2023 Melbourne Cup Top Picks
We have a field of 23 runners set to take their starting places in 2023 Melbourne Cup with 4 international runners competing against 19 locally trained and imported runners to try and win this years edition of the Melbourne Cup.
In the betting Willie Mullins trained Vauban has been a clear market leader since winning at Royal Ascot in June by over 9 lengths. Vauban will jump the Melbourne Cup favourite around the $4.5 mark.
On the second line of betting we have last years Melbourne Cup winner in the form of Gold Trip. The Ciaran Maher and David Eustace trained Melbourne Cup winner jump back to the top of Melbourne Cup markets when winning the Turnbull earlier this month.
The only other runner in single figures for this years Melbourne Cup is Without a Fight after he was able to record Caulfield Cup success late last month. Without A Fight was entered into last years Melbourne Cup but failed to land a glove on Gold Trip.
There are a host of other quality runners including Absurde, Japanese galloper Breakup and Future History who are all at the top of the betting however we take a look through and pick out our top five selections for the 2023 Melbourne Cup as well as our Best Bet for the race that stops a nation.
2023 Melbourne Cup Top Picks and Betting Strategy
The 2023 Melbourne Cup looks to be one of the hottest fields assembled. We pick out our top 4 selections to win the race as well as our best bet for this years Melbourne Cup which will be run at 3pm Tuesday 7th November.
2023 Melbourne Cup Pick No. 1 - More Felons - $31.00
Trainer - Chris Waller
Jockey - Jamie Kah
Weight - 50.5kgs
Career - 14: 4-2-0
Our first selection for the 2023 Melbourne Cup is Chris Waller trained import More Felons (formerly racing as Scriptwriter) who transferred from the Joseph O’Brien stable when being brought to Australia as a Melbourne Cup contender.
While on paper More Felons may not look like the greatest prospect having not won a major race as yet and having been licked by the current Melbourne Cup favourite by over 7 lengths when they last met, there are a few positives.
The main one is his debut run in Australia in the Geelong Cup where he finished like a train recording the quickest sectionals of anyone across the final 400m and 200m and was unlucky not to claim the victory.
The other thing that stands out is drop in weights. His Geelong Cup run he carried 55kgs that day and goes down to just 50.5kg for the Melbourne Cup. The last time More Felons met the Melbourne Cup favourite he was carrying 62kgs one kilo more than Vauban who had 61kgs on his back.
This time around they’ll meet with More Felons 5kg better off and if you watch those runs back in the UK More Felons is held up at crucial times before he was able to run on well.
Why Can More Felons Win The Melbourne Cup?
His first run in Australia was that Geelong Cup run and he should strip fitter having had to travel wide to get home late. He drops a huge amount of weight vs the last time he met Vauban and everything indicates that he should love the big track and extra distance.
Why Can’t More Felons Win The Melbourne Cup?
His lack of big wins at the top level is a concern and on paper he has lost to the Willie Mullins pair by a combine 10 lengths the last two times he’s been out on the track. The other concern is that the barrier 24 draw will mean he’ll more than likely have to go back in the field and by the time he gets going the race could be over.
2023 Melbourne Cup Pick No. 2 - Gold Trip - $7.00
Trainer - Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Jockey - James McDonald
Weight - 58.5kgs
Career - 24: 3-5-5
The winner of the 2022 Melbourne Cup is back for another throw at the stumps in 2023 and our second selection for this years edition of the 3200m Flemington Handicap.
Gold Trip was an impressive winner when he won last years Melbourne Cup carrying 57.5kgs and has been able to add a Turnbull Stakes win as well as a Caulfield Cup placing to the blitzing he delivered last November.
Maher and Eustace have sent Gold Trip down the exact same road he took when he won the 2023 Melbourne Cup in tackling the Turnbull, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate on the way to racing on the first Tuesday of November.
This time around though he looks to be going better having won the Turnbull Handicap confidently, placing in the Caulfield Cup and then running a solid 5th in the Cox Plate when coming from last to finish within a length of the winner.
Why Can Gold Trip Win The Melbourne Cup?
Gold Trip would have to defy a fair bit of history if he was to win the Melbourne Cup for a second time however the stable looks to have him going just as well as when he won the race 12 months prior.
He does pick up the extra weight but his performances recently have been something else and he looks likely to be fighting out the finish once again from the inside draw.
Why Can’t Gold Trip Win The Melbourne Cup?
One of the key things Gold Trip needs is some soft ground. He performs much better with a bit of give in the ground and if there’s a firm track he could be battling.
The other element is that it is extremely difficult for any horse to go back to back in the Melbourne Cup and Gold Trip would become the first horse since the great Makybe Diva to not only achieve such a feat but become the first horse since the three time Melbourne Cup winner to do it carrying over 58kgs.
