Punting by pedigrees: the Melbourne Cup

Hartnell: leading contender is by Derby hero Authorized

PICTURE: racingandsports.com.au Punting by pedigrees: the Melbourne Cup
By Chris Hill 1:42PM 31 OCT 2016

THIS year's Melbourne Cup, run at 3pm local time (4am GMT) on Tuesday, has a truly international cast with runners bred in Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the US all bidding to win "the race that stops a nation."

To help with determining whether the leading contenders will appreciate, never mind stay the 2m trip, here is a quick summary of the pedigrees of those runners currently towards the head of the betting as well as mentioning a few other interesting breeding angles.

Hartnell
(Authorized – Debonnaire (Anabaa))
Darley

Godolphin's leading contender is the highest rated son of 2007 Derby winner Authorized with an RPR of 121. With victories in the BMW Stakes and Turnbull Stakes, the five-year-old colt is one of four winners at the highest level for the Haras du Logis resident along with Ambivalent, Complacent and Seal Of Approval.

From the family of triple European Group 1 hero Suave Dancer, Hartnell is out of the Anabaa mare Debonnaire and is a half-brother to the 7f Listed winner and Fillies' Mile runner-up Roz.

Oceanographer
(Sea The Stars – Que Puntual (Contested Bid))
Earle I Mack

A late addition to the Melbourne Cup field with victory in Saturday's Group 3 Lexus Stakes, Oceanographer is a three-parts brother to 1m4f scorer Enthusiastic and to 1m2f to 1m3½f winner Something Graceful and shares his page with top-class South American performers Comisariato and Repartija.

By six-time Group 1 winner Sea The Stars, Oceanographer will bid to continue the good year for the Gilltown Stud stallion who has been represented with aplomb this season by dual Derby hero Harzand and Prix Jean Prat victor Zelzal.

Jameka
(Myboycharlie – Mine Game (General Nediym))
Gilgai Farm

This month's Caulfield Cup heroine was bred by Rick Jamieson's Gilgai Farm where her dam, the 7f scorer Mine Game, resides alongside superstar broodmare Helsinge, producer of Black Caviar and All Too Hard.

Winner of Flemington's Crown Oaks over 1m4½f, Jameka should not fail for lack of stamina as she hails from the family of 2005 Gold Cup hero Westerner.

The four-year-old filly was conceived during her Group 1-winning sire's time spent shuttling to Vinery Stud in New South Wales from Haras du Mezeray. Myboycharlie has been responsible for three top-class fillies with Jameka ranking alongside Euro Charline and Peggy Jean.

Bondi Beach
(Galileo – One Moment In Time (Danehill))
One Moment In Time Syndicate

A dual Group 3 winner over 1m6f, Bondi Beach is a brother to the winning miler Unicorn and 1m1½f to 1m2f scorer Bazaar. Last year's St Leger runner-up is out of the unraced Danehill mare One Moment In Time, a sister to the dual Group 1-winning miler Simply Perfect meaning he is bred on the same cross that has produced 12 individual winners at the highest level including Frankel.

Bondi Beach is one of two runners in this year's race by the outstanding Galileo, the seven-time champion sire who has provided a phenomenal 14 individual Group/Grade 1 winners this year, though the Melbourne Cup is one race missing from his roll of honour.

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Big Orange
(Duke Of Marmalade – Miss Brown To You (Fasliyev))
Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs

After finishing fifth in last year's Melbourne Cup, Bill Gredley's homebred landed the Group 2 Goodwood Cup and Princess of Wales's Stakes for the second successive year.

Those victories have earned Big Orange the highest RPR (119) for progeny of five-time Group 1 winner Duke Of Marmalade, ahead of last year's St Leger heroine Simple Verse.

The five-year-old gelding hails from a family with unfinished business in the Flemington showpiece being out of a half-sister to multiple Hong Kong Group 1 winner Military Attack and the dam of three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux.

