Who will win the 2018 Melbourne Cup 2018?
Who will win the 2018 Melbourne Cup 2018?

First to last: predicted Melbourne Cup finish

LLOYD Williams is chasing a third straight Melbourne Cup - and seventh in total - with favourite Yucatan and The Cliffsofmoher.

Tough English stayer Best Solution is attempting to become the 12th horse to win the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double in the same year.

Eight of the top 10 in the market are internationals and no mare has won the Cup since Makybe Diva in 2005.

Racing expert Chris 'The Nooch' Vernuccio predicts where every runner will finish from first to last in the 24-horse field.



The Lloyd Williams stayer is clearly the benchmark on exposed spring form after his stunning Herbert Power Stakes victory. He should have the tactical speed to overcome barrier 23.

WINNING CHANCE: A rightful favourite and the one to beat. Only an unseen international can topple him. (VERY HIGH)


Race favourite Yucatan is still Chris Vernuccio’s top selection despite the wide gate.
Race favourite Yucatan is still Chris Vernuccio’s top selection despite the wide gate.



Won the Ebor Handicap emphatically in a 20-horse field at his most recent start. The form of the runner-up ties in other Cup contenders Magic Circle and Marmelo. Before that, he was fourth in the Princess of Wales Stakes (2400m) at Newmarket behind Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution.

WINNING CHANCE: He should relish the 3200m. A serious player. (VERY HIGH)



Trainer Charlie Appleby decided to target the Melbourne Cup after his second in the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes, which followed a record-breaking performance in the 2414m Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. The northern hemisphere three-year-old is an exciting prospect but did have to overcome a minor injury setback.

WINNING CHANCE: The least experienced but he is good enough to win. (VERY HIGH)



Trounced his rivals by six lengths in both the Chester Cup and Group 3 Henry II Stakes, displaying a nice turn of foot. He'll have no trouble running out 3200m. Last year's Cup-winning jockey Corey Brown was booked to ride the English raider months ago.

WINNING CHANCES: He has been a revelation this year and can fight out the finish. (VERY HIGH)



Last year's favourite has been somewhat forgotten. The six-year-old returns to Australia with similar overseas form but trainer Hughie Morrison has decided against a lead-up run after he failed to back up from the Caulfield Cup.

WINNING CHANCES: A top-four threat if you go on his fast-finishing Caulfield Cup sixth last spring. (HIGH)



He was tenacious winning the Caulfield Cup - his third Group 1 in a row - after having to sustain an 800m dash to the finish. This is his first attempt at 3200m but there is no indication he won't handle the step up in distance. However, no horse has carried more than 57kg to win the Melbourne Cup since Maybe Diva lugged 58kg in 2005.

WINNING CHANCES: Will need to defy history but a top-four finish is achievable. (HIGH)



Third to Yucatan in the Herbert Power Stakes before earning his spot via the Lexus Stakes. He was strong to the line in both races. In Europe, he was no match for Magic Circle in the Chester Cup but his recent 3200m form is solid.

WINNING CHANCES: He's fit and can give this a shake. (HIGH)




The leading local contender. Even though he lost for the first time in Australia, the James Cummings import did what was expected of him in the Cox Plate when finishing fourth. There was solid pressure in the race - which he hadn't felt in his four-race winning streak - but would have liked to have seen him finish a length or two closer, even though he was dropping back in distance from 2500m.

WINNING CHANCE: Could be a query at 3200m if the pressure is on. (MEDIUM)


The Nooch rates Avilius as the leading local contender, but doesn’t believe he can finish higher than eighth.
The Nooch rates Avilius as the leading local contender, but doesn’t believe he can finish higher than eighth.



The four-year-old mare had no chance in a slowly run Caulfield Cup from back in the field. She blitzed home with the fifth fastest last 200m of the day - which is incredible for a 2400m race. Tactics will be crucial from barrier eight. A four-year-old mare hasn't won the Melbourne Cup since Ethereal in 2001.

WINNING CHANCES: Will give a great account of herself but this race is probably a year too soon. (MEDIUM)



Third in the Caulfield Cup after backing up from the Caulfield Stakes. Even though he ran the best last 800m and 600m in the Caulfield Cup, he wasn't making up much ground on the winner Best Solution. Another query is whether he can settle closer to the lead speed.

