The final acceptances for Melbourne’s showcase spring carnival showdown, the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), were taken by Racing Victoria this afternoon and below the Races.com.au team have the official 2011 Melbourne Cup Field.
Unsurprisingly, a capacity field of 24 have been accepted for the ‘race that stops a nation’ with defending champion and last-start Moonee Valley Cup victor Americain to wear the No. 1 Melbourne Cup saddlecloth.
Favourite in the Luxbet Melbourne Cup odds to go back-to-back in Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday, the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Americain is the 58kg topweight of the field carrying 3.5 kilos more than last year.
In one of the biggest turnouts from the international stayers, the 2011 Melbourne Cup field features a plethora of overseas-trained and bred horses the next best fancied of which behind Americian is the fellow French-trained Dunaden.
2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup Field – Final Acceptances
|1||AMERICAIN (USA)||Alain de Royer Dupre||58kg||15|
|2||JUKEBOX JURY (IRE)||Mark Johnston||57kg||6|
|3||DUNADEN (FR)||Mikel Delzangles||54.5kg (Pen.0.5kg)||13|
|4||DRUNKEN SAILOR (IRE)||Luca Cumani||54kg||8|
|5||GLASS HARMONIUM (IRE)||Michael Moroney||54kg||23|
|6||MANIGHAR (FR)||Luca Cumani||54kg||21|
|7||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||54kg||7|
|8||FOX HUNT (IRE)||Mark Johnston||53.5kg (Pen.0.5kg)||19|
|9||LUCAS CRANACH (GER)||Anthony Freedman||53.5kg||11|
|10||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||53.5kg||14|
|11||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||53.5kg||2|
|12||RED CADEAUX (GB)||Ed Dunlop||53.5kg||16|
|13||HAWK ISLAND (IRE)||Chris Waller||53kg||18|
|14||ILLO (GER)||Bart Cummings||53kg||1|
|15||LOST IN THE MOMENT (IRE)||Saeed Bin Suroor||53kg||3|
|16||MODUN (IRE)||Saeed Bin Suroor||53kg||5|
|17||AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||52.5kg||10|
|18||MOYENNE CORNICHE (GB)||Brian Ellison||52kg||17|
|19||SAPTAPADI (IRE)||Brian Ellison||52kg||22|
|20||SHAMROCKER (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||52kg||24|
|21||THE VERMINATOR||Chris Waller||52.kg (Pen.2.0kg)||4|
|22||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||52kg||12|
|23||NIWOT||Micahel, Wayne & John Hawkes||51kg||9|
|24||OLDER THAN TIME||Gai Waterhouse||51kg||20|
Dunaden is allocated 54.5kg for the Cup, the same weight Americain won with 12 months ago, after copping a half-kilo penalty for their Geelong Cup victory.
Third favourite in the Melbourne Cup betting markets throughout the past month has been the Anthony Freedman-trained Lucas Cranach, the German import debuting in Australia with a game fifth in the Caulfield Cup.
Lucas Cranach is one of two imported Germans in this year’s Melbourne Cup field joining fellow fancy, the Bart Cummings-trained Illo.
Tertullian six-year-old Illo produced a truly perfect Cup trial in the maiden run down under, finishing third behind Americain and Tullamore in the Moonee Valley Cup on Cox Plate Day.
“I think he is looking for two miles because he’s certainly no good at a mile-and-a-quarter,” Cummings said of Illo.
“Illo might be the one to back on Tuesday.
“He ran a fair race the other day over a mile-and-a-half (at Moonee Valley) but he hadn’t run for three and a half months.
“He has taken improvement from that and we might see a nice improvement in him on Tuesday.”
The ‘Cups King’ vies for his 13th Melbourne Cup success this year, his first since Viewed in 2008, and is dually represented in 2011 with Zabeel six-year-old Precedence also engaged.
Other Notable International Melbourne Cup Horses Include:
- Jukebox Jury (Mark Johnston) – Second heaviest weighted in the field with 57kg, yet to race in Australia but looked impressive last-start winning the Irish St Leger in September, before which they claimed the Prix Kergorlay over 3016m
- Fox Hunt (Mark Johnston) – Another from Johnston’s Middleham stables, also yet to race in Australia but has good form overseas with a last-start victory in the German Leger
- Red Cadeaux (Ed Dunlop) – Nice British form coming into this with a win in the Curragh Cup back in June before their close last-start third in the Irish St Leger
Meanwhile, prominent European trainer Luca Cumani who has twice prepared a Melbourne Cup runner-up, will be represented by Drunken Sailor and Manighar.
In a blow for the stable and the race fans, 2008 Melbourne Cup second placegetter, gallant old grey Bauer was just nudged out of the starting 24.
Cumani also chose to withdraw Sahara Sun earlier in the week after their failed run in the Bendigo Cup.
Along with Mark Johnston and Cumani, another overseas training with multiple Melbourne Cup horses in 2011 is Saeed Bin Suroor who has Goodwood Cup runner-up Lost In the Moment and last-start Group 3 winner in Britain Modun both on 53kg.
There is also British trainer Brian Ellison with his hopeful stablemates Moyenne Corniche, last seen runner third in the Herbert Power Stakes, and Saptapadi, who was a disappointing both getting in with 52kg.
After a nervous few weeks waiting to see how was in and out of this year’s Melbourne Cup, leviathan owner Lloyd Williams has been confirmed as having Mourayan who ran an eye-catching second to Glass Harmonium in the Mackinnon Stakes on Derby Day and impressive Bendigo Cup runner-up At First Sight.
Williams’ Bendigo Cup winner Tanby was just forced out of the field having been penalized only 1kg for that win, while Linton was a non-acceptor but still races on Melbourne Cup Day in a Listed feature and Midas Touch was withdrawn.
Included in the Melbourne Cup field is also Saturday’s The Lexus Stakes winner Niwot, who earned their eleventh-hour inclusion in the race with an impressive victory in the ballot-exempt race.
After initial fears that the Gai Waterhouse-trained Older Than Time would be the sole purely Australian horse in the Cup this year, Niwot is now a livewire chance not only for connections but for the Australian-bred camp.
Winner of the other Victoria Derby Day race offering a guaranteed Melbourne Cup start, Mackinnon Stakes winner Glass Harmonium has also been accepted despite having pulled up slightly lame after the race.
The in-form grey import from the stables of Michael Moroney was the hard luck story from the Cox Plate running 10th after getting worked up in the stalls and missing the jump.
Back to their best for the Mackinnon, they scored a good three quarter length win over fellow Melbourne Cup rival Mourayan.
While 2000 metres looks to be Glass Harmonium’s best distance and not the 3200 metres of the Melbourne Cup, connections are willing to give the galloper a chance to prove them wrong with the $3.6 million first prize for the Melbourne Cup winner a very enticing reason to press on.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the Melbourne Cup field, barriers, jockeys and betting news.
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