Lexus Melbourne Cup field starts to take shape

12 October 2021 Written by VRC

The 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup field is starting to take shape with third declarations for ‘the race that stops a nation’™ taken today, Tuesday 12 October.

Late nominations also closed for the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s three-year-old classic races, the Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) and the Kennedy Oaks (2500m).

Sixty horses including three high-class internationals remain in contention for the Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).

High-profile contenders including dual Flemington Group 1 winner Incentivise, Australia’s champion mare Verry Elleegant, three-time Derby winner Explosive Jack and defending champion Twilight Payment remain firmly in the Lexus Melbourne Cup picture.

Twilight Payment landed safely in Melbourne on Saturday night, with his travelling companions Spanish Mission and Away He Goes also confirmed to continue their road to the Lexus Melbourne Cup after third declarations.

Realm of Flowers is already assured of her place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup after winning The Andrew Ramsden at Flemington in May, as is Grand Promenade for his win in the Lexus Bart Cummings at Flemington on TAB Turnbull Stakes Day. Both horses progressed to the next round of the Lexus Melbourne Cup journey when third declarations closed.

The Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this Saturday will provide the winner with a golden ticket into the Lexus Melbourne Cup while the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on Saturday 23 October and The Lexus Hotham Handicap (2500m) on Saturday 30 October at Flemington are the remaining ballot-exempt races.

In the Penfolds Victoria Derby, four late nominations arrived with Reddy (Patrick Payne), Capital Legend (John Sadler), Asternishing (Mick Bell) and Akihiro (Gary Portelli) being added to the list. This is in addition to Charity Spirit (Gary Portelli) and The Amazonian (Mick Price & Michael Kent Junior) who were added to the Kennedy Oaks picture.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said excitement was building for the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival. 

“The 161st running of the Lexus Melbourne Cup is set to be another world-class race with Twilight Payment, Spanish Mission and Away He Goes bringing top European form to Flemington where they will take on Australia’s best stayers including Explosive Jack, Verry Elleegant and Incentivise,” Mr Jordon said.

“With 21 days remaining until the Lexus Melbourne Cup we can expect to see some of the headline horses have one more run as they fine-tune their fitness before Cup Day on Tuesday 2 November.

“We look forward to watching these horses progress towards the Lexus Melbourne Cup and announcing the final field and barriers on Saturday 30 October.”

The Lexus Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday 2 November as part of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival which begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 30 October and also features Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 4 November and Mackinnon Stakes Day on Saturday 6 November.

All the action from the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival can be seen live and free on Network 10 and 10 Play on demand.

Fourth declarations for the Lexus Melbourne Cup must be submitted by 10am on Monday 25 October.

The full list of third declarations for the Lexus Melbourne Cup can be found here.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup order of entry as of today can be found here.

Image: Incentivise at Flemington (Credit: Racing Photos)