What Are the Best Melbourne Cup Prep Races?

Last Updated 29 Oct 2020 | Commercial content | 18+

History has shown us that there is no one correct way to prepare a horse for the Melbourne Cup. Some need to be wrapped in cotton wool, others need to have a very recent spin around the track.
There are some very high-profile, proven ways to get runners to Flemington in the best nick however and we take a closer look at them.

Melbourne Cup Preps with the Best Recent Record

The 2020 Melbourne Cup winner could come from anywhere more or less, but special attention should be paid to the form of these events.

Caulfield Cup

Not many recent Melbourne Cup winners have come from the Caulfield Cup in truth. That said, last year’s hero Vow and Declare was second in the event. Given that preps can become a trend among trainers, a close look at the result of this year’s top 2,400-metre event is due.

Cox Plate

The Cox Plate is always interesting, despite being run over just 2,000 metres. A lot of horses improve for the step up to the Melbourne Cup distance. That is an obviously high-class prep race.

Efficient was only 9th in the Cox Plate before taking the Cup in 2007. On the other hand, the seventh-placed Green Moon won at Flemington in 2012. A year later, Fiorente was third in this event before claiming glory in the big one.

Geelong Cup

Considered colloquially as one of the better guides to future Melbourne Cup winners, the 2,400 metre Geelong Cup is probably overdue to produce our latest hero.

The fact that the last two Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup winners came in 2010 and 2011, Americain and Dunaden, lends itself to the fact that some races being used as a prep becomes somewhat of a trend.

British Group Races

Although most of the top contenders from Europe have come from Ireland in the past, the form of the top British Group races has come to the fore in recent years.
2018 winner Cross Counter wasn’t seen since finishing second in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, a prep for the St Leger at Doncaster. A year before that, Rekindling was 4th in the St Leger itself in September before winning this race.

It’s worth pointing out that top 2020 hope Santiago was also fourth in the St Leger this year. But he is due another race in Australia before taking on this task.