Big names stand their ground for Melbourne Cup
Last Updated: October 8, 2013 12:16pm
Green Moon: On track to try and make Cup history
The star names in the Emirates Melbourne Cup field have all stood their ground following the latest acceptance stage.
A total of 72 horses remain in contention for the Flemington contest with ante-post favourites Fiorente, Puissance de Lune and Hawkspur featuring prominently.
Former Cup heros Dunaden (2011) and Green Moon (2012) are also among the first acceptors for the November 5 feature as both horses continue their attempt to make the history books in becoming the sixth multiple winner of the Cup.
French hero Dunaden is one of 12 internationally-trained runners, in addition to Irish St Leger winner Voleuse de Coeurs and Prix Deauville winner Tres Blue who will join Australian trainers later this month.
The internationally-trained contingent includes 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux, Mount Athos, Verema,Brown Panther, Royal Empire and leading BMW Caulfield Cup hope Dandino.
Owner Lloyd Williams' stable is the most represented with eight horses, including Saturday's Group One Metropolitan winner Seville as well as reigning champion Green Moon.
In other news, New Zealand trainer Murray Baker paid up for stable star Its A Dundeel despite the five-time Group 1 winner's omission from this weekend's Caulfield Stakes due to injury.
Of the 10 highest rated withdrawals from the original entries, nine of them were international horses who had already been ruled out from travelling down under with Chris Waller's import Bayrir the other.
Leading Light, Royal Diamond, Ahzeemah and Joshua Tree were the withdrawals from the top 24 ranked horses.
The next acceptance stage for the Melbourne Cup will be taken on October 28.