The next eight days are arguably the high point of the international racing calendar, with the Breeders’ Cup on Friday and Saturday and the extravaganza that is the Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival also getting under way at Flemington this weekend. Race fans in the U.S. can enjoy the Australian racing live via skyracingworld.com. It is also being shown live in Britain and Ireland on At The Races.
Victoria Derby Day
First up in Australia is AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday. Racing gets underway at 11:45 am Melbourne time (which is Friday evening in the U.S. - 8:45 pm EST or 5:45 pm PST. It is 1.45 am on Saturday in Britain and Ireland). Derby Day features nine Group races, including four Group 1s - the Coolmore Stud Stakes, the Myer Classic, the Kennedy Mile and the Victoria Derby itself
The Derby (1½ miles) is Australia’s oldest classic and the richest staying event for 3-year-olds, with a purse of $A1.5 million.
In a wide-open betting market, early favorite Main Stage has drifted to 5/1 after drawing barrier 14. However, if his win in the listed UCI Stakes at Flemington on Turnbull Stakes Day last month is any indication, Main Stage shouldn’t be dismissed. At 4/1, the bookies have installed the High Chaparral colt Ace High (barrier 3) as favorite and are keeping Tangled, a son of Snitzel, safe at 6/1.
In the Kennedy Mile on the same card, Winx’s trainer Chris Waller has six of the 14 runners.
Melbourne Cup Day
The $A6.2 million ‘Race that Stops the Nation’ will have a much wider reach than just its home country when it runs at 3pm local time on Tuesday (midnight EST, or 9 pm Monday PST and 5 am GMT).
The 157th running of the Emirates Melbourne Cup (a two-mile handicap) features Almandin, last year’s winner and current favorite at 11/2. Trained by Robert Hickmott, Almandin will be partnered by Frankie Dettori, who is due to fly to Melbourne after riding in the Breeders’ Cup.
Out to stop them will be red-hot Blake Shinn, who rides Humidor (13/2), the horse who gave Winx supporters such a fright in the Cox Plate last week. Shinn may have missed out on the Plate, but he had four winners on that card and is in blistering form. The New Zealand-bred Humidor will become the first horse to compete in all three Melbourne majors (Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup) since 2008.
Kennedy Oaks Day
The action at Flemington continues two days after the Cup with Kennedy Oaks Day next Thursday. Races start at 12:15 pm local time (9:15 pm EST, 6:15 pm PST on Wednesday, 2.15 am GMT on Thursday). Feature race is the $A1 million G1 Kennedy Oaks (1½ miles).
Hot favorite is New Zealand-bred Aloisia (13/20 odds) following her impressive win over the colts in last weekend’s G2 Drummond Golf Vase at Moonee Valley and a victory in the G1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield earlier in October. Favorites have on nine out of the last 15 Oaks.
That said, Lasqueti Spirit was a 100/1 last year. An upset isn’t out of the question, especially when the field includes the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pinot (4/1), who won the Oaks Trial at Flemington in September.
Emirates Stakes Day
The Carnival wraps up next weekend with the Emirates Stakes Day, which features the $A2 million G1 Emirates Stakes (1¼ miles) at 4:15 pm Melbourne time on Saturday, Nov. 11 (6.15 am GMT, 1:15 am EST, 11:15 am PST on Friday, Nov. 10). Winx is still a possible for the race, but if she sits out the rest of the year, as is thought likely, it could be up to Cox Plate third Folkswood and the Darren Weir-trained Gailo Chop to bring the Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival to a spectacular conclusion.
American race fans can live-stream and wager using ADWs such as TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, NYRA Bets, WatchandWager, HPIbet, AmWager, and BetAmerica. Punters can also pick up free past performances and race information at Sky Racing World.