Nov 06, 2017

Horse Racing

A Highly Unhelpful 2017 Melbourne Cup form guide


Betting on the Melbourne Cup is a sure-fire way to make money. Why my extensive fortune is based solely on a few $2 each way bets I made a few years ago. Here, I’ve examined the field and shared with you the insights I’ve gleaned from not watching any racing since the last Spring Carnival.

1. HARTNELL (Barrier 12).

A horse who enjoys eating grass, frolicking.

2. ALMANDIN (14).

Another horse. Won the Melbourne Cup last year so knows what direction to run in. Also, enjoys eating grass.

3. HUMIDOR (13).

Almost beat Winx in the Cox Plate but being a horse, was not that fussed and is not even aware who Winx is, thinking of her as just another horse. Keen frolicker.

4. TIBERIAN (22).

A French horse, Tiberian has never raced in Australia before. Not that this matters, nation borders mean very little to horses.

As far as Tiberian is concerned, it was shoved into some strange metallic thing which flew in the sky to somewhere else and will now be made to run a long distance to just end up roughly where it started, only to be stuck back into a strange metallic thing and sent back to the stable it always lived in.

In many ways, this is exactly how Jarryd Hayne sees his NFL career.

5. MARMELO (16).

An English horse, which means the predicted maximum temperature of 16 degrees should feel like a heatwave.

Being from overseas, legally, I’m required to refer to it as a ‘raider’. Marmelo is seen as the favourite, along with Almandin, although putting your money on anything English in a sporting capacity is usually a risky move.


Continuing our run of horses in the field, Red Cardinal is from Ireland and seen as a favourite. Being a cardinal, I imagine it’s currently in all sorts of legal trouble.

7. JOHANNES VERMEER (3). A Lloyd Williams owned horse. Lloyd is a constant reminder of how battlers can succeed in racing.


Was 13th last year and 16th the year before, so has as much chance of winning this race as the actual Bondi Beach.


At eight years old, Max is more interested in rolling in the sand than running around a track and possibly getting shot if he trips over.


Had a terrible Caulfield Cup, but was weirdly indifferent to the result, telling reporters after the race, ‘It’s not like I get a cut of any prize money. Hay’s hay man.’

11. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN. Scratched.


As a nine-year-old, Wicklow Brave remembers a simpler time, when racing had only lost its innocence a few thousand times.

13. BIG DUKE (5).

Would certainly be considered big for a Duke but it is not, in reality, a Duke but a horse.

14. US ARMY RANGER (21).

A geographically challenged racehorse, from Ireland but thinks it’s a US Army Ranger. Not popular in parts of the Middle East.

15. BOOM TIME (9).

Won the Caulfield Cup but has been on the turps ever since, spending a lot of time in Las Vegas with Dane Swan and Dustin Martin.

16. GALLANTE (18).

Like myself starts enthusiastically but gets bored after a while and then significantly drops off to become an afterthought.

17. LIBRAN (7).

Named after a star sign, which is fitting given racing form guides are about as accurate as a horoscope.

18. NAKEETA (19).

From Scotland, so has enjoyed getting acquainted with sunlight in Australia.

19 SINGLE GAZE (11).

From Canberra, therefore question marks over its citizenship.

20. WALL OF FIRE (15).

Literally, a wall of fire. Some say it’s reckless to use it in a horse race, but it’s certain to make the horses run faster. Has been brought in to meet the challenge of Sydney’s The Everest race.


When not eating grass or frolicking, he enjoys sleeping or standing in the shade of a tree.


Another Irish horse. Typical, these foreigners coming here taking our racehorses’ jobs. Is lucky it’s not a person, or it would be on Manus Island dying of thirst.

23. AMELIE’S STAR (10).

A real chance but not a favourite. When people ask who you like in the Melbourne Cup, say Amelie’s Star so it will seem like you have an idea of what you’re talking about as you didn’t just say one of the top three favourites.

24. CISMONTANE (17).

A Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained horse. The Waterhouses are one of the great horseracing families, meaning they’ve won big races, had members banned from racing and were involved in the Fine Cotton scandal, a conspiracy so inept it makes the Trump-Russia one seem sophisticated.

Order Titus O'Reily's A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport through and have it signed.

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Nov 05, 2017

Great work Titus. Before reading your tip advice I wasn't too sure on where to bet my hard earned, at least now I have no idea at all! As you also have pointed out there seems to be a lot of horses in this thing, which adds to the confusion.

Dog Food

Nov 05, 2017

Best form guide I've ever read. Never heard of any of these horses except last years winner, which I'd never heard of prior to that race. Wall of Fire seems like the best name, so it will do. Fair chance my dog will be having it for breakfast in 2 weeks.

Jeffrey Darmah

Nov 05, 2017

I like the way they flog em with a stick after they've run all that way, to try and make them run a bit faster at the end.

No Idea!

Nov 06, 2017

Thanks Titus! Being a libran I cannot decide whether to back a horse called Libran who cannot decide whether to win?

No Idea!

Nov 06, 2017

Thanks Titus! Being a libran I cannot decide whether to back a horse called Libran who cannot decide whether to win?


Nov 06, 2017

Loved the Max Dynamite comment, he shows rare good sense.


Nov 06, 2017

Wouldn't it be funny if a couple of horses fell over and had to be shot, just to further antagonise the vegans?

Andrew D

Nov 06, 2017

So none with a basketball background?

Wayne B

Nov 06, 2017

So none with a basketball background?

Try 'Single Gaze'


Nov 06, 2017

Apparently Big Duke is a gelding, which the internet tells me, is a result of one of many horrific things humans do to horses because it may or may not result in a better temperament.

Humans are such arseholes.

Erin's Choice

Nov 06, 2017

I favour Erin Philips idea of having a 3 game series to determine the winner. The highest qualifier hosts the first race, second highest the second, first highest the last.

This might be a long spring with a field of 24 qualifiers and a dozen international ggs, but it would be fairer than just one race in Melbourne.

Pancho Pete

Nov 06, 2017

Just beware when one of those Irish horses comes knocking at your door after the race wanting to know if you want your roof fixed.

Tex Walkum

Nov 06, 2017

Recommending a tribute before the race by the horses to the Easter Island performance art from the Adelaide Crows both before, during and after the AFL GF.


Nov 06, 2017

Love your take on the Cup Dog Food! :-)


Nov 06, 2017

So few horses are named for 17th century Dutch genre painters that you simply have to place a bet on Johannes Vermeer.

Silent Partner

Nov 06, 2017

Which one(s) does Ty Vickery own ?


Nov 06, 2017

Frig...I’ve been busy and away....i clicked on the email & I thought this was the Draft picks....seriously, someone please explain why it can’t be....??

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