31/10/2016 9:59 AM AEDT | Updated 01/11/2016 11:53 AM AEDT

Australia's Silliest, Least Accurate Melbourne Cup Form Guide

No one understands form guides, so we've made it easy.

Why the long faces?
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Why the long faces?

Racing form guides? They might as well be written in Swahili for all the sense they make.

But The Huffington Post Australia is here to help. For the benefit of you once-a-year-punters, here's the only form guide you need to make sense of the horse you draw in the office sweep.

This guide is 100 percent factually accurate, and we really mean that, except for the bit about 100 percent, and also the part about being factually accurate.

Trainer: Michael Bell. Jockey: James Spencer. Barrier: 7. Odds: $16

This oversized piece of citrus fruit is no lemon, as it proved when it ran fifth in the Melbourne Cup last year. Despite having no legs and being covered in thick rind, Big Orange has won two of its four races since last year's Melbourne Cup, both in England. While it will squeeze every drop out of its ability, Big Orange's mediocre finish will again leave a slightly bitter aftertaste and punters will be spitting pips.

Trainer(s): Lee and Anthony Freedman. Jockey: Dwayne Dunn. Barrier: 6. Odds: $26

Trained by a five-time Melbourne Cup winner in Lee Freedman, this former German horse finished 10th in the race last year, and put in a good run in the Caulfield Cup a few weeks ago which has many people excited about its Melbourne Cup chances. Unfortunately that race was in October. Afterwards, Our Ivanhowe spent a week getting drunk at Oktoberfest, and will still be hung over when it reaches the barriers stalls at Flemington.

Trainer: Osamu Hirata. Jockey: Tommy Berry. Barrier: 18: Odds: $26

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Curren Mirotic likes lying around a lot more than racing.

Fed entirely on a diet of seaweed and wasabi, this geriatric Japanese horse is nine-years-old and has not won for three years. Not only has it forgotten how to win, it has forgotten it is a racehorse at all. Nobody quite understands what it's doing in Melbourne this week, but track insiders say there's every chance it'll be sushi by Sunday.

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien. Jockey: Ryan Moore. Barrier: 5. Odds $10

This hipster horse with a twirly mane and a tattoo instead of a branding ran 16th in the Cup last year. It has since improved and ran a few good races in England during the year, but it's extremely unlikely to perform well here because the minute it hits the lead, Melburnians will descend en masse from trams and laneways and tackle it, yelling "St Kilda is better, St Kilda is better!"

Trainer(s): Lee and Anthony Freedman. Jockey: Damien Oliver. Barrier 13. Odds: 18.

Exospheric ran a really good third in the Caulfield Cup. But it will spend the entire Melbourne Cup trying to throw jockey Damien Oliver from its back. Oliver is the guy who once bet $10,000 on a rival horse in a race in which he rode another horse. He copped just a nine-month suspension for this blatant rule breach and Exospheric, like many people, remains furious and will refuse to obey a single instruction. In fact it will probably run backwards out of spite.

Trainer: John O'Shea. Jockey: James McDonald. Barrier: 12. Odds: $5

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You won't miss Hartnell with that beautiful white blaze. For ghe record, he will also be ridden by Australasia's best jockey, young Kiwi James McDonald.

Poor old Hartnell. The Melbourne Cup favourite is the most confused horse in Australia right now. Hartnell has beaten all comers this spring, except for one horse. That horse is Winx, the nation's best thoroughbred. Winx will not contest the Melbourne Cup, so Hartnell is finally free of its nemesis. But Winx beat Hartnell by so far at their last meeting, Hartnell's ego has taken a huge hit. He's definitely the best horse in this year's Melbourne Cup, but is he psychologically up to it? He'll either have a huge sook and run 20 lengths last, or "get back on the horse", so to speak, and win. Not that a horse can get back on a horse, but anyway.

Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Hugh Bowman. Barrier: 20. Odds: $35

This disgruntled creature has no interest in racing whatsoever, and spends its entire life probing murky conspiracy theories late at night on the equine internet. He hasn't yet worked out who shot the barman, but he knows he was robbed when he finished third in this race two years ago, and has been running deliberately slowly ever since as a protest. Will again run poorly, then fly to America and vote for Donald Trump.

Trainer: William Mullins. Jockey: Frankie Dettori. Barrier: 24. Odds: $12

UK-based Italian jockey Frankie Dettori is the world's best jockey. Just ask Frankie Dettori. But he's better overseas than here. Dettori has never got the hang of Australian racing where we race in tighter clumps than in Europe. Last year he bombed the ride on runner-up Max Dynamite, which really should have won. Wicklow Brave is a strong Irish stayer from a smart stable, but relax, Frankie will find a way to ruin its chances too.

Trainer: D & B Hayes and T Dabernig. Jockey: Michael Walker. Varrier: 19. Odds: $26

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Can I pick another one? Pleeeease?

Nightmare of a Scrabble hand but a decent horse. Almoonqith finished 18th in the Melbourne Cup last year but has been more impressive this spring. His fourth in the Caulfield Cup was a great run, and you'd really expect him to run well this year if it wasn't for the fact he has drawn a horribly wide barrier. As you can see, the Almoonqith camp wasn't exactly thrilled about that.

Trainer: Robert Hickmott. Jockey: Blake Shinn. Barrier: 2. Odds: $41

He won the Sydney Cup this year, but comparing that race to the Melbourne Cup is like comparing Sydney wine bars to Melbourne wine bars. Gallante is the likely race leader, so if you work in an office where everyone squeals while the race is on and you have no idea what's happening, he'll at least be easy to spot. That's the good news. The bad news is that after leading until the home turn, they'll run past him so quickly he'll catch his death from cold.

Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Ben Melham. Barrier: 9. Odds: $26.

Another of last year's failures, who is aiming to fail in a slightly less embarrassing manner in the 2016 Melbourne Cup. Grand Marshal recently won the Moonee Valley Cup, but that's like winning the school cross country and expecting to win the Olympic marathon afterwards. On the positive side, he does have four legs. For now.

Trainer: Ciaron Maher. Jockey: Nick Hall. Barrier: 3. Odds: $7.

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Jameka? Nah, she did it without being asked.

Jameka is a lovely four-year-old mare with impeccable manners who always chews hay with its mouth shut. OK, so that fact is even more made up than everything else here. What you really need to know is Jameka won the Caulfield Cup in impressive fashion. You should also know that no Caulfield Cup winner has done the Cups double since 2001, and that Hartnell beat Jameka very easily when the two met a few weeks ago. She'll run well, but probably not well enough.

Trainer: Tony Martin: Jockey: Joao Moreira. Barrier: 23. Odds: $15

João Moreira is a Brazilian jockey based in Hong Kong who is probably the world's most in-form jockey right now. Alas, even he won't be able to help this plodding British import, who will drop out of contention in the home straight quicker than you can say "Brexit".

Trainer: John Thompson. Jockey: Blake Spriggs. Barrier: 14. Odds: $81.

In a Melbourne Cup first, a member of the English Aristocracy has decided to dress up in a horse suit and compete in the Melbourne Cup. Whatever infinitesimally small chance this "horse" has of winning will be thrown away when he stops to belittle the peasantry in the crowd before ducking into the famous Flemington birdcage for champers and cucumber sandwiches. This fellow actually won a decent race in Sydney recently, but will be rejected by the Melbourne establishment.

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. Jockey: Vlad Duric. Barrier: 21. Odds: $61.

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Gai, your bird called and it wants its feathers back.

Excess Knowledge led the field into the straight in last year's Melbourne Cup and ended up seventh. It then suffered a major existential crisis and has raced extremely poorly ever since, and is only lining up this year because trainer Gai Waterhouse has so many novelty frocks and strange hats, she needs a Melbourne Cup runner to giver herself an excuse to wear them.

Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor. Jockey: Damian Lane. Barrier: 1. Odds: $35

This sluggish mare with poor UK form has no hope of winning this race, but has a promising reality TV career ahead and hopes to be the next Bachelorette. It will eat all the roses on the way to the barriers and spit out the petals in a vivid and dramatic piece of symbolism representing a trail of broken hearts, before it elopes mid race with one of the handsome stallions.

Trainer: Robert Hickmott. Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy. Barrier: 17. Odds: $17

Some European imports attempt hit-and-run missions, but this former German horse has settled into Australia and has been racing well. It's all a little reminiscent of 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, which was also a German. He's got barrier 17, number 17 and his odds are $17. You know what that means, don't you? Yep, just when he's about to win, he'll trip over a piece of clover and run 17th.

Trainer: Robert Hickmott. Jockey: Katelyn Mallyon. Barrier: 22. Odds: $81

Assign's jockey is the best female rider in the country right now, and it would be lovely to see Katelyn Mallyon do a Michelle Payne. Won't happen two years in a row, you'd think, because Assign is clearly several lengths slower than almost every horse in this field. But they never said Prince of Penzance would run well either, so who knows? Actually, we do. It's no chance.

Trainer: Matt Cumani: Jockey: Glen Boss. Barrier: 16. Odds: $41

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Yes, it's a grey horse. No, it's not a lion. One out of two ain't bad.

The Grey Lion team has some serious Melbourne cup bloodlines. The trainer is the Ballarat-based son of British-based international superstar Luca Cumani, who has trained the Melbourne Cup runner-up twice. Jockey Glen Boss was Makybe Diva's pilot, so he's got three Cups in the bag. Grey Lion, unfortunately, lets the team down. This import ran OK in the Geelong Cup two weeks ago, but his form overall is much more meow than roar.

Trainer(s): Charlie Appleby. Jockey: Chad Schofield. Barrier: 11. Odds: $6

Every year there is a hoax horse that all the punters fall for. This year, Oceanographer could be that horse. He's the second favourite behind Hartnell and everyone's in love with him because he came from the tail of the field to win the Lexus Stakes on Saturday and qualify for the Cup. What they overlooked is that he beat the Carlton Draught Clydesdales and a slow crippled pony called Tom in that race. This is a much tougher assignment.

Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor. Jockey: Stephen Baster. Barrrier: 10. Odds: $35

This European pretender visited Flemington last year, and ran second in a big race at the Melbourne Cup carnival. But he's has had just one race start since then, and has now completely forgotten how horse racing works. Secret number will follow the field round for practice, but won't dare pass a single runner as it's terribly afraid it will get lost if it hits the front.

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Secret Number is so angry about what we just wrote, he's frothing at the mouth.

Trainer: John Wheeler. Jockey: Mark du Plessis. Barrier: 4. Odds: $101

For most horses, the Melbourne Cup is the big event, the one that really counts. For this energetic Kiwi, it's just the fifth leg of an event that includes rugby, bungee jumping, sheep farming and saying vowels wrong. Unfortunately, racing is the weakest of Pentathlon's five events, and it will still be on its first lap when the rest of the field is on it second.

23. QEWY
Trainer: Charles Appleby. Jockey: Craig Williams. Barrier: 15. Odds: $31.

Yet another horse from Dubai's Godolphin stable who races in England, Qewy impressed at his first Australian run by winning the Geelong Cup. But he won't win the Melbourne Cup because he has a very silly name. That's it. That's the only reason. Seriously, can you imagine the name Qewy in the history books? Sounds more like an insurance agency than a Melbourne Cup winner.

Trainer(s): Lee & Shannon Hope. Jockey: Ben Thompson. Barrier: 8. Odds: $201

Every year, there's one horse who somehow qualifies for the Melbourne Cup because it ran a decent race somewhere once, but which has hopelessly lost form and is only racing so its owners can say, "We had a horse in the Melbourne Cup". The trainers are a likeable father and son combo from country Victoria but if you draw Rose of Virginia in the sweep, you can safely claim your last place bonus prize before the race.


1. Call your parents more often.
2. Don't bet too much.
3. No champagne on Tuesday before midday. OK, 11 am.