Internationals down but Caulfield and Melbourne Cup entries remain strong

The numbers haven’t changed but the mix of hopefuls is different among the entries for November’s Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

The Peter Moody-trained Incentivise is the early favourite for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups on the strength of an impressive Queensland winter campaign.

But the 12-length winner of the Group 3 Tatts Cup in June is set to have plenty of competition in Melbourne’s big spring cups.

Trainers have entered 174 potential runners, the same overall number as last year, for the $8m Melbourne Cup but international entries are down as expected after Racing Victoria introduced tough new veterinary rules for overseas runners.

RV’s tougher veterinary standards led to only 15 overseas-trained horses featuring in 2021 Melbourne Cup entries. International trainers entered 30 horses last year.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment is among four entries from two-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Joseph O’Brien along with Master Of Reality, who has competed in the last two Melbourne Cups.

Aidan O’Brien, the trainer of the ill-fated Anthony Van Dyck, whose death last year spurred Racing Victoria’s Melbourne Cup review, has not entered any spring contenders this year.

Local trainer Danny O’Brien has entered 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare along with promising four-year-old Young Werther.

Young Werther placed in both the Victoria Derby and the Australian Derby last season.

Triple Derby winner Explosive Jack forms part of an 18-strong Melbourne Cup assault from premier Victorian trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet is part of Maher and Eustace’s team. But Eustace said the imported stallion was suspect at the 3200m distance.

Eustace said on Tuesday that Persan, the first Australian horse over the line when fifth in last year’s Melbourne Cup, would be back for another crack at Australia’s greatest race on November 2.

Verry Elleegant has been entered to chase back-to-back wins in the Caulfield Cup in October. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Meanwhile, last year’s winner Verry Elleegant is one of 17 Chris Waller-trained entries for the $5 million Caulfield Cup.

Between them, Waller and the Maher / Eustace camps have nominated 36 of the 177 entries for the Melbourne Racing Club’s showpiece.

Waller has taken over the training of former English stayer Dashing Willoughby, who struggled in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups last year but finished second in a Rosehill trial last Friday.

The Moonee Valley Racing Club received four international entries out of 153 nominations for the Cox Plate.

The Valley’s racing manager Alastair Dwyer said the club would be thrilled if the Martyn Meade-trained Lone Eagle or My Oberon from the William Haggas stable made the trek across the globe to tackle the likes of Zaaki in the Cox Plate.

Click here for the Melbourne Cup entries or here for the Caulfield Cup nominations.

Click here for the Cox Plate entries.

Originally published asMelbourne Cup numbers hold up despite overseas snub

Source: Read Full Article