The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The official Melbourne Cup 2019 field for Tuesday’s $8 million classic has been confirmed with the 24 horses lining-up in the famous Flemington Race 7 now out.
Connections of a number of horses sitting right on the cusp of a start in the Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) were sweating on the results of Derby Day’s Hotham Stakes that offered a Cup ballot exemption to the winner.
That went to the Joseph O’Brien Irish raider Downdraft who was already sitting 24th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry.
O’Brien won the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Rekindling and has four runners in the field chasing his second ‘Loving Trophy’ in three years.
Along with Downdraft chasing the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double last completed by Shocking (2009) the other runners for the stable are: Master Of Reality for six-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams, Irish Derby winner Latrobe and Group 1 maiden Twilight Payment.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter for Godolphin UK and Charlie Appleby is back to defend his title having been racing well overseas this campaign.
Third in July’s Group 1 Goodwood Cup (3200m) before a fourth carrying 61kg in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) in mid-September, Cross Counter has a tough task looking for back-to-back Melbourne Cup wins for the first time since the historic three-peat of Makybe Diva (2003-05).
A lightly raced five-year-old, Cross Counter also faces a notable weight rise from 51kg in 2018 to 57.5kg in 2019 with English hoop William Buick booked for the ride.
Japan’s Mer De Glace is inline for the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double last completed by Ethereal (2001), the talented galloper chasing a seventh straight win.
The Japanese raiders have dominated the early Spring Carnival results down under with Lys Gracieux also winning the Cox Plate last weekend.
Some queries about the grueling two miles for the impressive Caulfield Cup winner Mer De Glace on Tuesday, but he looks rock hard fit and in peak form with Damian Lane continuing his successful association on the five-year-old Rulership entire.
Trainer Chris Waller of Winx fame chases his maiden ‘Loving Trophy’ saddling-up two Melbourne Cup horses with the mare Youngstar a roughie hope and the well-backed Finche.
Finche is one of the key 2019 Melbourne Cup contenders and profiles as a winning hope 12 months on from his eye-catching fourth just second-up down under from barrier 15 in 2018.
This import was very good last spring with the Geelong Cup third first-up and Melbourne Cup fourth next race.
This time in he has had four runs including a Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) victory and close second in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Finche was far from disgraced from out wide when fifth just 1.6 lengths off Mer De Glace in the Caulfield Cup and getting out over the 3200m at Flemington are two big ticks.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy won the Melbourne Cup on Cross Counter last year and chases a record equaling fourth victory in the race on Tuesday partnering Finche, who he most recently rode for the Kingston Town success in Sydney.
Along with the winner Mer De Glace the other best out of the Caulfield Cup results backing-up in the Melbourne Cup field in 2019 are runner-up Vow And Declare carrying just 52kg on Tuesday, third place-getter Mirage Dancer having just his second run down under and the well-supported Constantinople (4th).
Lindsay Park import Constantinople shot to the top of Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au after the Galileo entire finished just 1.4 lengths back in the Caulfield Cup first-up in Australia.
The ‘Magic Man’, Brazilian Joao Moreira secured the prized ride on this year’s Melbourne Cup favourite who was luckless last start with improvement likely.
Before joining Hall of Famer David Hayes and co., Constantinople was prepared overseas by Joseph O’Brien’s famous father Aidan O’Brien who also has three runners in the 2019 Melbourne Cup final field.
A Cox Plate winning trainer with Adelaide (2014), O’Brien senior came close to Melbourne Cup glory two years ago when second to his son with Johannes Vermeer.
This year his Melbourne Cup horses are: light-raced young stayer Il Paradiso, Cox Plate fourth placed Magic Wand and Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner Hunting Horn.
See below for the confirmed Melbourne Cup 2019 final field, barriers to be announced live from Flemington 6:00pm (AEDT).
2019 Melbourne Cup Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||12x1x1x434||CROSS COUNTER (GB)||Charlie Appleby||William Buick||TBA||57.5kg|
|2||211x11x1x1||MER DE GLACE (JPN)||Hisashi Shimizu||Damian Lane||TBA||56kg|
|3||7250×14335||MASTER OF REALITY (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Frankie Dettori||TBA||55.5kg|
|4||2x0x1322x3||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||TBA||55.5kg|
|5||37×3264413||SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Mark Zahra||TBA||55.5kg|
|6||3344465881||HUNTING HORN (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Seamie Heffernan||TBA||55kg|
|7||220×344216||LATROBE (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||James McDonald||TBA||55kg|
|8||4x1x723516||MUSTAJEER (GB)||Kris Lees||Damien Oliver||TBA||55kg|
|9||251557×790||ROSTROPOVICH (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||TBA||55kg|
|10||423x2411x7||TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||Hugh Bowman||TBA||55kg|
|11||x1x34x5125||FINCHE (GB)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||TBA||54kg|
|12||8x49x58321||PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB)||Charlie Fellowes||Michael Walker||TBA||54kg|
|13||1x6x237x4x||RAYMOND TUSK (IRE)||Richard Hannon||Jamie Spencer||TBA||54kg|
|14||x196112x31||DOWNDRAFT (IRE)||Joseph O’Brien||John Allen||TBA||53.5kg|
|15||2×53220224||MAGIC WAND (IRE)||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||TBA||53.5kg|
|16||2x30x80709||NEUFBOSC (FR)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Luke Nolen||TBA||53.5kg|
|17||00x048x070||SOUND (GER)||Michael Moroney||James Winks||TBA||53.5kg|
|18||1514132×41||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||Paul Preusker||Jordan Childs||TBA||53.5kg|
|19||531×212224||CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Joao Moreira||TBA||52.5kg|
|20||322×17135||IL PARADISO (USA)||Aidan O’Brien||Wayne Lordan||TBA||52.5kg|
|21||x11111x467||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||Anthony Freedman||Brett Prebble||TBA||52.5kg|
|22||0141×59195||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Tim Clark||TBA||52kg|
|23||1x36621x42||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||TBA||52kg|
|24||x059x87873||YOUNGSTAR||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||TBA||52kg|
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