Betting 360 Ep 025: 2013 Melbourne Cup Preview with Luke Murrell

Betting 360 Podcast - Betting From All AnglesWe’ve got Luke Murrell back for this week’s podcast as we assess all the imported runners in the Melbourne Cup.

Caulfield Cup – I just don’t know about that race altogether and I’m not sure the Melbourne Cup winner came through it. Dear Demi is a good mare but her running well puts a little bit of a question mark on the form. They reckon it’s the best batch of imports to come to Australia. Well I must be looking at something else because I can’t see that.

Brown Panther – you get a form line through Mawingo who beat Brown Panther a couple of times. I expect Brown Panther to come up a long way short in the Melbourne Cup. Has run weak sectionals at 2400m, so the 3200m has to be a concern. I couldn’t have him in a fit. Couldnt lay him enough at $26.

Caravan Rolls On – really good handicapper but his really good form was 12 months ago. If he stayed here he’d be a lightweight chance in some good races. Better horse than Brown Panther but he needs to win the Lexus to qualify.

Dandino – best form is on rock hard tracks and he will need that on Tuesday. Similar to a horse like Natural Blitz in that if you spit on the track he doesnt go. Massive risk at the 3200m. I couldnt have him at all. Lay him all day at $11 the win and would also lay him the place.

Dunaden – on what he’s done in Europe this year the poor fella has seen better days. Going 7-8 lengths worse than he was last year. But he’s such a good trier I’d throw him in the exotics. Wouldn’t want to back or lay him at $41.

Forgotten Voice – hasn’t got anything really so you’d lay him as much as you could.

Mount Athos – everyone obviously saw he what he did last year but he’s a long, long way off his best form. Luca Cumani has brought a lot of horses here over the years but they just don’t seem to do anything here. The mail I have is that perhaps he has a few issues. Huge lay at $9.

Opinion – one to follow next year, does have some really good credentials.

Red Cadeaux – going even worse than Dunaden and Mount Athos. Has a lot of holes in his form this year. Tough horse but no way. He’s that far off them it’s not funny. Lay all day even at $51.

Royal Empire – has come through 3rd and 4th tier type races. Listed/Group 3 horse here but not good enough for the Melbourne Cup. Definitely lay at $21.

Ruscello – his run the other day was just a run. Couldn’t see him making the field and is more of a 2000m/country cup horse.

Simenon – really surprised me the other day. Can’t see him winning the race but if they are positive with him he might be able to hold on for a minor placing. Love the fact he’s had one run here already but he’s too short at $26 and you should get better odds on the day.

Tres Blue – I took some of the $26 the other day. Will prefer a dry track. Has run low-34 sectionals at the end of 2400m. Has exceptional form and I think he’ll run top 4 no problem. Real chance and I have him around $9 or $10.

Verema – will handle wet or dry. Can sit just off the speed or be midfield. Can run closing sectionals that some of our sprinters couldn’t match. Only slight worry is that she is a mare, but if she’s travelled OK so is the perfect Melbourne Cup horse. Will relax in the run and show a turn of foot. Excellent trainer who can travel horses. Couldn’t be more confident with her and very keen at $14.

Voleuse De Couers – not sure she’s as good as the hype. Is fairly small so might get knocked around a bit. Prefer to lay than back her at $14.

Others –
You want to back horses that have shown good form recently, not going off form from 12-18 months ago. Outside of Verema and Tres Blue I couldnt see any other imported horse winning, so you’d have to find a local hope to beat them.

Fiorente ran well last year but it was not a genuinely run Cup. I think they will go a lot harder this year. Hawkspur – a risk.
Mr Moet – a chance at odds as he is looking for the trip and has a turn of foot.
Sea Moon – would be very keen on a wet track.
Jet Away – million to one to run the Melbourne Cup trip, but a big chance in the McKinnon.
Fawkner – no.
Seville – I think he’s a peg down from the two French horses
Super Cool – should run well and looks overs at $41.

Thanks to Luke Murrell of Australian Bloodstock.

Betting 360 Ep 025: 2013 Melbourne Cup Preview with Luke Murrell

David: Hi this is David Duffield, and welcome to another episode of the Betting 360 podcast. I wanted to get Luke Murrell back on the line this week and run through all the imported horses. It’s pretty hard unless you’re knee deep in the overseas form like he is, it’s pretty hard to line up these runners, and sort through the wheat versus chaff. So there are a couple of horses that he really is keen on for Tuesday in the Melbourne Cup, and there’s a few that he’s put a line through that are actually in the market. So we respected his, always honest and forthright in his opinion, and we’ll have a chat with him right now.

