: Three seconds in a row, all at Riccarton, with the third start behind Miss Federer in the Listed Welcome Stakes in November. His fourth start was  at Ellerslie two weeks ago when finishing seventh of eight some seven lengths behind Probabeel and Yourdeel. He had the run of the race in the trail but found little in the run home. Hard to see him turning the tables on those two even with a better draw. Look elsewhere. Blinkers go on.  $91.00FF

8   42×1   Tappy’s One   (7)    56.5kgs

Samantha Collett

2g  Proisir  –  Tappy Lee

Trainer:  Stephen McKee

Purchase Price  $20,000  Three starts: Finished fourth at Counties over 800m behind Beauty Diva in late September and followed that up with a second behind Last Sight at Ruakaka early October. Freshened up he came out at Tauranga eight days ago and won by two lengths. Backing up quickly here but trainer has won the race previously. Not a bad draw to operate from, likely to settle about fifth or sixth but this is a big step up for him and looks held.  $51.00FF

9   33   Blackrocksdetox    (3)   56.5kgs

2g  Rip Van Winkle  –  Dominique

Vinnie Colgan

Trainer:  Bruce Wallace  &  Allan   Peard

Purchase Price  $26,000            Two starts:  Finished third in both starts, the first at Counties in the Listed Splice Construction Stakes over 1100m behind Bavella. Start two was at Ellerslie on Boxing Day behind Appellant on a wet track that day running on strongly from last over the 1100m. In both starts he has been slow away from the outside gate of seven.  He has drawn beautifully in gate three but if slow away will get back in a very awkward position and make it difficult.  $51.00FF

10   331  Appellant    (9)     54.5kgs

Tommy Berry

2f  Showcasing  –  Royal Appellant

Trainer:  Stephen Marsh

Purchase Price   $30,000 Three starts:  Finished third on debut at Counties in September over 800m behind Beauty Diva when finishing strongly. Then came from last at Trentham to finish third behind Exuberant in the Listed Wellesley Stakes over 1000m. Came to Ellerslie on Boxing Day to win over 1200m on the wet track. I think there is upside to this filly and from gate nine can settle about sixth and look to finish strongly. Good chance at nice odds. Side winkers on.  $21.00FF

11   211  Probabeel   (16)    54.5kgs

Opie Bosson

2f   Savabeel  –  Far Fetched

Trainer: Jamie Richards

Purchase Price  $380,000  Three starts:  Just beaten on debut at Te Rapa over 1000m she won her next two starts, both at Ellerslie .In the first she got back before sweeping by to win by four and a half length over 1100m. Two weeks ago she got back on the inner before finishing widest and getting up the last couple of strides. Opie had the choice of five and is wasting hard to ride this one. He and the trainer are looking for a three peat. Horror draw but is smart. Visor blinkers on. $3.70FF

12   154  Beauty Diva  (6)   54.5kgs

Winona Costin

2f  Showcasing  –  Ketchme

Trainer:  Clinton Isdale

Purchase Price  $11,000 Three starts:  She won impressively on debut at Counties over 800m showing plenty of speed beating First Rock and Appellant. She then finished fifth in the Wellesley Stakes at Trentham over 1000m battling the last part. At Ellerslie on Boxing Day she finished fourth but some thirteen lengths behind Appellant. Has a handy draw and plenty of speed to make use of it but probably to be found wanting over the closing stages on last two runs.  $101.00FF

13   24   Aalaalune   (10)   54.5kgs

2f  Reliable Man  –  Viva Girl

Trainer:  Jacob McKay

Purchase Price  $230,000 Two starts:  She finished second on debut in the Listed Splice Construction Stakes at Counties late November behind Bavella and then lined up at Ellerslie in the G3 Eclipse Stakes and ran home nicely to finish fourth behind Whiskey Neat, Aotea Lad and Exuberant. It was a tidy enough run to suggest with the right run she could get some of it and is not without a show.  Side winkers go on.   $35.00FF

