2023 Melbourne Cup Nominations: 132 Entries, 15 Internationals

September 5, 2023

2023 Melbourne Cup Nominations: 132 Entries, 15 Internationals

The official 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup nominations have been released by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) with 132 early entries for the iconic $8.4 million Flemington feature to run on Tuesday the 7th of November, 2023.

Gold Trip | Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos | Races.com.au

Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Gold Trip is back nominated for the 2023 edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Up from 97 contenders at this stage last year the Group 1 $8.4 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) nominees for this spring include 15 international raiders.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained Twilight Payment (2020) was the last internationally-trained Melbourne Cup winner.

Irish horseman O’Brien is in with three Melbourne Cup nominations the 163rd running this spring: Valiant King, Okita Soushi, and St Vincents Garden.

It has been 10 years since Australia’s leading lady of racing VRC Ambassador Gai Waterhouse enjoyed her first and to date only Melbourne Cup success with Fiorente, and she and co-trainer Adrian Bott have nine nominations.

Heading the Waterhouse/Bott contingent are Goldman who is assured of a run thanks to his Roy Higgins Quality victory and the autumn’s Group 1 ATC Derby champion Major Beel.

A daughter of Fiorente, the Graham Begg-trained Lunar Flare, is also in Melbourne Cup contention this year having secured her position in the famous two-mile showdown with a win in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes.

Last year’s winning trainers Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stole the show with Gold Trip who is nominated for a title defence in 2023 looking to be the first back-to-back Melbourne Cup winner since three-time hero Makybe Diva (2003-05).

Maher & Eustace have an impressive 17 Melbourne Cup nominees in total this year with Gold Trip also joined by last year’s third place-getter High Emocean.

Record-breaking horseman Chris Waller took out the ‘race that stops a nation’ two years ago with his mighty mare Verry Elleegant (2021) and is back with 14 entries this spring including Victoria Derby hero Manzoice, Queensland Derby champ Kovalica, and Frankel gelding Francesco Guardi.

The best-fancied of the Waller crew in updated Melbourne Cup odds online at $9 is Soulcombe who recently won the Listed Heatherlie Handicap first-up at Caulfield.

The race’s 2019 winning trainer Danny O’Brien has entered three stayers including his previous champ Vow And Declare who races this spring as an eight-year-old.

Among the key international contenders are English trainer William Haggas‘ consistent Sea The Stars gelding Desert Hero who was bred by the late Queen Elizabeth II and is now owned by King Charles III and Ebor Handicap winner Absurde for top Irish trainer Willie Mullins.

This year was the first time the Ebor Handicap winner gained automatic entry into the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field and Absurde was the one to secure the golden ticket.

Mullins has also nominated dour stayer Vauban who is getting plenty of early support in the pre-field Melbourne Cup betting markets as the current $8 all-in favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au at time of publish.

Three decades have passed since Dermot Weld prepared the first international Melbourne Cup winner with Vintage Crop (1993) and to mark the 30th anniversary Weld has nominated recent Vinnie Row Stakes winner Harbour Wind.

“We are extremely pleased with the list of nominations for this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup,” VRC Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said.

“This year we celebrate 30 years since Vintage Crop began the wave of international horses competing in the Lexus Melbourne Cup and it is promising to see the quality of overseas contenders nominated.

“This is complemented by a quality list of locally trained stayers, testament to the enduring allure of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“The VRC look forward to welcoming thoroughbreds and their connections from across the globe for what is shaping up to be an exceptional race and Melbourne Cup Carnival.”

The 2023 Melbourne Cup first acceptances close at midday (local time) on Tuesday the 3rd of October, 2023 further narrowing down the list of potential starters.

Click here for the updated all-in Melbourne Cup 2023 odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.

