The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The official Melbourne Cup 2021 field has been confirmed with the 24 horses facing off in the 161st edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’ locked in ahead of the iconic Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday.
2021 Melbourne Cup Field: Key Runners
- Race Favourite: Incentivise (Peter Moody)
- Last Year’s Champion: Twilight Payment (Joesph O’Brien)
- Top-Weight: Twilight Payment (58kg)
- Internationals: Twilight Payment (Joseph O’Brien); Spanish Mission (Andrew Balding)
- Top-Weighted Mare: Verry Elleegant (57kg; Chris Waller)
- Lexus Stakes Winner: Great House (Chris Waller)
This year’s Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) field is far less northern hemisphere-trained saturated with just two raiders officially prepared outside of Australia and New Zealand: Twilight Payment and Spanish Mission.
Spanish Mission has been under a time-sensitive bid to be passed fit to run in the world’s richest two-mile handicap with the Andrew Balding-trained UK raider under an injury cloud leading up to Saturday afternoon’s final acceptances.
Second elect in Melbourne Cup betting, the Noble Mission entire passed his third vet check early Saturday afternoon having been treated for a mild skin infection with antibiotics overnight and will take his spot with Craig Williams to ride.
Williams chases his second Melbourne Cup victory in two years, the hoop having won aboard Vow And Declare in 2019.
The other runner that had been 50/50 to line-up in the great race since confirmed is the Chris Waller-trained Australian Racecourse of the Year Verry Elleegant.
Last year’s Caulfield Cup champ, the Zed mare ran a brave seventh under four lengths beaten in the Melbourne Cup results in 2020 with 55.5kg.
The now six-year-old goes up to 57kg as a nine-time Group 1 winner, Waller looking to pull off a master training effort getting the mare to improve off a lead-up third over 2040m in the Cox Plate to win the Melbourne Cup over 3200m.
Waller has a total of four runners in the Lexus Melbourne Cup this spring with Verry Elleegant joined by: Sydney Cup winner Selino, Ocean Billy and Saturday’s brave Lexus Hotham Stakes winner Great House.
After losing his original ride with this week’s withdrawal of European raider Away He Goes (tendon injury), jockey James McDonald has picked up the eleventh-hour ride on Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup.
“Following a nice piece of work this morning with James McDonald in the saddle, we have made the decision to run Verry Elleegant on Tuesday in the Melbourne Cup with James booked to ride,” the stable confirmed on Twitter.
Carrying this year’s 58kg Melbourne Cup top weight, Twilight Payment is the only other raider in the mix.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Irish galloper defends his title having handed prolific owner Lloyd Williams his seventh ‘Loving Trophy’ leading an all-international Melbourne Cup trifecta in 2021.
Jockey Jye McNeil reunites with the veteran chasing back-to-back Melbourne Cup wins by a rider for the first time since the three-peat of Glen Boss on the mighty Makybe Diva (2003-05).
Success by the European eight-year-old who races as a nine-year-old down under will see Twilight Payment become the oldest Melbourne Cup winner in history.
Boss meanwhile is one of three Melbourne Cup jockeys this year looking to equal the record of four victories along with Kerrin McEvoy and Damien Oliver.
Boss rides the Waterhouse/Bott import Sir Lucan on just 50kg.
McEvoy is on the well-supported Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Grand Promenade who boasts an outstanding Flemington record (5:3-1-0).
Grand Promenade comes off a win in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) from October 2 and is out to be the first to do the double since the also McEvoy-ridden Almandin (2016).
Oliver rode his third Melbourne Cup winner back in 2013 on the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente and has been booked to partner the Herbert Power Stakes winner Delphi this year for Anthony & Sam Freedman.
Since 2005, Fiorente ($7 in 2013) is the only Melbourne Cup favourite to have saluted for the punters.
The spruik stayer heading into this year’s Melbourne Cup is of course the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise.
The Shamus Award gelding’s epic journey from an eighth in a Toowoomba maiden in March to the shortest-priced Melbourne Cup favourite since Phar Lap (1930) has been well reported the past few months.
In-form hoop Brett Prebble has the prized mount on Incentivise with 57kg, the gun galloper chasing his ninth win on the trot.
This campaign the horse has won three straight Group 1 races in Melbourne including a powerhouse 3.5 length Caulfield Cup victory giving him the chance to become the 12th to complete the Spring Cups double in the same year.
The official 2021 Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw took place shortly after final acceptances with Incentivise drawing barrier 16.
2021 Melbourne Cup Final Field
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight|
|1||1131×33912||TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE)||G||9||Joseph O’Brien||Jye McNeil||2||58kg|
|2||111111×111||INCENTIVISE||G||5||Peter G Moody||Brett Prebble||16||57kg (1.5kg penalty)|
|3||17x2513x2x||SPANISH MISSION (USA)||H||6||Andrew Balding||Craig Williams||14||57kg|
|4||x3112x2143||VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)||M||6||Chris Waller||James McDonald||19||57kg|
|5||132113×950||EXPLOSIVE JACK (NZ)||H||4||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||4||57kg|
|6||x2606x3420||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||H||6||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||5||54kg|
|7||111x6x4210||DELPHI (IRE)||H||5||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Damien Oliver||3||53.5kg|
|8||1x610x5059||OCEAN BILLY (NZ)||G||6||Chris Waller||Damien Thornton||13||53.5kg (1.0kg penalty)|
|9||86541×0840||SELINO (GB)||G||6||Chris Waller||Ron Stewart||24||53.5kg|
|10||29431×0090||JOHNNY GET ANGRY (NZ)||G||4||Denis Pagan||Lachie King||22||53kg|
|11||3x8511x909||KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE)||G||7||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Daniel Stackhouse||9||53kg|
|12||5x1244x373||PERSAN||G||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Luke Currie||11||53kg|
|13||07422×4747||CARIF||G||6||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blaike McDougall||8||52.5kg|
|14||x663x00030||MASTER OF WINE (GER)||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Fred Kersley||6||52.5kg|
|15||x22x722x54||PONDUS (GB)||G||6||Robert Hickmott||Rachel King||1||52.5kg|
|16||x221211251||GRAND PROMENADE (GB)||G||6||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Kerrin McEvoy||21||52kg (1.0kg penalty)|
|18||78333×0095||MIAMI BOUND (NZ)||M||5||Danny O’Brien||Patrick Moloney||17||52kg|
|18||x1510x0600||PORT GUILLAUME (FR)||G||5||Ben & JD Hayes||Harry Coffey||23||52kg|
|19||2324×37197||SHE’S IDEEL||M||6||Bjorn Baker||Craig Newitt||20||52kg|
|20||3x6133x086||FUTURE SCORE (IRE)||G||7||Matt Cumani||Dean Yendall||15||51.5kg|
|21||12114×3321||TRALEE ROSE (NZ)||M||5||Symon Wilde||Dean Holland||12||51kg|
|22||x55x011132||FLOATING ARTIST (GB)||G||6||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Teo Nugent||10||50kg|
|23||4×13275155||GREAT HOUSE (IRE)||G||5||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||7||50kg|
|24||x41x81x248||SIR LUCAN (IRE)||H||4||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Glen Boss||18||50kg|
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