14   21   Flaunting    (1)      54.5kgs

Sam Spratt

2f  Showcasing –  Acapela

Trainer:  David Greene

Purchase Price $40,000  Two starts: She finished second on debut at Te Rapa albeit just over five lengths behind Yourdeel last month and then went to Matamata where she won over 1200m after getting the run of the race in the trail popping out at the 300m and winning by three quarters of a length. This is a big step up but does have the coveted one draw, so successful in the past in this race. That is a big help and likely to take advantage of it but likely to find a few better here.  $35.00FF

15   1  Rainbow Dash   (8)   54.5kgs

2f  Showcasing  –  Sarsourti

Trainer:  Jenna  Mahoney

Purchase Price  $14,000 One start:  This filly made her debut at Matamata two and a half weeks ago and won really nicely after sitting outside the leader and coming away in the straight to win by a length and a quarter beating a nice horse in Minnallines. She does need a scratching to get a start but if she did she could be a worth a gold coin or two at big odds.  $51.00FF

16   2  Qiji Swordsman   (14)   56.5kgs

2g  Shamexpress  –  Flowing

Trainer:  Nigel Tiley

Purchase Price  $40,000  One start:  Finished second on debut behind Tappy’s Star at Tauranga and didn’t get all favours that day when in tight quarters at the 400m. When out and with room ran on strongly two lengths behind the winner. Second on the ballot and probably not going to get a start.






Good luck.



Another home run 
We’ve got ’s for you and reasons to get one.

We wanted to get you all in on the Million dollar action of Karaka Million night. The horses are running for $1 Million on the track and now BGP members have the chance to win $1 Million off the track.

The special edition BGP Krak A Million cap comes with something a little special.
The first 1,000 people to purchase a BGP Krak A Million 2019 Hat, will receive a free entry into the ‘BGP Krak A Million’.


The Karaka Million 2yo race will be run on the 26th of January 2019 at Ellerslie racecourse.

Your cap comes with your chance pick the exact finishing order of the race. 14 horses: 1 through to 14. Krak it and you’ll win $1Million. More than one person Krak’s it – the prize is split.

Once the field is finalised (January 2019), you’ll receive an entry link where you need to select the finishing order of the race and submit it for confirmation of your entry.

Then sit back, watch the action and pray one of the BGP family Krak the Million.

The entries will be capped at 1,000 so the first in will be the first served. Entries will close on the Friday before the race and sent off to be locked in a vault.


The hats can be purchased from The Informant’s Office for $30 + a handling fee. You can order online below by clicking on the link.

We’ll be sending hats out left right and center and come closer to the Million, you’ll receive instructions on how to complete your Krak A Million entry.



Racing Victoria – Annouce Worlds Richest Mile Race

Today Racing Victoria announced a $5m race over 1600m to be run at Flemington on March 16. The All Star Mile will be run under weight for age conditions.

Of the 14 positions in the field, 10 will be decided by public vote and the final 4 wild card spots determined by Racing Victoria.

Winx is highly sort after for the initial meeting and could slot nicely into her Autumn campaign, could we see a match up against the new Kiwi racing hero in Te Akau Shark? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion we could see 11,000 BGP votes cast in that direction if the Tangerine Army look to target the race. Will Chris Waller send the Autumn Sun and Winx? This could be one very exciting race on the cards.

The race is again unique in the fact it will be shared amongst the 3 metropolitan track in Melbourne (Flemington, Moonee Valley, Caulfield) which add a new twist on the race each year. This year already adding to Flemington’s tidy Autumn schedule including Super Saturday.

A huge initiative from Racing Victoria and exciting that racing fans are involved, another step in the right direction engaging with an active audience.

As we get closer to the race it will be interesting to see which stables put their horses forward for the vote and if there is interest in bringing he best international horses to Australia to compete.

Go the lads, up the shark.

Melbourne Cup Runner by Runner Preview and Tips!

The race that stops a nation, or two?

Lets start by looking at the race from statistical stand point.

Age, the most common winner comes from the 4yo and 5yo horse.

