Only a handful of sporting events, such as The Super Bowl and the IPL Final, transcend their sport to such an extent that they become a cultural event, not just a sporting one. The Melbourne Cup – one of the world’s richest races – and the undisputed highlight of the Australian racing calendar also fits that bill. It’s called “the race that stops a nation” for a reason, as everyone – even those who don’t follow racing – stops what they are doing for a few minutes to watch the action. In fact, it’s a public holiday in the state of Victoria.
The 2022 Melbourne Cup will take place on the 1st of November. As usual, it will be held at the iconic Flemington Racecourse. Deauville Legend and Loft currently lead the horse racing betting markets for the big event, but we should be clear that this is a race that can be brutal on the favourites. As with the UK Grand National, there is always a sense that anyone can win – so don’t be fooled into backing the favourite just because the bookmakers have listed them on top of the markets.
The biggest race in Australia
Last year’s winner, Verry Elleegant, will not be returning to defend her crown. The mare’s owners decided to have a bash at plundering Europe’s top prizes instead this year, which didn’t really work out for them. Nonetheless, there will be a stacked field full of international and homegrown talent ready to go for a shot at the lion’s share of the $8 million AUD prize fund.
As mentioned, Deauville Legend tops the markets. He’s one of a handful of international runners to have headed Down Under for a crack at the big prizes. The horse, trained by Jame Ferguson, had a cracking summer in the UK, taking big wins at Newmarket and York, while also performing well at Royal Ascot. He is on the youngish side as a 3yo, but Ferguson is a wily operator, and he has paired Deauville Legend up with the ultra-experienced Kerrin McEvoy. McEvoy has won three Melbourne Cups and knows Flemington like the back of his hand – Deauville Legend has the right jockey in the saddle.
As for Loft, he’s a remarkable German-trained horse. While the 4yo has probably not gained the attention of some of the British and Irish runners, he has performed well on the big stage. Most notably, he went of to the USA in June to take the Belmont Gold Cup. He has a big chance to become a Melbourne Cup winner.
Vow and Declare can make history
Perhaps the biggest cheer will be given to Vow and Declare. The 7yo won the Melbourne Cup back in 2019, but, to be honest, he has been a shadow of his former self ever since. And yet, the noise coming out of his camp is confident sounding. It would be one of the biggest shocks in the over 160 years of history of the race if Vow and Declare were to roll back the years and win it again, but it’s worth keeping an eye on him because something seems to be brewing.
Elsewhere, keep an eye on names like Duais, Gold Trip, Without A Fight and Smokin Romans – all class acts who surely have a shot at one of the biggest prizes in global horse racing. If you are following the race or having a bet, be sure to pay attention to expert horse racing advice and take heed of factors like weights. But even if you don’t bet, the race is a spectacular sporting event – just a few minutes of thundering action. It’s worth tuning in for if you get the chance on the 1st of November.