Fifty-two stayers remain in Melbourne Cup 2016 contention after Racing Victoria (RV) closed first acceptances for the ‘race that stops’ a nation on Tuesday including 12 internationals.
Run on Tuesday November 1 as Flemington Race 7, this year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) was one of the key Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival features that the next stage of acceptances were completed for this week along with the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.
Heading the updated Melbourne Cup ballot order is the Robert Hickmott-trained Almandin who is allocated 51kg after receiving a 1kg penalty for his win in last Sunday’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m).
Hickmott prepared Green Moon (2012) to win the Melbourne Cup handing owner Lloyd Williams with his fourth ‘Loving Trophy’, and returns with six first acceptors this season.
The stable’s other chances are Ranvet Stakes winner United States (55.5kg), Sydney Cup winner Gallante (53.5kg), Aloft (50kg), Assign (50kg) and Foundry (50kg).
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir boasts the highest number of first acceptances as he chases back-to-back victories with seven entries.
Weir has kept his defending champ Prince Of Penzance in the mix, the galloper allocated the 56.5kg Melbourne Cup top weight along with the Chris Waller-trained Preferment (56.5kg) who is also still in the mix for the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15.
The other headline Weir-trained Melbourne Cup first acceptor is classy mare Real Love who won the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
She received a 0.5kg Melbourne Cup weight penalty for that victory and is still well weighted for the world’s richest handicap with 52kg.
The other Weir hopefuls are: Howard Be Thy Name (51.5kg), Zanteca (50kg), Manndawi (50kg), Japanese import Tosen Stardom (53.5kg) and Master Zephyr (50kg).
Along with the co-top weight Preferment, Sydney’s leading trainer Waller is chasing his maiden Melbourne Cup victory with four other entries including Who Shot Thebarman (55kg) who ran third to Protectionist in 2014 and 11th last year.
Waller’s Melbourne Cup hopefuls also include 2015 Sydney Cup winner and 2016 placegetter in Randwick’s two mile feature Grand Marshal (53.5kg), last weekend’s The Metropolitan fourth placegetter Sacred Master (51kg) and runner-up in that same mile and a half feature Antonio Giuseppe (50kg).
Early favourite in pre-field Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell who is also still entered for the Caulfield Cup and the weight-for-age Cox Plate in October (55kg).
Hartnell ran 15th to Prince Of Penzance in the race last year beaten under six lengths and extended his spring winning streak this campaign to three on the trot with the dominant Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) display at Flemington last Sunday.
O’Shea also has ATC Derby and Turnbull Stakes third placegetter Tally (52.5kg) and Arab Dawn (50kg) still in Melbourne Cup contention.
Of the remaining 12 Melbourne Cup international hopes the best fancied in the futures markets is Bondi Beach for Aidan O’Brien.
Michael Bell’s Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange (56kg) who ran fifth last year, the Tony Martin-trained French stayer Heartbreak City (53kg), Japan’s veteran nine-year-old Curren Mirotic (55.5kg) and Scottish (54.5kg) are among the other Melbourne Cup raiders still chasing a run in the two mile classic.
Scottish is prepared by Charlie Appleby and is after the Spring Cups’ double in 2016 as part of a 10-strong Godolphin Melbourne cup contingent.
Other headline Melbourne Cup first declarations include The Metropolitan winning eight-year-old Sir John Hawkwood (53kg) in career best form and William Mullins’ Irish St Leger winner Wicklow Brave (55kg).
Among the notable non-acceptors are the likes of the 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George and 2014 Caulfield Cup runner-up Rising Romance.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup second acceptances close at 10:00am (AEDT) on October 24.
Before then make sure you head to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in the Melbourne Cup first acceptors at their generous all-in prices to win!
