The Group 1 Emirates Stakes brings the curtain down on a wonderful Melbourne Cup carnival and the field of 14 is full of class (13 now that Tom Melbourne has been scratched).
There are group one winners galore shooting for the $2 million prize and the internationals have come in their droves.
Europeans Folkswood and The Taj Mahal look like good hopes, but there will be plenty of attention on the New Zealand runner Gingernuts, which was unlucky to not take part in the Caulfield Cup.
There’s plenty of class and differing form lines throughout this field and it should be a great betting contest.
Be sure to shop around for the best odds this weekend and we recommend checking out new bookmaker Neds.
Our Best Bets for the 2018 Emirates Stakes
Folkswood @ $5 – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Gailo Chop @ $7 – BET NOW
Odeon @ $14 – BET NOW
Emirates Stakes 2018 form guide and tips
Happy Clapper ($7.50) – BET NOW
Seven-year-old Happy Clapper won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap this season, but he has unfortunately been disappointing since.
The Patrick Webster-trained runner finished second behind Classic Uniform in the Craven Plate and then sixth in the Cox Plate, but 6.5 lengths behind Winx.
He’s yet to win at this distance in six attempts and that’s a concern.
It’s Somewhat ($18) – BET NOW
James Cummings lines up It’s Somewhat, which hasn’t quite come up this season.
The imported seven-year-old finished ninth in the Doomben Cup as the $4 favourite before running well down the track in the Rupert Clarke Stakes.
He performed better in the Crystal Mile last start, but this is much harder and we’re prepared to risk him at the price.
Gailo Chop (Best Each Way Bet – $7) – BET NOW
Darren Weir trains Gailo Chop, which is an underrated winner of 10 from 22 and its record this campaign has been impressive.
The son of Deportivo won the Caulfield Stakes over Johannes Vermeer, which subsequently finished second in the Melbourne Cup.
His run in the Cox Plate was only fair, but he had to do all the work up front and he had nothing left to give in the run to the line.
He’s a big chance here and only narrowly misses out on being out best each way.
Tosen Stardom ($9) – BET NOW
Winning only six races from 24 starts isn’t overly impressive, but one of those wins came two starts back in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap.
The former Japanese runner produced a big finish down the outside, but the form from that race has been suspect. His run for eighth in the Cantala Stakes last start is a prime example of this and he’d have to improve to feature in the money.
Sense of Occasion ($31) – BET NOW
Group 1 Doomben Cup winner which hasn’t done anything since.
The Kris Lees-trained stayer is best suited to rain-affected tracks and his recent form on the dry has been woeful.
Unless it pours down on Saturday, we’ll be overlooking the chances of this runner.
Tom Melbourne ($11) – BET NOW
We love a bit of Tom Melbourne and although he’s going to find it tough from the draw with the big weight, we’re not jumping off his back now.
The Chris Waller-trained gelding finished a gallant second in the Cantala Stakes on Saturday and he has run only one poor race this campaign.
He hasn’t raced at double figure odds for some time and that’s why he’s a value each way chance in the Emirates.
Folkswood (Best Bet – $5) – BET NOW
European trainer Charlie Appleby has had great success in Australia and that could continue with Folkswood.
The son of Exceed and Excel came to Australia with solid form, but that was good enough to win the Cranbourne Cup by almost three lengths.
He then finished third behind Winx and Humidor in the Cox Plate and that form is always going to stand out.
He’s used to carrying big weights, whereas some of his rivals are not, so that’s a big advantage and we’re expecting his current price to shorten.
Harlem ($23) – BET NOW
Harlem has been battling all campaign and we’re questioning why he’s still running.
The Lindsay Park-trained six-year-old won the Naturalism in September, but has only run fairly since with a sixth in the Lexus Stakes being its latest run.
That seven-length defeat won’t be good enough to win here.
Gingernuts ($6) – BET NOW
The New Zealand four-year-old is a talented thoroughbred which only narrowly missed in the Livamol Classic last start.
A son of Iffraaj, Gingernuts is a group one winner in both New Zealand and Australia – taking out the Rosehill Guineas in March.
He’s not the easiest horse to ride as he does get back during the run and rely on luck, but he’s talented on his day and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him scorching down the Flemington straight and pushing the favourites close.
Odeon (Best Roughie – $14) – BET NOW
Odeon has come into form at the right time of the season and three wins within the carnival would be an extraordinary feat.
The four-year-old came into form when winning at Caulfield in October and it was a winner again on Cup day in the Cup Day Plate.
This is a massive rise in class and he’s not weighted well against this field, but he’s well drawn and he represents value at his current odds.
So Si Bon ($31) – BET NOW
So Si Bon is only a one-win runner, but he’s bred to see out the 2000m distance and he could run into the money.
Robbie Laing is a master of stayers and his third placing in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes was a nice performance. That was followed up with an 11th in the Cantala Stakes, but he’s an enigmatic type and he could show up at odds.
The Taj Mahal ($17) – BET NOW
Aidan O’Brien is seeking his 300th group one winner and it could come with The Taj Mahal.
The European has won only one of his 17 starts and he didn’t show up in the Caulfield Stakes, but these European stayers don’t stay out of form for very long.
He ran fifth in the Irish Champion Stakes which is great form and he could be the upset material with luck in running.
Samovare ($21) – BET NOW
Lindsay Park lines up this four-year-old which is shorter in the market than we expected.
The daughter of Savabeel fought hard in behind Kiwia last start in the Coongy Stakes, but it would need to lift a few lengths from that effort.
It gets in with a decent weight, but we can’t have it in our first four selections.
Cliff’s Edge ($6.50) – BET NOW
Cliff’s Edge has been well-supported in the betting because he gets in with only 51kg.
The three-year-old is a winner of four from nine, but he was easily handled by filly Aloisia in the Moonee Valley Vase last start and his form would need to lift to be a feature against this field.
Shoals has already shown this campaign that the light weight runners can beat the older thoroughbreds, but this might be a step too far and the odds are too short.