Rob Waterhouse's Melbourne Cup Tips & Preview - Who is the top bookmaker tipping?
- Rob Waterhouse previews the Melbourne Cup
- The leading bookmaker provides his tips for the Cup
- Get Rob Waterhouse's big race verdict
Rob Waterhouse previews the Melbourne Cup with the leading bookmaker providing his tips for the Flemington showpiece.
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Rob's Melbourne Cup Preview
The once-a-year Melbourne Cup (Cup) is regarded as being a tough race to win on as a punter. But it is not. I know I’ve enjoyed great success. I like it very much.
I would normally make two points, as my Cup form assessment advice:
- It is a handicap – find the runners that have beaten the handicappers.
- Find the runners that will bloom at the arduous and exotic two-mile distance.
The first part is normally easy. I like the European runners. In my opinion, as a group, they all get in light. I say the handicapper underrates their form. And the stats show it: 16 out of 287 Euros have won; Australian bred horses only 6 out of 189! Moreover, as a group, the Northern Hemisphere (NH) are neglected in the betting and our locals are over bet.
Were I the official handicapper, the NH’s would have an extra three kilos in their saddle bags – and still win their share.
But this year is very different with the absence of most of European contenders. Apart from Covid problems, Racing Victoria has imposed very onerous and invasive veterinary requirements, which have discouraged their visits.
So who, of the locals, has beaten the handicapper?
Incentivise stands out. And is currently the shortest-priced favourite for 90 years and that was Phar Lap! On any view, he has beaten the handicapper clearly.
Incentivise has won nine on the trot. A magnificent picket fence. His last start win in the Caulfield Cup, by 3.5 lengths, was arrogant: six wide, took off at the turn and treated his rivals with contempt, winning in fast time. On form figures, Incentivise has well and truly beaten the handicapper. He dominates, especially in this year without the European attack.
Additionally, I’m very keen to see him win, as he is part owned by my great mate, Peter Lawrence. Lawrence, after a restricted win at Eagle Farm, wrapped the horse to me. I suggested to my good wife, Gai, to make an offer to buy it and said $1M was value. Peter Moody got under her guard with a slightly higher valuation and, subsequently, Lawrence, sensibly bought in.
I feel a further association. When Incentivise’s dam, Miss Argyle, went through the Magic Millions, Gai loved it and convinced a more-than-50-years-standing friend of mine to buy it. Gai thought $200K would get it, my mate bravely went to $220K but stopped. To her disgrace, Gai barked at my old mate: “Are you a man or a mouse!” – he was shocked. Gai, showed her confidence and bid on and buying her. She went on, as Miss Argyle, to be second in the Gimcrack.
In any event, Incentivise stands out as the weight horse.
But the second question arises: will the two miles suit him?
On the face of it, it will. His ‘numbers’, both on times and weight ratings, he shot forward with the extra distance of the Caulfield Cup, an important marker when looking for horses that will get the distance. So will he make the same improvement with the extra 800M of the Cup? He may well (and I hope he does).
Ten years ago, I ran in the New York Marathon, which is a 42km race. An experienced friend asked me what the half-way point was? Smelling a trick question, I didn’t answer. He told me 38kms! He was very correct. The last four kilometres are tough.
On pedigree, it is a shade concerning. Also, I am concerned that he is a Queenslander. I worry they, as group, don’t stay. I could only find one Queensland-bred Cup winner: Dark Felt, who failed first time as favourite, then won the following year. My father-in-law trained Gunsyd, a champion bred in Sunshine State, who ran third in his year. But that’s it.
On the other hand, he is a freak. Hope Incentivise wins! No one will cheer louder than me.
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