Melbourne Cup field taking shape

A total of 45 horses remain in the hunt for the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup after third acceptances were received on Monday.

As always it will be a mad scramble for the final few spots in the field of 24 for the $8 million handicap.

Wednesday’s $400,000 Bendigo Cup will provide a chance for the winner to get a weight penalty to move up the entry list, while Saturday’s Lexus Hotham Stakes (2500m) provides a ‘win and you’re in’ scenario.

Miami Bound escaped without a weight penalty following her dominant victory in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said while it was an impressive win, she had been well weighted in the Group Two.

“Miami Bound was a strong winner of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, however she was well weighted under the set weights and penalties conditions of the Group Two race and she will face superior opposition at Flemington on Cup Day,” Carpenter said.

“At 5.5kg under weight-for-age benchmark in the Melbourne Cup, modern history says she already faces a significant challenge to win the race with 51kg.”

The Danny O’Brien-trained VRC Oaks winner didn’t need a weight penalty to make the Cup field, having already been safely inside the top 24.

Key horses not to feature among the third acceptors include Metropolitan winner Mirage Dancer and Cox Plate runners Mugatoo (finished fourth at The Valley), Master Of Wine (eighth) and Buckhurst (10th).

Final acceptances will close at 4:30pm on Saturday with the barrier draw to be conducted from 5:30pm AEDT.

Sir Dragonet (right) races away to win the Cox Plate.Source:Getty Images

MELBOURNE CUP 2020 – ORDER OF ENTRY

Horse — Trainer — Weight

1: Verry Elleegant (NZ) — Chris Waller — 55.5kg

2: Sir Dragonet (IRE) — Ciaron Maher & David Eustace — 55.5kg

3: Oceanex (NZ) — Mick Price & Michael Kent — 51.5kg

4: Persan — Ciaron Maher & David Eustace — 51kg

5: Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) — Aidan O’Brien — 58.5kg

6: Vow and Declare — Danny O’Brien — 57kg

7: Avilius (GB) — James Cummings — 57kg

8: Russian Camelot (IRE) — Danny O’Brien — 53.5kg

9: Master of Reality (IRE) — Joseph O’Brien — 56kg

10: Twilight Payment (IRE) — Joseph O’Brien — 55.5kg

11: Tiger Moth (IRE) — Aidan O’Brien — 52.5kg

12: Mustajeer (GB) — Kris Lees — 55kg

13: Stratum Albion (GB) — Willie Mullins — 55kg

14: Prince of Arran (GB) — Charlie Fellowes — 54.5kg

15: Warning — Anthony & Sam Freedman — 53kg

16: Surprise Baby (NZ) — Paul Preusker — 54.5kg

17: Dashing Willoughby (GB) — Andrew Balding — 54.5kg

18: Finche (GB) — Chris Waller — 54.5kg

19: Etah James (NZ) — Ciaron Maher & David Eustace — 52.5kg

20: Miami Bound (NZ) — Danny O’Brien — 51kg

21: The Chosen One (NZ) — Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman — 53.5kg

22: Steel Prince (IRE) — Anthony & Sam Freedman — 53.5kg

23: King of Leogrance (FR) — Danny O’Brien — 53.5kg

24: True Self (IRE) — Willie Mullins — 52kg

25: Zebrowski (NZ) — Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes — 52kg

26: San Huberto (IRE) — Matt Cumani — 53.5kg

27: Nickajack Cave (IRE) — Peter G Moody — 53.5kg

28: Platinum Invador (NZ) — Peter G Moody — 53kg

29: Ashrun (FR) — Andreas Wohler — 53kg

30: Hush Writer (JPN) — Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott — 52.5kg

31: Le Don De Vie (GB) — Anthony & Sam Freedman — 52.5kg

32: Skyward (FR) — Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young — 52.5kg

33: Sound (GER) — Michael Moroney — 52kg

34: Azuro (FR) — Ciaron Maher & David Eustace — 52kg

35: Chapada — Michael Moroney — 52kg

36: Carif — Peter & Paul Snowden — 52kg

37: Haky (IRE) — Archie Alexander — 52kg

38: Gallic Chieftain (FR) — Archie Alexander — 51kg

39: Pondus (GB) — Joseph O’Brien — 51kg

40: Schabau (GER) — Robert Hickmott — 50.5kg

41: Attorney (FR) — Matthew Smith — 50kg

42: Lord Belvedere (GB) — Ciaron Maher & David Eustace — 50.5kg

43: Admire Robson (JPN) — Paul Preusker — 50kg

44: Future Score (IRE) — Matt Cumani — 50kg

45: Saracen Knight (IRE) — Danny O’Brien — 50kg

This article originally appeared on punters.com.au and was reproduced with permission.

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