The 2015 Melbourne Cup second acceptances have been released and 42 horses remain in contention for ‘the race that stops a nation’ at Flemington on November 3.
Fame Game confirmed his status as a dominant Melbourne Cup favourite when he hit the line strongly in the final stages of the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last weekend and he remains in second acceptances.
Mongolian Khan shortened in Melbourne Cup betting markets following his impressive victory in the Caulfield Cup and he is set to carry 56 kilograms in the $6 million event after he received a one kilogram penalty from Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter.
The Caulfield Cup is always the key lead-up race for the Melbourne Cup and the 2015 edition of the race will be no exception as Fame Game and Mongolian Khan were joined in the second acceptances by Caulfield Cup runners Snow Sky, Our Ivanhowe, Hokko Brave, Trip To Paris, Who Shot Thebarman, Gust Of Wind and Grand Marshal.
The other key lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup will be the Cox Plate, which was won in dominant fashion by Winx at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Criterion finished a more than credible second behind Winx in the Cox Plate and he is set to step-up to 3200 metres for the first time after being included in the Melbourne Cup second acceptances, while Hartnell and Preferment are also set to back-up after running in the Cox Plate.
No horse has won the Melbourne Cup without having a lead-up run in Australian since Vintage Crop back in 1993, but there are a number of European stayers that will be given the chance to replicate the great Irish stayer.
Red Cadeaux is set to contest the Melbourne Cup for the fifth occasion and he is chasing his first win after finishing second three times, while Aidan O’Brien-trained Bondi Beach, Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange, Lonsdale Cup winner Max Dynamite, Godolphin-owned Sky Hunter and Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Kingfisher are all set to make their Australian racing debuts in the Melbourne Cup.
Roger Charlton-trained Quest For More, Herbert Power Stakes winner Amralah and Geelong Cup winner Almoonqith are now guaranteed a place in the 2015 Melbourne Cup field, while Prince Of Penzance and Beaten Up are currently in the top 24, but could get pushed out by the winners of the Lexus Stakes and the Mackinnon Stakes.
Sertorius, The United States, Dandino, Pondarosa Miss, Thunder Lady, Like A Carousel, Excess Knowledge, Bohemian Lily, Chance To Dance, Havana Cooler, Ruling Dynasty, De Little Engine, Elhame, Ethiopia, High Midnight, Thunder Set and Zanteca all remain in the Melbourne Cup second acceptances, but they will need to win either the Lexus Stakes or the Mackinnon Stakes to secure a start.
Fame Game is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $4 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Trip To Paris ($7.50), Mongolian Khan ($8), Amralah ($15), Criterion ($15), May Dynamite ($15), Preferment ($15), Who Shot Thebarman ($15), Almoonqith ($17), Bondi Beach ($17), Hokko Brave ($17), Our Ivanhowe ($17) and Snow Sky ($17).