Racing Victoria (RV) has today released the Orders of Entry for the Spring Racing Carnival’s two premier handicaps, the $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) and the $5.15 million Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Following his emphatic victory in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) earlier this year, Darren Weir’s progressive five-year-old Kings Will Dream is exempt from the ballot in the Caulfield Cup, which will be run on Saturday, 20 October at Caulfield.
Best Solution’s win in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes (2400m) in July has also earned the Saeed bin Suroor-trained stayer a guaranteed start in the world’s richest turf handicap over 2400m.
Darren Weir’s multiple Group 1 winner Humidor, who was assigned the topweight of 58kg for both Cups yesterday morning (Tuesday, 11 September), comes next in the Caulfield Cup Order of Entry, followed by European raider Torcedor, now under the care of 2014 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer, Andreas Wöhler.
Humidor, who claimed a third win at the highest level in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at the start of the month, also tops the Melbourne Cup (3200m) Order of Entry as the highest-weighted horse, ahead of internationally-trained entrants Best Solution, Aidan O’Brien’s Group 1 winner Kew Gardens and Torcedor.
As it stands today, the final runner guaranteed a start in the Caulfield Cup is Japanese raider Chestnut Coat (18th in the Order of Entry), whilst John Gosden’s talented galloper Weekender currently occupies the 24th and final place in the Melbourne Cup list.
Favoured runners in the Melbourne Cup who are not yet guaranteed a start at Flemington on Tuesday, 6 November include the Charlie Appleby-trained Hamada, who is currently 45th in the Order of Entry; his fellow overseas raiders Withhold (trained by Roger Charlton) and Prince of Arran (Charlie Fellowes), respectively 49th and 54th in the list; the current race favourite Kings Will Dream, who is 53rd; and James Cummings’ Avilius, who will need to climb from his current position of 56th to gain a place.
The next Caulfield Cup ballot exemption will be available in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m), which was won by Jameka en route to her 2016 Cup triumph and will this year be held at Caulfield on Saturday, 22 September.
The first of four ballot exemptions into the Melbourne Cup will be on offer when the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) – won in 2016 by subsequent Cup winner Almandin – is run at Flemington on Saturday, 6 October.
Horses can satisfy the Caulfield Cup ballot clause by finishing in the top three in a Group race of 1600m or further, or by winning a Listed race of 1600m or further.
Horses can satisfy the Melbourne Cup ballot clause by finishing in the top three in a Group race of 2300m or further; winning a Listed race of 2300m or further; finishing in the top eight in the Caulfield Cup; finishing in the top three in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday, 27 October; or by winning the Group 1 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday, 6 October.
First declarations for the Caulfield Cup will close at 12pm on Tuesday, 25 September and at 12pm on Tuesday, 9 October for the Melbourne Cup.
The Orders of Entry will be updated each Monday throughout September and October.
Click here to the view the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Order of Entry
Click here to view the Lexus Melbourne Cup Order of Entry