The Australian Cup has always been a great guide to the autumn and the best middle-distance types take to the track at Flemington on Saturday.
It provides punters with a good chance to see the up-and-coming stayers take on the established world stars, which includes Hartnell and Gailo Chop this year.
Melbourne Cup form guides all feature form from the Australian Cup so it pays to note which runners perform well.
We have our best bet, best each way and best roughie for the staying feature this Saturday in Melbourne.
Be sure to shop around for the best odds this weekend and we recommend checking out new bookmaker Neds.
2018 Australian Cup final field, barrier draw and odds
Our best bets for the Australian Cup 2018
Gailo Chop @ $3.10 – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Almandin @ $5.50 – BET NOW
Hartnell @ $8 – BET NOW
Australian Cup Form Guide & Tips
Hartnell (Best Roughie- $8) – BET NOW
Hartnell isn’t exactly a roughie but the $8 on offer gives punters a good chance to snap up some value.
The James Cummings-trained stayer endured a tough campaign last year which included a disappointing finish in the Melbourne Cup, but there were signs of improvement behind Gailo Chop last start.
With two runs under his belt this preparation, we’re expecting good things from the Cox Plate placegetter.
Almandin (Best Each Way – $5.50) – BET NOW
The big bets have come for the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
He opened at $6.50 and has already firmed into $5.50 on the back of strong support following his second placing at Caulfield last start.
That might have come against inferior opposition compared to this field but he’s twice a winner second-up and he was a 2.8-length winner second-up at Flemington last campaign.
That spells danger for this field.
Ambitious ($20) – BET NOW
Tough to line up the Japanese imports form, but Japanese staying form is superior to that of Australia’s.
The Anthony Freedman-trained six-year-old finished fourth behind Neorealism and Maurice last year and that’s incredible form for this.
He has since finished fifth behind Kitasan Black and although he’ll need a few runs to show his best, he’s an exciting stayer for the future.
Gailo Chop (Best Bet – $3.10) – BET NOW
Gailo Chop has drifted from $2.65 to $3.10 during the week, but he’s in career best form and we’re sticking with him after consecutive victories.
The Darren Weir-trained gelding could be the most-improved thoroughbred in Australia this season and he’s loving life in Melbourne at present.
Drawing wide is no worries over this distance and we’re expecting him to settle on the pace and have them all chasing off the bit around the turn.
Ventura Storm ($34) – BET NOW
Handy fourth from Ventura Storm when fresh up behind Gailo Chop at Caulfield but it’s hard to see him turning the tables.
The six-time winner is looking for a successful campaign after coming up winless last time in work and it’s one to look out for later this season.
Supply And Demand ($34) – BET NOW
Waterhouse/Bott-trained runner which comes over from Sydney with consistent form but is unlikely to trouble these.
Placings behind More Energy and Show A Star is hardly Group 1 form and we’re prepared to risk him.
Harlem ($31) – BET NOW
Good resuming run for second at Caulfied behind Gailo Chop, but he wasn’t able to reproduce that same effort last start.
The Lindsay Park-trained stayer promised plenty after winning at Caulfield last year but that didn’t amount to much and he might be better suited to racing at lower levels.
Lord Fandango ($34) – BET NOW
Quality winner at Caulfield last spring and he’s a quality stayer on his day but we don’t fancy his chances over this distance.
This is more of a miler’s race and Lord Fandango is looking for longer.
The Taj Mahal ($7) – BET NOW
Big money has come for The Taj Mahal, which has won only two from 19 starts.
The son of Galileo finished fourth behind Tosen Stardom at Group 1 level last November before winning by 3.5 lengths at Sandown.
He has never won fresh up and that’s how concern but punters don’t seem phased.
Homesman ($11) – BET NOW
Homesman represents values at $11 after winning at Caulfield at his Australian debut.
The four-year-old was a winner at The Curragh in Ireland before running third at Belmont in the U.S.
He’s a professional stayer which has raced around the world and he could be Macedon Lodge’s new staying superstar for the cups later this season.
Single Gaze ($8.50) – BET NOW
The five-year-old mare continues to produce quality performances and her two starts since resuming this campaign have been great.
She finished second behind Hartnell in February and second behind Gailo Chop last time out. She ran on stylishly on that occasion and we wouldn’t be surprised to see her going close in this.
$8.50 is a fair price considering her form.
Devise ($20) – BET NOW
Kiwi mare which isn’t suited by the weights but is coming off a good win at Hastings.
Would need to improve significantly and she’s under the odds.