Heartbreak City
Lando – Moscow Nights (Peintre Celebre))
Isabelle Corbani

Tony Martin's Ebor winner has a cosmopolitan pedigree that features champion Japanese filly Aventura, dual French Classic heroine Madelia, Prix Saint-Alary winner Moonlight Dance and Brazilian Group 1 victress Veuve Fourny.

A son of top-class middle-distance colt Lando out of the Peintre Celebre mare Moscow Nights, Heartbreak City is a half-brother to the winning hurdler Russian Memories and is bred on the same lines as 1m7½f Group 2 scorer Ivory Land.

Almandin
(Monsun – Anatola (Tiger Hill))
Gestut Schlenderhan

By the late Monsun, sire of two of the last three Melbourne Cup winners in Protectionist and Fiorente, Almandin defeated the 2014 winner on his final race in his native Germany and comes into the race off the back of two comfortable victories over 1m4f and 1m4½f.

Almandin should have no problem with the step up to 2m and and his classy pedigree – he is a brother to the 1m4f Group 2 Gerling-Preis winner Atempo out of the German Listed scorer Anatola, a Tiger Hill half-sister to German Oaks victress Amarette – could be the difference maker in the competitive field.

Wicklow Brave
(Beat Hollow – Moraine (Rainbow Quest))
Millsec Limited

This year's Irish St Leger winner is proven over the trip having won from 1m6f to 2m1f including the Grade 3 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2015.

Willie Mullins' charge is the first foal out of the 1m4f winner Moraine, a daughter of Rainbow Quest, making him a half-brother to triple 1m4f scorer Brass Ring and 2m bumper winner Glacial Drift.

Wicklow Brave was conceived during his sire's spell at Banstead Manor Stud before the four-time Group/Grade 1 winner moved to Ballylinch Stud. Beat Hollow has two entries in this year's race with Wicklow Brave the shorter in the betting and the Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained Exospheric.

Almoonqith
(Dynaformer – Bohemian Lady (Carson City))
Padua Stables

Almoonqith is a son of Dynaformer, sire of the 2010 winner Americain as well as 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno. His sire's most notable offspring though is the ill-fated Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro, who is bred on the same cross as Almoonqith with both being out of daughters of Carson City.

The six-year-old colt's most recent victory was over 2m in last year's Listed Sandown Cup though the majority of his family have been successful over shorter. A half-brother to winners from 6f to 1m½f, Almoonqith is out of the 7f Grade 3 winner Bohemian Lady, a half-sister to 1m1f Grade 1 hero Any Given Saturday.

Exospheric
(Beat Hollow (GB) – Bright And Clear (GB) (Danehill (USA))
Juddmonte Farms

The second son of Beat Hollow in this year's contest, Exospheric has the highest flat rating of the two with a best RPR of 120, achieved when defeating Simple Verse in this year's Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket.

Exospheric is a half-brother to four winners including the winning hurdler Weather Front. From a strong Juddmonte family, he is the sixth foal produced by the 2002 Italian Oaks runner-up Bright And Clear, a Danehill half-sister to Grand Criterium and Dante Stakes winner Tenby.

Other runners

Montjeu sired the 2012 winner Green Moon and the deceased stallion has two representatives in this year's renewal, Gallante and Assign, and also has a strong connection to Hartnall as sire of Authorized.

A second runner for Monsun is Excess Knowledge, who finished seventh last year, and is bred on the same cross as 2m winner Retirement Plan.

Other sires successful in the past with contenders include Pentire who provided last year's winner Prince Of Penzance and has a similarly priced outsider in Pentathlon, and Street Cry, the current leading sire in Australia by prize money thanks primarily to the exploits of Winx and sire of 2009 winner Shocking. Street Cry is responsible for Qewy, who narrowly denied the Galileo colt Grey Lion victory in the Geelong Cup.

Grey Lion's trainer Matt Cumani will be hoping to go one place better than his father Luca, who came so close to landing the 2008 renewal when Bauer was beaten a nose by Viewed.

Verdict
1 – Big Orange
2 – Almandin
3 – Wicklow Brave
4 – Gallante

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