Leading Contenders For The 2020 Melbourne Cup

The 2020 Melbourne Cup will be like no other, played out with a handful of spectators at best at Flemington Racecourse. The Race That Stops a Nation normally has up to 100,000 racegoers on track, but this year’s winner will be greeted by significantly less.

While Flemington Racecourse could yet see a small crowd attend on November 3, the likelihood is that the Melbourne Cup will be played out in front of empty grandstands. But that has not detracted from a high-quality field assembling for the Melbourne Spring Carnival showpiece.

The Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s richest horse racing with an $8 million AUD purse, and that is a big attraction. Therefore, it is no surprise that even in a year of a global pandemic that international horses have still made the journey Down Under to tackle the locals.

Sports betting website, Bets.com.au, is offering their Melbourne Cup tips for the leading contenders: 

Anthony Van Dijk
Trained by Aiden O’Brien in Ireland, the former Epsom Derby winner will be bidding to win Australia’s biggest race. It is one of the few Group 1s that O’Brien hasn’t won and Anthony Van Dijk is a leading chance after warming for the challenge with second in the Caulfield Cup.

Verry Elleegant
The talented mare claimed a sixth career Group 1 win when defeating Anthony Van Dijk in the Caulfield Cup. Chris Waller’s runner will have to match the weight-carrying record of a mare set by three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva. She is in good enough form to follow up her Caulfield Cup win.

Tiger Moth      
Favorite for the Melbourne Cup, Tiger Moth is also trained by Aidan O’Brien. The Irish master will send his four-year-old to Flemington in search of the big prize. Tiger Moth won a maiden before finishing second to Santiago in the Irish Derby. He followed that victory in the Kilternan Stakes in Ireland before making the trip to Australia. With a handy weight allowance, he is the one to beat.

Russian Camelot          
South Australian Derby winner Russian Camelot has long had the Melbourne Cup as his spring target. His preparation has resulted in runners-up finishes in the Makybe Diva Stakes and Caulfield Stakes either side of a win in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes. He arrives is tip-top shape for his grand final and is trained by Danny O’Brien, who saddled Vow And Declare to win the race last year.

Surprise Baby  
Surprise Baby was extremely unlucky in last year’s race, producing arguably the run of the day when finishing fifth, beaten less than a length. He has booked a guaranteed place in the race with a dominant win in the Group 3 Bart Cummings and would be a popular winner for trainer Paul Preusker.

Prince Of Arran
Prince Of Arran heads back to Australia for a third tilt at the Melbourne Cup. He has finished in the places in the last two years, third to Cross Counter in 2018 and second to Vow And Declare last year. Charlie Fellows’ UK raider would be a popular winner of the race. He was fourth in the Caulfield Cup in his preparation for the Melbourne Cup.

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