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The Andrew Ramsden Stakes winner Steel Prince and last year’s victor Cross Counter head the order of entry after the first acceptances were taken for the 2019 Group 1 $8m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.

Last year's winner Cross Counter, above, is among the first acceptances for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Last year’s winner Cross Counter, above, is among the first acceptances for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Steel Prince is one of 80 first acceptors for the 2019 Melbourne Cup and the Anthony Freedman trained six year old is exempt from the ballot after winning the Listed $400,000 The Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington on May 25.

The Charlie Appelby trained Cross Counter is set to defend his title on the first Tuesday in November and is currently in quarantine in England awaiting to board a flight to Melbourne with several stablemates.

“He (Cross Counter) has strengthened this year. He was a well-handicapped horse when winning last year’s Melbourne Cup. It will be a stiffer task this year, but the way he won the race we know he handles all the conditions down there, so it is well worth going again,” Appleby said.

The Appleby trained Ispolini will join last year’s winner Cross Counter along with three gallopers from Aidan O’Brien’s famous Ballydoyle stables – Hunting HornIl Paradiso and Magic Wand.

Gai Waterhouse won the 2013 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente and she is hoping to team up with co-trainer Adrian Bott to chase another win with imports Hush Writer as well as Wolfe and the only three year old left in contention, Just Thinkin’

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller is still chasing his first Melbourne Cup win and has seven stayers left in contention after the first acceptances.

French import Finche raced under the Waller banner last year for a fourth to Cross Counter and along with Verry Elleegant and Brimham Rocks supply a lot of staying talent for this year’s ‘Race That Stops A Nation’.

Finche sits at top of the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at $13 just ahead of last year’s runner up Marmelo at $14 and the Lindsay Park trained European import Constantinople and 2018 winner Cross Counter at $17 .

Second acceptances for the 2019 Melbourne Cup will be taken on Tuesday, October 22.

Early betting for the 2019 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $13 Finche, $14 Marmelo, $15 Constantinople, Cross Counter, $17 Ispolini, $21 Master Of Reality, Mustajeer, Raheen House, Raymond Tusk, Rostropovich, $26 Mr Quickie, Southern France, Torcedor, Yucatan, $31 Mer De Glace, Steel Prince, Surprise Baby, $34 Gold Mount, Il Paradiso, Prince Of Arran, Twilight Payment, $41 Downdraft, $51 or better the rest.

