Dixie’s annual (occasional) runner-by-runner guide to the Melbourne Cup

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November 3, 2020 by dixwah

I’m back! Due to popular demand – yes, one person did actually request this, that’s all it took – the annual guide to the Cup returns for the first time since 2016.

The winner

First things first – who’ll win? Ashrun is the certain winner. And the best part? He’s about 25/1, that means if you put your house on it, you’ll own the street by 4pm today. Trust the system*.

*Only practical if there are 25 houses on your street. Worth having a chat to your neighbours pre-race, it can be awkward.

So I went looking for an Ash who runs really fast to add some punch to this bit; maybe an Olympic sprint winner, Stawell Gift stuff would have done nicely, and all that came up was Ashley Callus. No mug, he won gold in that epic 4×100 freestyle at Sydney 2000 where Thorpey came from the clouds, but his name isn’t Ashswim. Alas.

Quick brief: So this horse is trained in Germany by 2014 Cup winner (got that one wrong, sorry) Andreas Wohler, he tried to get into the Cup via Geelong. He tanked there for 4th, so entered the ‘winner gets a run’ Hotham last Saturday and came from last to win there. He now drops 8 kilos from that (I was 8 kilos lighter in February, it matters!), has had a look around Flemington and will run two miles.

Barrier 24? He’s pretty much starting from Platform 1 of the train station. I don’t know much about his jockey Declan Bates other than he started his career in Ireland and is now based in Vic. I guess that creates the perfect scenario where if he wins he’s a hero for life, and if he loses I can trash him on every social media channel I can find (Is Reddit still going?). Win-win.

Anyway, if you’ve come this far, I may as well go through all the others in case you draw them in the sweep or whatever. Go well.

Melbourne Cup 2020 runners

  1. Anthony Van Dyck – A painter born in 1599. That makes him a very intelligent, but very old horse. Resorting to statistics, no horse over 400 years old has ever won the Melbourne Cup. That’s a no.
  2. Avilius – Formerly really good, now really average. Not only did I keep backing him when he lost his form earlier this year (trust the system, eek), but I drew him in a Calcutta on Sunday night, which absolutely rules out his chances.
  3. Vow and Declare – Last year’s winner, for all the nostalgia he’s a donkey this year. Don’t bother.
  4. Master of Reality – Irish-trained runner, Twilight Payment (#6) beat him by eight lengths at home in July. Next.
  5. Sir Dragonet – Cox Plate winner a few weeks ago. Right in it. Can’t beat Ashrun though.
  6. Twilight Payment – See (#4). 11th last year after leading. I like him, but not as much as Ashrun. *Remember to insert twilight and getting paid pun before publishing*
  7. Verry Elleegant – Poor grammar, but from NZ so maybe that makes sense. Like most Kiwis, prefers bad weather and wet conditions.
  8. Mustajeer – Second last in 2019, looking to go one better this year and give money back to those who draw him in sweeps (he’ll run last).
  9. Stratum Albion – Means Rocks British, Johnny Rotten would be proud.
  10. Dashing Willoughby – I’ve never met anyone dashing from Willoughby. See ya.
  11. Finche – Obviously named after the legendary Australian one-day captain of a different spelling. 7th last year, 4th in 2018. On pure stats, he runs 10th.
  12. Prince of Arran – Arran is a little island off the west coast of Arran. I don’t believe it has a local prince, like this horse, it’s a myth. He’s actually a pretty good chance.
  13. Surprise Baby – Your take on this boy probably depends on whether a surprise baby would be a good thing or otherwise.
  14. King of Leogrance – Scratched. Will struggle to win if he’s not running.
  15. Russian Camelot – yes, big chance. Checked why he has that name, so…His Dad is Camelot and his Mum is Lady Babooshka. Not bad. But Arthur Babooshka would be SO much better. So you’re out.
  16. Steel Prince – Why? How can you be a prince of an alloy or iron?
  17. The Chosen One – Strong name, weak horse, no.
  18. Ashrun – Start pruning the money tree!!
  19. Warning – Warning, don’t back me.
  20. Etah James – A female horse called James? Strong? Probably not.
  21. Tiger Moth – Strong name, good horse. Never run over 2400 metres. Has drawn a bad barrier, but not quite as bad as Ashrun, so that’s ok. Big chance, maybe 2nd?
  22. Oceanex – Ex-what? Ex-ocean? I’m confused. No.
  23. Miami Bound – Very very good and very spicy odds (50/1?). But would you really want to go to Miami right now? NO!
  24. Persan – Big chance, reminds me of Ben Stiller in Zoolander. “Per-san!!” Outside chance.

What are you up to? Hi to everyone in Vic, see you soon from the sound of things. Any tips welcome too!

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