With 30 entries from abroad in 2020 numbers have halved down to just 15 this year with leading trainer and former winner Joseph O’Brien leading the field with 4 high calibre entrants.
After the review of safety protocols from the 2020 edition of the Melbourne Cup there was always likely to be a drop in the number of runners from the northern hemisphere. However there is reason to look forward to the 2021 Melbourne Cup with Charlie Fellowes announcing Prince Of Arran would be returning for another year.
Fellowes will be returning with now fan favourite Prince Of Arran who has run in the placings the past 3 years of the race with two runner up prizes, including an exciting 4 way go in the 2019 Cup and a third last year.
"The challenges presented by the COVID pandemic both internationally and domestically in terms of travel cannot be underestimated and in setting a new global safety benchmark for the Spring Racing Carnival additional challenges have emerged, but we make no apology for that," RV's Executive General Manager for Racing Greg Carpenter said.
"We’re very pleased with the nominations received today across all the feature races and whilst the international contingent is down on quantity as expected, the nominations from abroad remain high on quality and their journey in the weeks and months ahead will create plenty of interest."
Also returning is 2020 winner of the Melbourne Cup, Twilight Payment. The Joey O’Brien runner will return to defend his crown along with stablemates Master Of Reality, Benaud and Baron Samedi.
Other notable runners on the list include Johnny Murtagh-trained Mirann, Roger Varian's Save A Forest, the Andrew Balding-trained Spanish Mission as well as Willie Mullins trained Stratum Albion returning for another year.
Local runner Incentivise for Peter Moody currently leads the betting for the Melbourne Cup with him sat atop the pile at $12.