Three year olds: 23 Wins
Four year olds: 44 Wins
Five year olds: 44 Wins
Six year olds: 33 Wins
Seven year olds: 11 Wins
Eight year olds: 2 Wins

Barrier – Current favourite – Yucatan has drawn the visitor barrier way out in 23, will that be the undoing of him? We saw the Caulfield Cup winner come from a similar gate with a supreme ride slotting in one back one wide in what was a deadly slow pace. As you can see from the statistics below wider barriers have had their share of success in the great race.

Barrier 5 8 Wins
Barrier 10 7 Wins
Barriers 11, 14 & 17 6 Wins
Barriers 1, 4, 6, 8, 19 and 22 5 Wins

Weight – They say weight stops trains, and whilst Carbine holds the cup record carrying a whopping 65.5kg to victory in 1980, only the great mare Makybe Diva has carried 58kg to victory in the past 30 years

54.5kgs: 8 Wins
52.5kgs: 7 Wins
53kgs 7 Wins
51.5kgs: 6 Wins

So with all that said, lets take a look at this years runners.

1. Best Solution (IRE) (6)

Pat Cosgrave (57.5kg) Saeed Bin Suroor

The deserving top weight, coming off the back of 4 wins on the trot including 3 group one races. Where he carried more than 60kg on 2 occasions. The Caulfield Cup where he was drawn wide and had to work early was a nice win, albeit a hard race to line  up the form with the huge midrace slow down and overall pace more than 50 lengths slower than the track record giving the horses worse of midfield no chance. He did everything he needed to get the job done and is well placed to be fighting out the finish here. The concern being he has no winning form beyond the mile and half and a question mark if he can run out a strong 3200m.

2. The Cliffsofmoher (IRE) (9)

(9) Ryan Moore (56.5kg) Aidan O’Brien

He had a lot of admirers coming off his first run in Australia (Caulfield Stakes 2000m; video below, look for Navy colours at the back swinging widest) where he came with a strong run hitting the line hard alongside two of Australia’s best 2000m horses in Humidor and D’Argentino. Backed up by a solid 3rd in the Caulfield Cup. He has form around the favourite, previously beating Yucatan over 2000m. If he improves his racing manners from the Caulfield Cup where he wanted to hang in, he can be very competitive here.

 3. Magic Circle (IRE) (17)

Corey Brown (56kg) Ian Williams

An interesting proposition and a true European stayer in every sense of the phrase, with an even more interesting owner promising to don a lacy G string in celebration WHEN (not if) Magic Circle wins the Cup. Of his last 9 starts, 8 have been over distances of more than 3000m suggesting he will love every stride of the 2 miles at Flemington. He has form in moist conditions and we could get that with rain forecast for the big dance. He’s clocked up some nice wins in his past couple sprinting away for dominant 6-7L victories, including smashing subsequent Lexus states winner Prince Of Arran at Chester and Cup fancy Red Verdon (now scratched) at Sandown. Check out his last run below (Final moments of the race from the 5 min mark)

4. Chestnut Coat (JPN) (4)

Yuga Kawada (55.5kg) Yoshito Yahagi

The Japanese runner has been there or there abouts in some top class staying events in the land of the rising sun. Finishing 5th in the group one Tenno Sho Spring (3200m) 3 runs back. While his first run in Australia didn’t draw too much admiration finishing well back in a slow Caulfield Cup, he can be very competitive if he runs up to what he has done at home.

 5. Muntahaa (IRE) (13)

Jim Crowley (55.5kg) John Gosden

Munta ha! We all have a mate that suits the name and if you’re looking at one for the name this could be it. But looking at his form he is a serious contender, hitting the line hard winning by 3.5L last start over 2800m, smashing the clock too. He looked to be cruising and always the winner. Following the same path as previous cup runner up Heartbreak City. He mixes his form and can throw up an average one but if he’s right on the day look for him to be in the finish.

 6. Sound Check (GER) (16)

Jordan Childs (55.5kg) Michael Moroney

One of the beaten brigade not suited to the dawdling pace at Caulfield. He posted back to back wins earlier in the European Spring with wins over 2800m and 3200m (Video below of the Group 2 event). A very hard one to line up after the first up run at Caulfield. Whilst you cant knock the wins in Germany he’ll need to go to another level to be competitive with the best in the world.

7. Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (18)

Ben Melham (55.5kg) Chris Waller

The Rangitikei Ranger, the Wanganui Warrior, the colt hero of NZ racing. A rising 10yo will compete in his 4th Melbourne Cup this year (making that the 2nd equal for most runs in the cup). A fan favourite will be sure to have a few supporters. Traditionally he runs very well here with finishes of 3rd,11th and 5th in previous efforts of the famous race. Note the 11th was very unlucky coping a big squeeze at the 200m. He was impressive in winning the Sydney Cup early this year and whilst winning would be a surprise, expect an honest run and betting around top 10 an top 5 markets look appealing. Relive his Sydney Cup win below, when BGP purchased the winning Saddle Cloth, had this signed by Jockey Blake Shinn and Hall of Fame trainer Chris Waller and auctioned this off to support two of our charities in Men’s Health and Riding for the Disabled. Thanks to the owners for getting involved and supporting us.

 8. Ace High (AUS) (22)

Tye Angland (55kg) David Payne

The 2017 VRC derby winner makes the natural progression to the cup as a 4yo. Whilst he hasn’t stepped out beyond the 2500m before he has been set for this has had the miles put in his legs. He was very unlucky not to do the Derby double running second in the ATC Derby. Another factor that may be against him is the forecasted weather, having 6 starts on rain affected going for no placings. He’s hard to have after a poor effort in the Caulfield Cup, running near the front and failing to finish off the race. If he can bounce back to his best he is a chance. Hard to have. So lets watch the Derby win again from last year.

  9. Marmelo (GB) (10)

Hugh Bowman (55kg) Hughie Morrison

A big run in last years Caulfield Cup saw him cemented as the Melbourne Cup favourite last year, this year they’ve taken a different tact and decided he may be at his best fresh and that’s precisely what they have done. His runs since last years cup have had a lot of merit (4 starts 2 wins, 2 seconds) and there has been plenty of good comments regarding how he’s been settling in at Werribee. We head back two starts ago seeing him put away the 2800m race with 60kg.

10. Avilius (GB) (11)

Glyn Schofield (54.5kg) James Cummings

The Godolphin horse has done very little wrong this prep after some strong wins in Sydney, coming across to Melbourne and running impressively again. He showed great ability to stay over the trip with his win in the Bart Cummings 2500m. Whether he gets the full 3200m is the big question. His trainer is the progeny of the great Bart Cummins (Cups Kings) and in a sport where breeding is highly regarded as the key element I think James will have a note or two from his youth on how to win the race. He ran a strong 4th in the cox plate which should have him ready to peak on Tuesday.

 11. Yucatan (IRE) (23)

James McDonald (54.5kg) Aidan O’Brien

Deserves his favourite status after blitzing them in the Herbert Power Stakes fresh in Australia. Kiwi gun J-Mac to pilot the horse from barrier 23 he will need some luck, looking to slot into the 2 or 3 wide train. The query is if can hold that form and can match the ratings of his peak. He can mix his runs with 2 terrific wins in his past 5 runs as well as finishing last on 2 occasions.

12. Auvray (FR)

Tommy Berry (54kg) Richard Freedman

He doesn’t look up to the top class stayers in this race, with his best run in recent times being a fast finishing 6th in the Metro over 2400m at Randwick, with his last win coming earlier in the year over 2000m in the High Stakes at Randwick. Needs to lift, one to leave out and rightfully $101

13. Finche (GB) (15)

Zac Purton (54kg) Chris Waller

Reports out of Werribee suggest the son of Frankle is one to watch. He is another untried at the trip, he closed nicely in the Geelong cup with 59kg. However that form hasn’t been franked with sub par performances from those who have come out of the race. He is lightly raced which suggests he could improve off the back of that fresh up run in Geelong.

