ESPN's Melbourne Cup Day Form Guide; who should you back?

The biggest day on the Australian racing calendar is finally here! The sun is shining and crowds are back on course to witness the race that stops the nation.

Not sure who to back? Not to worry, as we take you through the best selections and some value runners in Tuesday's 10-race card at the glorious Flemington racecourse.

Race 1 - Darley Maribyrnong Plate (1000m)

Lascars raced the fastest last 200m of his debut run in the Darley Maribyrnong Trial and importantly returns to Flemington with straight track experience. He presents as a great chance to win his maiden against the currently more fancied Renosu and Brereton, who are also hard to knock. Always tough to judge a race with so many colts making their racecourse debut.

Top selections:

2. Lascars
3. Renosu
1. Brereton
7. Le Gagneur

Race 2 - The Macca's Run (2800m)

Accountability and Wil John both come out of the BECK Probuild Handicap finishing third and first respectfully, but we're picking the former to turn the tables on the favourite here. Finishing with the fastest final furlong of the race and hitting the line strongly coming from a long way back tells us the long straight and step up in distance should suit him.

Top selections:

10. Accountability
8. Wil John
4. Savvy Valentino
6. Team Captain

Race 3 - Resimax Group Subzero Handicap (1400m)

Excelman has strong first-up form which we are going to trust for this all-greys battle. Not To Be Mist could be ready to peak third up and with the fourth fastest closing splits in his most recent run he was better than his ninth-placed finish suggests.

Top selections:

4. Excelman
1. Not to be Mist
9. Address Melbourne
3. Housay

Race 4 - Furphy Plate (1800m)

A Sale Cup winner, Milton Park ran a strong third at Ballarat when beaten 3.1 lengths by Mr Brightside - who was subsequently a neck away from claiming the Group 1 Cantala on Derby Day. Lord Vladivostock brings good form to this race, while Best of Days and Pappalino are stepping down in class.

Top selections:

3. Milton Park
7. Lord Vladivostock
1. Best of Days
5. Pappalino

Race 5 - Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy (1400m)

The sky is the limit for Frankie Pinot who has been an eye-catcher having not missed a place this preparation. He hits the line with aggression and can turn in an impressive burst of speed off any tempo. Holbien looks over the odds coming out of the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint won by impressive four-year-old Oxley Road.

Top selections:

11. Frankie Pinot
12. Crestani
9. Lackeen
1. Holbien

Race 6 - The Schweppervescence Plate (1000m)

Profiteer easily had the rest of the field's measure in the Blue Sapphire when overrun by Extreme Warrior, who went on to start favourite in the Coolmore Stud Stakes. Bacchanalia needs to improve on his two-year-old form but has been gelded since his last preparation and has trialled well, so looks worthy of an each-way play.

Top selections:

1. Profiteer
7. Bacchanalia
5. Direct
4. Enthaar

Race 7 - Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m)

History will be made if Incentivise -- who potentially starts as the shortest-priced favourite since Phar Lap -- can salute for Peter Moody and become just the 12th horse in history to win the famous Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double. He looks primed and ready to do so as he enters the two-mile race with nine consecutive wins. He has never run 3200m before, but he's 4/4 in races over 2000m and if he does handle the latest increase in distance, he should win, and therefore announce himself as the next star of the turf. Another main chance is international raider Spanish Mission who is looking to do a fly-in, fly-out job and spoil the party. The quality stayer trained by Andrew Balding enters the race with arguably the best staying form on the planet after testing the world-class Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup over 3270m. You can't ignore that form, he'll eat up the two miles and looms as a major threat. The concern is how he responds to an interrupted lead-up to the race after being profusely vetted in the past week due to leg swelling, but if he's over the issue, we could be in for a serious boilover. Defending champion Twilight Payment has history against him in a bid to become the first back-to-back winner of the great race since Makybe Diva's treble from 2003-2005. He won the Irish St Leger Trial and is arguably in better form than this time last year, but there'll be more speed influence in this year's race, and he has to carry top weight. The runner not to sleep on is the other international in Sir Lucan, who brings to the Cup a similar racing profile to past winners Rekindling (2017) and Cross-Counter (2018), and 2019 and 2020 place-getters Il Paradiso and Tiger Moth, as a lightly-raced northern hemisphere three-year-old. He will need a lot to go right, but he has an electric turn of foot and will be right in the finish if given the right run by Glen Boss.

Top selections:

2. Incentivise
3. Spanish Mission
16. Grand Promenade
1. Twilight Payment


22. Floating Artist
24. Sir Lucan

Best roughies:

7. Delphi
12. Persan
15. Pondus

Race 8 - The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m)

We're backing the James McDonald-John O'Shea combination to strike again, this time with favourite Promise of Success, after Minhaaj's efforts in the Furphy Sprint on Saturday. Rich Hips won this race last year and has an excellent turn of foot. She is clearly suited by the step back to 1400m and looks good value. La Mexicana is an honest mare who was unlucky in the Manikato.

Top selections:

11. Promise of Success
2. Rich Hips
12. Energy Within
1. La Mexicana

Race 9 - Tab Trophy (1800m)

Spirit of Gaylard looks like the horse to beat here. He won well first-up at Bendigo, then was a tough watch in the Group 2 Vase won by Forgot You, being held up before the bend with nowhere to go until eventually finding clear galloping room and producing the fastest final 400 metres of the race. Looks like he'll relish Flemington.

Top selections:

6. Spirit of Gaylard
9. Oenology
7. Villaden
14. Maracana

Race 10 - Mss Security Sprint (1200m)

Curran is proven at Flemington and will appreciate the extra furlong after running the quickest final 600m in the 1000m Caulfield Sprint in a race that was dominated on speed by Malkovich and Oxley Road. In his most recent win, the lightly-raced four-year-old again produced closing sectionals hard to ignore when he swooped past Yulong Command - a subsequent winner out of that race.

Top selections:

10. Curran
6. Pandemic
14. Quantico
5. Express Pass