The 2020 Melbourne Cup Taking Shape

September 15, 2020

Early entries for the Spring Cups were taken today, Thursday August 27, with the 2020 Melbourne Cup nominations attracting 174 horses for the 160th edition of

“the race that stops a nation.”

Last year’s eye-catching fifth place getter Surprise Baby is early favourite in 2020 Melbourne Cup betting this spring.

The world’s richest handicap, the Group 1 $7.75 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) takes place at Flemington on Tuesday November 3 and has drawn 174 nominations, up from 152 in 2019.

Last year there were 39 overseas-trained entries, a number down slightly in 2020 due to COVID-19 with 30 raiders in the mix.

“We were unsure as to the number of nominations that would be received this year given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic so we’re delighted to see an increase in entries for both the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and Lexus Melbourne Cup,” Greg Carpenter, Racing Vicctoria’s (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, said.

“It is pleasing that there is tremendous depth among the entries for both races with 29 Group 1 winners in the Caulfield Cup and 25 in the Melbourne Cup.”

2020 Melbourne Cup Nominations Feature:

  • 174 horses
  • 30 overseas-trained raiders
  • 25 Group 1 winners
  • Last year’s winner Vow And Declare
  • Two-time placegetter Prince Of Arran
  • 7 for last year’s winning trainer (Danny O’Brien)
  • 7 for Ireland’s Joseph O’Brien
  • 13 for Chris Waller led by Verry Elleegant

Of the internationals, one of the standouts is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Buckhurst, O’Brien having won the race with Rekindling (2017) making history as the youngest ever Melbourne Cup winning trainer.

O’Brien has a total of seven entries – five for goliath owner Lloyd Williams – in his bid for a second Melbourne Cup including also BollevilleDegraves and last year’s official fourth-placegetter Master Of Reality.

A nicely-bred son of Frankel, Master Of Reality has been in great form this year in Ireland running second to his stablemate Twilight Payment – also nominated for the Melbourne Cup – in the Group 2 Curragh Cup (2816m) and second in the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial (2816m) on August 14.

He was second past the post in the Melbourne Cup last year before being demoted to fourth upon protest.

Further boosting the dominant hand in the Melbourne Cup nominations by the O’Brien family are nine entries for his Cox Plate winning father Aidan O’Brien led by the past two Irish Derby winners Sovereign (2019) and Santiago (2020).

Aidan O’Brien’s runners are also at the top of the weights for the Caulfield Cup with stablemate Japan joining Anthony Van Dyck at 58.5kg (9st 3lb), ahead of stablemate Magical (58kg/9st 2lb).

Last year Kew Gardens (58kg/9st 2lb) was the original top weight, as was Order Of St George in 2017 and 2016. Neither ended up making the trip to Melbourne.

The other standout international Melbourne Cup entry in 2020 is Charlie Fellowes’ two-time placegetter Prince Of Arran who ran third to Cross Counter in 2018 and second in the results last spring.

Prince Of Arran is entered for a third consecutive shot at the Melbourne Cup as are the Chris Waller-trained Finche and Sound for Michael Moroney.

Last year’s champion Vow And Declare is out to make history, trainer Danny O’Brien nominating the defending Melbourne Cup winner along with six of his stablemates.

No horse has managed to win back-to-back editions of the Melbourne Cup since the historic three-peat of the brilliant mare Makybe Diva (2003-05).

O’Brien looks to have a very strong hand in his shot at successive Melbourne Cup wins by a trainer with his potential contingent also including SA Derby winner Russian Camelot who is the second elect in all-in Melbourne Cup betting markets, the French-bred Adelaide Cup champion King Of Leogrance and reigning VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound.

Russian Camelot is also the early 2020 Caulfield Cup favourite following nominations for the 2400m feature on October 17 that drew 177 stayers.

Surprise Baby ran out of his skin for firth in the 2019 Melbourne Cup results and it is Paul Preusker’s son of the race’s 2009 champion Shocking who leads the all-in markets in 2020.

Sitting top of the post-nomination Melbourne Cup odds at, Surprise Baby pays around $8 to take out the two-mile classic this season.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions causing issues for international raiders this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, it is the local horses dominating the markets.

