Melbourne Cup Field 2023 Confirmed: Vauban Firm Favourite

November 4, 2023

Melbourne Cup Field 2023 Confirmed: Vauban Firm Favourite

2023 Melbourne Cup Scratchings Update: No. Cleveland (23) has been withdrawn on Monday evening due to an elevated temperature. Click here to read the full story.


Update: The 2023 Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw has been confirmed with Vauban to jump from barrier 3. Click here to read more


Willie Mullins’ Irish raider Vauban will start favourite in Tuesday’s Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) with the 24-horse field for the 163rd edition of the great race now confirmed.

Gold Trip

Gold Trip is one of the best in 2023 Melbourne Cup betting to defend his title on Tuesday at Flemington. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Final Melbourne Cup 2023 acceptances are out and Vauban is one of four internationals in the mix this spring following the non-acceptance of Valiant King who was officially withdrawn due to lameness issues on Friday evening.

Three of the past six Melbourne Cup winners were internationally-trained with Rekindling (2017), Cross Counter (2018) and Twilight Payment (2020).

Vauban has been a firm favourite in Melbourne Cup betting for months and further confirmed his spot at the top of markets with blistering work at Flemington throughout the week.

Mullins will also saddle-up his Ebor Handicap winner Absurde in his bid at Melbourne Cup glory down under.

Internationally-Trained 2023 Melbourne Cup Horses (Outside Australia & New Zealand)

  • Breakup (Tatsuya Yoshioka)
  • Vauban (Willie Mullins)
  • Absurde (Willie Mullins)
  • Okita Soushi (Joseph O’Brien)

Ryan Moore will partner this year’s Melbourne Cup favourite who looks the tough to beat top elect over the 3200m with 55kg, while Zac Purton has the mount on stablemate Absurde with 53kg.

Fellow Irishman, two-time Melbourne Cup winning trainer Joseph O’Brien, has won remaining runner in this year’s Melbourne Cup field with Okita Soushi to be ridden by Dylan Gibbons.

Japanese raider Breakup is the other international visitor with strong claims to take out the 2023 edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.

The Novellist entire will carry 55kg looking to improve on his first-up eighth in the Caulfield Cup results with the same weight.

He was fourth in this year’s coveted Tenno Sho at home over the two miles and is being kept safe in the markets to join Delta Blues (2006) as a Japanese-trained Melbourne Cup winner.

Reigning Melbourne Cup champion Gold Trip returns looking to be the first multiple champion since the Makybe Diva three-peat in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Gold Trip is out to be the first back-to-back Melbourne Cup winner since Makybe Diva won her three from 2003-05

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Outstrip seven-year-old comes via the same form lines as last spring but is going arguably even better in 2023.

He won the Turnbull Stakes three back, finished third in the Caulfield Cup, and then caught the eye with a slashing Cox Plate fifth when ridden by Mark Zahra.

Melbourne Cup Winning Jockeys Riding in 2023

  • James McDonald (Gold Trip)
  • Damien Oliver (Alenquer)
  • Mark Zahra (Without A Fight)
  • Ryan Moore (Vauban)
  • Kerrin McEvoy (Ashrun)
  • Craig Williams (Lastotchka)
  • Jye McNeil (Serpentine)

Zahra opted to come off for the Melbourne Cup and will instead partner the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight on 56.5kg.

Without A Fight is out to be the 12th horse to complete the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double in the same year and the first since the New Zealand-trained mare Ethereal back in 2001.

Without A Fight is looking to do the ‘Spring Cups Double’ for the first time since Ethereal in 2001

Gold Trip will carry the 58.5kg top-weight which hasn’t been carried to victory by a Melbourne Cup winner since Think Big won his second back in 1975.

2023 Melbourne Cup Top-Weight

  • Gold Trip (58.5kg)

In Zahra’s place aboard the defending champ is Cox Plate winning hoop James McDonald who is after his second success following a 2021 win on Waller’s great mare Verry Elleegant.

Maher & Eustace, who also ran third in last year’s race with High Emocean, have another strong Melbourne Cup contingent this year.

2023 Melbourne Cup Field: Trainers with The Most Runners

  • Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (5) – Gold Trip, Right You Are, Ashrun, Future History, and Interpretation
  • Chris Waller (4) – Soulcombe, Magical Lagoon, Sheraz, and More Felons
  • Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott (2) – Military Mission, Serpentine
  • Willie Mullins (2) – Vauban and Absurde
  • Kris Lees (2) – Cleveland and Kalapour

Gold Trip is joined in the line-up by four stablemates: Right You Are to be ridden by John Allen, Ashrun who has three-time Melbourne Cup winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy aboard, Future History who English jockey Hollie Doyle is down under to ride, and last Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup winner Interpretation.

2022 Melbourne Cup Contenders Back in 2023

  • Gold Trip (1st)
  • Daqiansweet Junior (6th)
  • Vow And Declare (10th)
  • Without A Fight (13th)
  • Serpentine (20th)
  • Interpretation (Failed to Finish)

Michelle Payne on 100/1 outsider Prince Of Penzance in 2015 is the only Melbourne Cup winning female rider to date.