  14. Red Cardinal (IRE) (5)

Damien Oliver (54kg) Darren Weir

Darren Weir lost his preferred cups horse Kings Will Dream when he fractured his pelvis during the Cox Plate (thankfully all reports are he is on his way back from what could have been a traffic end). Red Cardinal has been an honest horse but has lacked the big run to look like this years cup winner. He boasts 3 starts over the 2 miles for 2 wins when he put together back to back wins around 18 months ago. We look at his win below in the Belmont Gold Cup over 3200m

 15. Vengeur Masque (IRE)

(2) Patrick Moloney (54kg) Michael Moroney

The 7yo son of Monson hasn’t had the prep of a Melbourne Cup winner, he should appreciate the step up to 3200m but he is another with a long time between drinks. His last win coming in the Spring of 17 over 2600m in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and looks to be a class below the top ones here.

Ventura Storm (IRE) (7)

Mark Zahra (54kg) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Whilst he put it all together and took out the Moonee Valley Cup last start, I don’t think that’s the winning form line. He finished near the tail in this race last year (21st) and wasn’t up to the task in the Sydney Cup either.  Suggesting he might not quite have the staying ability to see out the full trip. He is in great form and deserves a throw at the stumps. Drawn to get a sweet trip, when the whips are cracking I don’t think he’ll be making ground like some of the others in the field.

 17. A Prince Of Arran (GB) (20)

Michael Walker (53kg) Charlie Fellowes

He will have a few admirers after taking out the Lexus Stake (2500m) on Saturday finishing the strongest of the field and securing his spot in the Cup field. His run prior was also solid running a strong third behind Cup favourite Yucatan in the Hebert Power Stakes. Both runs suggesting he’s fit, peaking and ready to roll. He draws quite wide so will be another hopeful of slotting into a position off the speed. Its a tough ask to back up 3 days later after a Lexus and that’s against him with other in years gone by not having a great success race, as well as the fact Magic Circle has comfortably beaten him in the Northern Hemisphere.

 18. Nakeeta (GB) (3)

Regan Bayliss (53kg) Iain Jardine

Has run poorly this preparation and I would suggest their would have been high hopes in the camp after running home well for 5th in last years race. He finished 13 of 15 in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup with other cup hopefuls looking a lot more appealing off the back of their runs. He has been safely held in all runs this time and I don’t think he is going as well as this time last year.  Vision below of 2017 Melbourne Cup run.

19. Sir Charles Road (AUS) (14)

Dwayne Dunn (53kg) Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott

He may come into his own if we get the rain that is predicted with his best form coming on slow going (12 3-3-1). He boasts a third behind Who Shot Thebarman in last preps Sydney Cup and beating Ventura Storm over 2600m at Randwick in April this year. The question is does he have the class to beat this field, I doubt it. But he always gives an honest effort and expect nothing less on Tuesday, one for first 10 markets perhaps.

  20. Zacada (NZ) (24)

Damian Lane (53kg) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman

The Baker/Forsman combo have a cup runner here and whilst his run in the Geelong Cup was poor he ran a slashing 2nd to the Barman in the Sydney Cup. Whether that form is up to the best here, remains to be seen. This prep hasn’t been flash and we can leave this guy out of our selections here. Check out his Sydney Cup run in the Barman’s featured race above. He’s started over $101 in his past 3 runs and deserves that price again, his last win coming in the Avondale Cup back in January and 5th in the Auckland cup (below).

  21. Runaway (AUS) (12)

Stephen Baster (52kg) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

He has been performing nicely this preparation but may be another light weight hope lacking the class to win a Melbourne cup, look for him to take a leading position drawn right in the middle of the 24 horses he’ll go forward and look to out stay them. If the pace is kind and he gets his way up front, he could surprise and be in the finish.

 22. Youngstar (AUS) (8)

Craig Williams (51.5kg) Chris Waller

The lone mare in the race, a lightly raced 4yo. She could be exactly what her name suggests a Young Star. She was excellent in the winter carnival in QLD flashing home for 3rd in the Derby and again storming home to win the QLD Oaks against her own sex. Her last 2 runs have both had plenty of merit in races where the pace did not suit her pattern, she came with Winx in the Turnbull stakes and had superb sections. Her run in the Caulfield cup was ordinary to the naked eye but again off a slow pace she ran some great closing sections and with just 51.5 kilos she looks to have every chance to be in the finish, again a small query on the 2 miles, but what we have seen and what the clock says is that she will relish it, she’s also not one to be worried about the ran. Below we feature her Oaks win where she just gets up but was very strong the final furlong.