Chris Waller’s first-up Group 1 Winx Stakes winning mare Verry Elleegant is third elect out to hand her four-time Cox Plate winning trainer with his first ‘Loving Trophy’.

Waller has a total of 13 Melbourne Cup nominations that also include his Schweppes Oaks winning mare Toffee Tongue and the aforementioned Finche.

Melbourne Cup 2020 first acceptances close at midday (local time) on Tuesday September 29.

Click here for the latest 2020 Melbourne Cup futures betting courtesy of following the weights being announced on September 8.

2020 Melbourne Cup Nominations

Flemington Race 7: Tuesday November 3, 2020

Last 10HorseSexAgeTrainerHcp Rating
1x21x214x7xADMIRE ROBSON (JPN)H7Paul Preusker
23552x00x4xADMIRE WINNER (JPN)G7Paul Preusker
342x1x1311xAKTAU (GB)G5Michael Moroney
47702x9041xAL GALAYEL (IRE)G7Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
52021xALCYONEC3James Cummings
62442944x3xALIFEROUSM5Kris Lees
71xALMANIA (IRE)G5Kris Lees
821xAMERICAN WHISKEY (USA)H4Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
9x895756x2xANGEL OF TRUTHG5Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
10239x11203xANTHONY VAN DYCK (IRE)H5Aidan O’Brien
11111x105x5xARCADIA QUEENM5Grant & Alana Williams
121x3x2xASHRUN (FR)H5Andreas Wohler
136x507x192xATTENTION RUN (GER)M6Kris Lees
1411x6804x2xATTORNEY (FR)G6Matthew Smith
15147x54533xAVILIUS (GB)G7James Cummings
16055313770xAZURO (FR)G7Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
174x83807x9xBARADE (FR)G6Archie Alexander
1840044x410xBARTHOLOMEU DIAS (GB)G6Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
19115x97437xBENITOITEM5Clinton McDonald
20x750x9084xBIG DUKE (IRE)G9Kris Lees
2117x1x3x15xBOLLEVILLE (IRE)M5Joseph O’Brien
221902x7691xBRIMHAM ROCKS (GB)G7Chris Waller
2352112x216xBUCKHURST (IRE)H5Joseph O’Brien
241x334x221xCADRE DU NOIR (USA)H5Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
25x100x80x0xCAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE)H5Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
2622x0352x6xCARIFH5Peter & Paul Snowden
2736x953125xCHAPADAG5Michael Moroney
288221111xCOLETTEM4James Cummings
29COLLIDE (GB)H6Kris Lees
30122240x90xCONSTANTINOPLE (IRE)G5Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
311xCORMORANT (IRE)H4Aidan O’Brien
3211012x043xCRACK ON CRACK ON (GB)G6Gary Moore
330218x0161xCREEDENCEG6Matt Cumani
34x011x1x00xDADOOZDART (GB)G5Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
3541x0x0680xDANCETERIA (FR)G6Kris Lees
3614579x114xDASHING WILLOUGHBY (GB)G5Andrew Balding
3723xDAWN PATROL (IRE)H4Aidan O’Brien
384311x44xDEGRAVES (IRE)H4Joseph O’Brien
39111xDELPHI (IRE)H4Anthony & Sam Freedman
4012x122x33xDJANGO FREEMAN (GER)H5Robert Hickmott
4121112x08xDJUKON (GB)G5Chris Waller
421311x1xDON’T DOUBT DORYG4Julien Welsh
432115x3010xDR DRILL (GB)G6Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
443xEAGLES BY DAY (IRE)H5David O’Meara
4571x154xENGLISH KING (FR)H4Ed Walker
4636x3113xENTENTEG4Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
47746416341xETAH JAMES (NZ)M8Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
48230xP3611xEXEMPLAR (IRE)G7Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
49109110383xFEEL THE RUSH (NZ)M4Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
50x34x51257xFINCHE (GB)G7Chris Waller
5113x1151xFLASH AAHG5Mitchell Fry
5223x07x618xFRANKELY AWESOMEM5Kris Lees
