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2020 Melbourne Cup Runner-By-Runner Guide - Assessing the chances of all 24 contenders

  • A look at the chances of every runner in the 2020 Melbourne Cup
  • The race will be run with a field of 24 horses
  • Rating the chances of all Melbourne Cup contenders
  • Who will come out on top at Flemington?
Melbourne Cup Runner By Runner guide
Your 2020 Melbourne Cup runner-by-runner guide. (Getty)

The 2020 Melbourne Cup looks set to be one of the most competitive and strongest we have seen in some time. How do the form lines of some of Australia's and the world's stayers compare, and who will win at Flemington?

Northern Hemisphere 3YO Tiger Moth heads the betting with 2020 Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet also among the frontrunners with the bookmakers.

Surprise Baby, Verry Elleegant and Russian Camelot fly the flag for Australia, while two-time placegetter Prince Of Arran bids to get the job done at the third attempt. Who will prevail in the race that stops a nation?

2020 Melbourne Cup Runner-By-Runner Guide

1. Anthony Van Dyck (T: A. O'Brien/J: H. Bowman/W: 58.5kg)

The 2020 Caulfield Cup runner-up was game in defeat, coming one of the widest on the turn, but just not being strong enough to gun down Verry Elleegant who was the eventual winner. He has not been tested over the two miles before, with his strongest form coming over 2400m. He seems to be a horse who lacks a big turn of foot in the shorter staying races, but some will argue that he will be even better suited over further given that he does not necessarily need a big turn of foot to win the race, more that he has the best form on the board and clearly has elite staying ability. He looks a big chance if he can get a smother early and use no energy during the run.

Anthony Van Dyck - 7.50Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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2. Avilius (T: J. Cummings/J: J. Allen/W: 57kg)

This grand horse has not been able to stay the 3200m in his previous attempt at a Melbourne Cup, but now as a more seasoned horse and after a very unlucky run in the Caulfield Cup, he could well earn himself another cheque in the race. Known for loving a wet track, the Cummings stable will be hoping that there is a lot of rain about that can give this boy his chance on his favourite type of ground. On a good track, it is hard to see him featuring against some of these classy horses, but on a wet track, this gives him his best chance to feature at some part of the race.

Avilius - 51.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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3. Vow And Declare (T. D. O'Brien/J: J. Mott/W: 57kg)

The 2019 Melbourne Cup winner won the very messy event last year, coming from just behind the pace and up against the rail to hold off everything to his outer. He has not found that form again since and will have to carry 57kg if he were to repeat last year's doses. What we do know, is that he has a great set of lungs and can run this race right out if they set a tempo in front. There is a chance as we saw last year that he could be dug out of the machines to take that forward role, and make this a genuinely run affair to try and out stay his rivals. I can't have him in the numbers and it would be a shock to see him feature.

Vow And Declare - 41.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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4. Master Of Reality (T: J. O'Brien/J: B. Melham/W: 56kg)

The talk of last year's race, with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, he caused a lot of interference to both Vow And Declare and Il Paradiso to his inside. He made the running in the event and showed nice acceleration off a slow speed, but has shown to be adaptable off tempos that are a little quicker as well. He comes into the race with better form than what he had shown last year, finishing a short-half-head second in the Irish St Leger trial, and then subsequently dominating a Group Three event. He handles Australian racing conditions and with Ben Melham in the saddle, he must be considered a chance once again.

Master Of Reality - 26.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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5. Sir Dragonet (T: C. Maher & D. Eustace/J: G. Boss/W: 55.5kg)

Your Cox Plate winner put all the haters away when winning the greatest two minutes in sport emphatically on a rain effected surface. We have seen the Cox Plate a strong form reference in recent years, but this year's event did look to have two main hopes heading to the Melbourne Cup. Everyone has said that he will be well suited in a Melbourne Cup with a seemingly great ability to stay. He does need a wet track to show his best though as he loves to get the hoof into the ground. Any rain about, and this boy must go up in your selections.

Sir Dragonet - 9.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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6: Twilight Payment (T: J. O'Brien/J: J. McNeil/W: 55.5kg)

He came out for the race last year and did set the tempo with Master Of Reality. He finished 11th, just under four lengths away from the winner, but it can be argued that he is in better form this year, beating Master Of Reality in the Curragh Cup and finishing a close third in the Irish St Leger behind Search For A Song and Ebor winner Fujaira Prince. He does seem to lack a little bit of class though on some of these horses, so a pace making role could be what this horse is brought over for.

Twilight Payment - 51.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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7: Verry Elleegant (T: C. Waller/J: M. Zahra/W. 55.5kg)

This six-time Group One winner looks weighted to a treat in this race based off what she has done on the track. Although she has to carry a big weight for a mare, she beat home Anthony Van Dyck in the Caulfield Cup and was coming away from him on the line, showing that the 3200m could well suit. She had a lot in her favour in that race, including the soft track which we know she loves. Any rain about on the day would enhance her chances greatly, but if the track came up good, there could be a few horses who can catch up to her over the longer trip an on their more favourable ground.

