2019 Melbourne Cup preview: Mustajeer massive value in Australian showpiece

14th September 2021

This 2019 Melbourne Cup preview includes Ebor Handicap hero Mustajeer who is now trained in Australia

Mustajeer looks cracking each-way value at 20/1 with Unibet in Australia’s race that stops a nation, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup Handicap run over just short of 2m at Flemington on Tuesday (04:00).

This six-year-old has had just six starts this season and went down by just a neck to subsequent Ascot Gold Cup third Master Of Reality in the second of those in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.

Mustajeer was then far from disgraced when pitched into Group 1 company and finishing a keeping on 11 3/4 lengths third to Magical over an inadequate trip of 1m 2f in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh.

The son of Medicean has since landed the valuable 22-runner Ebor Handicap at York when coming from midfield with a strong run to get up and beat Red Galileo by three-quarters of a length.

He also comes into this on the back of a cracking sixth of 18 to Mer De Glace in the Caulfield Cup on his first start for Kris Lees after leaving top Irish trainer Ger Lyons.

Mustajeer looked an unlucky loser as, after being settled in the final pair, he was shuffled out wide when making a move two from home.

That saw him put back to last place, but when seeing daylight he flew home to be beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.

It was a terrific effort, given how the race panned out, and one which suggests there is no way that Mustajeer should be available to back with bookmakers at nearly three times bigger odds then the winner that day.

He also has proven form in big field handicaps. So, taking everything into account Mustajeer looks hugely overpriced at the odds on offer.

Japanese star Mer De Glace bidding for seven-timer

The aforementioned Mer de Glace is undoubtedly a class act and won the Caulfield Cup with a bit to spare.

Trained in Japan by Hisashi Shimizu, this four-year-old colt comes into the contest on the back of six straight successes.

This son of Rulership arguably got a much clearer passage than many of his rivals in the 1m 4f Caulfield Cup, but he still showed a smart turn of foot to score readily.

He is yet to run this far, but his breeding suggests that the extra half-mile of this should not be a problem.

Mer De Glace is also improving with every outing and carries the same weight as Delta Blues, who lifted this valuable prize for Japan in 2006.

Another plus is that he has the services of the red-hot Damian Lane in the saddle who can do little wrong at present.

If he can steer Mer De Glace to victory, then he will become the first jockey in history ride the winner in the Golden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in a calendar year.

However, Mer De Glace does not have the best of draws in stall two and could be battling for a position early doors and face traffic problems as a result.

So, for all that his Melbourne Cup chances are crystal clear, odds of 8/1 with Betfair look about right and a bit too short in relation to Mustajeer. For that reason he is taken on.

Price Of Arran also appeals each-way in Melbourne Cup

Prince Of Arran finished behind Mustajeer when eighth in the Ebor, but seems to come alive in Australia and ran a cracker in this 12 months ago when a three-length third of 23 to Cross Counter.

The Charlie Fellowes trained six-year-old is able to race in this year’s Melbourne Cup renewal off 4lb lower and has had his whole campaign geared around the race.

After finishing a fine half-a-length second of 13 to The Chosen One in the Grade 2 Herbert Power at Caulfield, this son of Shirocco booked his ticket in this 24-runner line-up when landing the Group 3 Geelong Cup.

Prince Of Arran tracked the leaders going well and, after being shaken-up to quicken clear a furlong-and-a-half from home, found plenty to fend off the late challenge of True Self by a head.

It was a most taking success and his form figures on Australian soil now read 1321. Prince Of Arran has also bagged a good draw in stall eight and is once again partnered by Michael Walker, who has won twice and been placed three times on him in six starts.

Everything looks in place for a bold bid. So, at odds of 16/1 with Paddy Power – who pay six places – Prince Of Arran had to feature as another potential each-way punt and thus completes this 2019 Melbourne Cup preview.

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