536351625x0xFUN FACTG5Bjorn Baker
541135x5021xFURRION (GB)G6Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
559211x1253xFUTURE SCORE (IRE)G6Matt Cumani
562874x9748xGALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR)H8Archie Alexander
5706x1111x3xGAME KEEPERG4Tony & Calvin McEvoy
58x5559x864xGLORY DAYS (NZ)M8Bill Thurlow
59957712432xGOOD IDEAG6Phillip Stokes
603311114xGRAND PROMENADE (GB)G5Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
6140880x083xGREY LION (IRE)G9Matthew Smith
6220386x051xHAKY (IRE)G7Archie Alexander
63x112x3314xHARBOUR VIEWS (FR)G6Matthew Williams
642x2321113xHIGH EMOCEAN (NZ)M4Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
651816x7000xHUSH WRITER (JPN)G6Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
6641206008xIMPACTFULG4Chris Waller
67410x38x31xIN GOOD HEALTHM5Peter G Moody
68x72122107xINVERLOCH (IRE)G7Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
6938x16x211xINVOLVED (GB)G6Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
702601168x0xJACK REGAN (GB)G6Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
713x11445x6xJUST THINKIN’G4Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
722x2113x5xKINANE (NZ)G4Chris Waller
73349x211x2xKING OF LEOGRANCE (FR)G6Danny O’Brien
741260x8811xKORCHO (GB)H5Kris Lees
75760x85754xLATIN BEAT (IRE)G7Saab Hasan
761x410x443xLE DON DE VIE (GB)G5Hughie Morrison
770211x8x58xLEVENDIH6Peter Gelagotis
7890x3212x9xLOOK SHARPISH (NZ)M4Leon & Troy Corstens
79x141x7811xLORD BELVEDERE (GB)G7Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
80093214811xMAHAMEDEISG6Nick Ryan
81633x632x4xMASAFF (IRE)G5Chris Waller
8243354x622xMASTER OF REALITY (IRE)G6Joseph O’Brien
83311x114x0xMASTER OF WINE (GER)G6Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
843411x84x4xMIAMI BOUND (NZ)M4Danny O’Brien
8530x887256xMIDTERM (GB)G8Michael & Luke Cerchi
861346x7x48xMILESTONE (FR)H5Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
87x30x03643xMIRAGE DANCER (GB)H7Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
88x22310218xMIRIMAR (IRE)G7Michael Moroney
89x70504150xMISS SENTIMENTAL (NZ)M5Chris Waller
9069x512x01xMIYAKEH4Chris Waller
91x3002x902xMR QUICKIEG5Phillip Stokes
926x11126x1xMUGATOO (IRE)G6Kris Lees
935160x1225xMUSTAJEER (GB)G8Kris Lees
946143x503xMYTHICAL (FR)H4Aidan O’Brien
951x1211111xNANCHO (GER)G6Anthony Cummings
967542230x6xNAVAL WARFARE (IRE)G7Anthony & Sam Freedman
9711xNICKAJACK CAVE (IRE)G5Peter G Moody
98141211xNIMALEEM4Matthew Smith
991xNOBEL PRIZE (IRE)H4Aidan O’Brien
100331121xNONCONFORMISTG4Grahame Begg
1014584287x8xNORTHWEST PASSAGEG7Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
1023731x7836xNORWAY (IRE)G5Chris Waller
103621x07511xOCEANEX (NZ)M5Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)
1045x347xORDER OF AUSTRALIA (IRE)H4Aidan O’Brien
10515627x2x2xORDEROFTHEGARTER (IRE)H7Danny O’Brien
106302151711xOUT OF THE PARK (NZ)M6Henry Dwyer
10711123x001xPATHS OF GLORY (GB)G6Richard & Michael Freedman
1082x21x1113xPATRICK SARSFIELD (FR)G5Joseph O’Brien
109685759105xPELONOMENAM6Michael Kent
1102x3121112xPERSANH4Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
111058321023xPLATINUM INVADOR (NZ)G5Peter G Moody
1122239x2140xPONDUS (GB)G5Joseph O’Brien
113PORT GUILLAUME (FR)H4Jean-Claude Rouget
1142120x3x36xPRINCE OF ARRAN (GB)G8Charlie Fellowes
115x7104x356xPRINCESS JENNI (NZ)M5David Brideoake