David: Thanks for joining us again Luke.

Luke: Yeah no problem.

David: I just wanted to get your take on the imports in the cup, it’s your specialty as far as we’re concerned, helping our guys with a bit of knowledge on the imported runners. But how did you see the Caulfield Cup firstly?

Luke: Yeah look, two minds. Dear Demi running sort of well, puts a little bit of a question mark for me on it. She’s a terrific little mare, but to me she wouldn’t measure up to some of these better imports that are around. And she’s sort of been proven to do that, but look she is going really well. I think a Horse like Dandino flashing home, the key to Dandino is anyone’s going to look at him in a Melbourne Cup is, unless you get a rock hard track like the Caulfield Cup was, you can put a line through him. All his very best form overseas has been, it’s been hit and miss.

But when it has been a hit it’s always been on a rock hard track, and that’s the key to him. On the stuff that I do on a couple of different factors I think he’s a massive risk, and also at a Melbourne Cup distance. So I sort of, I see him only as a top 10 chance, and not a major top 4 or 5 chance. And then the rest of the imports, well you know Forgotten Voice well it was always going to be a flop, I couldn’t believe the money that come for it. The trainer publicly in the UK press was pleading with the owner to retire the horse before it come to Australia, so I think that tells you enough anyway. But it was always sort of a 4th or 5th run. And then obviously your Cox Plate horse as well, you know one of them went to Singapore and got beat pretty convincingly, and the other one, they were always American type horses.

And what you find with the Europe form, is the group 2 and 3 horses that are just a long way short of the better ones always go to America and Ireland to sort of fluff up their black type, and look for an easy kill. So you know I read in the back of the paper today they’re saying it’s the best batch of imports to ever come to Australia, I must be looking at something else because I can’t see that. So yeah onto your Caulfield Cup, I just don’t know about that race all together, just a big question mark and I’m not sure the Melbourne Cup runner came through that race at all.

David: You mentioned that the juries out in your mind on some of the imports, so let’s run through them, well just work from the site. And firstly Brown Panther, it’s a horse that won the, was it the St.Leger, let me have a look, the sorry the Goodwood Cup over 2 miles?

Luke: Yeah I think you can draw a line with Brown Panther, he met, actually my horse Mawingo a couple of times in Europe, and Mawingo beat him quite convincingly. And Brown Panther to be fair, Mawingo is probably only a group 2 horse at best here, even though he won a group 1. But Brown Panther to me, his form this prep is even not as good as it was as he was a younger horse. And I love Michael Owen as a soccer player, but I think he’ll come up a long way short here in a Melbourne Cup. It’s a horse that, you know he probably will handle all conditions out here, but for me he’s a long way short. And importantly I think you’ll find, he’s very very weak sectionally late in his races, even at 24. So I think a Melbourne Cup trip is well beyond him, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he runs well down the track, and I couldn’t have him in a fit.

David: Okay. With each of these runners I want to ask whether you’d be a backer or a layer at the price, it sounds like you’d be laying him at $26 bucks?

Luke: Couldn’t lay him enough, that’s why the bookies are rich.

David: Fair enough. Just working through these in alphabetical order, so next up we’ve got Caravan Rolls On, not even sure he’s qualified, but any thoughts on him?

Luke: Yeah he’s a really good handicapper actually. I just would’ve liked to have seen him in a little bit better form. His really good form was sort of 12 months ago, but I’m not sure, I’m not even sure of his ownership, I think maybe one of the Sheiks have since bought him. But if he stayed here he would be a lightweight chance in some of these better races. Maybe trained our way, because he has one horse that has got a really good serious turn of foot, but yeah I don’t think he’s in the race so.

David: Yeah I think he needs to win the Lexus on Saturday.

Luke: Yeah. But look I haven’t seen obviously we don’t know the final make-up of the field, but he’s not a bad horse that horse. He’s a much better horse than sort of Brown Panther. But he’s one that sort of, I think the ownership group has deliberately, in Europe a lot of owners keep them, if they’re not weight for age group 1 horses they keep them out of the big group 3 type races, they run in these rich handicaps. And he’s one of those horses that sort of, you might look at his form and say, well geez he hasn’t run in many group 1 races, and obviously not much good. It’s very different to out here, and he is one that’s got ability. But you know, not even in the race you wouldn’t be backing him just yet.

David: Alright. Next up we’ve got Dandino, who you mentioned is in your line more of a mile and a half horse, and may struggle late in the cup.

