Nathan’s Racebook: Melbourne Cup special

NATHAN Exelby looks for the Melbourne Cup winner and also a few to play at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.

Eagle Farm - Race 3

Canadian Club Handicap

1600m, 3YO Open, 12.42pm

Nathan says: Dawson Delight brings a powerful formline to this race, having finished fourth, but only half a length off Profit when she most recently raced. That was a nice improvement on her previous effort behind the same horse and Guntantes. She now arrives 31 days between runs, which is a little query, but she ran well at this trip off a 21-day break at start No.2. Her trainer Garnet Taylor has proven he can get them ready for these types of trips without a lot of racing. She has a big edge on ratings and anything like the last start will be too good for these.

Ladbrokes says: Dawson Delighthas continued to firm since markets opened. We went up $2.60 and the punters have been happy to take that. She's into $2.30 now and could start shorter. Rebel Rockhas eased slightly from $4 to $4.20 as a result. Flame Princessis solid at the $5.50 mark and Makeupis an $8 chance.

The play: Black figures Dawson Delightlooks a fair play.

Eagle Farm - Race 4

McCarthy Homes Handicap

1300m, E&G Class 2, 1.32pm

Nathan says: Enterprise Mosshasn't had a lot of racing over the past 18 months. At last year's winter carnival he wasn't disgraced behind The Bostonian, which obviously reads as monster form for race like this. Had the long lay-off and it's taken a while to get him back to peak fitness, but the signs are good now. Won well enough at Ipswich and was then a solid third at Doomben last time. That looks good enough form to win this. His trainer Michael Lakey is enjoying a real hot streak at the moment.

Ladbrokes says: Enterprise Moss is the big market mover. We offered $3.10 at the opening bounce and punters wasted no time trimming that price up. He's now into $2.45 and it looks like one way traffic, just as it's been in the previous. Wounded Soldier for the Kris Lees stable has gone the other way, being $3.90 out to $4.20. Spirit Esprit went from $5 out to $6, but has trimmed up again slightly to $5.50. The Administrator is the other one under double figures, being $6.50 out to $7, and back to $6.50.

The play: Enterprise Moss to win again.

Eagle Farm - Race 8

Channel 7 Handicap

1845m, Class 1, 4.52pm

Nathan says: Remuerahas been racing consistently without winning. She's notched seven minor placings in her career, but just the one win in 15 starts, so she looks short enough now at $2.70. The sharp step up in distance looks suitable, being a daughter of the staying sire Reliable Man. Mullaghmore has had one run back and was okay at the Sunshine Coast. Last prep he had form easily good enough to win this race, behind the likes of Tatcee. Up to 1845m, with Ryan Maloney to steer, he's capable of winning this.

Ladbrokes says: This is a very competitive betting race, with eight runners marked at $11 or shorter in Ladbrokes' early market. Remuera is the one they have come for early, firming from $3.20 into $2.70. Brando eased to $9 before firming back to $7.50, and Tony Gollan's Lucadeal is at the same quote. Mullaghmore had some solid formlines for this last preparation, and is a clear second pick in the market, trimming up slightly from $6 to $5.50.

The play: Mullaghmore looks the better value of the top two in the market.