First acceptances for the 2019 Melbourne Cup (3200m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight Hcp Rating
1 2x11111x46 STEEL PRINCE (IRE) G 6 Anthony Freedman 1 52.5kg 7
2 12x1x1x434 CROSS COUNTER (GB) G 5 Charlie Appleby 2 57.5kg 2
3 x11511x421 AVILIUS (GB) G 6 James Cummings 3 57.5kg 2
4 2x2x15521x MARMELO (GB) H 7 Hughie Morrison 4 56kg 3.5
5 16x2172x12 HOMESMAN (USA) G 6 Liam Howley 5 56kg 3.5
6 37×3264413 SOUTHERN FRANCE (IRE) H 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 6 55.5kg 4
7 12x0x1322x MIRAGE DANCER (GB) H 6 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 7 55.5kg 4
8 7250×14335 MASTER OF REALITY (IRE) H 5 Joseph O’Brien 8 55.5kg 4
9 531x21222x CONSTANTINOPLE (IRE) H 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 9 52.5kg 4
10 322×17135 IL PARADISO (USA) H 4 Aidan O’Brien 10 52.5kg 4
11 220×344216 LATROBE (IRE) H 5 Joseph O’Brien 11 55kg 4.5
12 1x16511x65 ANGEL OF TRUTH G 4 Gwenda Markwell 12 53.5kg 4.5
13 4x1x72351x MUSTAJEER (GB) G 7 Kris Lees 13 55kg 4.5
14 92251557×7 ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) G 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 14 55kg 4.5
15 44x21124x1 ISPOLINI (GB) G 5 Charlie Appleby 15 55kg 4.5
16 57x2111x94 VERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ) M 4 Chris Waller 16 52kg 4.5
17 x2x5322022 MAGIC WAND (IRE) M 5 Aidan O’Brien 17 53.5kg 4.5
18 x334446588 HUNTING HORN (IRE) H 5 Aidan O’Brien 18 55kg 4.5
19 423x2411x7 TWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE) H 7 Joseph O’Brien 19 55kg 4.5
20 6x5233x907 TRAP FOR FOOLS G 6 Jarrod McLean 20 55kg 4.5
21 6013x10x07 YUCATAN (IRE) H 6 Liam Howley 21 54.5kg 5
22 341x9x00x8 MUNTAHAA (IRE) G 7 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 22 54kg 5.5
23 1x112131x3 MR QUICKIE G 4 Phillip Stokes 23 52.5kg 5.5
24 55x1x34x51 FINCHE (GB) G 6 Chris Waller 24 54kg 5.5
25 x14941x205 QAFILA M 4 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 25 51kg 5.5
26 500x15610x RED VERDON (USA) G 7 Ed Dunlop 26 54kg 5.5
27 1x6x237x4x RAYMOND TUSK (IRE) H 5 Richard Hannon 27 54kg 5.5
28 546884x12x GOLD MOUNT (GB) G 7 Ian Williams 28 54kg 5.5
29 1x92321x00 SHRAAOH (IRE) G 7 Chris Waller 29 53.5kg 6
30 102113×555 GLORY DAYS (NZ) M 7 Bill Thurlow 30 52kg 6
31 22008326×7 BIG DUKE (IRE) G 8 Kris Lees 31 53.5kg 6
32 76x059x878 YOUNGSTAR M 5 Chris Waller 32 52kg 6
33 x01327x57x TORCEDOR (IRE) G 8 Paul Preusker 33 53.5kg 6
34 112x30x807 NEUFBOSC (FR) G 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 34 53.5kg 6
35 2x00x048x0 SOUND (GER) H 7 Michael Moroney 35 53.5kg 6
36 211x36621x VOW AND DECLARE G 4 Danny O’Brien 36 52kg 6
37 71x196112x DOWNDRAFT (IRE) H 5 Joseph O’Brien 37 53.5kg 6
38 138x49x583 PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) G 7 Charlie Fellowes 38 53kg 6.5
39 x46797x900 PATRICK ERIN (NZ) G 8 Chris Waller 39 53kg 6.5
40 1x23727x27 SCARLET DREAM M 4 Mark Newnham 40 50kg 6.5
41 x43236Px58 KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE) G 6 Chris Waller 41 53kg 6.5
42 x111x1276x TRUE SELF (IRE) M 7 William Mullins 42 51.5kg 6.5
43 54x44x239x RAHEEN HOUSE (IRE) G 6 William Haggas 43 53kg 6.5
44 322287182x RED GALILEO (GB) G 9 Saeed Bin Suroor 44 52.5kg 7
45 444740×705 SIR CHARLES ROAD G 6 Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott 45 52.5kg 7
46 40x5516x04 GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR) H 7 Archie Alexander 46 52.5kg 7
47 11514132×4 SURPRISE BABY (NZ) G 5 Paul Preusker 47 52.5kg 7
48 x2468223x7 DAL HARRAILD (GB) G 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 48 52.5kg 7
49 01x6112x94 GREY LION (IRE) G 8 Matthew Smith 49 52.5kg 7
50 013x121x07 OUR CENTURY (IRE) G 9 Kim Waugh 50 52.5kg 7
51 x8112x5132 HAKY (IRE) G 6 John Hammond 51 52kg 7.5
52 x87400x091 BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB) G 6 Chris Waller 52 51.5kg 8
53 6200013x9x ZACADA (NZ) G 7 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman 53 51kg 8.5
54 3013215×60 SWEET THOMAS (GER) G 8 Matthew Smith 54 51kg 8.5
55 111890×839 ETYMOLOGY G 7 James Cummings 55 50.5kg 9
56 x8830611x0 AZURO (FR) G 6 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 56 50.5kg 9
57 1x8341469x BONDEIGER H 8 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 57 50kg 9.5
58 9239×16621 HUSH WRITER (JPN) G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 58 50kg 9.5
59 772231×671 VALAC (IRE) G 8 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 59 50kg 9.5
60 3531320×56 TOP OF THE RANGE (NZ) G 6 Michael Moroney 60 50kg 9.5
61 x56252x992 SULLY (NZ) G 5 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 61 50kg 9.5
62 12x141x334 KING OF LEOGRANCE (FR) G 5 Liam Howley 62 50kg 9.5
63 53145×1432 ATTENTION RUN (GER) M 5 Kris Lees 63 50kg 9.5
64 817333×000 HUMIDOR (NZ) G 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 64 56kg 3.5
65 x211x11x1x MER DE GLACE (JPN) H 5 Hisashi Shimizu 65 55kg 4.5
66 2470141×59 THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ) H 4 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman 66 51.5kg 6.5
67 300x1170x5 RED CARDINAL (IRE) G 8 Kris Lees 67 52.5kg 7
68 x364408x90 LORD FANDANGO (GER) G 7 Archie Alexander 68 51kg 8.5
69 0x4614x931 ALFARRIS (FR) G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 69= 50kg 9.5
70 10x51437x4 FAIRLIGHT (IRE) G 5 Kris Lees 69= 50kg 9.5
71 x12619x041 HANG MAN (IRE) G 6 Michael Moroney 69= 50kg 9.5
72 237×412111 LOOKS LIKE ELVIS G 5 Bryan Dais 69= 50kg 9.5
73 192x322x23 MASTER OF WINE (GER) G 5 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 69= 50kg 9.5
74 414x0x3180 SUPER TITUS (GB) G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 69= 50kg 9.5
75 112x216x20 SUPERNOVA (GB) H 5 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 69= 50kg 9.5
76 1630x512x5 TE AKAU CALIBURN (IRE) H 5 Jamie Richards 69= 50kg 9.5
77 921249×126 THE GOOD FIGHT (NZ) G 5 Shaune Ritchie 69= 50kg 9.5
78 220x0404x8 WALL OF FIRE (IRE) G 7 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 69= 50kg 9.5
79 11x211x185 WOLFE (JPN) G 5 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 69= 50kg 9.5
80 73×114 JUST THINKIN’ G 3 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 69= 49kg 9.5

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.