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34 in contention for Lexus Melbourne Cup

24 October 2022 Written by VRC

The Lexus Melbourne Cup dream remains for 34 horses and their connections after fourth acceptances were taken for ‘the race that stops a nation’™ this morning.

The $8 million contest, which will be run at Flemington Racecourse for the 162nd time next Tuesday 1 November, is set to feature an exciting blend of local aspirants and international raiders, all hoping to claim the famous ‘Loving Cup’ trophy for themselves.

The Group 3 Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m), one of the highlights of Penfolds Victoria Derby Day which kicks off the Melbourne Cup Carnival this Saturday 29 October, will grant the winner the final Golden Ticket into the Lexus Melbourne Cup. Twelve of the 34 fourth acceptors are entered for the Lexus Archer Stakes, including nine horses currently sitting outside the top 24.

“There is nothing like the Lexus Melbourne Cup anywhere in the world and the journey for both horses and connections over the next eight days will be unlike anything they will ever experience.” - Leigh Jordon

The Lexus Archer Stakes winner will join a number of Golden Ticket entrants bound for Flemington next week, with Lexus Andrew Ramsden (2800m) winner Point Nepean, Lexus Bart Cummings (2500m) victor Lunar Flare and Caulfield Cup (2400m) hero Durston all guaranteed a berth.

Durston, who will aim to become the first horse since Ethereal in 2001 and the 12th horse overall to complete the Cups double, is one of two entrants for Chris Waller. Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) winner Crystal Pegasus – 22nd in the order – is also set to represent last year’s winning trainer.

TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) winner Smokin’ Romans is also now inside the top 24, sitting 23rd after fourth acceptances. He will aim to become the first horse in a decade to win the TAB Turnbull Stakes and Lexus Melbourne Cup double in the same year.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained runner is set to be joined by stablemates Gold Trip (fifth in the order) and Grand Promenade (18th), while Lexus Bart Cummings placegetter Interpretation (26th) sits just outside the field as it stands this afternoon.

While the late Bart Cummings will not add to his record 12 Lexus Melbourne Cup wins, his grandsons may attempt to keep the family legacy alive. James Cummings, fresh from winning the Cox Plate (2040m) with Anamoe, is set to saddle up VRC St Leger (2800m) winner Alegron (14th) while his older brother Edward may have his first Cup runner with TAB Australian Cup (2000m) victor Duais (sixth).

Three international representatives are set to line up against the best stayers that Australia and New Zealand have to offer, with Brits Deauville Legend (James Ferguson, fourth) and Without A Fight (Simon and Ed Crisford, 11th) to be joined by Germany’s Loft (Marcel Weiss, 10th).

They will be joined by Hoo Ya Mal (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, eighth) and Camorra (Ben and JD Hayes, 13th), both making their Australian debut for local trainers.

Michael Moroney-trained Emissary, winner of the Geelong Cup (2400m), currently sits at 24th in the order with the Flemington-prepared import on the cusp of a start, while last year’s Lexus Andrew Ramsden winner Realm Of Flowers - also based at Flemington for Anthony and Sam Freedman - is sitting just outside the field in 25th position.

“There is nothing like the Lexus Melbourne Cup anywhere in the world and the journey for both horses and connections over the next eight days will be unlike anything they will ever experience,” Mr Jordon said. “We are thrilled with the way in which this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup field is shaping up and there are so many great stories amongst those chasing the world’s richest handicap.

“International trainers like James Ferguson, Simon and Ed Crisford and Marcel Weiss will make their Flemington debut but they will face some of Australia’s best horsemen and it is very fitting that a new generation of the Cummings family will potentially lead the home team’s defence.

“Over the next eight days, the excitement will continue to build and we can’t wait for that famous roar that will sound out all across Australia and around the world when the gates crash back at 3pm next Tuesday.”

Final acceptances for the Lexus Melbourne Cup will be taken at 4:30pm on Saturday with the barrier draw to be conducted in the Mounting Yard at Flemington following Penfolds Victoria Derby Day.

To view the full list of third acceptances for the Lexus Melbourne Cup, please click here.

To view the updated Order of Entry, please click here.

Main image: Gold Trip (FR) heads the weights with 57.5kg. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos) 

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