Luke: Yeah. And I’m not sure what the weathers doing down there, but I did hear that they may be thinking they’ll get a bit of rain so. I was trying to think, Natural Blitz used to be a horse out here I used to always follow, and people used to spit on the track and he was no good. And I think you’ll find this horse will be very similar, and I couldn’t have him at all yep.

David: I was going to say so he’s $11 dollars pretty hard in the market, lay all day?

Luke: All day yeah, and for the place.

David: Okay. Dunaden, an old favourite of yours.

Luke: Yeah. On what he’s done in Europe this year I think the poor fellas seen better days. He’s sort of been, I reckon he’s probably going 7 or 8 lengths worse than what he was last year. And so he’s a fair way off his top that horse. But yeah look he’ll go in my exotics, just because he is such a good trying tough little fella. But I really couldn’t see him being a player this year.

David: So if you were forced to back or lay at $41 dollars, what would you be doing?

Luke: I would let him go around without me, I wouldn’t back him and I wouldn’t lay him. But for those guys that have the big exotics, throw him in because he’s got the ability. But yeah on his European form you couldn’t back him at all, and you’d be laying him for this year.

David: Okay. Next up is Forgotten Voice and you said should probably be retired?

Luke: Yeah look not for me. He hasn’t got anything really, so you’d lay him as much as you could.

David: Okay. Mount Athos?

Luke: Yeah Mount Athos is an interesting one. Everyone obviously saw he was the run of the race last year in the Cup. It’s a bit like Dandino, his form up there in Europe this year has been woeful. I think he had one good run from memory at Goodwood, but look he’s a long long way off his best form. But look naturally there’d be money for him, because he’s Luca Cumani. But you know I just question, Luca Cumani brings a lot of horses over the years and really has never done anything down here, so I struggle to see the, you obviously Francesca’s the big draw card. But yeah it always amuses me when they talk up Luca Cumani and his horses, they just don’t seem to do it here do they. You know he’s probably got 30 or 40 horses here, and he’s probably had one winner, so.

David: At times some of your comments have upset people, let’s not upset the Cumani’s though mate, we’d miss Francesca if she didn’t come down every year.

Luke: (Laughs) Yeah look I know she’s a draw card, but the … I had about Mount Athos anyway was, yeah he’s got a few little issues, and perhaps you want to be staying right away from him this year.

David: Okay. Next up is a horse called Opinion.

Luke: Yeah I like Opinion, he’s a little bit, I’d be willing to forgive him his Moonee Valley run the

other day. I thought he ran okay without being a flashing light, but if you look at this horses European form he’d be a real chance, and you’d want to be, I’m not sure what price he is but.

David: Well if you worked off the, yeah sorry to talk over the top of you. If you work off the spring racing carnival, so the Racing Victoria says they abandoned Melbourne Cup plans for Opinion when it was obvious that with 50 kilos he wasn’t going to make the field. But he’s still in the market at $300 bucks, so yeah you said that he’s a horse with some potential.

Luke: Yeah look, a lot of the ones we’ve mentioned so far, I think he’s more of a chance than some of those that are in the race. But obviously if Waller was training him he’ll be staying here, and he’d be one to sort of follow I reckon next year, because he does have some really good credentials that horse.

David: Okay. What about a horse that most of us know fairly well, but I think you would know even better, and that’s Red Cadeaux.

Luke: Yeah Red Cadeaux, I think he’s even going worse than you know your Dunaden’s, and your Mount Athos. And he’s got a lot of holes in his form this prep especially. But I think you know, like I know he went to Japan, then he went to Singapore, and then he’s back racing up in Europe. And he’s obviously a very tough horse and he can travel, but no, no way, you’d be laying him all day.

David: Yep. So even at $51 dollars you don’t want to be on him?

Luke: Yeah even at $51. Look he’s just, he’s that far off from it it’s sort of not funny. In races that are sort of 5 or 6 pegs below what he was racing when he was going well. And at the end of the day I think his starting price in our Melbourne Cup, I think it surprised a lot of people anyway. I know he went on to run well in Hong Kong, and then later in a couple of other races, but yeah I think he’s well and truly behind. He’d be more one you’d be, I couldn’t even, I think he’ll struggle for a top ten finish.

David: Alright. There’s been a lot of lays so far, but just hold on for anyone listening in there is one you really like later on. Royal Empire is next, and he’s a winner over 2700 meters in England in August of this year.

Luke: Yeah he’s come through a lot of, again the 3rd and 4th tier type races. I think he’d be a, he’s probably a listed group 3 horse here, but not good enough for the Melbourne Cup for sure.

David: What about Ruscello is it, $150 dollars?