11656x423115xQUICK THINKERH4Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
11760x6613x5xRAHEEN HOUSE (IRE)G7Kris Lees
11821x13611xREALM OF FLOWERSM4Anthony & Sam Freedman
119x156108x1xRED VERDON (USA)G8Ed Dunlop
120161x421x9xREGAL POWERG5Grant & Alana Williams
121211x247x2xRIDER IN THE SNOW (FR)G6Kris Lees
122228x376x6xRONDINELLA (NZ)M6John O’Shea
1235x131615xROYAL CROWNG4Michael Kent
12412x411xRUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE)H4Danny O’Brien
1255138x5138xSAN HUBERTO (IRE)H5Fabrice Chappet
1261xSANTIAGO (IRE)H4Aidan O’Brien
1273315x16xSARACEN KNIGHT (IRE)G6Danny O’Brien
1287x506x412xSAUNTER BOY (FR)G8Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
129211x99x36xSAVVY LAD (NZ)G4Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
130211x111x7xSCHABAU (GER)H6Robert Hickmott
131SELINO (GB)G5James Fanshawe
13211x3103x0xSHARED AMBITION (IRE)G5Chris Waller
133241x22111xSHE’S IDEELM5Bjorn Baker
13411210xSIERRA SUE (NZ)M4Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
135932343342xSIN TO WIN (NZ)G8Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
1360533499x0xSIR CHARLES ROADG7Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott
137x44x2x222xSIR DRAGONET (IRE)H5Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
1383203344x7xSKELMG6Terry Kelly
139111x451xSKYWARD (FR)H5Fabrice Chappet
140005x532x5xSOUND (GER)H8Michael Moroney
1411254x4563xSOUND OF CANNONS (GB)H4John O’Shea
142F1216x936xSOUTH PACIFIC (GB)H5Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
1433x1x32xSOVEREIGN (IRE)H5Aidan O’Brien
1441111x4679xSTEEL PRINCE (IRE)G7Anthony & Sam Freedman
14512x4310x2xSTRATUM (GB)G8William Mullins
14681x4143x1xSUPER GIRLM6Josh Julius
147009x43314xSUPER TITUS (GB)G7Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes
14814132x415xSURPRISE BABY (NZ)G6Paul Preusker
149x47740715xSWEET THOMAS (GER)G9Matthew Smith
15013x075213xTAVIRUN (NZ)G5Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
1511x1xTELECASTER (GB)H5Hughie Morrison
152950x38572xTHE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)H5Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
1532x34923x4xTHE KING (IRE)G6Lindsey Smith
154x241448x2xTHINK IT OVERG5Kerry Parker
1553x12xTIGER MOTH (IRE)H4Aidan O’Brien
1561x1xTINANDALI (IRE)G5Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
15764x622221xTOFFEE TONGUE (NZ)M4Chris Waller
1581x1110x89xTORRENSH4Ethan Ensby
159217x6x460xTRUE SELF (IRE)M8William Mullins
160x70x7x211xTWILIGHT PAYMENT (IRE)G8Joseph O’Brien
1610x42212x1xVERRY ELLEEGANT (NZ)M5Chris Waller
16200x0684x9xVIN DE DANCE (NZ)G6Symon Wilde
1631x421x395xVOW AND DECLAREG5Danny O’Brien
1641x1xVOYAGE DE LUNEG4Saab Hasan
16504x847255xWALL OF FIRE (IRE)G8Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
16621x755633xWARNINGG4Anthony & Sam Freedman
167x4013x7x2xWEEKENDER (GB)G7Mark Newnham
1685310x39x0xWOLFE (JPN)G6Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
169WYCLIF (GB)H4Danny O’Brien
170x114319x3xYONKERS (USA)G5Chris Waller
171x56x19x17xYOUNG RASCAL (FR)G6Archie Alexander
172976P8x8x6xZACADA (NZ)G8Jim & Greg Lee
1732522x1444xZAMOSA (NZ)M5Mitchell Fry
17426x1122x8xZEBROWSKI (NZ)G4Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Racing Australia Press release

Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

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