Melbourne Cup Horses 2023

The 163rd edition of the Melbourne Cup ran on Tuesday November 7, 2023 as Flemington Race 7 and saw Without A Fight ($8) complete the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double – the 12th horse to do so – with Mark Zahra in the saddle. 

2023 Melbourne Cup Results

  • 1st: #3 Without A Fight

    2023 Melbourne Cup winner Without A Fight

    2023 Melbourne Cup winner Without A Fight was excellent charging home by over two lengths off a lead-up win in the Caulfield Cup. Photo: Steve Hart.

  • 2nd: #6 Soulcombe
  • 3rd: #14 Sheraz
  • 4th: #11 Ashrun

The official Melbourne Cup 2023 results revealing the 2023 Melbourne Cup winner will be published right here once the race is run and won on Tuesday November 7, 2023.

The Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight was given a perfectly-timed ride by Mark Zahra, who opted to come off last year’s champ Gold Trip, to become the 12th horse in history to complete the Spring Cups double.

Zahra made up ground from the back hitting the front on the eventual 2023 Melbourne Cup winner the closing stages as Without a Fight charged strongly down the middle before drawing clear for an impressive two length victory over the Chris Waller-trained Soulcombe who missed the kick by three lengths.

Waller also prepared the third place-getter Sheraz who ran out of his skin as a triple-figure roughie to complete the Melbourne Cup trifecta.


Each year the finest Melbourne Cup horses take to the Flemington track on the first Tuesday of November in the ‘Race That Stops a Nation’. The Melbourne Cup field for the $8.41 million classic has a capacity of 24 runners that can run and look to add their name to the iconic list of Melbourne Cup winners.

Increasingly the Melbourne Cup horses that line-up in the famous Flemington Race 7 come for overseas.

BET ON THE 2023 MELBOURNE CUP HORSES

Early market betting odds on the 2024 Melbourne Cup will be displayed below once available. Odds are subject to fluctuation. For current odds on all of our live markets, please visit ladbrokes.com.au.

Looking over the recent Melbourne Cup history, five of the eight champions from 2014-2022 were internationally-trained including Cross Counter in 2018 for Godolphin’s Newmarket-based horseman Charlie Appleby and most recently the Joseph O’Brien-trained Irish raider Twilight Payment who led an all-international trifecta.

In 2021 there were officially only two internationals in the Melbourne Cup field with the defending champion Twilight Payment finishing a disappointing 11th with the 58kg top-weight and the Andrew Balding-trained Spanish Mission running third behind locals Verry Elleegant (1st) and Incentivise (2nd).

There were also two internationally-trained horses in the 2022 Melbourne Cup field with the James Ferguson-trained Deauville Legend running fourth as the beaten favourite, while Without A Fight finished a disappointing 13th over 20 lengths beaten by the winner Gold Trip.

Doing the form on the Melbourne Cup horses is essential and looking for gallopers proven at the distance can be key. Melbourne Cup horses come into the Group 1 two-mile feature via a host of lead-up races including the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

Gold Trip (9th in 2022) was the last Cox Plate graduate to back-up and win the Melbourne Cup. Gold Trip was also the first horse in five years to run in all of the ‘Big 3’ spring majors also finished a brave second in the 2022 Caulfield Cup results.

The official list and field for the Melbourne Cup is announced on the Saturday before the race after the racing action of Victoria Derby Day. Once the Melbourne Cup horses are confirmed, the Melbourne Cup barrier draw then takes place to determine the starting positions of the hopefuls in the race.

Some of the most famous Melbourne Cup horses include the inaugural winner Archer (1861-62), triple champion Makybe Diva (2003-05), Kingston Rule who set the winning time record in 1990 and Prince Of Penzance (2015) who won at odds of $101!

2023 Melbourne Cup Final Field: Melbourne Cup Horses2023 Melbourne Cup Horses

The official Melbourne Cup 2023 Final Field & Barrier Draw was released on Saturday November 4, 2023 with the last round of acceptances closing at 10am (local time) before the announcement is made live from Flemington post the VRC Derby Day racing.

The full list of 2023 Melbourne Cup Horses & Jockeys will be detailed below for punters as soon as released by Racing Victoria.