Luke: Yeah I thought his run the other day was just a run, and not sure is he in the field?

David: Not yet I think he needs.

Luke: Yeah I couldn’t see him getting in. And I think he’s more of a horse that’s going to better at 2000 trip in Australia. Yeah look I think he’s only a minor carnival, like a you know minor cup sort of horse Ballarat, Bendigo Cup, those type of horses.

David: Alright, Simenon?

Luke: Simenon, yeah he really surprised me the other day. I thought they’d be too sharp for him, and even though they didn’t go that hard, I thought he did well to sort of quicken. He’d be one, I couldn’t see him winning the race, but he could certainly, you see some of those pommy horses in the past they’ve hung on for 3rd and 4th. And if they be positive with him I think he’d be a minor chance in some minor money, but not as a winning chance.

David: And what about at $26 dollars?

Luke: Yeah too short, way too short. I think on the day a horse like that though, you probably will get a lot better, I think you might get 40 or 50 to 1 there, especially on BetFair with that horse. But look he’s better than say your Red Cadeaux chance the way he’s going so, and I love the fact that he’s had one run here already.

David: Alright. What about Tres Blue for Waterhouse?

Luke: Yeah this is one horse, I took a bit of $26 the other day. And on his French form he will prefer, not as bad as a Dandino, but he will prefer a dry track. But this horse up there has run at the end of sort of 2400 metres, you know a low 34 sectional. I think a 34 4 sectional, he can really reel off a sectional. He’s run in the German Derby was excellent on a road, it was a real rock hard track, and his form since that German Derby run has been exceptional. Like he’s got a horse, a former owner horse called Penglai Pavillion, who ran 4th or 5th in an Arc. And sectionally he’s one of the, I think he’ll run top four no problem.

I think he gets in with a really lightweight from memory, 51 kilos or 51 and a half because he’s a 3 year old. And he’s a real chance this horse, and at $26, in my market I would’ve have had him at $9 or $10 dollars. So, whether it’s all too much, hearing sort of a few reports that he is a bit boisterous and what not, he might need his jatz crackers out. But that’d be the only knock on him, is maybe that he’s just too much of a colt, but on form, yeah you’d definitely have to include that one, he’d be a top four chance for sure.

David: Okay. Speaking of horses you’d like to back, Verema was a horse that you spoke to us about well 2 weeks ago, and very keen on its chances in the Melbourne Cup. Are you still that way?

Luke: Yeah I am. Look she’ll handle whether it’s a heavy track or a good track, she’ll handle the conditions. And look she can put herself, she can be 1 out 2 back, or she can be come from midfield, she’s got a really really hot turn of foot. I’ve got her running a 33 89 sectional at the end of 600, for her last 600, and some of our sprinters can’t run that. Now the pleasing thing with her though, she just goes to sleep, and you now she can sit 3 and 4 wide and still finish off, and for me she’s the one that they’ve all got to beat.

David: So what, do you see any weakness in her, any tinks in her armour?

Luke: Not really. Obviously the only slight worry is she’s a filly or a mare travelling around the world, and she’s going to have her first run here, in a what’s going to obviously be a capacity field. But her runs in bigger fields over there have been terrific. So as long as she’s travelled well which I’m told she has, she just goes to sleep so well, and some of these horses can over race, pull and everything like that, and she’s just the complete opposite. She just goes to sleep, and if ever, she is just the perfect Melbourne Cup horse. She’s got a turn of foot, and she can sit anywhere, she can handle the tracks, and she’s just so relaxed. So I could see her starting $7 or $8 dollars on the day, her form is just terrific, and I think the guys that really do there tapes, if you go and watch her, she’s just, yeah she’s really good.

David: Is this her first travel? Has she actually raced outside of France before?

Luke: Yeah, and that’s a big pot you know. But it’s the only thing that I think would undo her of not running top two. So, and you know you’d prefer that she was a colt or a gelding, because they seem to do it a little bit better. But the mail is that she has travelled well so, so far so good. And that guy Dupre, you know they do go on about some trainers up there that can and can’t train, he is just a phenomenon. He is a really really good trainer, and he’s every bit as good as anything that we’ve got trainer wise. And he’s just got a record that when he travels them, they do travel well, and that’s a big thing. Like it’s not as if it’s his only horse, or he hasn’t travelled before. And you see some of these one horse trainers that do travel their good horses, and they do struggle. But whatever he does it works well, and yeah I couldn’t be more confident with her.

David: Okay. Finish up then Voleuse De Couers is a big purchase for Mike Moroney?

