Fifty international trained horses have been included in the nominations for the 2018 Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.
Stayers from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany and Japan are among the 183 entries and have boosted last year’s international nominations up from thirty-one.
Racing Victoria said that the prizemoney boost from $6.3 million to $7.3 million for the 2018 Melbourne Cup plus the nomination deadline being pushed back to August 30 are two important factors that have increased nominations numbers.
Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing and Participant Wellbeing, Greg Carpenter, said, “We’re delighted with the entries received today for the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and Lexus Melbourne Cup which have both seen a significant year-on-year increase.
“There is tremendous depth among both the local and international entries and we’re again pleased to receive the support of many of the world’s leading stables. The ingredients are set for two outstanding renewals this spring.”
Below is a summary of key nominations released by Racing Victoria.
- Reigning Melbourne Cup winning-trainer, Ireland’s Joseph O’Brien, has entered three horses for the Melbourne Cups in Irish Derby winner Latrobe, Ming and Master of Reality;
- Joseph’s father Aidan O’Brien has entered 12 horses for the Melbourne Cup with Deauville, Idaho, Cliffs of Moher and Yucatan also entered for the Caulfield Cup. Group 1 winners Kew Gardens and Lancaster Bomber are among those carrying a Melbourne Cup entry only for the Irish stable;
- Global powerhouse Godolphin has three trainers – Charlie Appleby, Saeed bin Suroor and James Cummings – spearheading its pursuit of a maiden Melbourne Cup triumph.
- Appleby’s Melbourne Cup entries are headlined by Cross Counter; Emotionless and Hamada; bin Suroor has Group 1 winner Best Solution among his entries; whilst highly-rated French import Avilius has been nominated by Cummings;
- Germany’s 2014 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Andreas Wohler has entered recent stable acquisition, Ascot Gold Cup placegetter Torceder, for the Melbourne Cup;
- Chestnut Coat (Yoshito Yahagi) and Sole Impact (Hirofumi Toda) are set to fly the flag for Japan in the Melbourne Cup;
- Ebor Handicap quinella Muntahaa and Weekender have been nominated for the Melbourne Cup by trainer John Gosden;
- Hall of Fame owner Lloyd Williams’ hopes of securing a third consecutive Melbourne Cup remain with 16 horses – 14 prepared by his private trainer Liam Howley and the Joseph O’Brien pair of Latrobe and Master of Reality;
- 10-year-old crowd favourite Who Shot Thebarman (Chris Waller), the 2018 Sydney Cup winner, remains on target to contest a fourth Melbourne Cup with his entry. His best placed finish a third in 2014 to Protectionist;
- 2015 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Darren Weir has 28 chances of claiming another with Japanese imports Admire Robson and Tosen Basil, and Group 1 winners Humidor and Sopressa amongst his swag of entries;
- Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have entered six horses in the Melbourne Cup with enormous intrigue surrounding their imported northern hemisphere three-year-old Hush Writer;
- The David Payne trained Ace High will get the chance to become just the third VRC Derby champion to win Melbourne Cup as a four-year-old with his nomination.
- The powerful New Zealand stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have a quintet of entries in the Melbourne Cup headlined by Group 1 winners Bonneval, Jon Snow and Vin de Dance.
- First acceptances close at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 9 October for the Melbourne Cup. Weights will be released on Tuesday, 11 September.