How the final Melbourne Cup field is decided

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The 161st moving of the contention that stops a federation - the Melbourne Cup - volition instrumentality spot astatine Flemington's Victoria Racing Club adjacent Tuesday (November 2).

The celebrated 3200m staying contention is loved by Australians and envied astir the globe, with a big of planetary raiders venturing Down Under each twelvemonth to pursuit the trophy, the prestige that comes with it and a stock successful the prizemoney - present worthy $7.75 million.

The last tract for the large contention volition diagnostic a full of 24 horses.

After the 4th circular of acceptances for the 2021 variation closed connected Monday, there's 35 horses near nominated for the contention which jumps astatine 3pm successful a week's time.

So who volition marque the last cut? And however is it decided?

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Brett Prebble riding Incentivise winning the Caulfield Cup. (Getty)


Connections indispensable nominate their equine for the Melbourne Cup, which - for this year's contention - could person been lodged immoderate clip earlier August 3, erstwhile they were closed.

This twelvemonth a full of 174 horses were nominated for the Cup.

As soon arsenic that database is completed, the handicappers volition measure and delegate each nominee a weight, based connected their handicap standing and past performances astatine the time.

They volition besides gully up an "order of entry" which ranks each equine from archetypal to past based connected however apt they are to marque the last field. Generally the horses astatine the apical of the database volition beryllium assigned the heaviest weights.

Last year's Melbourne Cup winner, Twilight Payment, has been assigned the apical value of 58kg this clip around. Verry Elleegant was really placed atop the bid of introduction but has lone been assigned 57kg.

From the clip it is created, the bid of introduction volition past alteration erstwhile connections retreat their equine from contention, oregon erstwhile a nominated equine moves up the database based connected value penalties oregon show successful exemption events (explained below).

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When the Melbourne Cup obstruction gully happens astatine astir 5.30pm connected the Saturday earlier the race, the apical 24 ranked horses connected the bid of introduction volition signifier the Cup field, and each volition beryllium assigned a barrier.

As of now, 35 horses stay successful contention for a spot successful the last tract (see the updated bid of introduction below).


The Melbourne Cup has 5 ballot-exemption races, which means the victor of each of those races tin gain an automatic spot successful the Cup, if connections take to judge it.

The 5 exemption races are; The Andrew Ramsden (May 15), The Bart Cummings (October 2), Caulfield Cup (October 16), Cox Plate (October 23), and Lexus Stakes (October 30).

Realm Of Flowers won the 2021 Andrew Ramsden and was successful the Melbourne Cup bid of entry, but was past week withdrawn owed to illness.

Grand Promenade won The Bart Cummings and truthful is an automatic introduction - which is wherefore it sits 2nd connected the bid of introduction contempt being assigned lone 51kg for the Cup.

Incentivise won the Caulfield Cup and sits archetypal connected the Melbourne Cup bid of introduction now, carrying 57kg.

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Both Grand Promenade (1kg) and Incentivise (1.5kg) were fixed value penalties aft their wins successful the exemption events, which person been calculated successful their respective weights of 51kg and 57kg now.

State Of Rest won the Cox Plate but has not been nominated for the Melbourne Cup.

The Lexus Stakes volition beryllium tally this coming Saturday, and the victor of that volition automatically suffice for the Cup if connections privation to bash so, meaning the bid of introduction is apt to alteration again earlier the obstruction draw.

If a equine does tally successful the Lexus Stakes and wishes to besides tally successful the Melbourne Cup, it volition beryllium backing up aft lone 3 days' rest. Shocking was the past equine to triumph the Lexus and past the Cup 3 days later, achieving it successful 2009.

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Last year, Ashrun won the Lexus, earning a spot successful the Melbourne Cup, and past ran 10th successful the two-mile feature.

The Geelong Cup is not an exemption contention for the Melbourne Cup, but the victor of that tin beryllium assigned a value punishment that does propulsion it up the bid of entry.

The 2010 and 2011 Melbourne Cup winners some came from winning the Geelong Cup.

Last week's Geelong Cup winner, Tralee Rose, has been pushed up the Melbourne Cup bid of introduction to beryllium 17th and volition present suffice for the large race.


1. Incentivise (gelding, 5yo, Peter Moody, 57kg + 1.5kg penalty)

2. Grand Promenade (GB) (gelding, 6yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 52kg + 1kg penalty)

3. Verry Elleegant (NZ) (mare, 6yo, Chris Waller, 57kg)

4. Twilight Payment (IRE) (gelding, 9yo, Joseph O'Brien, 58kg)

5. Spanish Mission (USA) (horse, 6yo, Andrew Balding, 57kg)

6. Explosive Jack (NZ) (horse, 4yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 54kg)

7. Johnny Get Angry (NZ) (gelding, 4yo, Denis Pagan, 53kg)

8. Away He Goes (IRE) (gelding, 6yo, Ismail Mohammed, 54.5kg)

9. The Chosen One (NZ) (horse, 6yo, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, 54kg)

10. Selino (GB) (gelding, 6yo, Chris Waller, 53.5kg)

11. Miami Bound (NZ) (mare, 5yo, Danny O'Brien, 52kg)

12. She's Ideel (mare, 6yo, Bjorn Baker, 52kg)

13. Ocean Billy (NZ) (gelding, 6yo, Chris Waller, 53.5kg)

14. Delphi (IRE) (horse, 5yo, Anthony and Sam Freedman, 53.5kg + 1kg penalty)

15. Persan (gelding, 5yo, Ciaron Maher and David Esutave, 53kg)

16. Knights Order (IRE) (gelding, 7yo, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, 53kg)

17. Tralee Rose (NZ) (mare, 5yo, Symon Wilde, 51kg)

18. Carif (gelding, 6yo, Peter and Paul Snowden, 52.5kg)

19. Pondus (GB) (gelding, 6yo, Robert Hickmott, 52.5kg)

20. Master Of Wine (GER) (gelding, 7yo, Michael, Wayne, and John Hawkes, 52.5kg)

21. Port Guillaume (FR) (gelding, 5yo, Ben and JD Hayes, 52kg)

22. Future Score (IRE) (gelding, 7yo, Matt Cumani, 51.5kg)

23. Fun Fact (gelding, 6yo, Bjorn Baker, 51.5kg)

24. Sir Lucan (IRE) (horse, 4yo, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, 50kg)

25. Mosh Music (mare, 7yo, Archie Alexander, 50kg)

26. Great House (IRE) (gelding, 5yo, Chris Waller, 50kg)

27. Floating Artist (GB) (gelding, 6yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 50kg)

28. Hasta La War (gelding, 6yo, Sue Murphy, 50kg)

29. Amade (IRE) (gelding, 8yo, Phillip Stokes, 52.5kg)

30. Constantinople (IRE) (gelding, 6yo, Aaron Purcell, 50kg)

31. Emissary (GB) (gelding, 5yo, Michael Moroney, 50kg)

32. King's Charisma (IRE) (gelding, 5yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 50kg)

33. Mankayan (IRE) (gelding, 5yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 50kg)

34. Tooradin (gelding, 5yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 50kg)

35. Forgot You (NZ) (colt, 3yo, Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, 49kg)

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