With not long to go before the start of the race that stops two nations, punters seem to be in agreement that one horse has all the attributes to win this year's Melbourne Cup.


According to racenet.com.au, Cross Counter is a real chance for back-to-back wins after his triumph at Flemington Racecourse 12 months ago.

Cross Counter won with only 51kg last year but will carry the 57.5kg topweight on Tuesday.


However, he has dropped weight after carrying 61kg in his last two starts.

The son of Teofilo scored over 3200m in Dubai at his first run for 2019 in March but has been around the mark without winning in top company in England and Ireland at his last three runs, racenet.com.au reported.

Read more: 2019 Melbourne Cup ultimate form guide - All you need to know about every horse

"He's not won since Dubai, but he has been mixing it with the very best," Chris Connett, a representative of Cross Counter's trainer Charlie Appleby said.

"He's battle-hardened now and off the weights, he's the best horse in the race." Cross Counter started from barrier 19 last year but drew barrier five for his Melbourne Cup title defence.

"He's more a proven horse this year."

Flemington Racecourse. Photo / Getty Images
Flemington Racecourse. Photo / Getty Images

Cross Counter is racenet.com.au's top tip while NZME's racing expert Michael Guerin fancies him as one Odds: $13 (Win), $4 (Place)

"As the defending champion, he has already proven he can win a Melbourne Cup and his form since has been good against some of the stayers in the world," Guerin said.


"Goes up 6.5kgs from last year's winning weight which is a lot of extra to carry over 3200m. That is the reason so few winners defend their title successfully in the modern era."

Premium gold

According to the TAB, more than a third of all bets taken by the TAB were on the six horses with Kiwi connections, including:

* The Chosen One (trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman) $41

* Latrobe (ridden by Kiwi jockey James McDonald) $21

* Prince of Arran (ridden by Kiwi jockey Michael Walker) $18

* Surprise Baby (bred by Kiwis at Rich Hill Stud) $14.00

* Finche (trained by Foxton's finest, Australian based Chris Waller) $8.00

* Youngstar (also trained by Waller) $31

How to follow

Follow the Herald's live updates of the Melbourne Cup on nzherald.co.nz and on Newstalk ZB from 5pm.

You can watch the race live on SKY's TAB Trackside 1 channel, and TAB customers can stream the race on the TAB website.