Spot plays for the Melbourne Cup undercard

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 1st, 2020

With less than a week remaining until the Breeders’ Cup, racing fans in North America are thoroughly focused on the Nov. 6-7 championships at Keeneland.

But down in Australia, all eyes have turned to Flemington, where the historic Melbourne Cup (G1) will take place on Monday at 11 p.m. ET (Tuesday afternoon local time).

No fewer than 24 horses are slated to contest the rich 3,200-meter handicap, led by 2019 Epsom Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck and defending Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare. Exotic wagers like the trifecta and the superfecta offer the potential for huge payoffs, but at a price… a literal monetary price, since betting the superfecta in a 24-horse field can be an expensive proposition.

Therefore, we’ll endeavor to build our budget with a few spot plays earlier on the card. The action at Flemington gets underway at 6:45 p.m. ET with the Maribyrnong Plate (G3), a 5-furlong dash for 2-year-olds that drew nine horses to the mix.

Maribyrnong Plate (G3) analysis

Four of the Maribyrnong Plate contestants are first-time starters, and all have received solid betting support. One in particular—#7 Marine One (4-1)—appears to have a legitimate shot at victory. A son of the early-maturing Golden Slipper (G1) winner Capitalist, Marine One has impressed in his training and is being bet like a well-regarded prospect.

But Marine One will need a big effort to defeat #1 Ingratiating (5-2), a formidable Godolphin runner conditioned by James Cummings. The son of Frosted debuted in the Maribyrnong Trial S. at Flemington last month and delivered an impressive performance, rallying to defeat the promising maiden winner General Beau by a length.

Ingratiating is clearly fastest among the experienced runners in the Maribyrnong Plate, so we’ll back him to win and play him over Marine One in a straight exacta.

  • $20 to win on #1 Ingratiating
  • $10 exacta: 1 with 7

Additional Flemington spot plays

Race 2: World Horse Racing S.

#2 Joviality (5-2) finished second in the Reginald Allen S. over this 7-furlong trip at Randwick last month, which followed on the heels of a respectable fifth-place effort in the Flight (G1) racing a mile. This improving filly looms as the fastest horse on paper for hot trainer Chris Waller and high-percentage jockey James McDonald.

Race 4

We’ll take a shot with #10 Yulong Rising (14-1), a stoutly-bred son of Galileo out of One Moment in Time, and thus a full brother to Group stakes winners Bondi Beach and Constantinople. Yulong Rising showed talent running long during the Australian fall season, so following two prep runs over 2,000 meters, he should be ready for a peak effort while stretching back out over 2,800 meters.

Good luck!