The official 24-horse Melbourne Cup 2023 final field has been confirmed with the defending champion Gold Trip looking to go back-to-back with James McDonald coming aboard. Race favourite Vauban will wear the No. 5 Melbourne Cup saddlecloth first-up down under as one of four international raiders in the field.

The 2023 Melbourne Cup barrier draw took place on Saturday evening with the favourite Vauban drawing ideally with barrier three, while Gold Trip will defend his title one closer to the rails jumping from gate two.

2023 MELBOURNE CUP HORSE PROFILES

Once the Melbourne Cup 2023 horses are confirmed, below we will take a look over a few of the key contenders in the ‘race that stops a nation’.

Below punters can stay up-to-date Melbourne Cup horses of interest that have secured a slot in the 24-horse feature race at Flemington.

Stay up to date with the confirmed 2023 Melbourne Cup jockeys below to see what jockeys are riding what horses in this year’s Melbourne Cup field.

CONFIRMED MELBOURNE CUP HORSES 2023

Here we take a look at all 24 Melbourne Cup horses in 2023.

1. GOLD TRIP (2) – Finished 17th 

2022 Melbourne Cup Winner Gold Trip

Gold Trip. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by OUTSTRIP (GB)  from SARVANA (FR)
  • Age/Gender: 7yo Bay Horse
  • Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
  • Jockey: James McDonald
  • Weight: 58.5kg
  • Barrier: 2
  • Owners: Australian Bloodstock, Mr J W Woodbridge, Whitegate Pastoral, Roth Brogan, Gold Trip, Surf Coast Racing, Mr S J Pellegrino, Mr B G Taylor, Mr M Belford, Mr J Garvey, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, Mr C H Madden, Mystery Downs, Mrs C M Cook, Mr B J Nally, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr L Caminiti, Mr J M Simmons
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $4.60 – BET NOW

The defending champ Gold Trip is back looking to become the first multiple Melbourne Cup hero since three-time winning mare Makybe Diva (2003-05). He scored a huge two-length upset with 57.5kg last year and carries a kilo more as the top-weight in 2023. The now seven-year-old wasn’t featuring in early Melbourne Cup markets until he burst back onto the scene second-up blitzing his rivals with a commanding victory from the outside alley in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Beat a few genuine Melbourne Cup contenders there including UK raider West Wind Blows and continues to improve the further he gets. Ran a gallant third in the Caulfield Cup carrying the top-weight. Contested the Cox Plate on the quick back-up and ran a gallant fifth to Romantic Warrior with excuses, a performance that saw jockey Mark Zahra opt to come off for the Melbourne Cup title defence next up in favour of a run on Without A Fight. This year’s Cox Plate winning hoop James McDonald, who rode Verry Elleegant to victory in the 2021 Melbourne Cup, will partner the defending champ. Came up trumps with a favourable barrier two draw.

2. ALENQUER (9) – Finished 21st

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Alenquer

Alenquer. Photo: Edward Whitaker.

  • Breeding: by ADLERFLUG (GER)  from WILD BLOSSOM (GER)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainer: Michael Moroney
  • Jockey: Damien Oliver
  • Weight: 56.5kg
  • Barrier: 9
  • Owners: Ballymore Stables (Aust) Pty Ltd, R & C Legh Racing Pty Ltd, Pulitano Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd, B & C Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd, Mr M Bogoievski, Gee Gee Equine Limited, Mr R A Duke, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Glentree Racing, Ms A M Bergin, Mrs J G Madden, Mr C H Madden, Mrs P T Gorman, Mr S D Gorman, Dr C K Cowan, Mr S J Cowan, Mr K N Good, Mrs D M Good, Exset Racing
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $61 – BET NOW

Michael Moroney’s lightly-raced six-year-old may be assured of a run sitting high-up the Melbourne Cup order of entry but he is at long odds for an upset. The Group 1 winning import debuted in Australia with a failed run (15 of 15) behind Mr Brightside in the $5 million The All-Star Mile in the autumn. Hasn’t managed to make much of an impact since, however a recent fifth to Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Might And Power (2000m) showed some improvement. Doesn’t get in that well in the weights however and would need to produce something pretty special to challenge. Never looked a threat when ninth in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on October 27 keeping him at a roughie’s price. The GOAT Damien Oliver rides in his last Melbourne Cup before retirement and will be praying for a miracle on Alenquer. Cause aided by a good barrier nine draw.

