How To Pick The Winner of the 2017 Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup 2017: The Ultimate Guide To Pick The Winner of The 2017 Melbourne Cup

​Your guide to picking the winner of the 2017 Melbourne Cup​

The race that stops a nation, the 2017 Melbourne Cup is here. The ultimate race of the Spring Carnival Horse Racing festival.

Arguably it is now the race that stops the world, but let's not draw a bow that's too big.

The first ever Melbourne Cup was run back in 1861. That's right, over 150 years ago. Today it is Australia's richest handicap race, and one of the richest races in the world.

As far as punting goes, it is one tough beast to wrangle. Especially in recent times, when we have a suite of international raiders coming over to tackle the Aussie horses.

What makes it even tougher to read, is the lack of two-mile races now run in Australia. For many international horses, we know they will run all day, but every year there are questions about some well fancied Australian horses.

The 2017 Melbourne Cup looks no different to other years, but let's dive deep and weasel out the diamonds.

How to find the ​2017 Melbourne Cup Winner

When it comes to ​the 2017 Melbourne Cup, aligning ​form ​of horses from around the world can be a nightmare for most recreational punters.

​The beauty is, you can analyse them in the ​exact same way as any other race. Standout horses that provide value CAN be found.

​Once again we have run the ​eye over each runner to tease out what we think are the best contenders, and who we think may fall short.

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The Final Field for the 2017 Melbourne Cup


Barrier: 12

Jockey: Damien Lane

Trainer: James Cummings

Odds: $26.00 / $7.50

How is this boy going? that is the question.

No doubting his ability, because we all know he is a star in his own right. But is he at his best? or is he traveling well enough to win this? The simple answer, albeit not that helpful, is I have no idea.

Here are the facts. He ran a very good Melbourne Cup last year, when finishing 3rd. So first off we know he will run the trip, which is a big tick.

He is drawn a bit awkward, and will need some luck to find a place. Regardless, the wider barriers haven't been too much of an issue is past years. He is set to tackle the trip with 57.5 kg on his back. While this is nowhere near the weight he can carry, we haven't seen a Melbourne Cup winner carry over 56.5 since 2005.

I actually don't think he has traveled too bad this prep. Most people have written him off, which is fair enough, but on closer inspection, I smell a (potential) rat. The same time last year he ran 5 times in the lead up, and the last was the Cox plate behind Winx.

This year they has given those a miss, and chosen to freshen him up for the Melbourne Cup. Clearly, there is a reason for this, and clearly the Melbourne Cup is the one big focus for him this time.

I could be wrong, and it is the 2017 Melbourne Cup, so even if he is primed he could still cop some poor luck. However, the tipping point for me is that Damien Lane has chosen Hartnell over Humidor.

I know the answer, but despite him seemingly not travelling as well as last year, I am still not willing to write this boy off just yet for the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Not my top pick, but I just can't leave him out of the chances.


Barrier: 14

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Trainer: Robert Hickmont

Odds: $9.00 / $3.40

Last year's Melbourne Cup winner, who looked almost a moral here after his first two starts this preparation. Despite that, his run in the Bart Cummings was a little average, and probably made many start to re-think.

I agree that run was a bit worrying, but we must look beyond that because the Bart Cummings wasn't his target. This is!

No doubts about him running the distance, and the wider barrier doesn't concern me at all (he won from 17 last year). He has to carry 4 kgs more this year, but still 56.5 kg isn't too bad.

Is order for him to win, he has to beat history. Only two horses have gone back-to-back since 1970, and those two were pretty good (Makybe Diva and Think Big). Despite that, I can't find many reasons not to have him in the top few.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Big chance to go back-to-back


Barrier: 13

Jockey: Blake Shinn

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $9.00 / $3.40

HUGE run in the Cox Plate behind Winx, and most of the country had their hearts in their mouths for a moment. From that run he has shot to one of the favourites for the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

I love this horse, and I have received some very good inside information about it. He is only getting better, and will win many more races. I just don't think this is one of them.

Despite being a 5YO, he can play up on occasion. In recent times, his racing manners have cost him some races (e.g. Caulfield Cup), and in a race like this, there are no second chances. 

No questioning his ability, because on that alone he could win this. I am just not convinced he gets the 3200 m strong enough, and he may well blow it for himself anyway. Maybe next year, maybe!

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Stacked with ability, but I am not convinced (yet) that he runs out the trip.


Barrier: 23

Jockey: Olivier Pealier

Trainer: Alain Couetil

Odds: $31.00 / $9.00

These French horses can run all day, and this boy is no different. The question is whether he can run the trip at a winning pace.

He has won 4 of 5 this year over 2400-2500 m, and his only fail was a Group 1 (he lost by 32.8L). Surely, that losing margin isn't reflective of his ability or chance in this.

