British raider A Prince Of Arran has form around some of the world’s best stayers and he can gain ballot-free entry into Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup by winning the Lexus Stakes. The Shirocco gelding was all but forgotten in the market when he debuted in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) three weeks ago and while his run was overshadowed by the emergence of Cup favourite Yucatan Ire, it was an impressive effort that ultimately saw him hitting the line well for third. I give this horse every chance of winning the Cup on Tuesday and he can certainly put away a field of this calibre.
His stable mate has opened race favourite, but Lean Mean Machine has returned several impressive performances at black type level and looks over the odds to win the Coolmore this afternoon ($11 at the time of publish). The Zoustar colt stamped himself as a horse to follow in winter and returned this time for a bullish win in the Group 2 The Run To The Rose (1200m). Hugh Bowman should be able to find a nice place behind the speed from an inside draw and the horse will prove hard to hold out.
Amanaat has not been seen at the races since July, but he is a horse with huge ability and will take a power of beating in the sixth at Doomben this afternoon. The Per Incanto gelding began his career under the care of Lindsay Park, but he’s undoubtedly found career-best form since transferring to the care of Ben Currie and has recorded eight wins from ten starts for the Toowoomba-based trainer. He has a genuine class edge over most of his rivals today and looks the one to beat.
Thinkin’ Big has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence this season and can cap his campaign by winning the Victoria Derby. The son of High Chaparral returned from a freshen up for a dominant win in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill and he simply did not handle the soft going in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) last month, but still hit the line for third. His three-length win in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) last time out really out the writing on the wall and he’ll give them something to chase this afternoon.