Female Jockeys With a 2023 Melbourne Cup Ride

  • Hollie Doyle (Future History)
  • Rachel King (Military Mission)
  • Jamie Kah (More Felons)

Along with Doyle the other female jockeys with a ride in this year’s race are Rachel King on Military Mission for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott and Jamie Kah on More Felons for Chris Waller.

Waller is after a second Melbourne Cup trophy for his glittering cabinet and along with UK import More Felons also saddles-up Soulcombe, French import Magical Lagoon, and Sheraz.

Frankel five-year-old Soulcombe is the best fancied of the Waller runners this season and will carry 53.5kg with the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira in the saddle.

Vow And Declare meanwhile is the other former Melbourne Cup winner in contention again this year with the Danny O’Brien-trained veteran having won back in 2019.

The now eight-year-old lines-up in the field for the fourth time having also finished 18th in 2020 and 10th to Gold Trip last year, and he was last seen finishing second in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

Former Melbourne Cup Champions Back in 2023

  • Gold Trip (2022)
  • Vow And Declare (2019)

Other intriguing runners include Kris Lees’ Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner Cleveland to be ridden by Michael Dee and French import Lastotchka – yet to race down under – who Craig Williams is down to ride form the Price & Kent Jnr stable.

2023 Melbourne Cup Mares

  • Magical Lagoon (Chris Waller)
  • Lastotchka (Mick Price & Michael Kent Junior)

Cleveland’s stablemate, Kalapour, was the final horse to secure a start in the Melbourne Cup this year after leading all-the-way in Saturday’s Group 3 Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m) to gain the ballot exemption.

Shocking (2009) was the last horse to do the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double on the quick three-day back-up.

Young hoop Zac Lloyd picked up the late ride on Kalapour, who avoided penalty so carries just 50kg, after earlier being on Valiant King before that horse’s withdrawal.

The 2023 Melbourne Cup is set to run as Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (AEDT) on Tuesday the 7th of November.

The official 2023 Melbourne Cup barrier draw has been updated below.

Click here for the latest Melbourne Cup odds on the final field thanks to Ladbrokes.com.au.

2023 Melbourne Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw 

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 x2570x4135 GOLD TRIP (FR) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace James McDonald 2 58.5kg 122
2 x69x00x059 ALENQUER (FR) Michael Moroney Damien Oliver 9 56.5kg 110
3 1x20x11x61 WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE) Anthony & Sam Freedman Mark Zahra 16 56.5kg 1.0kg 118
4 x110x340x8 BREAKUP (JPN) Tatsuya Yoshioka Kohei Matsuyama 18 55kg 114
5 11x234211x VAUBAN (FR) Willie Mullins Ryan Moore 3 55kg 114
6 1x682x1437 SOULCOMBE (GB) Chris Waller Joao Moreira 4 53.5kg 115
7 3127x1261x ABSURDE (FR) Willie Mullins Zac Purton 8 53kg 110
8 11121×2505 RIGHT YOU ARE Ciaron Maher & David Eustace John Allen 15 53kg 114
9 x22460x022 VOW AND DECLARE Danny O’Brien Billy Egan 19 53kg 115
10 6x50x49621 CLEVELAND (IRE) Kris Lees Michael Dee 23 52kg 0.5kg 109
11 x22410x762 ASHRUN (FR) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Kerrin McEvoy 11 51.5kg 109
12 706x0x0074 DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (NZ) Phillip Stokes Daniel Stackhouse 12 51.5kg 105
13 0x11x513x0 OKITA SOUSHI (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Dylan Gibbons (a) 20 51.5kg 109
14 2x295x0808 SHERAZ (FR) Chris Waller Beau Mertens 22 51.5kg 105
15 7x1x23x41x LASTOTCHKA (FR) Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) Craig Williams 21 51kg 106
16 5x0x06x906 MAGICAL LAGOON (IRE) Chris Waller Mark Du Plessis 7 51kg 106
17 319×920141 MILITARY MISSION (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Ms Rachel King 5 51kg 0.5kg 107
18 20x129x243 SERPENTINE (IRE) Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Jye McNeil 1 51kg 110
19 x8802x0908 VIRTUOUS CIRCLE (NZ) Liam Howley Craig Newitt 6 51kg 112
20 1265x728x5 MORE FELONS (IRE) Chris Waller Ms Jamie Kah 24 50.5kg 106
21 154×721213 FUTURE HISTORY (GB) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Hollie Doyle 13 50kg 109
22 536Px32591 INTERPRETATION (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Teo Nugent 17 50kg 103
23 213x3L7331 KALAPOUR (IRE) Kris Lees Zac Lloyd (a) 14 50kg 106
24 02813×8080 TRUE MARVEL (FR) Matthew Smith Ben Thompson 10 50kg 102

Table Credit: Racing Australia.


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