WINNING CHANCES: There are reservations he can run out a strong 3200m. (MEDIUM)



The Irish stayer found himself three-wide in the Cox Plate and had to do some work to find the lead. He was out of his comfort zone so always going to fade late, but it was a dramatic drop off. They won't go as fast here and he drops to 51kg.

WINNING CHANCES: More was expected from him in the Cox Plate. (MEDIUM)



The Chris Waller import was the run of the race in the Geelong Cup under top weight. The lightly-raced son of Frankel won the Group 3 Prix De Reux in France in his last overseas start ahead of Tiberian, who ran seventh in last year's Melbourne Cup.

WINNING CHANCES: The top-eight is within reach but he'll be better in 12 months. (MEDIUM)


The Nooch says Ventura Storm sneaking into the top eight would be a great result.
The Nooch says Ventura Storm sneaking into the top eight would be a great result.



Surged into contention with an excellent win in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup after he was one of several runners disadvantaged by the slow tempo and wet track in the Caulfield Cup. He finished 21st in the 2017 Cup but he's going much better this campaign. However, he'll need to find another level because the internationals are stronger this year.

WINNING CHANCES: A top-eight finish would be a great result. (MEDIUM)



A very difficult runner to assess. He was competitive in some strong Japanese staying races - which included a fifth in the Tenno Sho at 3200m - but was a flop in the Caulfield Cup on wet ground. Will need a firm track to show his best.

WINNING CHANCES: It wouldn't surprise if he finished top four or bottom four. (MEDIUM)



He was another not suited by the sit-sprint nature of the Caulfield Cup and didn't get a proper staying test but was still beaten a long way. He won the Group 2 Oleander-Rennen in Germany over 3200m in May.

WINNING CHANCES: Expect improvement here but not enough to threaten. (LOW)



Led the Caulfield Cup at a slow pace, which worked against him. Still, he was very disappointing. A stronger tempo and a dry track will be more to his liking but won't be enough.

WINNING CHANCES: Has fallen a long way down the pecking order. (LOW)



The popular stayer won the Sydney Cup as a nine-year-old but has produced three below-par performances this campaign before a more encouraging effort in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. His best result was third in the 2014 Cup but he's a 10-year-old now.

WINNING CHANCES: He'll give his all and could sneak into the top half. (LOW)



The Nooch doesn’t have a high opinion of Who Shot Thebarman this time around.
The Nooch doesn’t have a high opinion of Who Shot Thebarman this time around.




Led all the way to win the Geelong Cup. It will be a tough ask to do the same in the Melbourne Cup against higher quality opposition. The start before he was unplaced in the Cranbourne Cup.

WINNING CHANCES: His popular Geelong win won't be repeated here. (LOW)




The New Zealander's spring performances hasn't matched what he produced in the autumn, which included a win over Ventura Storm in the Chairman's Quality. One positive is he loves 3200m.

WINNING CHANCES: Getting beat by a $71 shot in the Bendigo Cup is not a good sign. (LOW)



Enjoyed a purple patch of form last spring but has been well below that level this year, even if he did exceed his starting price profile in the Caulfield Cup.

WINNING CHANCES: Not going well enough (LOW)




He finished midfield in last year's race as an international but has gone backwards in his first Australian campaign under Darren Weir, with his best result a 4.1-length fourth in the St Leger on a heavy track, which is nowhere near good enough to be competitive.

WINNING CHANCES: Currently $101. Don't bank on another Prince Of Penzance-type miracle. (LOW)



He clearly struggled in the heavy conditions in the St Leger at Randwick but his previous form isn't good enough.

WINNINGS CHANCES: Not up to the class. (LOW)



Ran a credible fifth last year but is not in the same form. He was more than 14 lengths behind Ventura Storm in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Snuck into the field after Red Verdon was ruled out.

WINNINGS CHANCES: Making up the numbers. (LOW)



The out-of-form New Zealand gelding has not finished within seven lengths of the winner in four runs this prep.

WINNINGS CHANCES: None. Lucky to be in the race. (LOW)