2016 Melbourne Cup First Declarations
Flemington Race 7 – 01/11/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|1||x221x66511||ALMANDIN (GER)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||1||51kg (includes 1.0kg penalty)|
|2||5821x2x069||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||G||7||Darren Weir||2||56.5kg|
|3||7x4110x454||PREFERMENT (NZ)||H||5||Chris Waller||3||56.5kg|
|4||7x5x23x11x||BIG ORANGE (GB)||G||6||Michael Bell||4||56kg|
|5||30x5501x58||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||H||7||Lee & Anthony Freedman||5||56kg|
|6||x300x620x9||CURREN MIROTIC (JPN)||G||9||Osamu Hirata||6||55.5kg|
|7||x4214x8086||TARZINO (NZ)||H||4||Mick Price||7||54kg|
|8||610x5212x6||THE UNITED STATES (IRE)||H||7||Robert Hickmott||8||55.5kg|
|9||650x5x2111||HARTNELL (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea||9||55kg|
|10||45324×4712||JAMEKA||M||4||Ciaron Maher||10||52kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)|
|11||90324×6527||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||8||Chris Waller||11||55kg|
|12||3333×26431||WICKLOW BRAVE (GB)||G||8||William Mullins||12||55kg|
|13||1220x11x33||BONDI BEACH (IRE)||H||5||Aidan O’Brien||13||55kg|
|14||1413x1835x||EXOSPHERE (GB)||H||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman||14||55kg|
|15||2251x3121x||SCOTTISH (IRE)||G||5||Charlie Appleby||15||54.5kg|
|17||08533×7269||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||17||53.5kg|
|18||0069x031x2||GALLANTE (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||18||53.5kg|
|19||1x9065x808||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||19||53.5kg|
|20||132114×271||REAL LOVE||M||6||Darren Weir||20||52kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)|
|21||12x1322x21||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||G||8||John P Thompson||21||53kg (includes 1.5kg penalty)|
|22||00x101x11x||HEARTBREAK CITY (FR)||G||7||Tony Martin||22||53kg|
|23||2111134×07||HOWARD BE THY NAME||H||4||Darren Weir||23||51.5kg|
|24||x6153x155x||BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (GB)||M||5||Saeed Bin Suroor||24||51.5kg|
|25||217x20x983||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||H||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||25||52.5kg|
|26||3057741×69||FANATIC (NZ)||M||4||Graeme Sanders||26||50kg|
|27||0071×07002||ZANTECA (NZ)||M||7||Darren Weir||27||50kg|
|28||6113×88214||SACRED MASTER (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||28||51kg|
|29||361x2x12x1||SECRET NUMBER (GB)||G||7||Saeed Bin Suroor||29||51kg|
|30||32x1837x8x||GREY LION (IRE)||H||5||Matt Cumani||30||51kg|
|31||113254×067||PENTATHLON (NZ)||G||5||John Wheeler||31||50.5kg|
|32||146×511112||ANTONIO GIUSEPPE (NZ)||G||4||Chris Waller||32||50kg|
|33||5462102×09||ROSE OF VIRGINIA (NZ)||M||7||Lee & Shannon Hope||33||50kg|
|34||212x1x7x39||ALOFT (IRE)||G||5||Robert Hickmott||34||50kg|
|35||73x7689x04||MANNDAWI (FR)||G||7||Darren Weir||35||50kg|
|36||03x8148x07||ARAB DAWN (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea||36||50kg|
|37||x0x51709x4||TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)||H||6||Darren Weir||37||53.5kg|
|38||25305×9340||SET SQUARE||M||5||Ciaron Maher||38||51.5kg|
|39||x8x1153x92||ASSIGN (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||39=||50kg|
|40||24210×8525||DANDY GENT||G||5||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||39=||50kg|
|41||6x7733x867||DE LITTLE ENGINE||G||6||Danny O’Brien||39=||50kg|
|42||009x830x33||FOUNDRY (IRE)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||39=||50kg|
|43||143x60x46x||FRANCIS OF ASSISI (IRE)||G||7||Charlie Appleby||39=||50kg|
|44||976144×362||MASTER ZEPHYR (GB)||G||5||Darren Weir||39=||50kg|
|45||6x11x4017x||OCEANOGRAPHER (GB)||G||5||Charlie Appleby||39=||50kg|
|46||131130×911||PEMBERLEY (NZ)||G||5||Ciaron Maher||39=||50kg|
|47||322x00x22x||QEWY (IRE)||G||7||Charlie Appleby||39=||50kg|
|48||213141x24x||SECOND WAVE (IRE)||G||5||Charlie Appleby||39=||50kg|
|49||0x81642x47||THE BANDIT (JPN)||H||5||John Sadler||39=||50kg|
|50||71x110x266||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman||39=||50kg|
|51||2x1145x524||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||G||5||Michael Moroney||39=||50kg|
|52||124×912598||WHITE DOLLAR SIGN||G||5||John Thom||39=||50kg|