2023 Melbourne Cup Pick No. 3 - Vauban - $4.50
Trainer - Willie Mullins
Jockey - Ryan Moore
Weight - 55kgs
Career - 14: 7-3-1
Vauban is this years Melbourne Cup favourite and has been for some time having trashed some of the Northern Hemisphere’s best distance runners at Royal Ascot back in June when he won by a margin of 7 lengths over 2800m.
Having only transitioned from jumps racing at the start of the year, for Vauban to be Melbourne Cup favourite seems slightly ridiculous however here we are. His runs to date have been big however. He’s used to running 4000m races and carrying up to 72kgs so 3200m carrying 55kg should be easy.
At a hit last week at Flemington opposition trainer Mick Price described him as an ‘SAS’ race horse up for the mission.
The stable have been confident with Vauban who has seemingly made the transition from the Northern Hemisphere with relative ease. He’s maintained his weight and reports have been that he’s trained on well for his Group One assignment.
Why Can Vauban Win The 2023 Melbourne Cup?
Well the way he performed in the Copper Horse at Ascot was impressive. He went straight to the front and ground the field down and then to find the kick that he did was another level.
He looks to be getting in very well at the weights with the Victorian Handicappers already feeling that the Willie Mullins trained runner could embarrass them.
Why Can’t Vauban Win The 2023 Melbourne Cup?
Vauban was a jumps horse less than 12 months ago. His form in the big races is untested and the last time out he beat Valiant King, who was a $31 chance before he was withdrawn, by a length. It’ll be his first run in Australia and there are a number of unknowns that could stop him on the day.
2023 Melbourne Cup Pick No. 4 - Ashrun - $41.00
Trainer - Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Jockey - Kerrin McEvoy
Weight - 51.5kgs
Career - 17: 4-3-1
Way back in 2020 Ashrun was a one time Melbourne Cup favourite having had an impressive string of results in top races across France and Germany. At the time he was trained by Andreas Wohler but was soon transferred to the care of Maher and Eustace with the sole aim of tackling the Melbourne Cup.
On his first run in Australia Ashrun finished 5th in the Geelong Cup before winning the Hotham Handicap (Now Lexus Archer) when lugging 61kgs around Flemington Racecourse to claim victory.
After that run he would go on to finish within 5 lengths of 2020 Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment which would be his last racing action for nearly 3 years with long term injury keeping the German import away from the track until May 2023 when he trialled at Werribee.
He’s returned this September and looks to have put those injuries well behind him. His last two runs have been a strong run in the Group 3 Bart Cummings where he finished 5th behind Future History when carrying 59kgs before finishing second in the Geelong Cup carrying 56.5kgs.
Ashrun goes into the Melbourne Cup as an 8yo carrying just 51.5kgs and could be one flying under the radar at a big price. He also looks to get a solid run from barrier 11 where in the Bart Cummings he was forced to the back and still last at the 300m marker before winding up late.
Why Can Ashrun Win The 2023 Melbourne Cup?
Usually when the combination of Maher and Eustace, Australian BloodStock and jockey Kerrin McEvoy team up they’re onto something good. With Ashrun he looks to be going well after 3 years out and should only improve from a good second in the Geelong Cup especially with the drop in weight.
Why Can’t Ashrun Win The 2023 Melbourne Cup?
The Geelong Cup form hasn’t been the strongest in recent years and there was a length between 7 runners on that day with one or two you could argue were going better. This one could also come a bit too soon but if anyone is set to pull it off it would be this stable.
Other Notable Melbourne Cup Runners
Of the other runners you could make a case for the likes of Japanese runner Breakup who comes in with solid form in the Tenno Sho, Without A Fight who impressively won the Caulfield Cup or Future History who won the Group 3 Bart Cummings and kept finding last time out at Flemington.
To be fair you could make an argument for another 3 or 4 runners on top of that but with our betting strategy we’ll focus on these as our tips.
2023 Melbourne Cup Betting Strategy
Our betting strategy is based on wagering $100 across our best bet, best roughie and exotics.
Melbourne Cup Best Bet - Back Gold Trip To Win $30
He’s our top pick overall and yes while he does have to defy some records in the Melbourne Cup he looks to be going just as well as when he won the 2022 Melbourne Cup. You could go each way given the price if you’re looking for more value.
Melbourne Cup Best Roughie - Back More Felons $10 Each Way
His Geelong Cup run was impressive and could be the run of the day given the closing sections and with the drop in weight as well as the bigger track he could be rattling home into the places late.
Melbourne Cup Exotic - Stake $50 Trifecta on Gold Trip, Vauban, Ashrun, More Felons, Future History - 83% Return.
All these runners look to have a solid chance of being in the finish and the Melbourne Cup dividends usually pay out big so it’s sometimes worth adding five or 6 horses into a trifecta even for a 10 or 15% share.