Which trainer will win the Melbourne Cup
More often than not it’s easy to focus on which runner has the best chance of winning the Melbourne Cup, but with other bet types available such as Exotics, To Finish In The Top 10, Head to Head there’s often more value to be found playing in the wider markets.
One particular market is Who Will Be The Winning Trainer. In the past 10 years we have seen 9 different trainers win the Melbourne Cup with only Joseph O’Brien able to replicate the feat and win the race that stops the nation two times in recent years.
With such a diverse crowd in town, where trainers are attempting to win the Melbourne Cup from both home stables and abroad, can we begin to see which trainers have the best chance of winning the 2023 edition of the World’s Richest Handicap?
Willie Mullins - Vauban & Absurde
We may as well start in the most obvious place and that's at the top of the 2023 Melbourne Cup betting.
Irish trainer Willie Mullins looks to be fielding one of the strongest Melbourne Cup chances in a long time with the veteran conditioner transitioning jumps racing specificalist Vauban from fences to flat in a bid to win a maiden Melbourne Cup.
Mullins has had a long love affair with the Melbourne Cup and has been sending runners to Flemington on the first Tuesday of November throughout his career. However he is yet to see one of his runners hit the line first despite a number of attempts.
Vauban currently looks to give Mullins his best chance to win the Melbourne Cup with him currently a heavy favourite at around the $5 mark.
The Irish Raider moved to the top of the betting at the beginning of the Winter when he romped in during a Group 3 contest at Royal Ascot. On that occasion what was more worrying for the bookmakers was that Vauban was making the transition from Jumps racing to Flat and still claimed a 9 length win against a high calibre field.
Vauban has previously been a winner at Group One level in Jumps racing and even registered wins at the prestigious Cheltenham festival. The five year old has two wins over 1800m and 1600m carrying 62kgs and the drop to 55kg for the Melbourne Cup could be just what Vauban needs to give Mullins his maiden win in the race.
The other hope for Mullins, and definitely not one to be counted out, is Ebor Champion Absurde who currently sits in the betting as a $17 chance to win the Melbourne Cup.
Absurde finished second to Vauban on his flat debut romp at Ascot and is by no means out of this edition of Flemington's 3200m Handicap having gone on to win the Ebor Handicap at York in the Uk next time out.
The lightly raced 5 year old has been in solid form in the Northern Hemisphere and appeared to find his best under retiring jockey Frankie Dettori when racing in the UK. Absurde is another one who’s been lightly weighted for Melbourne Cup and could pose a serious threat for Mullins.
Gai Waterhouse & Adrien Bott - Goldman, Hoo Ya Mal, Major Beel, Knights Order
The First Lady of Racing Gai Waterhouse hasn’t really had a sniff of winning another Melbourne Cup since seeing Fiorente salute back in 2013 for the New South Wales Stable. However 2023 looks different for Waterhouse and Bott with four leading chances high up in the order of entry.
It would have been 5 in fact if it hadn’t been for the withdrawal of hot tip for the Melbourne Cup, Just Fine after a poor showing in the Group One Might and Power Stakes.
Goldman was looking likely to be the best hope for Waterhouse and Bott in the 2023 Melbourne Cup after going on an unbeaten 3 race run when arriving in Australia from New Zealand however a number of poor showings this campaign have seen him drift from $8 in the market and joint lead to a $41 chance.
The Kiwi import has already qualified for the Melbourne Cup after winning the Roy Higgins Quality at Listed level back in March however he’ll need to improve on recent performances if he’s to play a factor in this years Flemington showpiece.
Knights Order and Major Beel perhaps offer a better chance for the stable with both having solid form at Group One level without being able to shoot the lights out.
Knights Order has been in okay form but tends to turn up on the big days. He finished second in the Sydney Cup during the Autumn after claiming a third place finish in the 2022 Caulfield Cup and ninth in last year's Melbourne Cup. He’s a consistent performer but can’t imagine the stable are pinning there hopes on him for a win.
Major Beel could present a better chance having won the 2023 ATC Australian Derby in heavy conditions.
He has struggled on the better tracks and as a Kiwi import could be looking for the heavier conditions on the day.
The final and probably best hope for Waterhouse and Bott at the moment in UK Import Hoo Ya Mal who was transferred to the care of the stable in 2022 with the sole purpose of contesting the 2022 Melbourne Cup.
Hoo Ya Mal failed to fire last year when finishing 12th of 22 however the stable appear to have the 4 year old in a better spot this year having seen him place second in the Hill Stakes over a longer distance last time out.
Without Just Fine it’s going to be a tough task for Waterhouse and Bott to get one of there runners over the line first, especially when a number of other runners and hitting form at the right time in the lead up to the race that stops a nation.
