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Melbourne Cup - Internationals Preview

 Nov 2 2017

The international runners again look strong and with their numbers likely to increase in this year’s renewal of the Melbourne Cup it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one go a place better than last year’s runner-up Heartbreak City.


Represents France and is certainly an improved horse this season winning four of his last five. He’ll stay, has a great attitude and is tactically versatile but this will be much tougher and I’m not sure he’s well handicapped.

Prediction: Midfield


Owned by Lloyd Williams and trained by Joseph O’Brien and looks really well handicapped. The three-year-old was fourth in the G1 St Leger, the final UK Classic of the season and has really improved since going beyond 2400 metres. If he handles the big field he can go close.

Prediction: Top 4

Red Cardinal

Has really upped his game in his four starts for German trainer Andreas Wohler. He was unsuited by a slow pace in the Kergolay and is better judged on his Belmont Gold Cup win. He goes well fresh, stays strongly but has the ability to win over shorter which is always a key here.

Prediction: Top 12


Was a huge 6th in the Caulfield Cup but also boasts some smart and progressive form for Hughie Morrison in Europe, including winning the Kergolay (a strong trial for this). He’s only going to improve up to this trip and rates a major chance.

Prediction: Top 4

Johannes Vermeer 

For the great Aidan O’Brien, couldn’t take advantage of his good draw early and that effectively cost him the Caulfield Cup. That was his day and he has to be a doubtful stayer over two miles.

Prediction: Midfield

Max Dynamite 

Has been here before for Willie Mullins having finished second to Prince Of Penzance. He’s only had four runs since, including once over hurdles and while he at least showed his well-being winning at Killarney, this is a huge step back up.

Prediction: Midfield

Wicklow Brave

Got a bad draw and did too much early under Frankie in last year’s Cup and comes here this time with a run in the Caulfield Cup. He’s a tough dual purpose horse and is running to the same level as last season but at eight it’s hard to see him winning.

Prediction: Towards the back

U S Army Ranger

Was second in the Derby at Epsom last year for Aidan O’Brien but has largely been disappointing and frustrating since. Who knows what his best trip is but at least he stays and while I can see him up there on a strong pace, I don’t see him figuring at the finish.

Prediction: Towards the back


Is taking the same route as last year’s runner-up Heartbreak City having won York’s Ebor. A first Scottish runner here, he’s very tough and rarely runs a bad race but has a lot more to do off this handicap mark.

Prediction: Midfield

Wall Of Fire

Providing he gets in, is my pick. His second in the Herbert Power was a brilliant prep run but I’ve been keen on his chances since his excellent second in the G3 Geoffrey Freer at Newbury. He’s still improving for Hugo Palmer, will stay the trip and handles any conditions.

Prediction: Winner

Thomas Hobson

Might miss out on the final entry for Willie Mullins. He’s seven, is a strong travelling dual purpose horse and a Royal Ascot winner over 800 metres further. If he gets a strong pace he could certainly come into consideration but is vulnerable to improving stayers.

Prediction: Midfield


There’s lots of strong form coming from the internationals and I really like Wall Of Fire’s progression this season and I feel he’s going to peak here. Marmelo’s chance speaks for itself along with Red Cardinal but perhaps the best handicapped is the three-year-old Rekindling.

Top 4 Internationals:

1: Wall Of Fire

2: Rekindling

3: Marmelo

4: Red Cardinal

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Richard Wade - Sky Racing

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