After the second round of acceptances Caulfield Cup entries are now down to 72 with the majority entrants being local with the exception of a stand alone international runner still in contention.
The Grahame Begg trained runner and winner of the Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup, Nonconformist was one of the noticeable runners and avoided a penalty from handicapper Greg Carpenter for that win.
One notable withdrawal was that of rising star Mo’unga. The 4 year old has been taking on the older horses in recent starts for trainer Annabel Neasham and has been withdrawn from Caulfield Cup contention in favour of a W.S Cox Plate tilt.
When Verry Elleegant won the race in 2020 there were a host of international runners that included the ill fated Anthony Van Dyck who’s fatality in the Melbourne Cup changed the rules for all international entrants drastically to improve animal welfare.
Due to those changes there remains only one International runner in the form of Andrew Balding trained stayer, Spanish Mission.
The odds on Spanish Mission were dropped in recent weeks after an impressive showing against fellow UK Galloper Stradivarius and is due to arrive in Melbourne on Saturday ready for quarantine.
As a whole internationals have been thin on the ground this year due to a combination of travel restrictions caused through Covid-19 and the updated animal welfare protocol designed to bring greater protection to runners.
This has also impacted the Cox Plate field which sees just two international runners left in the ballot with Joey O’Brien represented by State of Rest and Gold Trip coming from abroad to run for Maher and Eustace.