Verry Elleegant - 13.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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8: Mustajeer (T: K. Lees/J: M. Rodd/W: 55kg)

He has not been in great form this prep, although he did catch the eye running home in the Caulfield Cup. In saying that, it was a similar run last year before a flop in the Melbourne Cup, so it is hard to take any confidence with him into the two mile event. He was in good form over the Autumn on rain effected tracks, running well against the likes of Verry Elleegant and Avilius, but on anything other than a heavy surface, it is hard to see this horse finishing inside the top 10.

Mustajeer - 67.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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9: Stratum Albion (T: W. Mullins/J: J. Childs/W: 55kg)

He has shown some great staying ability over the jumps and flat in Europe. He has a similar profile to a horse such as Max Dynamite who was a hurdler before his first campaign in Australia, then subsequently running well in the great race. His last start was a second placing behind Enbihaar in the Lonsdale Cup, a great stayer over in Europe, so that form is not to be over looked. It is always hard to say that a hurdler is a great chance in the Melbourne Cup, but we have seen this formula work well in previous years. 

Stratum Albion - 26.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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10: Dashing Willoughby (T: A. Balding/J: M. Walker/W: 54.5kg)

He came over to Australia with some promising form behind him, with a win over Spanish Mission and a a fourth placing in the Lonsdale Cup (beaten by Stratum Albion). He ran in the Caulfield Cup and seemed to be pulled up, whether that was because he did not handle Caulfield or was wanting two miles, I am not sure. After that run, you would think Walker would be regretting hopping off Prince Of Arran, but the thing in this horses favour is that he has natural speed and was always going to be better suited over two miles.

Dashing Willoughby - 101.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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11: Finche (T: C. Waller/J: J. McDonald/W: 54.5kg)

Again, he was good in the Caulfield Cup being three-wide for the entirety of the race, yet still showing some resistance at the end. He has no turn of foot, but a great lung capacity and would be well suited if the race was run at a fast clip. He finished fourth in the race two years ago, and not too far off them last year, but to be a winning chance, he wants them to go quick. If they sit up for the race, these horses have a better turn of foot than him, and although his form looks reasonably strong, he does need race shape to suit.

Finche - 17.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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12: Prince Of Arran (T: C. Fellows/J: J. Kah/W: 54.5kg)

One of Australia's favourites having finished in the placings in the last two Melbourne Cups. He had won lead up races in the last two years to get him into the race, but having assured himself a start this year, he could take the natural lead up race, the Caulfield Cup into this years edition with a new jockey in the saddle, Jamie Kah who is arguably Australia's best rider. He finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup, but closed off with great splits that shows signs of needing the two miles. It would take a brave person to leave him out of the numbers, especially as he is a chance to go one better this year.

Prince Of Arran - 13.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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13: Surprise Baby (T: P. Preusker/J: C. Williams/W: 54.5kg)

The top pick for me coming into the race third-up. He is a strong stayer, showing that in the 2019 Adelaide Cup when stepping up from the 2000m to the 3200m. He found himself in last years edition of the Melbourne Cup, having won the Bart Cummings leading up the race. Settling last, he was not entitled to finish as close as he did off a slow tempo, but showed how great a stayer he really is. He is back bigger and better this time around, and with two blowout runs under his belt, watch for the Baby to rocket down the outside.

Surprise Baby - 8.50Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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14: King Of Leogrance (T: D'O'Brien/J: D. Lane/W: 53.5kg)

Early on in the year, this boy was your Melbourne Cup favourite having won the Adelaide Cup before tackling the Andrew Ramsden. He finished second in that event and was not seen again until the Turnbull Stakes where he was in need of the run. A more positive performance was shown in the Geelong Cup, making a great run up along the rain but simply being beaten by two better horses. Although he loves Flemington, it is very hard to see him beating some of these high class internationals and turning the tables on Steel Prince.

King Of Leogrance - 81.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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15: Russian Camelot (T: D. O'Brien/J: D. Oliver/W: 53.5kg)

This boy has been the favourite for the race for the last few months, but after his defeat in the Cox Plate, he has drifted to double figures. He is well and truely up to open age Group One class, as he has shown all prep when finishing runner-up twice and winning the Underwood Stakes easily. He went around as the favourite in the Cox Plate and finished third behind Sir Dragonet and Armory, two horses who are world class. Again, he was ridden close to the pace, but expect his race pattern to look a lot different in the Melbourne Cup, where he will likely conserve his energy early. I do not see him turning the tables on Sir Dragonet on a wet track, but I do have a few horse ahead of him in the pecking order now. He is six months away from being everything we hope him to be.

Russian Camelot - 13.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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16: Steel Prince (T: A & S. Freedman/J: W. Pike/W: 53kg)

The 20202 Geelong Cup winner earned himself a 1kg penalty to find himself in the final field of the Melbourne Cup. He ran gamely last year, earning a cheque for his owners and again, this looks his most likely finishing position (5th-10th), although he is in much better form this time around. He loves a fight, so this could help see him finish closer to fourth than 10th, but he gets a lot of conditions to favour him. Good weather leading up to the race also is a tick, not enjoying getting his foot into the ground as well as running on top of it. He lacks that class to win the race but will fight for the whole 3200m trip.