Chris Waller - El Bodegon, Francesco Guardi, Soulcombe, Magical Lagoon
You can’t talk about any major cup really without including Chris Waller in the conversation. The Melbourne Cup hasn’t been a race that Waller has been able to dominate like the years he had with Winx in the Cox Plate and QEII Stakes or the Caulfield Cup with Verry Elleegant and of course last year Durston.
It’s always been a tricky one for the Kiwi trainer however he never turns up to the party empty handed as we know from when the aforementioned Verry Elleegant won the race just under two years ago.
The NSW trainer once again comes out with a strong hand having three runners comfortably qualified and a fourth on the cusp on a 2023 Melbourne Cup start with Magical Lagoon currently clinging on to the 22nd spot in the race.
Focusing on the other three and there chances to win the 2023 Melbourne Cup, UK import El Bodegon has a similar story to Hoo Ya Mal having being transferred to Waller in order to run in the 2022 Cox Plate.
El Bodegon finished third on that occasion and despite having trialled and raced at the top level has struggled to strike a blow on any podiums in recent starts when finishing 10th in the Feehan Stakes and 9th in the Group One Turnbull Stakes last time out.
It’s likely he’ll need the extra distance which the Melbourne Cup can provide, however he will need to find a lot more to be winning for the stable.
Wallers best chances to win the Melbourne Cup look to be coming from Soulcombe and Francesco Guardi. The son of Frankel looks to be doing his best work over the longer trips having won the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and finishing second in last years Bart Cummings.
He’s shown glimpses this campaign he can step up to win the Melbourne Cup and has reached as low as $11 in betting. He needs the extra distance but with Waller he’s the one who you think could have been prepped to tip the apple cart in this year's Melbourne Cup.
Soulcombe looks to be another great chance to win the 2023 Melbourne Cup having grown in form each time he steps up in distance. The lightly raced four year old put on a strong performance last time out when finishing third in the Turnbull Stake and the market seems to like the look of the gelding backing him into 3rd favourite at $8.
Waller doesn’t have the best luck in the Melbourne Cup but having cracked the winning formula with Verry Elleegant he looks to have two very good chances who appear to be working from the same blueprint.
Tatsuya Yoshioka (JPN) - Breakup
One of the major chances for the Melbourne Cup is the only other international trainer currently in the field - Tatsuya Yoshioka, who will saddle Breakup and try to claim the Melbourne Cup for Japan.
Breakup is somewhat of an unknown when it comes to racing having finished fourth in the Group One Tenno Sho at Kyoto before finishing 17 of 18 in the Takarazuka Kinen at his very next start.
What we do know however is that Japanese horses are machines when i comes to racing. The way they are trained you could imagine they’d be happy to run 13,200m let alone 3,200m and Breakup appears to be in the same mould again.
Breakup travels to Australia having had just 8 starts during his five year career however the Japanese rarely send prospects down under without having a strong chance to win the race.
Tatsuya Yoshioka has a good track record in his homeland and bringing a solitary runner down under must have confidence he can win on the first Tuesday of November.
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace - Future History, Gold Trip, Smokin Romans, Right You Are, Duke De Sessa
After winning the 2022 Melbourne Cup Maher and Eustace have continued to grow in 2023 and have got off to an absolute flyer with the new season in both provincial and metropolitan race meetings.
At the moment they have the most runners listed to run in the Melbourne Cup with five listed in the final field and a total of 8 nominated in the second round of acceptances.
Duke De Sessa and Right You Are teeter on the order of merit as the 20th and 21st horses on the race and with the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Geelong Cups coming up look likely to miss out.
However the trainer partnership still have three red hot chances in the race with Future History, Smokin Romans and last years Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip all set to race on the first Tuesday of November.
Smokin Romans has been in patchy form while Future History has jumped to the upper reaches of Melbourne Cup betting having recently claimed the Group 3 Bart Cummings. The immediate booking of champion UK jockey Hollie Doyle to ride seems to be an indication the stable like his chances and represents a solid chance.
The other main chance for the 2022 Melbourne Cup winners to win the race again is last years winner Gold Trip. The French import oozed class when winning the Turnbull Stakes last time out and looked to have plenty more energy to burn.
Gold Trip gives the stable the best chance to win the race for a consecutive season and looks to be a real chance to be the first horse since Makybe Diva to go back to back in the Melbourne Cup.
Maher and Eustace have a number of high quality runners in the 2023 Melbourne Cup and it wouldn’t surprise to see a number of them fighting out the finish on cup day.
So Who Will Win The Melbourne Cup 2023?
It’ll be interesting to see how the Caulfield Cup pans out but it’s hard to look past our last contenders and the Irish.
Vauban does look to be the one to beat on paper however we’re leaning towards Maher and Eustace. Future History and Gold Trip look like there both crying out for more ground and the way Gold Trip cleared up the Group One field in the Turnbull was too impressive not to notice.