3. WITHOUT A FIGHT (16) – Finished 1st 

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Without A Fight

Without A Fight. Photo: Darren Winningham.

  • Breeding: by TEOFILO (IRE)  from KHOR SHEED (GB)
  • Age/Gender: 7yo Brown Gelding
  • Trainers: Anthony & Sam Freedman
  • Jockey: Mark Zahra
  • Weight: 56.5kg (includes 1.0kg penalty)
  • Barrier: 16
  • Owners: Sheikh Mohammed Obaid al Maktoum
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $8 – BET NOW

Team Freedman now have the former Simon & Ed Crisford-trained import who was 13th in last year’s Melbourne Cup in his first run down under. Returned in the winter and dominated up in Brisbane with back-to-back wins including the $1.2 million The Q22 (2200m) that he won in style. First-up was mid-field behind Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) only two lengths beaten at WFA. That form was franked with the ‘Gator going on to win the Might And Power. His Melbourne Cup price was slashed in half after his excellent second-up victory when holding out former stablemate West Wind Blows for a narrow but convincing Caulfield Cup victory. Looking well on track for a better run than last year. Penalised 1.0kg for his Caulfield Cup win so now carries 56.5kg. Mark Zahra confirmed to ride after choosing the Caulfield Cup champ over Gold Trip. Will jump wider out from barrier 16.

4. BREAKUP (18) – Finished 16th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Breakup

Breakup. Photo: Japan Racing Association.

  • Breeding: by NOVELLIST (IRE)  from LITTLE JUN (JPN)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay Horse
  • Trainer: Tatsuya Yoshioka
  • Jockey: Kohei Matsuyama
  • Weight: 55kg
  • Barrier: 18
  • Owners: Ms T Abe
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $19 – BET NOW

Delta Blues (2006) made Melbourne Cup history saluting for Japan and now 17 years later there is early money for another Japanese raider, Breakup, to repeat the feat. The Novellist entire ran fourth at a huge price with a big weight in the famous Group 1 Tenno Sho over the two miles back in April putting the Melbourne Cup race down under firmly on the agenda. He was unplaced at 100/1 over less distance, but in Australia back up in trip with less kilos he remains one of the top hopes. Japanese hoop Kohei Matsuyama will be down under for the ride after Damian Lane rode the galloper for his lead-up run in the Caulfield Cup on October 21 when finishing a mid-field eighth, but he was always going to be better over further. Out to join Verry Elleegant (2021) as the only Melbourne Cup winners from barrier 18.

5. VAUBAN (3) – Finished 14th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses: Vauban

Vauban. Photo Credit: Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images.

  • Breeding: by GALIWAY (GB)  from WALDFEST (GB)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Chestnut Gelding
  • Trainer: Willie Mullins (Co. Carlow (IRE)
  • Jockey: Ryan Moore
  • Weight: 55kg
  • Barrier: 3
  • Owners: Mrs S Ricci
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $3.20 – BET NOW

Willie Mullins’ Irish raider is one of 15 international Melbourne Cup nominations for 2023 and leads all-in betting for this year’s race. The classy chestnut is a seven-time winner from 14 starts at time of publish and was last seen winning the Group 3 Ballyroan over the mile and a half at home in Ireland in early August. A consistent performer in both flat and jumps racing overseas, the dour stayer has winning form up to 3382m so will have no issues with the two mile Melbourne Cup distance. He is a multiple Group 1 winning hurdler over long distances with big weights (up 70kg) so should relish the conditions of the iconic Melbourne Cup race should he make the trip down under. Ryan Moore, who rode the German stayer Protectionist to victory back in 2014, has been locked in for the ride. Had his first look at Flemington the week before the Cup and was enormous in his work looking in another league. Favourite has firmed even further after drawing a treat in gate three.