A few key things for me that stand out are his Group 1 form and form over the 3200 m. He has contested the Group 1 level three times for losses of 10.3L, 32.8L, and 42L. That's hard to ignore, although two of those were last preparation, and he looks better this time in.

I am convinced he runs the distance, but his last and only win over 2500 m came two years ago. He won a maiden over 3000 m, and then a solid 2nd in the Group 2 over 3000 m.

He failed over 3100 m, coming a distant 4th by 9L, and over 4023 m he lost by 46L. I think we can ignore the last one, because he was well out of his depth there.

Still, one has to query how strong he runs the 2017 Melbourne Cup out.

His recent form has been very good over the shorter range, but on closer inspection, the times have been very slow.

The only possible tick I can give him, is the fact that Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB) have purchased him for this. That's a big tick, so they must see something.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

I really want to follow purely based on ATB, but to me, he is poorly weighted and hasn't done enough to suggest he beats many of these.


Barrier: 16

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Trainer: Hughie Morriaon

Odds: $8.50 / $3.25

I had a nibble at this horse before he arrived in Australia. His form over 3000 m has been exceptional for the 2017 Melbourne Cup. No questioning if he can run the distance, because he will.

Also no questioning that he will run it out strong, because his last win overseas was very solid over 3000 m carrying 59 kg in a Group 2.

His only hitout in a Group 1 was the recent Caulfield Cup. On a day when nothing came from the back, he made up unbelievable ground last to go from 13th to 6th in the final 400m. His final 400 m and 200 m were the fastest in the race.As far as insight goes, that's as good as we will get. 

Barrier 16 doesn't matter because he will drift back. The big Flemington straight looks like it could be ideal for this horse, and providing the track doesn't favour the inside runners, he will be coming with gusto down the middle, and the tempo looks like it could be ideal for the backmarkers.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Ticks all the boxes for me so must go in the top few.

Red Cardinal

Barrier: 24

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Trainer: Andreas Wohler

Odds: $18.00 / $6.00

Will start this race from the Myer Marquee. Providing he doesn't sip a few bubbles while he is there, the barrier should be too concerning. He should drift back and settle at the rear.

His form over 3200 m is very good, and his win two starts back in the Belmont Gold Cup was brilliant. On the flip side, his last start behind Marmelo was average at best.

He has been purchased by Australian Bloodstock for this race, and we only need to look at Protectionist in 2014 to know they can find winners. My inside information suggests he is flying since arriving in Australia, so ignoring the last start he is a chance to take home the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Happy to throw him in the mix and ignore last start.

Johannes Vermeer

Barrier: 3

Jockey: Ben Melham

Trainer: Aiden O'Brien

Odds: $11.00 / $3.75

With a little more luck he probably should have won the Caulfield Cup, and the start before was very solid. Clearly, he has loved his move to Australia, and from a nice barrier he should be able to settle right behind the speed for a peaceful run.

​​​​I have one huge concern though. The distance.

He comes into this having only won over 2000 m, and never run over 2400 m. Despite his amazing form, that's a big query. Like Humidor, he clearly has ability, but we have no clue if he will run the trip.

On his Caulfield Cup form and the cushy barrier, I will suggest that he does run the 3200 m, but boy I am not confident.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Assuming he runs the trip, I am giving his a chance

Bondi Beach

Barrier: 1

Jockey: Michael Walker

Trainer: Robert Hickmont

Odds: $61.00 / $21.00

He has run twice in the Melbourne Cup, and both times finished well back. His two lead up races were poor over much shorter, including a 11L loss to Almandin last start.

Word is they ride him forward, and that doesn't surprise me one bit. Watch for him to set a silly tempo up front, and this plays right into the stablemates hands (Almandin).

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Not going well enough to consider here

Max Dynamite

Barrier: 2

Jockey: Zac Purton

Trainer: William Mullins

Odds: $15.00 / $4.33

Could lead the 2017 Melbourne Cup, but worst case sit right behind the leaders rump. He ran a ripping 2nd in 2015 in this race, but gave it a miss in 2016.

All accounts are he is settled nicely in Australia, but I think his best is beyond him now. He has only raced four times since the 2015 Melbourne Cup, and was belted in three. Last start was solid, but shouldn't be good enough to win this I wouldn't think.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Beyond his best now

Ventura Storm

Barrier: 6

Jockey: Glen Boss

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $34.00 / $9.50

I found it very hard to place this horse.

His run behind Winx in the Turnbull was very good, but then he failed in the Caulfield Cup. 

He has run some very impressive races up near 3000 m, and in fact, his best racing seems to come at those further trips. His second in the Group 1 St Ledger (2900 m) was very solid, but it was over 12 months ago.

