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2020 Melbourne Cup Tips – Two horses to back in Flemington’s famous feature

  • We take a look through the betting for the 2020 Melbourne Cup
  • Anthony Van Dyck and Sir Dragonet topped the betting following Saturday’s draw
  • Prince Of Arran, Surprise Baby and Finche return for another crack at the Cup
  • Russian Camelot represents last year’s winning trainer, Danny O’Brien
  • We take a look at the odds, the draw and the form, before picking out two horses to back
melbourne cup 2019 flemington
A view of the runners in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. (Getty)

In our 2020 Melbourne Cup guide, we take a look at the odds, bring you the full draw and look at the form, before picking out two Melbourne Cup tips.

The eyes of millions of racing fans around the world will be fixed on Flemington on Tuesday, as Australia’s most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup hits our screen. No fans will be allowed to watch “the race that stops the nation” live in the stadium, but that’s not enough to quash the glitz and glamour of this great race.

Connections waited with bated breath as the draw was made on Saturday. Here’s the confirmed field and draw for the 2020 Melbourne Cup, along with the latest odds.

2020 Melbourne Cup Draw


Draw
Name
Weight
1 Prince Of Arran 54.5kg
2 Mustajeer 55kg
3 Anthony Van Dyck 58.5kg
4 Vow And Declare 57kg
5 The Chosen One 53.5kg
6 Finche 54.5kg
7 Surprise Baby 54.5kg
8 Warning 53kg
9 Stratum Albion 55kg
10 Aviliius 57kg
11 Master Of Reality 56kg
12 Twilight Payment 55.5kg
13 Miami Bound 51kg
14 Sir Dragonet 55.5kg
15 Verry Elleegant 55.5kg
16 Russian Camelot 53.5kg
17 Oceanex 51.5kg
18 King Of Leogrance 53.5kg
19 Dashing Willougby 54.5kg
20 Persan 51kg
21 Steel Prince 53.5kg
22 Etah James 52.5kg
23 Tiger Moth 52.5kg
24 Ashrun 53kg

2020 Melbourne Cup Odds


Name
Best Odds
Anthony Van Dyck 13/2
Sir Dragonet 7/1
Tiger Moth 8/1
Surprise Baby 8/1
Prince Of Arran 9/1
Verry Elleegant 12/1
Russian Camelot 12/1
Finche 16/1
Ashrun 16/1
Bar 25/1

2020 Melbourne Cup Form Guide


Anthony Van Dyck2020 Melbourne Cup FavouriteGET 13/2 HERE
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Tiger Moth had sat atop the market until Saturday’s draw, but he’s slipped back to third-favouritism after being draw out in gate 23. Aidan O’Brien’s colt followed a runner-up finish to stablemate Santiago in the Irish Derby with a smart Group Three success. He has, however, only made four appearances in his entire life, and that inexperience has to count against him.

2019 Epsom Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck performed well under a welter burden in the Caulfield Cup, where he was only beaten a head by Verry Elleegant. All-but-one of his appearances since turning three have come over 12-furlongs. Despite shaping like a stayer, Aidan O’Brien has clearly been reticent to step his Classic winner beyond a mile-and-a-half. That’s quite unusual for a trainer who often likes to experiment with trip, so I have to question Anthony Van Dyck’s stamina, especially under top-weight.

Another former Ballydoyle inmate, Sir Dragonet has been heavily backed to win the Melbourne Cup since that strong victory in the Cox Plate. It’s been a number of years since any horse has completed the Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup double. Plus, Sir Dragonet looked decidedly one-paced when stepped up beyond a mile-and-a-half in the 2019 St Leger. The fact he’s only raced over ten furlongs since then has to raise doubts about his stamina too.

cox plate
Sir Dragonet winning the 2020 Cox Plate. (Getty)

Prince Of Arran has placed in the last two renewals of the Melbourne Cup, carrying very similar weights to that he’ll shoulder on Tuesday. Charlie Fellowes’ seven-year-old has shaped well on both his starts this autumn, and his record down-under is fantastic. Prince Of Arran is very hard to knock, I just feel he’s got a little too short in the betting at 8/1.

Surprise Baby had to sit out the back in this race 12 months ago, after a tricky wide draw. Paul Preusker’s gelding then had to circumnavigate the entire field to get into contention, and did well to get within a length of Vow And Declare. Since then, Surprise Baby has finished second over a mile in the Feehan Stakes, and encountered traffic problems when ninth in the recent Turnbull Stakes. A return to the Melbourne Cup has clearly been his goal, though, and Surprise Baby would be a popular local winner.