6. SOULCOMBE (4) – Finished 2nd 

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Soulcombe

Soulcombe | Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos | Ladbrokes

  • Breeding: by FRANKEL (GB)  from RIBBONS (GB)
  • Age/Gender: 5yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainer: Chris Waller
  • Jockey: Joao Moreira
  • Weight: 53.5kg
  • Barrier: 4
  • Owners: Mr A Kheir, Mr J A O’Neill, Carty Racing, Mr S A Lewin, Mr V Kheir, Mr T R Maddern, Mr B D Nettlefold, Mr D Edmonds, A K Racing, Mr B A Secatore, Mrs R T Secatore, Mr B J O’Brien, Bromfield Park Pty Ltd, Punt Road End, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, Sneesby Racing, Sir M Arbib, Mr B G Arbib, Mr C M Budgett
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $13 – BET NOW

Sydney’s – and arguably Australia’s – premier trainer is Chris Waller and he won the Melbourne Cup two years back with his classy mare Verry Elleegant in an upset. He returns with a quality contingent in early entries for this year’s race led in all-in betting by the imported Soulcombe. This son of Frankel made an immediate impact in his down under debut winning the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth (2600m) at Flemington by over two lengths. The dour stayer was also runner-up at the same track and trip in the Roy Higgins in the autumn before returning a winner with a first-up Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) win with 58.5kg at Caulfield in early September showing he was ready for a big spring showing. He backed up from that and ran a lovely fourth improving late in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) behind Alligator Blood who is one of the form horses of the spring, and then put himself right in the frame once more with a third behind reigning Melbourne Cup champ Gold Trip in the Turnbull. With his weight he remains a big chance. Ran 5.5 lengths seventh in the Caulfield Cup with Craig Williams in the saddle, but for the Melbourne Cup the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira comes aboard in a rider switch. A bit of a forgotten horse in the markets but great barrier four draw.

7. ABSURDE (8) – Finished 7th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Absurde

Absurde. Photo: Healey Racing.

  • Breeding: by FASTNET ROCK  from INCROYABLE (USA)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainer: Willie Mullins
  • Jockey: Zac Purton
  • Weight: 53kg
  • Barrier: 8
  • Owners: HOS Syndicate
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $27 – BET NOW

Hong Kong-based hoop Zac Purton has been given the all clear by Hong Kong Jockey Club to travel down under and partner Willie Mullins’ Irish raider Absurde in this year’s Melbourne Cup race. The six-year-old son of Fastnet Rock punched his ticket into the Cup via a win in the Ebor Handicap over 2816m at York on August 26th carrying 60.5kg. He was number one of the Melbourne Cup ballot a long way out from the final acceptances and has 53kg putting him right in the frame. The flat and jumps’ horse has won over four kilometres at home and with the good weight over the Melbourne Cup distance he presents as one of the main hopes. One of history’s most successful barriers with gate eight.

8. RIGHT YOU ARE (15) – Failed to Finish

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Right You Are

Right You Are. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by SO YOU THINK (NZ)  from LEICA DING
  • Age/Gender: 7yo Bay or Brown Gelding
  • Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
  • Jockey: John Allen
  • Weight: 53kg
  • Barrier: 15
  • Owners: Mr M O Merriman, Mrs E C Merriman, Mrs J M Merriman, Mr S E Merriman, Chasing Drama, Mr G Paolucci, Mr E M Whitehead, Mrs G P Whitehead, Mrs R A Abbey, Mr B J Abbey, Mrs J G Downer, Mr C M Downer, Think Leica Winner, Mr M Arceri, May At The ‘bool, Wilawl Go Racing, Mr A A J Grant, Mrs D Paolucci
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $81 – BET NOW

The powerhouse Maher/Eustace contingent will also feature Right You Are with John Allen to ride the So You Think seven-year-old with 53kg. A horse with a solid strike-rate at Flemington he has some decent form around the likes of Alligator Blood, Gold Trip and Without A Fight this prep without having really challenged these horses. Last start fifth with the same weight had him four lengths beaten in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at 40/1. Can’t see him finishing even that close over the two miles in a tougher race. Gets no favours from barrier 15.

