There are some potentially exciting stories in the Melbourne Cup.

By:
Scott Mcglynn
02/11/2023
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
There are some potentially exciting stories in the Melbourne Cup.

The Melbourne Cup is always full of memorable storylines, and the 2023 renewal looks like it will have more of the same.

News Insights

  • Damien Oliver to have his final Melbourne Cup ride
  • Has Mark Zahra made the right choice?
  • European Challenge looks strong
  • 4th run in the race for Vow And Declare

The 2023 Melbourne Cup is shaping up to be a great renewal of the race with some classy horses on show. Rarely does the 3200m contest not live up to expectations, and this year looks like the usual betting industry showstopper.

The Melbourne Cup is a race that rarely disappoints those looking for a Hollywood ending. There is always a story of adversity overcome or a first for the race, which allows the contest to grow in stature and have the entire world looking forward to the first Tuesday in November. We have picked out four stories for the 2023 running which could make the headlines.

Damien Oliver's final bid 

Alenquer is the horse who has the weight of expectation on his shoulders as the final mount for 51-year-old Oliver in the Melbourne Cup. Oliver already has three wins in the race, one behind the record for a jockey, which Bobbie Lewis and Harry White jointly hold. 

It looks like a challenging task for Alenquer, who so far has proved to be a flop in Australia compared to the form that he showed when trained in England. A genuine Group 1 runner there in 2021, he has not got close to that form in five starts here. The ground turning soft would have helped, so history looks unlikely.

Mark Zahra's decision

The decision to pick Without A Doubt over Gold Trip is a bold call for Zahra. He was in the saddle when Gold Trip won the race last year, turning his back on the chance to make history and be on board just the fifth back-to-back winner of the race.

It was the weather that swung the vote in the favour of the Caulfield Cup winner. There is little doubt that Zahra's ride this year is a better horse when the going is good. He found conditions too soft last year, whereas Gold Trip relished the mud. There should not be much in it at this trip, and Zahra's choice will come under plenty of scrutiny after the fact if he's wrong.

Can Europe win another Cup?

Three of the last six winners have been trained in Europe, including a pair by Joseph O'Brien. The young Irishman has Okita Souchi and Valiant King in the race this year, both warming up for the Melbourne Cup in the Caulfield Cup. The latter was fifth there and looks to hold the stronger chance on paper.

There are four runners for Ireland, with Willie Mullins also responsible for a pair, including the ante-post favourite Vauban. That horse won the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot, beating Absurde, Mullins' other runner, who went on to win the Ebor. Vauban has a favourite chance.

Vow And Declare in again

For the fourth time, Vow And Declare will line up in the Melbourne Cup. He still has a couple to go to catch Shadow King, who ran in the race six times (finishing second twice and third twice as well as fourth and sixth), but it will be one hell of a story if he is to claim a second success.

Runner-up the last twice in the Caulfield Cup and Moonee Valley Gold Cup, he arrives in his best form since he won this race in 2019. It would be an incredible run to win Cups four years apart, but he is in the form to have a proper crack at it.

Whatever the result next Tuesday, one thing that we can all be sure of is that the race will be a spectacular one. There are few races anywhere in the world that come close to the Melbourne Cup, so we cannot wait to see how this year's race unfolds.