The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
2023 Melbourne Cup Scratchings Update: No. Cleveland (23) has been withdrawn on Monday evening due to an elevated temperature.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.
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is one of four internationals in the mix this spring following the non-acceptance of Valiant King who was officially withdrawn due to lameness issues on Friday evening.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.
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.
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.
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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