Mullins in bid to go One Better in 2017 Melbourne Cup

In 2015, top Irish National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins came agonisingly close to winning the Melbourne Cup at Flemington with his talented gelding Max Dynamite.

Owned by the enigmatic former banker Rich Ricci, this horse has showed glimpses of brilliance in the last few seasons and, once again, he is on his way down under for another crack at the big one.

Max Dynamite is currently a top price of 40/1 with Stan James bookmakers, but a 33/1 chance generally, perhaps owing to the fact that two years have elapsed since he narrowly missed out. Nonetheless he still has to be respected and may well be ridden by Ryan Moore, who won the 2014 Melbourne Cup aboard Protectionist.

Rich Ricci has another horse on his way to Flemington in the form of Thomas Hobson, another high class stayer who many believe has a better chance than his stablemate of causing a minor upset and landing a famous Irish victory.

World class jockey Joao Moreira has been booked to ride the 7-year-old son of Halling and one thing this horse won’t be caught short on is stamina. Back in June he won the 2 mile 4 furlong Ascot Stakes in fantastic style and although he’s yet to win in three starts since, he had to give 12lb to Desert Skyline when second in the Doncaster Cup last time out and certainly heads to Australia with smart enough form to command plenty of respect from the home defence.

The success of European bred horses in the Melbourne Cup betting and results in recent years has created a clear shift in punters minds in regard to the type of horses they want on their shortlists for the big race.

40 of the 55 horses present at the acceptor stage for the 2017 Melbourne Cup were bred in the Northern Hemisphere. There are several Aussie bred horses who could break the trend, with the Bart Cummins trained Amelie’s Star looking the most interesting at around the 10/1 mark.

But Thomas Hobson, if you’re on the lookout for the likely Irish dark horse, certainly has some of the main tools you need in order to win a Melbourne Cup. He is a horse that possesses the ability to travel strongly in a big field, he stays considerably further than the two mile Melbourne Cup distance, but also has a considerable turn of foot too call upon. This means with a bit of luck in running, he really should be right on the scene in the closing stages, given the class of his form and the abilities we mentioned before.

A major horse racing tipster (‘Pricewise’ in the Racing Post) in the UK has selected Thomas Hobson as his main Melbourne Cup bet, meaning the Willie Mullins runner’s betting odds have plummeted from 33/1 into 20/1. But even at 20/1, this experienced and classy stayer is very much a horse to keep in mind on November 7th.