1pt each-way Tiger Moth @7/1, 1pt each-way Surprise Baby @8/1, Melbourne Cup, 4:00AM Flemington, Tuesday

2m Lexus Melbourne Cup (Group 1 Handicap)

Aidan O’Brien looks to have sent some of his best ever chances in a bid to claim his first Melbourne Cup over in Australia.

Anthony Van Dyke is a worthy favourite for his yard but has to carry top-weight of 58.5kg. No horse has won off that big a weight since 1975.

But Anthony Van Dyke is an English Derby winner and beat Stradivarious on his last start before coming over from Europe. Anthony Vany Dycke then had a fantastic prep-run in the Caulfield Cup over 1m 4f finishing behind Very Elleegant and I can see him staying the extra four furlongs here even if he does have to carry that big weight. He is a class animal and has been drawn well.

His stablemate TIGER MOTH has not been too lucky being drawn 23. But he’s nearly a stone lighter than Anthony Van Dycke carrying just 52.5kg. Based on official weightings, he is about 3-4kg well-in on that rival and there is hope for the outside draws with Vow And Declare coming from stall 21 last year.

Tiger Moth would be the most inexperienced winner of a Melbourne Cup in history. But the profile for likely winners of this race has fundamentally changed of late. The Irish Derby runner-up would follow a similar profile to recent winners Rekindling and Cross Counter and Tiger Moth could be as hugely talented.

Tiger Moth also has the help of Melbourne Cup specialist Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle booked by Coolmore.

Master Of Reality and Stratum are two other Irish exports who could outrun their odds while Very Elleegant might not quite see out this trip possibly having the best form of the Austalian runners.

The second of a two-pronged assault is local hope SURPRISE BABY. He finished fifth in the race last year having been last at the turn. Surprise Baby came widest of all, in a slowly run race and was finishing best of them all somehow managing to claim fifth just 1.5 lengths off the winner.

Surprise Baby remains a very lightly-raced five-year-old but has picked up some nice victories in his career including the Adelaide Cup over 1m 4f and the Bart Cummings last year.

Surprise Baby’s preparation this season has been 100% geared towards this race and looks very interesting. He had a narrow defeat when travelling like the winner to Humidor in a 1m race to open his campaign, the same race he started last season with at Moonee Valley.

Surprise Baby followed that with a much better than the bare form look when coming 9th in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes won by Very Elleegant. He got no run in the race when push came to shove, when he eventually got the break he had too much to do but stayed on right to the line eventually over 1m 2f.

The step up to two miles looks to be the answer to him and with his sire, Shocking, winning this race in 2009 and Surprise Baby’s run last year you’d have to think these are his optimium conditions.

He was also drawn in 20 last year, whereas this year he has been handed stall 7. Everything looks set for a massive run from Surprise Baby and I want him onside.

1pt each-way Tiger Moth @7/1, Melbourne Cup, 4:00AM Flemington, Tuesday (1/5 odds, 1-6 places William Hill)
1pt each-way Surprise Baby @8/1, Melbourne Cup, 4:00AM Flemington, Tuesday
(1/5 odds, 1-6 places William Hill)

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