|Thursday 25th August 2016|
Melbourne Cup 2016
The Melbourne Cup, raced at Flemington race each year on the first Tuesday of November, stands as one of the biggest flat races in the world. A mouthwatering prize fund of over $6 millions ensures a stellar international field is assembled Down Under every November, featuring the very best from Australia and Europe.
Our 2016 Melbourne Cup tip for this year’s premier two-mile handicap contest is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Order Of St George who showcased his sensational talent when winning the Gold Cup over 2m4f at Royal Ascot in June. The four-year-old son of Galileo is a versatile performer across many trips and different underfoot conditions, which was evident when winning the Royal Ascot Group One on soft ground by three-lengths. The Ballydoyle inmate is a colt of immense potential and could develop into another of the stable’s long-term staying champions.
A vast variety of end-of-season targets have been earmarked for Order Of St George including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Long Distance Cup on British Champions Day in October. The four-year-old remains atop of the betting for Australia’s richest race on November 1st, but with an official rating of 124 in Britain and Ireland, it would come as no surprise to see Coolmore opt against sending their talented colt to the race later this year.
As a result, it is best to leave alone Aidan O’Brien’s classy stayer at the 10/1 mark and instead side with fellow European invader BIG ORANGE for trainer Michael Bell.
Fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year, Big Orange has proved himself as amongst Britain’s finest racehorses between the one-and-half-miles and two-miles distances in 2016, winning a pair of Group Two’s at Newmarket and Goodwood respectively. The five-year-old seems to be improving with age and is likely to line-up once more at Flemington later this year in a bid to gain compensation for last November’s fine effort.
The gelded son of Duke Of Marmalade was sent of a 60/1 shot for the 2015 renewal where he led for the majority of the race under jockey Jamie Spencer. He travelled powerfully into the home straight and looked to boast serious winning claims inside the final two-furlongs. However, he was headed with 300-yards to race before finishing a mighty fifth - only two-lengths behind 100/1 winner Prince Of Penzance.
A return to Australia this year will likely see Big Orange perform with even further credit. The Michael Bell inmate has looked more classy in his victories this season and continues to boast a good attitude to his racing. Flemington’s two-mile course clearly plays into the front-running tactics of Big Orange and granted he is gifted a nice racing weight from the Australian handicapper, the five-year-old will likely line-up for competitive connections.
At 20/1, Big Orange is worth supporting once more for Melbourne Cup glory as he attempts to cement his name amongst Europe’s racing’s elite in winning the Grade One contest. British and Irish contenders boast a fantastic record in the race in recent years, and in Big Orange, the country has another rock-solid performer.
Big Orange 20/1 (William Hill)