Melbourne Cup field cut to 32 runners
An extremely strong field of 32 runners remain in contention to take on the 3200m Flemington Handicap that is the Melbourne Cup after the third round of acceptances were completed on Monday.
Last years winner Gold Trip and the 2019 Winner Vow and Declare remain in the hunt for a second Melbourne Cup title while this years Caulfield Cup winner, Without A Fight leads the list of acceptors for the race that stops a nation.
Gold Trip is building along the same track that saw him win last year's Melbourne Cup with a third in the Caulfield Cup and fifth in this weekend's Cox Plate which suggest he’s tracking along the same lines that saw him win in 2022.
There are a number of internationals looking to tip the apple cart when it comes to Gold Trip going back to back in the Melbourne Cup with Willie Mullins pair Vauban and Absurde also still in the mix for the race.
Joseph O’Brien is out to try and win a third Melbourne Cup with Valiant King and Okita Sushi both set for a start this year. The pair ran fairly in the Caulfield Cup but should look to train on.
Lloyds Williams, never one to miss out on a Melbourne Cup, is set to have another runner in this years race after Cleveland cemented his starting berth when winning the Moonee Valley Gold Cup on Friday.
Cleveland received a 0.5kg penalty for his win at the Valley but did move up to 14th in the order of entry as a result.
Damien Oliver will line up for his final Melbourne Cup aboard Mike Moroney trained Alenquer while stablemate Lastotochka will have his first start in Australia when running in this years race.
There still remain two chances to qualify for this years Melbourne Cup with the Group 3 Bendigo Cup on Wednesday as well as the Lexus Archer Stakes also provides a last chance saloon opportunity on Saturday.