9. VOW AND DECLARE (19) – Finished 9th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Vow And Declare

Vow And Declare. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by DECLARATION OF WAR (USA)  from GEBLITZT
  • Age/Gender: 8yo Chestnut Gelding
  • Trainers: Danny O’Brien
  • Jockey: Billy Egan
  • Weight: 53kg
  • Barrier: 19
  • Owners: Mr G Corrigan, Mr P J Lanskey, Mrs H R Hueston, Mr T C Lanskey, Mr J P Lanskey, Mr K T Goodman, Mr W R Leitch, Mr A F Lanskey, Mr B T Lanskey, Mr S W R Knipe, Mrs S M Corrigan, Mr L J Lanskey, Mr S A Livingstone
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $34 – BET NOW

It would be some feat by O’Brien’s evergreen eight-year-old Vow And Declare to win his second ‘Loving Trophy’ four years on from his 2019 Melbourne Cup success. That said, this classy chestnut is still showing plenty and has been eye-catching in a couple of his recent runs. Was at a blowout price when runner-up to Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Might And Power (2000m) at WFA, and he will only improve over further. When he won his first he carted 52kg to victory. Has had just the one victory in the subsequent years, so will have 53kg this year. He failed in 2020 with 57kg running 18th under the big weight in his disappointing title defence, and was 10th to Gold Trip last year with 54.5kg. All but confirmed by O’Brien to run on the back of his eye-catching second in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup to Cleveland. Don’t think he’ll be winning, but a top 10 chance again for sure. Billy Egan, who has been aboard the horse all spring, retains the ride in the Melbourne Cup. Has to do it from out wide in barrier 19.

10. CLEVELAND (23)SCRATCHED

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Cleveland

Cleveland. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by CAMELOT (GB)  from VENUS DE MILO (IRE)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay Horse
  • Trainers: Kris Lees
  • Jockey: Michael Dee
  • Weight: 52kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)
  • Barrier: 23
  • Owners: Mr N C Williams, Mr L J Williams, Mr P Mehrten, Mr G T Ryan, Mrs B A Green, Mr A L Green, Mr B N Singer, Mr M E Ruff, Mrs M M Ruff, Mr M J Symons, Jacobsen Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr M Gudinski, Mr V J Sammartino, Mr D Evans, Mr J A Ingham, Mr B E G Arnhold

Cleveland has been scratched from the Melbourne Cup field on Monday evening due to an elevated temperature.

11. ASHRUN (11) – Finished 4th 

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Ashrun

Ashrun. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by AUTHORIZED (IRE)  from ASHANTEE (GER)
  • Age/Gender: 8yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
  • Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
  • Weight: 51.5kg
  • Barrier: 11
  • Owners: Australian Bloodstock, Mr A A Brogan, Murphy Syndicate, Mr J W Woodbridge, Mr B A Watkins, Mr J R Rourke, DTC Needham Racing, Mr J A Shaw, Power Thoroughbreds, Mr L Caminiti, G & Y Racing, Mr J P Hunter, Mr C D Renshaw, Mr D G Butcher, Mr S S Roth, Walker Racing & Bloodstock, G & M Barnett Racing, Mr D E P Smith, Ashrun
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $41 – BET NOW

Last year’s winning stable of Maher & Eustace added another genuine contender to their 2023 contingent with veteran eight-year-old Ashrun continuing his good return from injury making the cut for the famous two mile showdown with his close second in the Geelong Cup. He ran 10th in the 2020 Melbourne Cup behind Twilight Payment before being side lined, but made a return this September and looks to have come back well. Three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy is booked for the ride on 51.5kg. Horse No. 11 in barrier 11 for those that like that kind of thing!

12. DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (12) – Finished 5th 

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Daqiansweet Junior

Daqiansweet Junior. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by SWEET ORANGE (USA)  from PAULETTE (NZ)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay or Brown Gelding
  • Trainer: Phillip Stokes
  • Jockey: Daniel Stackhouse
  • Weight: 51.5kg
  • Barrier: 12
  • Owners: O T I Racing, Mr P A Vawdrey, Mr T D Barrot, Mr R Menchise, Mr T N Porter, Mrs B E Porter, Mr W S Pelchen, Mrs V L Pelchen, Mr J M Gurrieri, Mr N J McKissock, Mr J P Spence, Mrs J T Spence, Webbmck Racing, Mr D Painter, Mr G Lygoyris, Mr J Danaher, Mr A H Goodfellow, Mrs P I Goodfellow, Beartown No. 4, Mr P K Goodwin
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $101 – BET NOW

OTI Racing look to have a couple of outside chances in the Melbourne Cup field this year including the Phillip Stokes-trained proven two-miler Daqiansweet Junior. This Sweet Orange six-year-old, originally a Kiwi, won the 2022 Melbourne Cup and was third in that year’s Sydney Cup also over the 3200m. Jumped at 50/1 in last year’s Melbourne Cup race and finished a credible sixth to collect a nice stake. A few disappointing runs since, but last start fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power (the form of which is actually looking okay this year) suggests he is heading in the right direction at the right time ready for more distance. Horse No. 12 in barrier 12 for those that like signs.

13. OKITA SOUSHI (20) – Finished 11th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Okita Soushi

Okita Soushi. Photo: Mark Cranham / focusonracing.com

  • Breeding: by GALILEO (IRE)  from AMICUS
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay Horse
  • Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
  • Jockey: Dylan Gibbons
  • Weight: 51.5kg
  • Barrier: 20
  • Owners: Mr J Magnier, Mr M Tabor, Mr D Smith, Mr T Matsumoto
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $81 – BET NOW

Young hoop Dylan Gibbons has been called up to ride Galileo entire Okita Soushi in this year’s race with trainer Joseph O’Brien looking to add to his collection. O’Brien has prepared two past champions with Rekindling (2017) and Twilight Payment (2020). The proven two-miler finished third in the Group 3 Irish St Leger (2816) with 60kg back on August 20 before a somewhat disappointing 12th in the Caulfield Cup. Apprentice Dylan Gibbons is going to need all the luck from out in barrier 20.

14. SHERAZ (22) – Finished 3rd

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses
  • Breeding: by SEA THE STARS (IRE)  from SHEMIYLA (FR)
  • Age/Gender: 7yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainer: Chris Waller
  • Jockey: Beau Mertens
  • Weight: 51.5kg
  • Barrier: 22
  • Owners: Sneesby Racing, Mrs J T Sneesby, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Mrs M T Greenhalgh, Mr I Bruce, Mr P Aspropotamitis, Platinum Dream, Jalana, Mr G W Aldridge, Mr A T Avramides, Mrs S Avramides, Muzben Racing, Mr M Grech, Kirk Thoroughbred Racing, GG’s Shout
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $126 – BET NOW

A long short for the Waller camp, seven-year-old Sea The Stars gelding Sheraz hasn’t finished better than eighth all prep but did enough in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup for connections to press on. He finished eighth only two lengths beaten by Cleveland and is a dour stayer with the ability to run out the distance. Has won up to 3000m and finished second in the 2022 Sydney Cup in the mud, but won’t be a threat here. Has no love at triple-figures in betting and barrier 22 has only worsened his chances.

15. LASTOTCHKA (21) – Finished 13th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Lastotchka

Lastotchka. Photo: Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by MYBOYCHARLIE (IRE)  from MUTHLA (FR)
  • Age/Gender: 5yo Bay Mare
  • Trainers: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr
  • Jockey: Craig Williams
  • Weight: 51kg
  • Barrier: 21
  • Owners: Australian Bloodstock, Mr S Tsalikidis, Mr H Tsalikidis, Mr S Tsalikidis, Mr J C Slattery, Mrs C M Slattery, Ms J Williams, Lastotchka, Mr P A Vawdrey, Mr C Cortese, Mr T P Johns, Mr G R Johns, Mr S E Bristow, Mr M Wanzare, Mr P B Price, Mr J W Woodbridge, Prestige Racing 8, Cowarrie Partnership, Mr G W Voller, Mr S P Hardwidge
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $26 – BET NOW

Craig Williams will chase a second Melbourne Cup after his 2019 success on Vow And Declare locked in to partner French import Lastotchka for the Price/Kent stable. This five-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie is one of the best fancied mares in the mix and is a proven stayer. She was last seen winning a Group 3 over 3100m with 56kg in early September. Will get the two miles without a worry and drops notably in weight. She is assured of a start and looks one of the more underrated of the imports. Williams will need to work his magic from a wide barrier 21 draw on the little pocket rocket.

