Lexus Melbourne Cup fourth declarations released

25 October 2021 Written by VRC

Thirty five horses remain in contention for the 2021 Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup after fourth declarations were taken today, Monday 25 October.

Incentivise is set to start the shortest-priced TAB favourite in the Lexus Melbourne Cup since the legendary Phar Lap in 1930.

Only 11 horses have completed the famous Caulfield Cup-Lexus Melbourne Cup double, the last being Ethereal 20 years ago.

Incentivise will aim to be the first Lexus Melbourne Cup winner for trainer Peter Moody, best known for preparing another racing icon in unbeaten champion sprinter Black Caviar.

Incentivise is expected to face three challengers from abroad, with 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment (Joseph O'Brien) joined by a pair of English contenders, Spanish Mission (Andrew Balding) and Away He Goes (Ismail Mohammed).

Saturday's Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby may prove a stepping stone to the Lexus Melbourne Cup for the first time in 23 years with Penfolds Victoria Derby favourite Forgot You (Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young) remaining in contention.

No southern hemisphere three-year-old has won the Lexus Melbourne Cup since Skipton in 1941; 1995 Derby winner Nothin' Leica Dane ran second the following Tuesday, while Arena was the last Derby winner to line up in the Cup three days later in 1998.

Grand Promenade, who secured ballot exemption for this year's Lexus Melbourne Cup in the Group 3 The Lexus Bart Cummings earlier this month, is one of seven entries remaining for Victoria's leading stable of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, while the NSW charge is led by champion trainer Chris Waller. He has four entries, headed by nine-time Group 1 winner and Cox Plate third placed, Verry Elleegant.

Group 3 Geelong Cup heroine Tralee Rose will aim to become the first winner of the country feature to also win the Lexus Melbourne Cup since Dunaden a decade ago.

Last year's fourth The Chosen One (Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman) and fifth Persan (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace) could also join Twilight Payment in the Lexus Melbourne Cup once again.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said that the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup is set to continue the tradition of providing the ultimate three minutes in Australian sport..

"The 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup features all of the elements that have made it Australia's greatest race for the last 160 years," Mr Jordon said.

"A stayer from Toowoomba in Incentivise rising through the grades to tackle the best that the country and the world has to offer is quintessentially Australian.

"Every Lexus Melbourne Cup is a great narrative and it is this rich tapestry of stories that will once again bring the nation to a halt on the first Tuesday in November."

The 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 30 October, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 2 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 4 November and Parmount+ 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 with also home to exciting and exclusive content and competitions. 

The full list of fourth declarations can be found here.

Final acceptances for the 161st Lexus Melbourne Cup close at 4:30pm on Saturday 30 October with the final field and barrier draw to be announced live on Network 10 from 5:30pm.

Image: Away He Goes is one of three international competitors in the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup (Credit: Racing Photos)