The quality of the internationals in the Lexus Melbourne Cup
We take a look at the four internationals running in the Lexus Melbourne Cup. How do they stack up compared to previous years? Can they collectively win their fourth Cup in six years?
This northern hemisphere three-year-old fits the mould of recent winners Cross Counter and Rekindling, who won in 2018 and 2017 respectively and by Racing And Sports’ measure, there isn’t much between the trio.
Cross Counter came over rated at a peak of 124+, the + suggesting he had the ability to rate higher, and rated 118 at York the start before his Cup victory before peaking again at Flemington and rating 125.
Rekindling came through the St Leger, rated 121 and was another international to improve off the plane, rating 123 in his stirring victory over Johannes Vermeer.
Deauville Legend, current favourite for the Melbourne Cup to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, who won his third Cup aboard Cross Counter, comes here rated 120 off a dominant win in the Voltigeur Stakes at York- the same race Cross Counter ran second in before coming to Australia.
Third behind him that day was El Bodegon, who we’ve seen come here and run third in the Cox Plate, so we know the form stacks up. In a year where our local stayers look a bit thin, it’s easy to see why he’s favourite.
Hoo Ya Mal
Another northern hemisphere three-year-old who is now under the care of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Gai of course winning the race in 2013 with Fiorente. He came over rated 123 but fell short in 2012 to Green Moon before going one better in 2013 and going on to win an Australian Cup the following Autumn.
Ho Ya Mal is a level below Fiorente but likely strikes a weaker year than when Fiorente beat Red Cadeaux, boasting an identical peak rating to Deauville Legend of 120 when running second in England’s most famous race- The Derby.
Since then however, he’s moved to the George Boughey stable and had three runs, winning a Group 3 at Goodwood before struggling in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster. It is key to note that he gets in with 53.5kg, which is 1.5-2kg less than his international counterparts.
He’ll need to bounce back to his Derby form to win, but Gai is the perfect lady to prepare him for that, and he gets the services of 2019 winning jockey Craig Williams.
The first of our international quarter that isn’t a three-year-old, with this five-year-old gelding now under the care of Ben & JD Hayes.
The least fancied of the international quartet, he was a Group 2 winner at The Curragh just two starts ago over 2816m, and he too handles all track conditions well. With a peak rating of 110, he certainly has a bit to find on the other three, and is coming off a poor run last start in the Group 1 Irish St Leger, albeit behind the world’s best stayer in Kyrprios.
He pays the price for being an established Group 2 and Group 3 winner at the weights as well, carrying the same 55kg that Deauville Legend, who Racing And Sports make a 10-pound better horse and therefore does look the weakest chance of the four.
Without A Fight
Another five-year-old gelding who represents the Simon & Ed Crisford stable, who would be unknown to many Australian racing fans given they’ve never had a horse race in Australia, and never won a Group 1 anywhere in the world.
He made good ground behind Siskany at Newmarket at his last start, who interestingly beat the now Chris Waller trained Surefire to break his maiden at Kempton Park over two years ago.
This son of Teofilo, who has sired two of the last four Melbourne Cup winners in Twilight Payment and Cross Counter, has rated 115 at his last three starts, and with a peak of 117 he looks right amongst the better chances. His consistency should hold him in good stead and if he brings his best form to Flemington he looks a big chance of putting the Crisford stable on the map.
Three of the four internationals sit on the 1st, 2nd and 4th lines of betting for the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup, and you’d be brave to disregard their quality once again this year.
* Defining an ‘international runner’ in the Melbourne Cup can be done in a few ways, but to simplify things, we’ll label them as either trained by an overseas trainer or having their first run in Australia under the care of an Australian trainer.