2019 Melbourne Cup Early Preview - Will it be Godolphin blue two years running?

Justin Darcy has supplied an early preview of the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Cross Counter (nearest) and Ispolini (rail) look set to feature in the finish of this year's Melbourne Cup

2019 Melbourne Cup Early Preview

The Melbourne Cup might be Australia's most presitgious race but in 2019 it looks like the prize will be going overseas.

It's been four years since Prinze Of Penzance claimed the cup as a local galloper and unless there's a major upset its going to be an internatinoal invader taking out the race that stops a nation.

We've taken an early look at which horses have stood out to us two months out from the Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup Best Bet

Ispolini - $26 via BetEasy

The five-year-old son of Dubawi looks your ideal Melbourne Cup galloper. 

Back in March, he met last year's Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter in the Dubai Gold Cup, run over the two miles. He was just outgunned late in the piece, but met his stablemate on level weights.

This time it will be different with Ispolini now receiving a 2.5kg weight swing on Cross Counter, which puts him ahead in my rankings.

His latest start has seen him win a Group Three in Germany (St Leger) where he was the short priced favourite and was able to just scrape over the line. The win was not impressive by any means, but he hit the front early in the straight, where the European stayers need to chase to perform at their best. He will take improvement off of that run and be better suited under Australian racing conditions.

He may settle midfield in a Melbourne Cup field and produce a similar run to what Rekindling did in 2017 to take out the event.

Melbourne Cup Best Bet: Ispolini - $26 via BetEasy

Melbourne Cup Value Bet

Caliburn - $101 via BetEasy

The only way this horse will get a start in the Cup this year is if he can win The Bart Cummings at Flemington or the Hotham Handicap and automatically qualify for the race.  

His first Australian start on September 14 was ultra-impressive, coming from the tail of the field at Flemington to be beaten just under a length in a close finish. 

Any step up in distance will suit him, as will staying at Flemington where he can work through his gears and find the line hard.

His form is not of the top echelon of horses in this race, but often we can find those horses coming through The Bart Cummings and Hotham Handicap run well in our greatest race. Prince Of Arran took out the Hotham last year before running an honourable third in the Cup just three days later.

His current quote is worth a nibble as he will get his opportunity to qualify for the Melbourne Cup and if he does, he produces splits that can win stayers races.

Value Bet: Caliburn - $101 via BetEasy

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