Mule bites horse

by Stubborn Mule on 4 November 2012 · 16 comments

The Melbourne Cup is almost here again, which means that it is time for the Mule to perform some utterly bogus analysis with which to predict a winner. So here goes.

Once again, I will look to past winners as a guide. Picking on those characteristics readily available from a Google search, I have focused on handicap weight, sex and age. Starting with handicap weight, here is a chart of the distribution of weights broken down by decade.

Cup 2012 by Decade

In the early years, handicaps were typically much lower, but things have changed in recent years. On this basis, I will focus on handicap weights from 1980 onwards.

Cup 2012 Weight

The peak of this distribution is around 54kg, so this is where I will focus my attention. There are four horses in the 2012 field which are to carry 54kg: Cavalryman, Mount Athos, Sanagas and Ethopia. To narrow this list, we turn to sex and age. The chart below suggests favouring a gelding between 4 and 6 years old or a horse (stallion) around 4 or 5 years old, perhaps even 6.

Cup 2012 Sex and Age

Cavalryman and Sanagas are both 7 year old stallions: too old, although Sanagas is trained by Bart Cummings who has 12 wins under his belt. Mount Athos is a 6 year old gelding, while Ethiopia is a 4 year old gelding, either side of the 5 year peak in the distribution. Since 6 year old geldings have a slight edge, my tips are as follows:

First Choice: Mount Athos

Second Choice: Ethiopia.

Honorable Mention: Sanagas

I should point out that, despite tipping Shocking in 2009, the Mule’s track record has been terrible. You have been warned!

UPDATE: it has been pointed out that Ethopia is in fact to carry 53.5kg not 54kg. While that may not seem much of a difference, there are another nine horses carrying that weight. While one school of thought would be to scratch Ethopia from the tip list, I would prefer to think that being the only one of the ten in that weight category to slip though, it must be lucky! On that highly scientific basis, Ethiopia stays.

Now Tuesday is not just about horses, there is also a Reserve Bank meeting. So, while contemplating a flutter based on spurious tips, you can also vote in a poll on whether there will be any change in the cash rate.

Once you have voted, you will be able to see the poll results.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mjdart November 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

You should have kept quiet about your record. I only ever remember the year you picked it.

2 Stubborn Mule November 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

@mjdart The Mule is stubborn, but honest!

3 Craig November 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Excellent analysis as usual Mule. But I observe Ethiopia to be carrying 53.5 kg? Cavalryman might get a look in yet?

4 Stubborn Mule November 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I will have to check my sources…perhaps there has been some over-enthusiastic rounding!

5 Trina Nordio November 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I’ll take a trifecta….just in case !

6 Stubborn Mule November 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

@Craig it looks like transcription rather than source error. I have updated the post accordingly, not to scratch Ethiopia but to commend its luck at being the only one of 10 horses carrying 53.5kg to slip through the analysis!

7 Stubborn Mule November 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

@Trina Good plan…usual commissions apply ;)

8 Magpie November 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Hey Stubby,

When are you or Zebra going to run? I’m keeping my money til then…

9 Stubborn Mule November 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

@Magpie: I run very, very slowly.

10 Magpie November 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm

That’s the idea! I have one less candidate to consider…

11 dan November 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Hey Mulesters, good luck in the cup however you choose to do it. Caught this last night on SBS and I think everyone who reads this blog will appreciate it:

12 Stubborn Mule November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

@dan excellent illustration of a classic scam! Now I just want to know how he did the thing with the photos…

13 Craig November 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Never mind Mule. Next year you could apply your utterly bogus analysis as usual and then overly it with a Top 3 selection from your dart board. In hindsight it might have been wiser to wipe Ethiopia as it appears to have run a “distant, distant, last!”

14 Stubborn Mule November 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

@Craig, with hindsight, I should have picked Green Moon. I do like green…

15 Michael Michael November 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm


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