Hard to leave out, but he struggled under the pressure in the Caulfield Cup, and that's exactly what the 2017 Melbourne Cup will deliver. He is hard to leave out, but I just think he may succumb late.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Could run a big race, but I can't have him above a few others

Wicklow Brave

Barrier: 8

Jockey: Stephen Baster

Trainer: William Mullins

Odds: $71.00 / $19.00

Similar story to his stablemate Max Dynamite.

Last year he had plenty of excuses in the Melbourne Cup, and came into that with some incredible form.

This year it just isn't as good. No doubting he will run the trip, and his best could win the 2017 Melbourne Cup. Question is whether he can bring his best, or if it is behind him. I will suggest the latter.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Not going well enough this year

Big Duke

Barrier: 5

Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $21.00 / $6.00

One can never underestimate Darren Weir, and Avdulla is one of the best in the game in my opinion.

Big Duke comes into this with some 'ok' form, but nothing special. He has won over 2600 m, so you would think he gets the 3200 m. Although that extra 600 m is usually the breaking factor for horses here.

He is yet to win at Group 1 level, but did run a strong Sydney Cup over 3200 m in April, and came a close 2nd in the Metrop in September. That latter form doesn't bode too well behind Foundry, but this boy clearly has plenty of ability.

I am not sure he is up to this class, but he is tough. I suspect this race will be run like a rocket, which could set things up for him if he settles nicely under a crazy lightweight.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

I am willing to throw him in and risk the class factor

US Army Ranger

Barrier: 22

Jockey: Joseph O'Brien

Trainer: Jamie Spencer

Odds: $71.00 / $19.00


Can't say I know a thing about this horse, and on paper, it gives me no reason to pick it. It is the Melbourne Cup, so who knows, but without hindsight it stays out.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Doesn't look good enough for this

Boom Time

Barrier: 9

Jockey: Cory Parish 

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $31.00 / $9.00

Blowout Caulfield Cup winner that took most by surprise. I suspect he got a little lucky, with a few behind him missing their opportunity, but he won and that's all that matters.

Despite that win, you couldn't possibly consider him here. He will lob in a nice spot from the barrier, but he has never won over 2500 m, and his only try was the Sydney Cup in April, where he finished 31.3L off them.

The Melbourne Cup breaks horses, and I just can't see him figuring in the finish.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

I just can't have him in this


Barrier: 18

Jockey: Michael Dee 

Trainer: Robert Hickmont

Odds: $126.00 / $34.00

Another Hickmont runner that will push forward from a wide barrier. Yet another chance to put speed in the race, and that's exactly what it will do.

He did win the Sydney Cup over the distance last year, but his subsequent run in the Melbourne Cup was poor. He just isn't going well enough this year to win this, and I think he will be in this for other reasons.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Will set some tempo and fade away late


Barrier: 7

Jockey: Dwayne Dunn

Trainer: Chris Waller

Odds: $51.00 / $13.00

He was placed in last years Sydney Cup over 3200 m, so he should get the trip.

He is also is some good form, with a fast finishing second last start in the Moonee Valley Cup over 2500 m. 

At 7YO I don't think he has that much more to give, and I think the 2017 Melbourne Cup tempo may break him. I won't be surprised to see him run a nice race, but midfield is about the best I can see.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Just not quite up to some of these I don't think


Barrier: 19

Jockey: Glyn Schofield

Trainer: Iain Jardine

Odds: $34.00 / $9.50

Not much known about this fella, but he has won over 2800 m before. This includes a solid lead up win in August over 2787 m.

His racing pattern suggests he drifts back, and with a strong tempo could be a surprise late in the 2017 Melbourne Cup. However, I just don't think his form line stacks up to this.

Prior to last starts win, he hadn't won for 2 years. Plus, he has has no racing in Australia, which is a big query. Clearly, he has ability, but this is an incredibly tough staying race to win, and I am yet to see a reason why he could do so.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

On paper just doesn't look likely

Single Gaze

Barrier: 11

Jockey: Ms Kathy O'Hara

Trainer: Nick Olive

Odds: $41.00 / $11.00

​​​​Is the feel-good story of the 2017 Melbourne Cup. 

She is a tough mare, who just continues to deliver for the connections. In recent times she has tackled the staying races, but early days she placed in the Magic Millions (1200 m). 

Is yet to win beyond 2200 m, but last start she ran an absolute cracker in the Caulfield Cup.

Can she rise an extra 800 m in one of the toughest staying races on the planet? I am not sure she can, but still it would be a great story.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Would love to see her win, but I think she breaks in this and fades

Wall of Fire

Barrier: 15

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: Hugo Palmer

Odds: $13.00 / $4.00

I am confident this horse runs the trip out well. His form overseas has been solid, and he has won over 2900 m. His run in the Herbert Power at Caulfield was a super warm-up for the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Another horse that should drift back and be suited by the fast tempo of the race, and he is clearly a horse with upside.

