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The official Melbourne Cup 2020 field of 24 horses set to contest the $8 million Lexus-sponsored ‘race that stops a nation’ on Tuesday November 3 is now confirmed with the Andreas Wohler-trained German raider Ashrun securing the final slot via his Lexus Hotham Stakes win on Derby Day.
As is tradition, the final Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) field was announced by Racing Victoria after the racing action on Victoria Derby Day and post the Lexus Hotham Stakes results that offered a ballot exemption into the two-mile classic to the winner.
That went to Ashrun, given a patient ride by Kerrin McEvoy from last to first to add his name to the list of confirmed Melbourne Cup horses and sure to relish a nice drop in weight having escaped a penalty for his narrow win.
With Ashrun accepting into the field, the Willie Mullins mare True Self missed out on the final position but there remains eight internationals in the Melbourne Cup 2020 field.
After hunting for a last minute Melbourne Cup jockey to ride Ashrun in the big one, Declan Bates was announced as the rider of the Hotham winner.
Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au on the final field is led by one of those, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Tiger Moth to be ridden by the Lexus Hotham Stakes winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy.
McEvoy is a three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey having won aboard Brew (2000), Almandin (2016) and most recently Cross Counter (2018).
A European three-year-old, Galileo colt Tiger Moth was runner-up in the Irish Derby back in June before a four-length romp home carrying hoop Ryan Moore to victory with 58.5kg over a mile and a half last start in Ireland.
He comes well back in weight with just 52.5kg even with a penalty and is the lightly-raced danger sure to run out a strong 3200m fresh on Australian soil.
A Cox Plate winning trainer with Adelaide (2014) in Australia, O’Brien is after his first ‘Loving Trophy’ and also saddles-up the 58.5kg topweight Anthony Van Dyck in his attempt to do so with the horse impressive finishing second in the Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) last time out.
O’Brien’s son Joseph also has a strong hand in the iconic event that he won back in 2017 with Rekindling.
This year he returns looking for a second success in the race that has been run and won since 1861 saddling-up two chances with last year’s Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Master Of Reality and recent Irish St Leger placegetter Twilight Payment.
The other raiders in the field are: Stratum Albion (William Mullins), dual Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran (Charlie Fellowes) who put in an enormous run for fourth in the Caulfield Cup on October 17 and Dashing Willoughby (Andrew Balding).
Sir Dragonet, the star import a recent addition to the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stables, is the danger in the Melbourne Cup odds online and will be ridden by Glen Boss.
Boss is famous for his Melbourne Cup hat-trick aboard the triple champion Makybe Diva (2003-05).
He made an immediate impact racing down under first-up to salute in the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) and now attempts to become just the eighth horse in history to complete the double joining: Makybe Diva, Might and Power, Saintly, Nightmarch, Phar Lap, Delta and Rising Fast.
Vow And Declare defends his title in the Melbourne Cup 2020 having become the first Australian-bred winner of the event since Shocking (2009) last year for trainer Danny O’Brien.
Success will see the now five-year-old enjoy dual wins in the race for the first time since the three-peat of Makybe Diva (2003-05).
Vow And Declare did it with just 52kg last year from barrier 21 of 24, but is at long odds to repeat his success carrying 5kg more this season.
O’Brien saddles-up a bumper four Melbourne Cup horses in his bid at back-to-back wins by a trainer with the reigning champion joined in the starting line-up by last start Cox Plate third placed Russian Camelot, the Adelaide Cup winner King Of Leogrance coming off a third in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) and his VRC Oaks champ Miami Bound.
Miami Bound earned her Melbourne Cup start via an eye-catching win in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day, the Reliable Man mare a huge light-weight chance carrying just 51kg on Tuesday.
The other standout mare in the Melbourne Cup field this season is Chris Waller’s outstanding Caulfield Cup champion Verry Elleegant, while last year’s eye-catching fifth-placed Surprise Baby also features high-up the early markets this season.
Head to Ladbrokes.com.au for the updated 2020 Melbourne Cup odds on the final field, with the 2020 Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw taking place at 5:30pm (AEDT).
2020 Melbourne Cup Final Field
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0330x25x12||ANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE)||H||5||Aidan O’Brien||Hugh Bowman||–||58.5kg||–||122|
|2||54533×4626||AVILIUS (GB)||G||7||James Cummings||John Allen||–||57kg||–||116|
|3||21x395x900||VOW AND DECLARE||G||5||Danny O’Brien||Jamie Mott||–||57kg||–||115|
|4||3354x6221x||MASTER OF REALITY (IRE)||G||6||Joseph O’Brien||Ben Melham||–||56kg||–||113|
|5||44x2x222x1||SIR DRAGONET (IRE)||H||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Glen Boss||–||55.5kg||–||121|
|6||x70x7x2113||TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE)||G||8||Joseph O’Brien||Jye McNeil||–||55.5kg||–||115|
|7||42212×1411||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||M||5||Chris Waller||Mark Zahra||–||55.5kg||0.5kg||116|
|8||x1225x0098||MUSTAJEER (GB)||G||8||Kris Lees||Michael Rodd||–||55kg||–||114|
|9||2104xPx72x||STRATUM ALBION (GB)||G||8||Willie Mullins||Jordon Childs||–||55kg||–||114|
|10||14579×1140||DASHING WILLOUGHBY (GB)||G||5||Andrew Balding||Michael Walker||–||54.5kg||–||112|
|11||x51257x335||FINCHE (GB)||G||7||Chris Waller||James McDonald||–||54.5kg||–||112|
|12||20x3x36x34||PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB)||G||8||Charlie Fellowes||Jamie Kah||–||54.5kg||–||113|
|13||132x415x29||SURPRISE BABY (NZ)||G||6||Paul Preusker||Craig Williams||–||54.5kg||–||112|
|14||9x211x2x03||KING OF LEOGRANCE (FR)||G||6||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||–||53.5kg||–||109|
|15||2x411x2123||RUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE)||H||4||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||–||53.5kg||–||118|
|16||x4679x0331||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||G||7||Anthony & Sam Freedman||William Pike||–||53.5kg||1.0kg||111|
|17||38572×1873||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||H||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Daniel Stackhouse||–||53.5kg||–||111|
|18||853x5x2241||ASHRUN (FR)||H||5||Andreas Wohler||Declan Bates||53kg||–||110|
|19||755633×760||WARNING||G||4||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Luke Currie||–||53kg||–||115|
|20||6416341×04||ETAH JAMES (NZ)||M||8||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Billy Egan||–||52.5kg||–||106|
|21||3x12x1||TIGER MOTH (IRE)||H||4||Aidan O’Brien||Kerrin McEvoy||–||52.5kg||2.5kg||114|
|22||07511×0003||OCEANEX (NZ)||M||5||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Dean Yendall||–||51.5kg||–||108|
|23||1x84x40661||MIAMI BOUND (NZ)||M||4||Danny O’Brien||Daniel Moor||–||51kg||–||111|
|24||3121112121||PERSAN||H||4||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Michael Dee||–||51kg||1.0kg||107|
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