As would Russian Camelot, for last year’s winning trainer, Danny O’Brien. Wins in the Australian Derby and the Underwood Stakes had O’Brien dreaming of a run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with this classy three-year-old. Russian Camelot has since been narrowly beaten in both the Neds Stakes and the Cox Plate, but he will be much more effective over this extended distance. Don’t give up on Russian Camelot just yet!

Verry Elleegant carries a penalty for that Caulfield Cup win over Anthony Van Dyck. Even with an extra half-a-kilo on her back, Chris Waller’s mare doesn’t look as if she’s handicapped to the hilt, and she’s another who could thrive over the Melbourne Cup trip.

Despite landing the worst stall of all out in 24, Ashrun has been backed by some each-way punters. Andreas Wohler’s raider ran well to finish fourth behind Steel Prince in the Bart Cummings Stakes, before scoring in the Hotham Stakes ten days later.

Finche was backed into favouritism for last year’s Melbourne Cup, and wasn’t beaten that far back in seventh. This big, galloping sort has shown great consistency since moving to Australia, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he hit the frame again.

2018 winning trainer, Joseph O’Brien has Master Of Reality entered with owner Lloyd Williams. O’Brien’s five-year-old hacked up as the 1/2 favourite on his last start at Down Royal, and only carries one-pound more on his back than last year, where he was only beaten a head back in fourth.

Twilight Payment also goes for the same trainer, owner combination, but his form isn’t nearly as good as his stablemates. Avilius – the only Godolphin representative in the field – hasn’t got within a length of the winners in any of his last eleven starts, and Dashing Willoughby has a shocking run in the Caulfield Cup to overcome, where he finished stone-dead last.

Miami Bound is a former Kennedy Oaks winner and comfortably won a Grade Two on her last start. Steel Prince was only beaten two lengths in the 2019 Melbourne Cup, and brings much better form to the table in 2020. As long shots go, they’re probably the best two options.

2019 melbourne cup flemington
Surprise Baby (centre, near, pink and grey) stays on to finish fifth in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. (Getty)

2020 Melbourne Cup Tips


Surprise Baby E/W2020 Melbourne Cup Tip 1GET 8/1 HERE
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The first horse I’m going to back is SURPRISE BABY, who’s clearly been laid out for the 2020 Melbourne Cup. Given a better draw and a clear path to the line, Paul Preusker’s six-year-old could have won this 12 months ago. In the Turnbull Stakes, Surprise Baby had to win from the back and was boxed in for much of the home straight, before coming home as well as anyone once he found some open air.

Craig Williams, who gave Vow And Declare a fantastic ride to win this 12 months ago, has ridden Surprise Baby on both his starts this term and will hop in the saddle again on Tuesday. Two miles looks to be Surprise Baby’s best trip, and he should be able to navigate a trouble-free passage from a kind draw in stall seven. 

Stratum Albion E/W2020 Melbourne Cup Tip 2GET 33/1 HERE
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While I’ll probably have a small saver on Master Of Reality, I’d like to draw your attention to another Irish raider in the form of STRATUM ALBION

Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old has enjoyed success over hurdles in recent seasons. His best performances, however, have come on the flat, with his crowning glory coming at Newmarket last year, winning the 18-furlong Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket.

Stratum Albion has been well-beaten three times over hurdles since then. Last time out, Mullins’ charge was an unfancied 20/1 shot in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup, but sprung from the pack in eye-catching fashion, going down to favourite Enbihaar by less than a length in the end.

stratum newmarket
Stratum powers to victory in the 2019 Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket. (Getty)

US

Verdict

Surprise Baby has been laid out for his return to the Melbourne Cup. Paul Preusker’s gelding was unlucky in this race last year, and again in the recent Turnbull Stakes. Last year's winning jockey, Craig Williams takes the ride, and he's been drawn much more kindly this year.

Another I'll be backing each-way is Stratum Albion, who won the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in 2019, and travels to Flemington on the back of a career-best effort in Grade Two company.

They will be my two against the field!

2020 Melbourne Cup Tip 1: Surprise Baby Each-Way @800 at BetMGM - 10 Units
2020 Melbourne Cup Tip 2: Stratum Albion Each-Way @3300 at bet365 Sport NJ - 5 Units

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