My main concern is Williams on board. He is riding well below par lately, and in the Melbourne Cup you can't afford any poor decisions. Providing he makes the right choices, this horse could just surprise us and finish in the first 6.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Has good credentials, but also a few question marks for me

Thomas Hobson

Barrier: 21

Jockey: Joao Moreira

Trainer: William Mullins

Odds: $16.00 / $5.00

Has won over 4200 m, so the distance isn't a concern at all.

He will run all day, but doesn't look to have an electric finish. If he can find the front few on the turn, he might be very hard to get past. Any interference at all, and he just doesn't seem to match the finish of Almandin, Marmelo, Wall of Fire and Humidor (if he runs the trip).

I won't be surprised to see a huge race, but I have to put a few above him.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Will grind away the whole way, but doesn't seem to have that edge required to win.


Barrier: 4

Jockey: Corey Brown

Trainer: Joseph O'Brien

Odds: $12.00 / $4.00

Really hard to ignore this horse. My only concern is his age. As a 4YO (3YO in Europe), he is very much on the rise, and could find the 2017 Melbourne Cup a little too tough at this stage.

Despite that, he has run some ripping races of late and get's in here with just 51.5 kg on his back. He will run the trip out, and is drawn to get a great cart into it.

Ticks a lot of boxes, but this is a hard race to win at this age. Especially against a few of these seasoned stayers. Another horse that won't surprise me running a huge race, but I like him more for next year.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Maybe not this year, but definitely one to watch

Amelie's Star

Barrier: 10

Jockey: Dean Yendall

Trainer: Darren Weir

Odds: $17.00 / $5.50

Has never raced beyond 2500 m, and her Group 1 form is average. Despite that, she does look handy for a few reasons.

It would pay to forgive the Caulfield Cup run, because she was beaten by the jockey. Prior to that, she won impressively in the Bart Cummings, beating Almandin by a space.

Her runs over 2400 m have also been impressive, and prior to the Caulfield Cup she won 3 from 3 by an average margin of 4-5L.

The question is whether her class and toughness will take her far enough to win the 2017 Melbourne Cup. I suspect not, and she may succumb to the pressure late. Yet another horse that wouldn't surprise me running a big race though.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

Hard to have her in such a tough staying race


Barrier: 17

Jockey: Beau Mertens

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Odds: $51.00 / $13.00

Was as tough as nails in the Lexus to get this spot. He will aim to cross and lead the 2017 Melbourne Cup. This is one of the places where the tempo will come.

I can see him in a battel up front, and that won't help when the buttons are pushed late. Not for me here.

2017 Melbourne Cup Verdict

No in this race

​2017 Melbourne Cup - Top 8 Selections

This race will be run at a very strong tempo, with Cismontane and the two Hickmott horses going hell for leather up front. 

With this in mind, I can see a few good horses succumbing to the pressure, which happens every year. It is also set up for some massive finishes from behind. 

Let's hope the track plays fair down the middle, and we can enjoy a massive end to the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

For now, let's pull out the best chances.


I am willing to ignore last start because this is the target. Prior to that, he looked very good, and word is he is in better shape than last year.

The strong tempo will play right into his hooves, and because of that, I am backing him to be right in the finish of the 2017 Melbourne Cup.


I had him locked in as a chance prior to arriving in Australia. His run in the Caulfield Cup only strengthened my thoughts, and he is another horse that will benefit from a strong tempo.

I have been told they might race him forward, which would shock me, but I will assume they don't go against his racing pattern.

If they stay back then he is a great chance to storm to victory in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.


Most have written this fella off, and probably with some good reason. He doesn't look to be travelling as well this year, but I am mindful he has taken a different path.

Lane is in amazing form, and the change of approach has me asking questions. He has the ability to win this, and will run the trip.

I just can't leave him out of the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Big Duke

Will run the trip, and he is hard as nails. The query is the class, but the Flemington track looks ideal, and if he rises to the occasion he could sneak in at some nice odds.

Never underestimate Weir.

Wall of Fire

Assuming Williams has his head screwed on, this horse looks well placed to run a big race.

He will drift back and come home with a big finish. All being equal he is a big chance in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Johannes Vermeer

Distance is the query, but based on last start he should be ok. He is drawn a treat, and if he can see daylight late he could push through and be a chance to finish in the top 4.

Red Cardinal

Has the distance under his belt, and clearly has the class to be in the finish. Forgetting last start, his form was very good over the 3200 m, and a strong tempo will help.

Ticks enough boxes to win the 2017 Melbourne Cup, but whether he does remains to be seen.


Is a horse on the rise, and should be a major player in years to come. He has good form coming into this, and he is drawn and weighted very well.

A question of whether he might be a bit young to match it with some here, but would have to be in the exotics just in case he does.

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About the Author EziSports

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