16. MAGICAL LAGOON (7) – Finished 22nd

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses
  • Breeding: by GALILEO (IRE)  from NIGHT LAGOON (GER)
  • Age/Gender: 5yo Bay Mare
  • Trainer: Chris Waller
  • Jockey: Mark Du Plessis
  • Weight: 51kg
  • Barrier: 7
  • Owners: Yu Long Investments
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $101 – BET NOW

Waller won the 2021 Melbourne Cup with a mare (Verry Elleegant) but cannot see history repeating itself with this five-year-old daughter of Galileo. She’ll jump one of the longest-priced roughies in the race despite being an international Group 1 winner. She is an Irish import who won the Group 1 Irish Oaks over the mile and a half last year. Her Australian form has been disappointing however. That said, she was only a length beaten in the Geelong Cup finishing sixth. Twenty-six-year-old Beau Mertens will ride the triple figure roughie with the now Group 1 winning rider having his second go at the race following his 13th aboard Cismontane back in 2017. Could be one for the exotics especially drawn in gate seven.

17. MILITARY MISSION (5) – Finished 10th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Military Mission

Military Mission. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by MASTERCRAFTSMAN (IRE)  from ATLANTIC ISLE (GER)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Grey-Brown Gelding
  • Trainers: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
  • Jockey: Rachel King
  • Weight: 51kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)
  • Barrier: 5
  • Owners: Mr D W Lilley, Mr L M Nestadt, Woodburn, Ms S J Marshall, Mrs C M Cook, Mr F W Cook, Mr D De Jersey, Mr R McClure, Mr M H Wood, Mrs S M Montague, Mr R H Montague, Mes Chevaux, Mr W Y W Lam, Mr D You, Mrs E Huang, Ms C McStay, Mr C Charalambous, Ms F J Tan, Mr E Li, Mrs I Kong
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $51 – BET NOW

Striking grey-brown galloper Military Mission has put himself in the frame for a Melbourne Cup bid in 2023 with a consistent spring that includes wins in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) and the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield in mid-October. Also finished fourth to stablemate Just Fine in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), but not sure how strong that Sydney form line is. Still, his Herbert with with 57kg was strong and he is down to 51kg with a half-kilo penalty for the big one. He will have a unique lead-up being kept fresh but given a Sale trial six days out. Rachel King confirmed for the ride. Ace barrier five draw and King will be on a high after a Group 1 win in the Coolmore Classic on Derby Day.

18. SERPENTINE (1) – Finished 19th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses
  • Breeding: by GALILEO (IRE)  from REMEMBER WHEN (IRE)
  • Age/Gender: 7yo Chestnut Gelding
  • Trainers: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
  • Jockey: Jye McNeil
  • Weight: 51kg
  • Barrier: 1
  • Owners: Mr N C Williams, Mr L J Williams, Mr P Mehrten, Mr G T Ryan, Mr A L Green, Mrs B A Green, Mr B N Singer, Mr M E Ruff, Jacobsen Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr M Gudinski, Mr V J Sammartino, Mr D Evans, Mr J A Ingham, Mrs M M Ruff, Mr M J Symons, Mr B E G Arnhold
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $61 – BET NOW

The master Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams has a couple of chances at an eighth Melbourne Cup in 2023 including this Waterhouse/Bott-trained seven-year-old who will be ridden by the race’s 2020 winning jockey Jye McNeil. The chestnut has been racing consistently in lower grade staying races this spring so would need to go to another level to challenge here. He was third to Future History two lengths beaten in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings with 58kg and will relish a drop to 51kg back at the track in the Melbourne Cup field. Likely outclassed but a good weight from a good stable with a hoop that knows what it takes to win Australia’s most famous race. Inside draw with barrier one on Tuesday.

