The final 24-horse Melbourne Cup 2012 field (3200m) has been announced, with the prestigious Group 1 staying race to take place at Flemington on Tuesday.
This year’s Melbourne Cup field is considered to be one of the strongest in recent times and contains no surprises.
Heading the field are French former Melbourne Cup winners Americain and Dunaden who are the favourites at bookmaker.com.au for the $6 million staying test.
One of the biggest talking points of this year’s Melbourne Cup field is the inclusion of Chris Waller-trained gelding Kelinni who earned his spot in the field by winning the Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington today.
The British import will be ridden by Glen Boss and received no penalty for his Lexus win meaning he will carry just 51kg.
In past years there have been major attrition rates leading into the announcement of the Melbourne Cup field but just 2011 Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed was withdrawn from the top 24 horses today.
It is a star-studded field dominated by international horses including 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux, Luca Cumani-trained pair Mount Athos and My Quest For Peace, American St Leger winner Jakkalberry and the Godolphin-owned Cavalryman.
Prominent locally-trained horses in the field include Cox Plate fourth placegetter Ethiopia, Peter Moody-trained mare Lights Of Heaven, 2010 runner-up Maluckyday and Lloyd Williams-owned pair Mourayan and Green Moon.
High profile Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse is still striving to achieve her first Melbourne Cup victory and has accepted with both Caulfield Cup failure Glencadam Gold and her recently acquired import Fiorente.
Legendary Australian trainer Bart Cummings narrowly missed out on getting Dare To Dream into the field when he finished second to Kelinni in the Lexus Stakes but will still have two runners with Precedence and American import Sanagas.
Cummings is a Melbourne Cup legend having won 12 titles with the most recent Viewed in 2008.
Others in the field include Irish stayer Galileo’s Choice, Team Hawkes’ Niwot, Leon Corstens-trained four-year-old Zabeelionaire, imports Winchester and Voila Ici and Michael Kent-trained pair Unusual Suspect and Tac De Boistron.
French pair Brigantin and Shahwardi were considered big chances if they were to make the field but connections paid dearly for not running in today’s ballot exempt races as did Godolphin who saw Lost In The Moment miss out.
Ciaron Maher-trained gelding Moudre moved into the final 24 when Southern Speed was withdrawn this morning but was the unlucky runner to make way for Kelinni.
Stay tuned to bookmaker.com.au for the latest 2012 Melbourne Cup market and for great value Melbourne Cup odds.
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