TRACKCHAT: Melbourne Cup Day - Tuesday 7th November 2023

6 Nov 2023
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Need an insider tip? Keen to know how the track is shaping up?

Here’s your preview of our upcoming raceday complete with Craig Baker’s preview of the day’s feature races, speed maps, a track report AND some tips from the office lads.

Track update

The track on Monday morning is rated a soft 5 with light rain predicted in the late afternoon on raceday. 

Here’s what Pukekohe Park track manager, Emery White, and racing operations manager, Mark Nowell, had to say about the track this morning (Monday):


Feature Races Preview:

Pukekohe Park | Balmerino Stakes 

The Group 3 feature may lack in numbers but not in quality with last season’s Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup winner Platinum Invador, Counties Cup winner Aromatic, Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic winner Defribillate and Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner Dionysus all contenders.  

Likely favourite Aquacade, winner of last season’s Avondale Cup before finishing a gallant fourth in the Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, resumed with a slashing run behind Legarto over a mile and the step up to the middle distance is ideal as she heads towards the Counties Cup in a fortnight. 

Platinum Invader finished strongly for second last start in the Group One Livamol Classic over the same distance and is a strong chance if he produces the same form. 

Flemington | Lexus Melbourne Cup   

The 163rd edition of the $9.14m Lexus Melbourne Cup will be run tomorrow at Flemington at 5:00pm (race 7) and there are a host of chances for the ‘race that stops two nations.’ 

The time-honoured race has attracted a top-class field once again including many international riders. 

Irish visitor Vauban for master trainer Willie Mullins has been a longtime favourite since his emphatic seven length romp at Royal Ascot in June. He has impressed the experts during trackwork at Werribee and Flemington lately. 

Defending champion Gold Trip, that won a thrilling edition last year, will be ridden by ex-pat kiwi and super star  James McDonald. Gold Trip’s regular rider Mark Zahra chose to ride Irish-bred gelding Without A Fight after the two combined for an impressive victory in the Caulfield Cup a fortnight ago. 

More things to know about the day



Facilities open: 11.00am

Hospitality opens: 11.30am

First race (of 9): 12.20pm

Group 3 Balmerino Stakes: 3.30pm

Fulton Family Stakes: 4.39pm

Last race: 6.01pm


View the fields: Click here

Check out the speed maps: Click here

Read our digital racebook: Click here

Need some tips?

ATR CEO Paul Wilcox rates:

Pukekohe Park

Race 6 | 3:30pm | Balmerino Stakes (G3)
Bet: Aquacade #6 (FFW)

Race 8 | 4.39pm | Fulton Family Stakes (L)
Bet: Habana #2 (FFW)


Race 7 | 5.00pm | Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1)

Bet: Vauban #5 (FFW)

Bet: Absurde #7 (Place)

ATR Sponsorship Manager John O’Malley rates:

Pukekohe Park

Race 1 | 12.20pm | Ellerslie Events 1400
Bet: Geriatrix #3 (FFW)

Race 10 | 6.01pm |Auckland Thoroughbred Racing 1600
Bet: Agera #2 (FFW)


Race 9 | 5.00pm | Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1)
Bet: Absurde #7 (EW)

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