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Melbourne Cup: Prime picks

By racing correspondent Phillip Quay

Published: 10:57AM Tuesday November 03, 2009 Source: ONE Sport

All the signs point to a 13th Melbourne Cup victory for 81-year-old legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings at Flemington on Tuesday afternoon.

Cummings will saddle up the pre-post favourite for the $A5.5 million event, Viewed, who is poised to make it back-to-back wins in the race that stops two nations, scheduled for 5pm (NZ time).

Viewed has many factors in his favour. Obviously he can see out the 3200m having won last year's race.

His Caulfield Cup win last month was emphatic and he was noticeably running strongly towards the finishing line.

His third placing in Saturday's MacKinnon Stakes at Flemingtonwas a pearler of a Cup trial. He found the 2000m too short and he was once again doing his best work at the finish.

Viewed will join an elite club of horses to have won the Melbourne Cup on more than one occasion if he is successful this year. The previous multiple winners have been Archer (1861 and 1862), Peter Pan (1932 and 34), Rain Lover (1968 and 1969), Think Big (1974 and 1975) and Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 and 2005).

However, Cummings chances do not rest with Viewed as he has two other runners in the race this year. His other contenders are Roman Emperor and Allez Wonder and both are not without prospects.

In particular Roman Emperor could be one to topple Viewed. His second placing behind Viewed in the Caulfield Cup was a strong effort and placegetters in that race have a good record in the Melbourne Cup.

Allez Wonder won the Toorak Handicap and returned a useful effort in the Caulfield Cup. Is not the least of chances.

Of the five New Zealand-trained runners undoubtedly the best hope on recent form is the Waikato Stud-owned mare, Daffodil, who finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup at her most recent outing.

Daffodil won the Group 1 AJC Oaks in Sydney last autumn and she is a classy mare. A wide draw appears the biggest concern here.

The other New Zealand-trained runners in the field are Capecover, Harris Tweed, Spin Around and Gallions Reach.

Alcopop is going to dispute favouritism with Viewed. He has been in outstanding form throughout the spring having won his last four races in brilliant fashion and he comes into the race with only 52.5kg.

Master O'Reilly was fourth in the Cup last year and he has been running home well in his recent starts. His fifth in the MacKinnon Stakes on Saturday was a good pointer to his chances here.

Shocking won the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Saturday in superb style which put him right into Cup calculations. He won't be far away at the finish.

The northern hemisphere presence will be spearheaded by Basaltico, Munsef and Crime Scene.

The weather forecast for Melbourne for Tuesday is fine with a temperature in the early 20s predicted at the time the Cup is run.

Top Pick: Viewed

Top 4 Finish: Viewed, Alcopop, Daffodil, Shocking

For multiples: Roman Emperor, Leica Ding, Fiumicino and Master O'Reilly

For Odds: Munsef and Newport

If wet: Daffodil, Fiumicino, C'est La Guerre