A complete guide to this year’s Melbourne Cup field

1. GOLD TRIP [FRA] (57.5kg)

Barrier: 14
Trainers: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Jockey: Mark Zahra

He’s racing in great fashion. He was beaten in the last stride in the Caulfield Cup and then had little luck in the Cox Plate, as wherever his jockey Jamie Spencer went over the final 600 metres he found trouble. He finished ninth but was beaten only 2.9 lengths and he could well have finished in the placings. He finished fourth in the 2020 Prix De l’arc De Triomphe over 2400 metres, which is the furthest he’s gone. Loves it wet and a great each-way chance.

Gold Trip and Ashley Jarvis at a beach track work session earlier this month. Credit:Vince Caligiuri

2. DUAIS (55.5kg)

Barrier: 10
Trainer: Edward Cummings
Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Her trainer has spent his spring planning with Duais in an attempt to follow in the footsteps of his legendary grandfather Bart Cummings by setting her to peak in the Melbourne Cup. She was sensational winning the Australian Cup over 2000 metres at Flemington in March and then again in the Tancred Stakes at Newcastle. She’s failed in four runs this time in, but she recorded the third fastest last 200 metres in the Caulfield Cup, where she got a long way back when she finished eighth. On face value though she needs to lift.

Duais with strapper Alex Lamarie. Credit:Paul Jeffers

3. KNIGHTS ORDER [IRE] (55.5kg)

Barrier: 24
Trainers: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott
Jockey: Tim Clark

He returns for a second tilt at a Melbourne Cup after he finished 19th last year. He’s since added the Sydney Cup to his two-mile tally, which was his second win over the distance as he won the 2021 Brisbane Cup. This year he’ll have his favoured wet conditions. He gave a bold sight in the Caulfield Cup using his front-running tactics to lead and then fight on for third. He loves it heavy and if he gets his preferred conditions he’s right in the race.

Knights Order pictured during track work at Flemington this week.Credit:Scott Barbour, Getty Images

4. MONTEFILIA (55.5kg)

Barrier: 11
Trainer: David Payne
Jockey: Jason Collett

Traditionally the best lead-in to the Melbourne Cup is the Caulfield Cup and arguably the best trial for Flemington was handed in by this Sydney-trained mare when she finished fourth. She had little luck as she was slowly away and settled in third-last placing. She was held up on the turn and then checked with 400 metres to go before charging home. She sprinted past her rivals after the line, suggesting 3200 metres will be right up her alley. She’s one of the better chances.

Montefilia en route to the barriers at Caulfield Cup. Credit:Brett Holburt, Getty Images

5. NUMERIAN [IRE] (55.5kg)

Barrier: 7
Trainer: Annabel Neasham
Jockey: Tommy Berry

Had a nice run in second placing behind Knight’s Order and looked a threat in the Caulfield Cup for most of the straight. He was still second with 100 metres remaining before he tired to finish fifth (beaten 1.15 lengths so it was a good run). The 2400 metres of his last start was the furthest he’d run over so must be a query over 3200 metres. He’s going to need luck.

Numerian is one of eight Irish horses set to compete. Credit:Brett Holburt, Getty Images

6. WITHOUT A FIGHT [IRE] (55.5kg)

Barrier: 18
Trainers: Simon and Ed Crisford
Jockey: William Buick

He’s been set for this race for a long time by the UK’s first official co-trainers in father and son Simon and Ed Crisford, and he’s a dyed-in-the-wool stayer. He put together successive wins over 2787 metres at York at Listed and then at group 3 level before surging late to finish second at Listed level over 2414 metres at Newmarket. He’s a winner but his main query is the level of races he has been contesting. A definite top-five chance.

Without a Fight in his box at Werribee Racecourse. Credit:Jay Town, Racing Photos

7. CAMORRA [IRE] (55kg)

Barrier: 17
Trainers: Ben and JD Hayes
Jockey: Ben Melham

The brothers Ben and JD Hayes will try and emulate their grandfather Colin and also their father David by trying to win the Melbourne Cup with an imported galloper. He’s a solid stayer who can take up a spot in the first half of the field. He outstayed his rivals to win the group 2 Curragh Cup two starts ago but he was disappointing when he finished eighth at his last start in the Irish St Leger.

Camorra rolls after track work at Werribee. Credit:Jay Town, Racing Photos

8. DEAUVILLE LEGEND [IRE] (55kg)

Barrier: 9
Trainer: James Ferguson
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

There’s no surprise this lightly raced English northern hemisphere three-year-old (four-year-old in the southern hemisphere) is favourite for the Melbourne Cup as he boasts impeccable form lines, which are similar to 2018 Cup-winner Cross Counter. He went one better than him in his lead-in race to Flemington by winning the group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2787m) at York on August 17 where he ran away from his rivals, which included Cox Plate placegetter El Bodegon who he defeated by 4.3 lengths.

