Rich Pickings: An on the money guide to the Melbourne Cup
Mourayan and Green Moon
Barely a Cup goes by that doesn’t feature a horse owned by Rich List fixture Lloyd Williams. One of the biggest horse owners in the country, Williams is another who has imported a series of promising European stayers to try and win the Melbourne Cup and the Cox Plate. "When you've had as many horses as I have and been in it for as long as I have, and you're in the last quarter of your life, you want to win the Melbourne Cup again," he said a few years ago. “So you keep trying.”
Another owner who never seems to let a Cup go by without at least one of his horses having a shot is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. The Sheikh has been trying for a decade to win the Cup but arrived this year with a low-key team led by longshot chance Cavalryman.
Irish packaging entrepreneur Sir Michael Smurfit has already tasted Melbourne Cup success with Media Puzzle, the 2002 winner, and this year he returns as a part-owner of Irish chance Galileo’s Choice. Smurfit, who was valued at €368 million back in 2010, owns a stake in packaging group Smurfit Kappa and also invests in property.
Malaysian entrepreneur Dato Tan Chin Nam has won the Melbourne Cup four times, with all his horses trained by the legendary Bart Cummings. His hope this year is Precedence, but it seems likely to miss the final field.
French horse Shahwardi is considered a smokey for the Melbourne Cup, but his owner is a man used to beating the odds. Britain’s Tony Bloom is a professional poker player, football club chairman (he owns a majority stake in British soccer club Brighton & Hove Albion) and thoroughbred investor; he is a partner in a business called Horses First Racing, which employs an Australian trainer called Jeremy Gask and “cutting edge scientific methods” to train horses.
Rich Pickings tips
Dunaden will need to carry a modern record of 59 kilograms if he is to win this year’s Melbourne Cup and while weight can stop a train, the manner in which he won the Caulfield Cup cannot be ignored. Americain is better weighted and is also a top chance, while Shahwardi looms as the best roughie.