  23. Cross Counter (GB) (19)

Kerrin McEvoy (51kg) Charlie Appleby

A very lightly raced 4yo gelding having only 7 starts, having finished 1st 4 times and 2nd twice. He is a genuine contender here, and his light campaign allows him the benefit of carrying the minimum. He wont know himself with 51kg with his previous lightest ride being 57kg, with that being is last run 2nd in the Group 2 Voltiguer Stakes below.

 24. Rostropovich (IRE) (21)

Wayne Lordan (51kg) Aidan O’Brien

Last years runner up trainer Aidan O’Brien is back with a similar path to that they plotted with last years runner up Johannes Vermeer. He’s ran a very close second to the highly fancied Latrobe (scratched from the cup with injury) a few starts back n the Irish Derby but looks to need improvement on what he produced in the Cox Plate. Irish Derby footage below:


The Prince 


Comments: Yucatan screams “I am the winner” after his first run in Australia and on the back of that you have to put him on top. The mare maps well and with more speed predicted here than her past two runs I think she will go very close. Marmelo fresh could be a weapon, if he repeats what he did in the Caulfield Cup fresh last year, he’ll be in the finish. Cross Counter another interesting runner, what I like is the consistency he’s shown in his short career and the fact he’s carrying a sand fly round. If I could have a 5th it would be Magic Circle who’s performed very well over the long trips.


Comments: J Mac to win with Yucatan after an impressive Herbert Power win.
Magic Circle for second after two impressive wins in the UK.
Cross Counter is a lightweight that can finish strongly.
Of the locals – Youngstar who ran second behind Winx in the Turnbull and ran well in the Caulfield Cup.



Gee I hate this race, everyone is an expert after the race and some prick you don’t like always gets the first four.

Anyway, after the Caulfield Cup I took The Cliffsofmoher as I just felt he looked a bit dour and at $16 was worth a tickle.

I usually look to stats for this race and they’ve never helped me find the winner but they usually help rule out a couple.

I never back a horse that hasn’t had a lead up in Aussie first – near impossible to win doing so (so far). I look for a horse weighted in the 54kg to 55kg range. I stay away from the top weight (Best Solution).
Avoid horses that have been in the cup before (Fiorente disproved this).

Tip one then dickhead, right yeah sorry here we go.

The winner will come out of these 3, in order:
(Cosy draw, 5year old gelding carrying 54.5kg, having the legs ticked over in the Cox Plate (Green Moon anyone?)).
The CliffsofMoher

The Goat


A man drawn by the stats, here are some of the things I considered to try and narrow the field down – 18 of the last 20 Melbourne Cup winners have fitted the following profile; Had a run in Australia prior to the race. It was the horses 1st Melbourne Cup or they had finished within 3L of the winner at their last Cup appearance. Their last handicap race they either won or got within 2L of the winner.

Yucatan’s win in the Herbert Power was simply dominant and the form has been franked since.  His closing sectionals were outstanding (much like Protectionists in 2014) and has thrived since.  The wide draw won’t matter (only will enhance the price) – he ticks all the boxes and I think he will take this year’s Cup, providing sweet redemption for JMac after his time away from the game.

Muntahaa hasn’t had a run in Oz but his Ebor win last start was super impressive and in good time.  He is well weighted and has the class to be right up there.

Cross Counter is the up and comer – his form in the UK is strong, including a course record at Goodwood two starts back.  Lightly weighted he will give a good account of himself.

Avilius would be a fairytale result for James Cummings, grandson of Melbourne Cup legend Bart.  He comes out of the Cox Plate, dropping in weight for this.  His lead up runs have been very sound and with the Cummings polish he will be cherry ripe for this.

That’s a wrap from us team, all the best on the day when everyone becomes an expert. Lets hope Barbara from accounts doesn’t collect the (mystery) first 4 and rub it in your face for the next 12 months.