Kerrin McEvoy rides Deauville Legend during track work. Credit:Jay Town, Racing Photos

9. STOCKMAN [NZ] (54kg)

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Barrier: 2
Trainer: Joseph Pride
Jockey: Sam Clipperton

Hardly a run that screamed Melbourne Cup winner when he finished midfield in an unorthodox approach to that race in the Rosehill Gold Cup over 2000 metres, although he did settle second last and make up some ground. As one observer noted, it looked like an old-fashioned Mackinnon Stakes lead-in to the Melbourne Cup. He loves it wet though, and he’d been flying before that in Sydney. He proved too strong two runs ago in the ATC St Leger on a heavy track over 2600 metres at Randwick. There’s a query on the strength of that form line, and he has his share of weight compared to other runners. He’s also had one start over 3200 metres for a 7th in the Sydney Cup when he suffered interference, so he had an excuse but he was beaten a long way.

Sam Clipperton and Stockman after their Star St Ledger Stakes win during Everest Day earlier this month. Credit:Mark Evans, Getty Images

10. VOW AND DECLARE (54kg)

Barrier: 4
Trainer: Danny O’Brien
Jockey: Blake Shinn

Could he become just the sixth dual-Melbourne Cup winner and the first to have three years between his wins? He’s been in the doldrums since his 2019 win, but O’Brien seems to have rejuvenated him for this campaign. His last start sixth in the Caulfield Cup was on a par with his second in 2019 as he was wide throughout (he was tracked to have run 20 metres further than the winner, Durston). If he can draw a barrier he’s going to be in the finish.

Vow And Declare and Kieran Roche at 13th Beach. Credit:Eddie Jim

11. YOUNG WERTHER [NZ] (54kg)

Barrier: 21
Trainer: Danny O’Brien
Jockey: Damian Lane

His trainer Danny O’Brien knows what it takes to win a Melbourne Cup and, although this five-year-old gelding has only won one race, he’s one of the best staying prospects in the land. Had his final lead-in run to this in the Cox Plate, where he finished 10th, but he finished only 3.1 lengths from Anamoe. He’s had six starts at Flemington for four placings, including two in the Turnbull Stakes and a third in the Victoria Derby. He’s a chance at odds.

Young Werther and Damian Lane before the Cox Plate. Credit:Brett Holburt, Racing Photos

12. HOO YA MAL [GB] (53.5kg)

Barrier: 15
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott
Jockey: Craig Williams

The Queen of the Australian turf Gai Waterhouse will attempt to win her second Melbourne Cup with Hoo Ya Mal, which was purchased for $2 million in June after he had finished second in the English Derby. He subsequently finished third and then won at group 3 level at Goodwood to look on track for the Melbourne Cup but he blotted his copybook when he finished eighth of nine in the Irish St leger. Connections blamed the wet track. He is also trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow northern hemisphere colts in Melbourne Cup winners Rekindling (2017) and Cross Counter (2018), which both won the Melbourne Cup at their seventh start.

Craig Williams rides Hoo Ya Mal at Werribee. Credit:Jay Town, Getty Images

13. SERPENTINE [IRE] (53.5kg)

Barrier: 23
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: John Allen

The 2020 English Derby winner secured himself a spot in the Melbourne Cup with his brave effort to finish second in the Archer Stakes in his first sign of form for ages. Team Williams knows how to get the timing right for the Melbourne Cup, and he stays all day. The best aspect of his performance was that he led and settled quite nicely and then was able to fight on. Look for a cheeky run.

Serpentine en route to the barriers before the Lexus Archer Stakes. Credit:George Sal, Racing Photos

14. DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR [NZ] (53kg)

Barrier: 13
Trainer: Phillip Stokes
Jockey: Daniel Moor

He could be the best roughie in the race given he stays all day. Three runs during spring have been sound. He was three wide for most of the race when he finished 10th in the Bart Cummings behind Lunar Flare but he was only beaten 2.4 lengths. He’s had two starts over 3200 metres earlier this year, which produced a win in the Adelaide Cup and a third placing in the Sydney Cup.

Daqiansweet Junior at the Bart Cummings. Credit:George Sal, Racing Photos

15. GRAND PROMENADE [GB] (53kg)

Barrier: 1
Trainer: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Jockey: Harry Coffey

He ran an encouraging sixth in last year’s Melbourne Cup after having had a tough run but was beaten 12.6 lengths. Against that, the three horses who were placed in last year’s Melbourne Cup -Verry Elleegant, Incentivise and Spanish Mission – are a cut above this year’s field. He won his way into last year’s race by winning The Bart Cummings. This year the trainers have targeted this race but he’s been plagued by wet tracks in his lead-in runs and that’s likely to be the same scenario he faces this year.

Grand Promenade won the 2021 Bart Cummings.Credit:Getty Images

16. ARAPAHO [FRA] (52.5kg)

Barrier: 19
Trainer: Bjorn Baker
Jockey: Rachel King

A Grafton Cup winner, which doesn’t usually correlate to a Melbourne Cup, but he’s been in solid form in the staying races in Sydney. Three starts ago he finished third to Caulfield Cup winner Durston in the Newcastle Cup and gave that horse 3.5 kilos. He also defeated runaway Moonee Valley Cup winner Francesco Guardi five starts ago. He’s untried at the 3200m but could be a sneaky place chance.