Steel Prince - 41.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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17. The Chosen One (T: M. Baker & A. Forsman/J: D. Stackhouse/W: 53.5kg)

The third place getter in the Caulfield shocked plenty of punters with such a positive run off two below average defeats. His win first-up was great, but he did not find anything like that form in the Underwood  or Herbert Power. He was well beaten in this race last year and even though he has run so well in the Caulfield Cup, I would be confident in crossing his name off the page early.

The Chosen One - 41.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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18: Ashrun (T: A. Wohler/J: D. Bates/W: 52kg)

He was very good in the Geelong Cup, proving the eye-catcher when storming home from the back of the field and finishing in fourth position. This forced his hand to run in the Lexus, where he won on the line in what was five lengths faster than the class average. Any rain about would greatly enhance his chances, but on a three-day back-up, I am happy to risk him at the quote, with some very strong horses in the field.

Ashrun - 19.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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19: Warning (T: A & S. Freedman/J: L. Currie/W: 53kg)

He has been great this prep and would love a down pour of rain to be in the finish. He has come back as a 4YO a much bigger and stronger horse, with a super run in the Tunrbull Stakes which is Verry Elleegant form, and running okay in the Caulfield Cup, a track he does not get around that well. Flemington is a monster tick in his favour, but any rain about would enhance his chances of finishing on the heels of the winners.

Warning - 31.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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20: Etah James (T: C. Maher & D. Eustace/J: B. Egan/W: 52.5kg)

The Maher and Eustace stable won the Cox Plate last week, so I would not put this race past them. Although he does not look a factor whatsoever in the race, he did win the Sydney Cup beating The Chosen One, who subsequently ran third in the Caulfield Cup, so the form is strong enough. He just lacks something that these horses in the market and the internationals have, and that could be a turn of foot. He also needs a wet deck to knock out some key hopes to help him rise in the placing to earn a cheque.

Etah James - 151.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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21: Tiger Moth (T: A. O'Brien/J: K. McEvoy/W: 52.5kg)

The x-factor, the Melbourne Cup favourite. He has the profile to win this race. A lighty raced Northen Hemisphere 3YO who won in such a dominant fashion last start. Although that win was just at Group Three level, he put a big space on his rivals and lapped up the 2400m. The 3200m looks as if it will suit, as getting Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle can only be a tick. A light weight, a second placing to Santiago in an Irish Derby, a high class horse, he is one of the two horses to beat. His only dampner would be a wet track which does look unlikely as we get closer to the race.

Tiger Moth - 8.50Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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22: Oceanex (T: M. Price & M. Kent Jnr/J: D. Yendall/W: 51.5kg)

She won her way into the race ealrier in the year with a win in the Andrew Ramsden over King Of Leogrance. To the surprise of many, punters realised she can actually stay and let down with a turn of foot, but her form this tme just has not been as good as last prep. She was good last start in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup when running third, but it is too hard to see her turning the tables on Miami Bound who does look an outsider in the race.

Oceanex - 81.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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23: Miami Bound (T: D. O'Brien/J: D. Moor/W: 51kg)

She finally bounced back to some great form with a win in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last week, running away from her opposition. She loves Flemington and is sure to stay all day, but when tested against Group One opposition, she has failed, which has to linger in your thoughts when assessing whether she is a live winning chance. In this case, she does not look one.

Miami Bound - 26.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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24: Persan (T: C. Maher & D. Eustace/ J: M. Dee/W: 51kg)

Mr Consistent won The Bart Cummings which won him a spot into the great race. He has been up forever but for some reason, he just keeps showing up. A standing applause is due for the Maher and Eustace stable for the way they have handled this hrose, from falling as a 2YO with another trainer to running in a Melbourne Cup 18 months later. Although it would be just about the greatsest story to have ever won a Cup, this looks a bridge too far.

Persan - 41.00Melbourne Cup WinnerBET HERE
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Prediction:

  1. Surprise Baby
  2. Tiger Moth
  3. Prince Of Arran
  4. Stratum Albion
  5. Master Of Reality

Melbourne Cup FAQ

How can I live stream the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

Visit our live streaming hub for all the information on how to live stream the Melbourne Cup and all other Australian horse races.

What date is the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

The 2020 Melbourne Cup is scheduled to run on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at Flemington.

What time is the 2020 Melbourne Cup?

The Melbourne Cup generally starts at around 4.00am GMT.

Who won the 2019 Melbourne Cup?

Vow And Declare won the 2019 Melbourne Cup.

What distance is the Melbourne Cup?

The Melbourne Cup is run over a distance of 3200 metres.

US

Verdict

Surprise Baby is our selection for the 2020 Melbourne Cup. Tiger Moth and Prince Of Arran can claim the places.

Best Bet: Surprise Baby To Win @750 at BetMGM - 1 Unit
Next Best Bet: Tiger Moth To Win @750 at William Hill - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Prince Of Arran Each-Way @1200 at Borgata Sports - 1 Unit

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