2023 Melbourne Cup Nominations 

Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 3243x1337x ABERFELDIE BOY G 4 Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock
2 3127x1261x ABSURDE (FR) G 6 Willie Mullins
3 57x31115x AFFAIRE A SUIVRE (NZ) M 4 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
4 x60847x72x ALASKAN GOD G 5 Daniel Morton
5 106x74x60x ALEGRON G 5 James Cummings
6 616x69x00x ALENQUER (FR) G 6 Michael Moroney
7 1x ALEXANDROUPOLIS (IRE) H 4 Aidan O’Brien
8 045x83300x AMADE (IRE) G 10 Phillip Stokes
9 820x77114x ARAPAHO (FR) G 7 Bjorn Baker
10 3x5x22410x ASHRUN (FR) G 8 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
11 8537Px991x ATHABASCAN (FR) G 5 John O’Shea
12 8x27410x8x BANK MAUR H 4 Richard Laming
13 52x1x00x0x BEAR STORY (IRE) G 6 Clinton McDonald
14 994658101x BENAUD G 5 John O’Shea
15 211416x43x BERKELEY SQUARE G 4 Dan O’Sullivan
16 13x212213x BRAYDEN STAR (GB) H 5 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
17 2x110x340x BREAKUP (JPN) H 6 Tatsuya Yoshioka
18 68x513075x BROOME (IRE) H 8 Aidan O’Brien
19 11011x060x BUSTER BASH G 6 David Harrison
20 31115x2x3x CARINI (FR) G 5 Danny O’Brien
21 1226x50x4x CLEVELAND (IRE) H 6 Kris Lees
22 11622x219x CONVENER (FR) H 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
23 0706x0x00x DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (NZ) G 6 Phillip Stokes
24 214x1x060x DARK DESTROYER (NZ) G 5 Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott
25 DENMARK (GB) H 4 Aidan O’Brien
26 2415931x1x DENY KNOWLEDGE (IRE) M 6 Michael Kent
27 1x11x DESERT HERO (GB) H 4 William Haggas
28 x486x6356x DILLIAN (IRE) H 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
29 880x43x79x DUAIS M 6 Edward Cummings
30 2x131x8x0x DUKE DE SESSA (IRE) H 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
31 5977x0841x DUKE OF HASTINGS (NZ) G 5 Simon Zahra
32 3x3x907x0x EL BODEGON (IRE) G 5 Chris Waller
33 81x847014x EL PATRONESS M 5 Danny O’Brien
34 812x530x9x EMISSARY (GB) G 7 Michael Moroney
35 4313141x6x ESS VEE ARE (NZ) G 5 Darryn & Briar Weatherley
36 22x641127x FAME G 4 Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman
37 02x858x58x FANCY MAN (IRE) G 6 Annabel Neasham
38 231x23136x FERAGO G 7 Patrick F Ryan Jnr
39 x694341x8x FIREBURN M 4 Gary Portelli
40 1x7111011x FIRST IMMORTAL G 4 Mark & Levi Kavanagh
41 324x47x51x FLOATING ARTIST (GB) G 8 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
42 23x9901x FOREIGN RAIDER M 4 John Sadler
43 1232821x0x FRANCESCO GUARDI (IRE) G 6 Chris Waller
44 1894340x7x FULL OF SINCERITY (NZ) G 4 Andrew Forsman
45 61154x721x FUTURE HISTORY (GB) G 6 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
46 455x65x63x GARACHICO (GB) G 5 Leon & Troy Corstens
47 214x380x0x GEAR UP (IRE) H 6 Annabel Neasham
48 5291x2570x GOLD TRIP (FR) H 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
49 17x31x111x GOLDMAN (NZ) G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
50 2414x31x4x GREENLAND (IRE) H 4 Aidan O’Brien
51 2x13x4321x GREGOLIMO (FR) G 6 Michael Moroney
52 1211x HARBOUR WIND (IRE) G 4 Dermot K Weld
53 x5x8313x0x HASTA LA WAR G 8 Sue Murphy
54 13x5840x7x HIGH EMOCEAN (NZ) M 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
55 936614215x HIGHLAND JAKK (NZ) G 7 Robert Hickmott
56 8x26844x4x HINGED M 5 Chris Waller
57 3223180x5x HOO YA MAL (GB) G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
58 0x6x82419x HOSIER (IRE) G 7 Mark Minervini
59 14x311x INSULATION (GB) G 5 Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman
60 x6536Px32x INTERPRETATION (IRE) G 6 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
61 x386061x1x JUST FINE (IRE) G 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
62 921213x3Lx KALAPOUR (IRE) G 7 Kris Lees
63 11x1430x0x KING FRANKEL (IRE) G 6 Annabel Neasham
64 39x8663x0x KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE) G 9 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
65 1111x3131x KOVALICA (NZ) G 4 Chris Waller
66 7131413x3x LADIES MAN (NZ) G 6 Allan Sharrock
67 x51210x04x LINDERMANN H 4 Chris Waller
