The 2015 Melbourne Cup nominations were released yesterday and Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter is thrilled with the quality of the entries for ‘the race that stops a nation’.
140 horses were included in the initial entries for the Melbourne Cup including 31 international entries from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.
While the nominations numbers are down on last year, Carpenter is still thrilled with the quality of the entries for Australia’s biggest race and he was delighted that Aidan O’Brien is a chance of having his first Melbourne Cup runner since 2008.
“The Emirates Melbourne Cup is the world’s premier staying race and the quality of the local and international entries for this year’s race is outstanding,” Carpenter said at the Melbourne Cup nominations media event yesterday.
“The depth amongst the international contingent is exceptional, with the Ascot Gold Cup quinella, Hardwicke Stakes winner, Goodwood Cup trifecta, Lonsdale Cup winner and a pair of Japan’s elite stayers amongst 31 international entries.
“It is most pleasing to see such a strong book of entries from Aidan O’Brien who has not had a Melbourne Cup runner since 2008 and whom enjoyed breakthrough success in Melbourne last Spring Racing Carnival winning the Cox Plate with Adelaide.
“Following the passing of the ‘Cups King’ Bart Cummings this week there will naturally be plenty of people hoping that Precedence can secure his place in a fifth Melbourne Cup and it would be most fitting if he could.
“With crowd favourite Red Cadeaux also set to return for a fifth appearance and last year’s brilliant winner Protectionist among the entries, the scene is set for yet another brilliant and memorable renewal of the Emirates Melbourne Cup.”
Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Simon Love was also delighted with the number of quality stayers that were included in the 2015 Melbourne Cup nominations and he is hopeful that leading European trainers like Sir Michael Stoute, Dermot Weld, Aidan O’Brien, Ed Dunlop and Saeed Bin Suroor will all take advantage of the opportunity to bring horses to Australia for the $6 million event.
“There are the big international names amongst the entries and the cream of our local stayers all feature with our best trainers looking to keep this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup in Australia,” Love said.
“It is particularly encouraging to attract a horse of the quality Snow Sky, heralding Juddmonte’s first-ever runner for the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
“For sentimentalists it will be hard to go past the five nominations for Bart and James Cummings, including their old warhorse Precedence.”
The 2015 Melbourne Cup weights will be announced on September 15 before the first acceptances are taken on October 6.