Flemington - Race 7

Lexus Melbourne Cup

3200m, Open Handicap, 2pm

Nathan says: The principal winning chances for mine are Cross Counter, Mer De Glace, Finche and Magic Wand. Obviously Constantinople and Vow and Declare could easily win too, but I am opposing them on the grounds of their inexperience. After all, you can't tip them all. Downdraft, Mutajeer, Mirage Dancer and Prince of Arran should run well, but not making them winning chances in my book, just extras for multiples. The queries are Il Paradiso with the Cross Counter similarities, and Southern France, which beat Cross Counter last time. Mer De Glace seems a deserving favourite after rounding them up in the Caulfield Cup. He came here for that race, but it seems he's gone ahead since and the camp have grown in confidence. Getting a soft run from the draw can help him see out 3200m. Cross Counter is trained by a master in Charlie Appleby, and I just get the feeling this entire year has been about getting him back to Australia. Has disappointed a touch at his past couple, but that gets him in with only 5.5kg over the limit, which should not be an arduous impost for him. He won last year's Cup off a setback, a bad check on the first turn, and going around the entire field. He was awesome and I think a similar level of form will be good enough to win this race. Finche was fourth in that race, and gets the weight swing. Chris Waller has timed everything for this Melbourne Cup and it seems impossible that he won't run well. Magic Wand doesn't win many races, but I get the feeling her class can take her a long way here with 53.5kg. She was less than a length off Bricks and Mortar only three starts back, and that horse won the Breeders' Cup Turf on Sunday morning. Her formlines are better than a $26 chance and clearly superior to many of the other Europeans in the race.

Ladbrokes says: It's all been about the Japanese horse since the final field was declared. Mer De Glace is holding about a third of our entire book since the barrier draw. The two biggest bets are on him, $20,000 and $15,000. The interesting one has been Southern France. He kind of drifted out for most of the week, but there's been a few bets from smart punters in the past couple of days and he's $26 into $21. Before that, there had been no interest for the past three weeks and we thought something must have been wrong, but since the field has been declared, there's money there. Cross Counter has been popular with the rank-and-file punters. There are no big bets on him, but we did lay $3000 at $17 in the pre-post market.

Southern France in the sand roll after a trackwork session at Werribee yesterday. Picture: Vince Caligiuri/AAP
Southern France in the sand roll after a trackwork session at Werribee yesterday. Picture: Vince Caligiuri/AAP

Other betting moves:

Master Of Reality - friendless, $15 out to $26

Mirage Dancer - one bet of $1000 at $61 pre-post

Hunting Horn - solid at $34, $1000 at $61 pre-post

Latrobe - no interest, $19 out to $26

Mustajeer - has been $21 in to $17. Has been popular since the Damien Oliver booking and was popular on Sunday. We took two bets to win $20,000 after the barrier draw.

Rostropovich - friendless

Twilight Payment - $101 in to $51. We assume the booking of Hugh Bowman is the reason for that money.

Finche - solid at $10 but not a lot of action given he's a Chris Waller horse in the market.

Prince Of Arran - was $21 in to $17 on Sunday.

Raymond Tusk - no friends but have kept him safe, $13 out to $17

Downdraft - we thought he would be popular after winning on Saturday, but he's been $15 out to $21

Magic Wand - has drifted from $19 out to $26 and no support at all.

Neufbosc - $101 out to $201

Sound - $71 out to $151

Surprise Baby - after the barrier draw and from gate 20, punters snapped up $17. Got into $14, drifted slightly back out to $15. On the day we think he will be a big liability for us because of the story around him.

Constantinople - $7 out to $8. No interest so far but expect that to change today.

Il Paradiso - Has been fairly popular since the draw, $15 in to $13.

Steel Prince - no love at $71.

The Chosen One - Some specking, $101 in to $81.

Vow and Declare - Has been $13 in to $12. We have some big multis going through him, through Downdraft and Miami Bound. Not too bad in the final book at the moment, but through pre-post and multis, he's a disastrous result. We laid him at $201 way back when the market first went up.

Youngstar - $31 out to $51, then back into 34.

Ladbrokes opinion: Southern France is the one we're coming up with on the European form. Seems the right form and looks the value. He has an Australian trainer and we just think in a Cup with plenty of question marks, he's the one. Prince of Arranis really suited to Australian conditions, and we think he will run a big race again.

Lay: We will take on the second favourite Constantinople.

Nathan's play: Backing Mer De Glace and Cross Counter for the biggest results. Magic Wand and Finchewon't be losers for me either. Adding in the likes of Il Paradiso, Southern France, Mirage Dancer, Downdraft and Prince of Arran for the wider multiples of trifectas and first fours.

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