Lexus Melbourne Cup
|Group 1 Handicap, Flemington 04:00 (UK time)
3yo plus, 2m
|Tuesday 5th November 2019|
A stellar cast of local and international horses are targeting the $5m Caulfield Cup and $8m Melbourne Cup with entries closing today. View them here: https://t.co/GWfqLNZ4a2 pic.twitter.com/2rWCKYTbZH— Racing Victoria (@RacingInsider) August 29, 2019
Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter made history when becoming the first British-trained horse to win the two-mile prize last year, leading home a one-two-three for the raiding party as Marmelo finished second for Hughie Morrison while the Charlie Fellowes-trained Prince Of Arran was third.
All three are in the mix for the Group One event again, with a total of 16 entries from Britain including a second string for Appleby in Ispolini.
Martyn Meade’s Technician and the Andrew Balding-trained Dashing Willoughby are a couple of leading hopes for the St Leger who have been given the option, along with a clutch of runners from last week’s Ebor at York.
Mustajeer has now switched to the care of Australian handler Kris Lees after winning on the Knavesmire for Ger Lyons and that form is strongly represented with the five that followed him home – Red Galileo, Desert Skyline, Raymond Tusk, Barsanti and True Self – all entered.
Raheen House (ninth) and Red Verdon (14th) also feature, with Ian Williams’ Gold Mount another notable contender.
Joseph O’Brien won the race with Rekindling in 2017 and he has five contenders this time, including Buckhurst and Master Of Reality while his father Aidan has 11, including Leger possibles Il Paradiso and Constantinople.
Dermot Weld twice won the race and he has Stivers, an ex-Argentinian horse who has yet to race for him, while Torcedor is an intriguing entry for Andreas Wohler after being prevented from travelling by a temperature last year.
Local hopes are headed by Finche and Rostropovich, who finished fourth and fifth last year, along with Shraaoh, Surprise Baby and Sixties Groove among a total entry of 152.
Lexus Melbourne Cup (Group 1 Handicap)
3yo plus, 2m (3200 Metres)
Melbourne Cup Timeline
1861 – The first Melbourne Cup was run and won by Archer, ridden by John Cutts and trained by Etienne De Mestre. The first prize was a gold watch and 930 pounds and the event attracted a crowd 4,000 people.
1865 – The first year a trophy was awarded, which was a silver bowl on a stand with a narrow neck with two ornate handles and topped with a horse and jockey.
1873 – The smallest ever Melbourne Cup field with seven starters.
1875 – The first time the Melbourne Cup was run on the first Tuesday in November.
1877 - Melbourne Cup became a public holiday for Victorians.
1880 – First Melbourne Cup to attract an attendance of 100,000.
1890 – Carbine won the Melbourne Cup in record time (3.28.25) carrying a record weight (65.5kg) in the biggest field ever assembled (39).
1896 – The first ever Melbourne Cup to be captured on film.
1925 – Melbourne radio station 3LO broadcast a live commentary of the Cup for the very first time.
1930 – Phar Lap makes history, winning races on each of the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
1948 – Photo finishing was used for the first time to decide the winner with Rimfire winning over Dark Marne by a nose length.
1965 – Light Fingers wins the Melbourne Cup to provide Bart Cummings with his first Melbourne Cup win.
1972 – The first metric running of the Melbourne Cup with the two-mile distance becoming 3,200 metres.
1990 – The fastest run Melbourne Cup was won by Kingston Rule in 3:16.3 minutes.
1993 – The first time the great race is won by an international horse, Vintage Crop from Dublin.
2001 – Carbine inducted into the Hall of Fame.