Arapaho and Dylan Gibbons won the Fujitsu General Handicap during Sydney Racing at Rosehill Gardens in May. Credit:Mark Evans, Getty Images

17. EMISSARY [GB] (51.5kg)

Barrier: 3
Trainer: Mike Maroney
Jockey: Patrick Moloney

Turned things around after a disappointing Caulfield Cup run with a fast finishing effort to win the Geelong Cup, which can be a good lead-in race. On that occasion he went back and ran on. His trainer Mike Moroney won with Brew in 2000 but when he’s had other runners they usually acquit themselves well.

Emissary, ridden by Blake Shinn, before the Geelong Cup. Credit:Brett Holburt, Getty Images

18. LUNAR FLARE (51.5kg)

Barrier: 12
Trainer: Grahame Begg
Jockey: Michael Dee

She’s flying the Victorian flag as she’s locally owned and she’s also bred in Victoria, being by Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente. Her trainer Grahame Begg made the move to Victoria six years ago and he’s also extremely popular. Lunar Flare won The Bart Cummings two starts ago, which carries the golden ticket into this race for the winner. She followed that up with a second in the Moonee Valley Cup, a race which is often a good lead-in race for the Melbourne Cup.

Lunar Flare won the Bart Cummings earlier this month at Flemington. Credit:Brett Holburt, Racing Photos

19. SMOKIN’ ROMANS [NZ] (51.5kg)

Barrier: 16
Trainers: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Jockey: Jamie Kah

He was sent out as favourite in the Caulfield Cup after back-to-back feature wins including the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, but his run was inconclusive as he didn’t really get a chance to win as he was held up before the turn. Going into the race Ciaron Maher said it was the Melbourne Cup he had set him for. He loves it wet and the master trainer would love nothing more than a Melbourne Cup to be sitting on his mantelpiece. He will also be ridden by a superstar hoop who will be keen to make up for the Caulfield Cup.

Ethan Brown with Smokin’ Romans after winning the Turnbull Stakes.Credit:Vince Caligiuri, Getty Images

20. TRALEE ROSE [NZ] (51.5kg)

Barrier: 22
Trainer: Symon Wilde
Jockey: Dean Yendall

She’s also flying the Vic flag and also for the famous racing town of Warrnambool. She’s been out of form but ran her best race for some time at her last start when she finished 13th in the Caulfield Cup. She would have been on the heels of the placegetters though other than for being checked with 300m to go. She ran a creditable race in last year’s Melbourne Cup when she finished ninth and a top 10 finish is on the cards again. Sneaky chance at huge odds.

Tralee Rose with handler Ellen Oliver at Breakwater Beach. Credit:The Age

21. POINT NEPEAN [IRE] (51kg)

Barrier: 20
Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Jockey: Wayne Lordan

He’s carrying the famous Lloyd Williams colours, and he knows what it takes to win a Melbourne Cup having already owned seven winners. Point Nepean gained a start in the race by winning the ballot exemption event the Andrew Ramsden Stakes. At that stage he looked an exciting prospect. He hasn’t fired in two runs this spring but he will have been trained to peak for just one race. Look for a lift.

Jockey Alana Kelly returns to the mounting yard with Point Nepean after winning the Lexus Andrew Ramsden. Credit:George Sal, Getty Images

22. HIGH EMOCEAN [NZ] (50kg)

Barrier: 8
Trainers: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Jockey: Teo Nugent

She’s an old-fashioned dyed-in-the-wool New Zealand-bred stayer and this Melbourne Cup is looking like one from yesteryear in its make-up so she appeals on several fronts. She loves the wet and Ciaron Maher will have trained to peak on the day. She fended off an in-form horse Port Philip to win the Bendigo Cup last Wednesday to secure a start. A great light-weight hope.

High Emocean in the mounting yard after winning the Bendigo Cup. Credit:Jay Town, Racing Photos

23. INTERPRETATION [IRE] (50kg)

Barrier: 6
Trainer: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Jockey: Craig Newitt

Months ago Maher suggested this horse was the stable’s leading Melbourne Cup hope, but he’s probably not lived up to expectations at his past three starts. He finished a solid third in the Bart Cummings two starts ago, but he then didn’t run up to expectations in the Geelong Cup where he finished sixth. Blinkers go on and the stable has ways of turning horses’ form around by shifting them around their various stables.

Interpretation with Ben Melham at the Geelong Cup. Credit:George Sal, Racing Photos

24. REALM OF FLOWERS (50kg)

Barrier: 5
Trainers: Anthony and Sam Freedman
Jockey: Damien Thornton

Great run at her last start when she finished third in The Metropolitan as she was beaten in a photo after racing wide without any cover. There’s a query on that form line but she likes Flemington as she showed with her win in the 2021 Andrew Ramsden Stakes by four and a half lengths over some useful stayers including Grand Promenade, Miami Bound and Persan. She looks back in that type of form. Worth thought.

Mark Zahra and Realm Of Flowers won the Andrew Ramsden last year. Credit:Getty Images

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