Reigning Melbourne Cup winning-trainer, Joseph O’Brien, has entered three horses for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in Irish Derby winner Latrobe, and his stable mates Ming and Master of Reality.
Joseph’s father, Aidan O’Brien, has entered 12 horses for the Melbourne Cup with Deauville, Idaho, Cliffs of Moher and Yucatan also nominated for the Caulfield Cup. Group 1 winners Kew Gardens and Lancaster Bomber are among those carrying a Melbourne Cup entry only for the Ballydoyle stable.
Major increases in prizemoney have delivered a significant increase in international entries for the Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup and Group 1 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup, two of the marquee races of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.
In a year in which the Spring Racing Carnival celebrates 25 years of international competition, overseas entries have risen from 31 to 50 for the Melbourne Cup and from 22 to 27 for the Caulfield Cup with nominations received from Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany and Japan.
The Melbourne Cup, which has risen to £4.1 million in prizemoney this year, has attracted a total of 183 entries, up from 140 in 2017. Meanwhile the Caulfield Cup, which has been boosted to £2.88 million, has 164 nominations – up from the 142 received last year.
Godolphin has three trainers – Charlie Appleby, Saeed bin Suroor and James Cummings – spearheading its pursuit of a first Melbourne Cup triumph and second Caulfield Cup.
Appleby’s Cups entries are headlined by Cross Counter (Melbourne Cup), Emotionless (Caulfield and Melbourne Cups) and Hamada (Melbourne Cup); bin Suroor has Group 1 winner Best Solution (Caulfield and Melbourne Cups) among his entries; whilst French import Avilius (Caulfield and Melbourne Cups) has been nominated by Cummings.
Germany’s 2014 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Andreas Wöhler has entered recent stable acquisition from Jessica Harrington’s yard Torcedor, for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
British Champion Flat trainer-elect John Gosden has entered Muntahaa and Weekender for the Melbourne Cup.
Top owner Lloyd Williams’ hopes of securing a third consecutive Melbourne Cup remain with 16 horses – 14 being prepared by his private trainer, Liam Howley, plus the Joseph O’Brien pair of Latrobe and Master of Reality.
Chestnut Coat (trained by Yoshito Yahagi) and Sole Impact (Hirofumi Toda), who will be ridden by 21-year-old apprentice Ryusei Sakai, are set to fly the flag for Japan in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
The Stella Artois Caulfield Cup will be run on Saturday, 20 October at Caulfield, with the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, 6 November at Flemington.