68 2x318x3x LIONEL (GB) G 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
69 6612x7931x LUNAR FLARE M 8 Grahame Begg
70 2115x0x06x MAGICAL LAGOON (IRE) M 5 Chris Waller
71 30234x0x5x MAHRAJAAN (USA) G 6 Shaune Ritchie
72 x11421x02x MAJOR BEEL (NZ) G 4 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
73 281x860x8x MANZOICE H 4 Chris Waller
74 5333x MEDATSU (NZ) G 3 Chris Waller
75 95319x920x MILITARY MISSION (IRE) G 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
76 0x5229x86x MONTEFILIA M 6 Chris Waller
77 15x033236x MOSTLY CLOUDY (IRE) G 5 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
78 13x9x0050x MOUNT POPA (IRE) G 9 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
79 433x35162x MOYA LASS M 4 Julius Sandhu
80 23x21x MR BUSTER (IRE) G 4 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
81 2312x18x7x MR WATERVILLE (IRE) G 5 Chris Waller
82 1725x900x MURAMASA G 4 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
83 421222x01x NAVAJO PEAK G 5 David Payne
84 122x08831x NOAH ’N’ A DEEL M 4 Les Kelly
85 00x11x513x OKITA SOUSHI (IRE) H 6 Joseph O’Brien
86 498419128x OUTLANDOS G 7 John Sargent
87 28177x476x PESHMERGA (GER) M 5 Robert Quinn
88 747905926x PESTO (GB) G 8 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
89 11x90x4x0x POINT NEPEAN (IRE) H 6 Ben, Will & JD Hayes
90 2111263x6x POUNDING G 5 Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman
91 x92291124x PROMISES KEPT G 4 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
92 102x100x2x PROTAGONIST (FR) G 7 Kris Lees
93 43x1610x9x QUEEN AIR M 4 Lindsey Smith
94 67720x004x RAGING BULL G 5 David Payne
95 9322110x8x REBEL RACER G 7 Amy & Ash Yargi
96 x46x70x05x REGAL POWER G 8 John Leek (Jnr)
97 611x192x8x REO M 4 Richard Laming
98 1111121x2x RIGHT YOU ARE G 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
99 11265x728x SCRIPTWRITER (IRE) G 5 Milton Harris
100 020x129x2x SERPENTINE (IRE) G 7 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
101 4x11x7161x SHAIYHAR (IRE) G 5 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
102 1112x2114x SHARP ’N’ SMART (NZ) G 4 Graeme & Deborah Rogerson
103 472x295x0x SHERAZ (FR) G 7 Chris Waller
104 2311320x5x SHE’S FIT M 4 Daniel Morton
105 80x1390x7x SIR LUCAN (IRE) G 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
106 177x884x6x SMOKIN’ ROMANS (NZ) G 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
107 1x1x682x1x SOULCOMBE (GB) G 5 Chris Waller
108 x78x000x0x SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) G 9 Matthew Smith
109 x34x339x3x SPANISH MISSION (USA) H 8 Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman
110 3616x3x ST VINCENTS GARDEN (IRE) H 4 Joseph O’Brien
111 972764x08x STAFFORD’S LAD G 9 Daniel Morton
112 1102330x8x SUIZURO G 4 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
113 41281x558x THE MAP M 5 Dan Clarken & Oopy MacGillivray
114 5x7043100x TIMOUR (FR) G 6 Chris Waller
115 5x3x TOKYO RUN (NZ) G 3 Dean Mirfin
116 601x060x0x TORRENS H 7 Marc Chevalier
117 15x6112x TOWER OF LONDON (IRE) H 4 Aidan O’Brien
118 2302813x8x TRUE MARVEL (FR) G 8 Matthew Smith
119 151x86x80x UNCLE BRYN (GB) G 6 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
120 17x41x952x UNITED NATIONS (IRE) H 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
121 34x2122x VALIANT KING (GB) H 4 Joseph O’Brien
122 11x234211x VAUBAN (FR) G 6 Willie Mullins
123 0x0x09413x VERONA (NZ) M 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
124 x132x8802x VIRTUOUS CIRCLE (NZ) H 4 Liam Howley
125 601x22460x VOW AND DECLARE G 8 Danny O’Brien
126 613x31232x WEST WIND BLOWS (IRE) G 5 Simon & Ed Crisford
127 x54920x09x WIN O’CLOCK (GB) G 7 Matthew Williams
128 4216x4221x WINEGLASS BAY (IRE) G 5 Chris Waller
129 311x20x11x WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE) G 7 Anthony & Sam Freedman
130 x56507056x YAPHET G 5 Cliff Brown
131 5x48x7425x YOUTH SPIRIT (IRE) G 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
132 x121735x4x ZEYREK (FR) G 7 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

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