Luke: Yeah. Traditionally anything with Irish form is very suspect. I know everyone’s talking that it is a wet track, I think it will go okay on top of the ground. I don’t mind it, I just worry, there’s a lot of talk in the media how good it is, and they’re going on about it, I’m not sure it’s as good as they’re making out. I think it’s a definite chance, but for me a big risk buying off a guy like Dermot Weld. And obviously … or whoever has bought it, they’re buying her as a brood mare potential, I’m not sure if she’s as good as the hype. But she is going, like you’d be backing her against Dunaden and Red Cadeaux and some of the ones that we’ve mentioned already, Mount Athos and those types. Again being a filly, I’m told she’s only very small, so for me that’s my main worry with her, that she might get knocked around a bit. She has over raced in some of her races, and wanted to get on with it. And I just think maybe , Ireland’s very different, this is a massive step up, I couldn’t back her, but I could see her running a place somewhere.

David: So I’ve asked you to back or lay at the $14 dollars. You said you’d just let it go round, you wouldn’t take a position, or you’d lay at $14.

Luke: Definitely not, I’d lay. Just that Irish form, the forms okay, it’s better than a lot of them. But if you’re to have a match race with Tres Blue and Verema, I think the other two would beat her comfortably. And I think your SP profile would also be greatly in favour of the 2 Frenchies, as opposed to the Irish horse.

David: Okay. So pretty much all the monies laid outside of the two you’re keen on, Tres Blue and Verema, how are you going to…

Luke: I don’t see the strength that everyone’s talking about. Look I know your Dunaden, and your Athos, and your Red Cadeaux have been there and done it before. But you’d much rather, if I’m putting my money on the line, you want to be backing horses that have shown that they’ve got good form, and recent good form. Going off form that is 12 months and 18 months ago, I thinks a bit tricky. And I don’t think it’s a strong, outside of the two French ones, I couldn’t see anything else that’s there winning. So you know you’ve got to find something else in Australia that’s going to beat those two I think.

David: I haven’t actually asked you that. Do you think there isn’t a local hope, or at least would you say a horse that’s been here for a little while, not necessarily that it was bred here. But is there a horse that’s been racing locally that you think could beat either Tres Blue or Verema?

Luke: Look Fiorente obviously the obvious one. But again I’m not necessarily convinced on him, if we get a proper run Melbourne Cup. Like last year I don’t think was a proper run Melbourne Cup, so everybody’s factoring in, oh well he ran so good last year. But I’m not sure that, I think there’s a lot of little hopes this year, when last year it was quite open, and they were all looking around. I think they’ll go a lot harder this year, on what’s looking like the likely field. Hawkspur I think is a risk, at any old odds I do like Mr Moet, you know I take a position on him. Because even though it’s only … form, the fact that he could win over a sprint trip and over 2400, and to me I think he is one that’s looking for the trip, and he has got a turn of foot. So I like that in a horse. Sea Moon…

David: What about Seville or Jet Away?

Luke: What was that sorry?

David: Sorry tell us about Sea Moon, and I was going to ask you about Seville and Jet Away.

Luke: Yeah Sea Moon, if you’ve got a wet track I think you should be really really keen on him. To me he’s a hell of a lot better on a wet track. So if you’ve got a wet track I’d be very keen, and have him as one of the, probably Lloyds best chance. Jet Away I think is a million to one in running the trip, so I couldn’t have him at all. Although I think he’ll probably nearly win the Mackinnon. But I think it’d be a mistake if they win under a Melbourne Cup with Jet Away, everything that he’s done is just nowhere near having the stamina to be able to do it.

David: Speaking of stamina, what about Fawkner?

Luke: Yeah, for me no. He surprised me a little bit, personally I don’t think they went as hard as what they have previously, and he was always going to be a horse that had a really big turn of foot. And I think he showed that, and blew them away with that turn of foot. I think stretched out that’ll lessen, and like I said, I think they’ll run a lot more this year. Of all these other ones Seville, yeah look he’s okay, but again I would’ve thought he’s a peg down from your two French horses, or even a Sea Moon. If Sea Moon gets a wet track, and outside of that, I think it’s roughly about the field.

David: Good stuff. Alright no appreciate your insight as always. And like I said a lot of the local punters don’t really have a handle on the imports, so it’s good just to get an honest and expert opinion. So really appreciate your time again Luke.

Luke: Yeah no problems. Just be a bit weary this year, I think some of them are coming here with hype that they don’t deserve on the current form.

David: Excellent. Will be interesting to see how it plays out then.

Luke: Yeah, good luck.

David: Thanks Luke, cheers. 

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