The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
There are just 32 hopeful stayers still in the mix for the ‘race that stops a nation’ after the release of Melbourne Cup 2016 second acceptances.
The world’s richest handicap, the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) runs as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1.
Each year the Melbourne Cup field has a capacity 24 starters, but amazingly the 2016 edition of the two mile classic is in danger of not reaching that.
This time last spring there were 42 Melbourne Cup second acceptances.
It is only eight days until the Melbourne Cup takes centre stage at Flemington, and the attrition rate is one of the highest in recent history.
Melbourne Cup weights will be raised 1kg at final acceptance stage this Saturday with the withdrawal of the Chris Waller-trained Preferment.
The current heaviest weighted remaining Melbourne Cup chances are Michael Bell’s raider Big Orange (56kg) who was fifth in the race 12 months ago and Team Freedman’s Our Ivanhowe (56kg).
Heading this year’s Melbourne Cup second acceptances are headed by the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka last seen winning the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The four-year-old Myboycharlie mare is out to become the 12th horse in Melbourne Cup history to complete the Spring Cups double, the first since the great Kiwi mare Ethereal (2001).
Jameka is the sole remaining Melbourne Cup horse for Maher and after receiving 2kg in penalties she currently has 53.5kg, only a kilo more than her Caulfield Cup winning weight.
Post-second acceptances Jameka occupies the second line of all-in Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $7 for the win.
Her biggest danger and the one tipped most likely to join the esteemed list of Melbourne Cup winners is the John O’Shea-trained Hartnell.
The locally-trained Godolphin import is the powerhouse international stable’s best hope of breaking their Melbourne Cup duck.
O’Shea’s six-year-old son of Authorized beat home Jameka by the big 3.25 length margin two back at Flemington in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before his eight length thrashing by the world’s best Winx in last weekend’s Cox Plate.
His impressive win over Jameka has him as the Melbourne Cup betting favourite in 2016 out to join Green Moon (7th in 2012) and Fiorente (3rd in 2013) as the most recent Cox Plate graduates to back-up and win the Melbourne Cup next time out.
Also representing the Royal Blue Godolphin contingent in the latest round of Melbourne Cup entries are the English raiders Scottish ($15), Qewy ($26) and Oceanographer ($31) all prepared by Charlie Appleby; three of 10 internationals still in the mix.
Scottish (54.5kg) debuted down under with a second to Jameka in the Caulfield Cup carrying 55kg, the Teofilo five-year-old looking to be the first placegetter in that race to turn the tables in the two mile Flemington classic since the Japanese-trained Delta Blues (3rd in 2006) a decade ago.
Street Cry seven-year-old Qewy won the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in his first Australian start on October 19 with stablemate Oceanographer running third under a half-length beaten.
Even with a half-kilo penalty, Qewy (50.5kg) a lightweight for the Melbourne Cup sitting 25th on the Melbourne Cup ballot with Oceanographer 29th in the order of entry.
French raiders Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) both completed the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double back-to-back in recent years.
Also in the mix for Godolphin are the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained duo of Beautiful Romance (20th with 51.5kg) and recent Doonside Cup winner Secret Number (23rd with 51kg).
O’Shea’s Turnbull Stakes third placegetter Tally (12th with 52.5kg) rounds out the Godolphin entries.
Along with Jameka (1st) and Scottish (2nd), the other Caulfield Cup placegetter Exospheric (3rd) is also still in Melbourne Cup contention.
The imported Beat Hollow stallion is prepared by Lee & Anthony Freedman.
Co-trainer Lee Freedman has trained five previous Melbourne Cup winners including the triple champion Makybe Diva (2004-05) for the second two of her trio of victories.
The best fancied of the 10 international Melbourne Cup hopefuls meanwhile at $10 for the win is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish galloper Bondi Beach (55kg) last seen running third over 2414m at home on September 10 in Group 3 company.
The Galileo stallion has been reportedly working well at Werribee as he looks to show up a more mature galloper than last year when 16th in the Melbourne Cup finishing order at just his sixth career start.
Notable withdrawals along with Preferment include last Saturday’s Crystal Mile winner The United States and Tarzino.
This Saturday’s Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) offers runners a final chance of making the Melbourne Cup line-up.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup final acceptances close at 4:30pm (AEDT) on Saturday after the Victoria Derby Day action.
See below for the full Melbourne Cup 2016 second acceptances and then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your early Melbourne Cup tips at the hottest odds.
2016 Melbourne Cup Second Declarations
Flemington Race 7 – 01/11/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Ballot||Weight|
|1||5324×47121||JAMEKA||M||4||Ciaron Maher||1||53.5kg (includes 2.0kg penalty)|
|2||x221x66511||ALMANDIN (GER)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||2||51kg (includes 1.0kg penalty)|
|3||7x5x23x11x||BIG ORANGE (GB)||G||6||Michael Bell||3||56kg|
|4||0x5501x586||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||H||7||Lee & Anthony Freedman||4||56kg|
|5||x300x620x9||CURREN MIROTIC (JPN)||G||9||Osamu Hirata||5||55.5kg|
|6||50x5x21112||HARTNELL (GB)||G||6||John O’Shea||6||55kg|
|7||0324×65272||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||8||Chris Waller||7||55kg|
|8||3333×26431||WICKLOW BRAVE (GB)||G||8||William Mullins||8||55kg|
|9||1220x11x33||BONDI BEACH (IRE)||H||5||Aidan O’Brien||9||55kg|
|10||1413×18353||EXOSPHERIC (GB)||H||5||Lee & Anthony Freedman||10||55kg|
|11||2251×31212||SCOTTISH (IRE)||G||5||Charlie Appleby||11||54.5kg|
|13||8533×72691||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||13||53.5kg|
|14||069x031x27||GALLANTE (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||14||53.5kg|
|15||x9065x8084||ALMOONQITH (USA)||H||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||15||53.5kg|
|16||32114×2715||REAL LOVE||M||6||Darren Weir||16||52kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)|
|17||2x1322x210||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||G||8||John P Thompson||17||53kg (includes 1.5kg penalty)|
|18||00x101x11x||HEARTBREAK CITY (FR)||G||7||Tony Martin||18||53kg|
|19||111134×075||HOWARD BE THY NAME||H||4||Darren Weir||19||51.5kg|
|20||x6153x1553||BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (GB)||M||5||Saeed Bin Suroor||20||51.5kg|
|21||17x20x9834||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||H||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||21||52.5kg|
|22||8x1153x921||ASSIGN (IRE)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||22||51kg (includes 1.0kg penalty)|
|23||361x2x12x1||SECRET NUMBER (GB)||G||7||Saeed Bin Suroor||23||51kg|
|24||32x1837x82||GREY LION (IRE)||H||5||Matt Cumani||24||51kg|
|25||22x00x22x1||QEWY (IRE)||G||7||Charlie Appleby||25||50.5kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)|
|26||13254×0673||PENTATHLON (NZ)||G||5||John Wheeler||26||50.5kg|
|27||462102×094||ROSE OF VIRGINIA (NZ)||M||7||Lee & Shannon Hope||27||50kg|
|28||x1145x5248||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||G||5||Michael Moroney||28||50kg|
|29||x11x4017x3||OCEANOGRAPHER (GB)||G||5||Charlie Appleby||29||50kg|
|30||x7733x8679||DE LITTLE ENGINE||G||6||Danny O’Brien||30=||50kg|
|31||81642×4756||THE BANDIT (JPN)||H||5||John Sadler||30=||50kg|
|32||1x110x2662||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||G||6||Lee & Anthony Freedman||30=||50kg|
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