Rain on Cup Day: Which horse wins in the wet?
MELBOURNE Cup weather is key to the race. And it's looking wet this year.
But heavy rain has not dampened the confidence of Flemington track manager Liam O'Keeffe, who remains confident that the track will hold up for the race that stops the nation on Tuesday.
Unless it rains during the race, that is.
There has been a deluge in the Flemington area on Tuesday morning but it is easing with more downfalls expected between 9am and midday. Up to 20mm could fall.
Punters are gravitating towards superior wet tracker in English stayer Magic Circle who is now an $8 second favourite behind the drifting Yucatan who is $5.50 favourite.
Magic Circle has had 10 starts on soft tracks for five wins and two placings. Another English stayer Marmelo loves the wet and is a $16 chance.
Another superior wet tracker is Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution who has had three wins from four starts on soft tracks and he is $13.
Yucatan has had four starts on wet tracks for three placings.
The Bureau of Meteorology said that about 5mm fell within 10 minutes on the racecourse area just after 7am on Tuesday, with some lightning also occurring, with the experts predicting it to be raining when the race is run at 3pm.
There is also a chance of thunderstorms in the morning and afternoon.
The track is currently rated a Good 4, with O'Keeffe putting 5mm of water onto the track overnight.
"If we can get away with less than 5mm, it shouldn't have too much of an impact on the track," O'Keeffe said of the downpour.
"It was a genuine Good 3 yesterday afternoon and required 5mm of irrigation last night ... still on a Good 4 and hopefully the weather will clear.
"Once you get into the 5-10mm range, you see the track edging into the soft category. We'll have to wait and see what we get.
"As long as it doesn't rain during the race, it shouldn't have too much of an impact on the track."
O'Keeffe said he works on a policy to prepare a Good 3 track for most of the day, with the job this morning simply to monitor the rain gauges and how the track is holding up.
"There's nothing we can do on the track to dry it out," he said.
"The No. 1 rule is to stay off it when it's wet. If we can get away with less than 5mm before the first, it won't have any bearing on the track.
"Hopefully we can get away reasonably unscathed."
The last wet Melbourne Cup was in 2010 when Americain won on a Soft 6 track and he started from barrier 11.
On that occasion the field raced away from the fence with the placegetters coming down the outside of the track.
WHO WILL WIN THE MELBOURNE CUP?
2 Magic Circle
4 The Cliffsofmoher
4 Cross Counter
2 The Cliffsofmoher
Best roughie: Finche