19. VIRTUOUS CIRCLE (6) – Finished 18th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Virtuous Circle

Virtuous Circle. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by ALMANZOR (FR)  from SHE IS STRYKING
  • Age/Gender: 4YO Bay or Brown Horse
  • Trainer: Liam Howley
  • Jockey: Craig Newitt
  • Weight: 51kg
  • Barrier: 6
  • Owners: Mr C W Kwok, Miss E McDonald, Ms D F Howley, Mr F J Howley, Upper Bloodstock, Mr B Smith, Stag’s Leap, Mr N A Greenhalgh, Whiskey Racing, Ms D L McDonald, Mr R G Mulcaster
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $91 – BET NOW

One of the younger Melbourne Cup contenders in 2023 is Virtuous Circle. The Liam Howley-trained four-year-old only has winning form up to 1500m and is yet to finish in the money from three runs previously at Flemington. Was runner-up at a price in Sydney’s Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in the autumn as a three-year-old but recent form leaves a lot to be desired. 10th in The Bart Cummings and 8th in the Geelong Cup. Prefer plenty of others out of those races. Drawn to get a charmed run from barrier six.

20. MORE FELONS (24) – Finished 12th 

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses
  • Breeding: by CHURCHILL (IRE)  from PIVOTALIA (IRE)
  • Age/Gender: 5yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainers: Chris Waller
  • Jockey: Jamie Kah
  • Weight: 50.5kg
  • Barrier: 24
  • Owners: Mr R A Pegum, Mr D L MacTaggart, Mr P A Henry, Mr R S Willis, Riverview Turf Club, Ms J V Cleary, Mrs S J McGrath, Mr P M Quirk
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $34 – BET NOW

This Waller import, formerly raced as Scriptwriter, entered Melbourne Cup calculations running a slashing fifth in his down under debut in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m). It was a thrilling blanket finish with under a length separating the first six over the line. More Felons, with 55kg and Michael Dee riding, made up lots of late ground catching the eye late in his big run over the final furlong. Less weight and more distance put him right in the frame especially looking at his record that has winning form up to 3381m. Bring on the two miles! Jamie Kah picks up the ride on the light weight as the third confirmed female jockey with a ride in this year’s event. Is going to need all the luck from the extreme outside barrier.

21. FUTURE HISTORY (13) – Finished 15th 

2023 Melbourne Cup horses - Future History

Future History. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • Breeding: by SHOWCASING (GB)  from LIKELIHOOD (USA)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
  • Jockey: Hollie Doyle
  • Weight: 50kg
  • Barrier: 13
  • Owners: Mr P Trainor
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $27 – BET NOW

History will be made when English hoop Hollie Doyle takes the mount on this year’s The Bart Cummings winner Future History in the Melbourne Cup for last year’s winning stable. Doyle will become the first female rider in the race ‘race that stops a nation’ to come from outside Australasia when she jumps aboard the English expat on the 50kg light weight. Future History earned a ballot free ride via The Bart Cummings when posting his first stakes victory. Was good on October 27 when third in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) under a length beaten. Has options from barrier 13.

22. INTERPRETATION (17) – Finished 6th 

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses
  • Breeding: by GALILEO (IRE)  from DALDIYNA (FR)
  • Age/Gender: 6yo Brown Gelding
  • Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
  • Jockey: Teo Nugent
  • Weight: 50kg
  • Barrier: 17
  • Owners: Mr A Kheir, Mr J A O’Neill, Mrs L Buzadzic, Mr T R Maddern, Mr R Mesiano, Carty Racing, Mr M S Dandiwal, Mr V Kheir, Mr B A Secatore, Mrs R T Secatore, Mr G J Skien, Mr S A Lewin, Mr R E Wilson, Mr A Obarzanski, Mr W Brownlee-Smith, A K Racing, Halo Racing Services Pty Ltd, Solscaf Racing, Mr B D Nettlefold
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $67 – BET NOW

The Maher/Eustace Melbourne Cup contingent continues to strengthen ahead of November 7 with the team likely to also now be represented by Interpretation, a horse that failed to finish the race last year, following the comeback galloper’s Group 3 Bendigo Cup victory in the final stride on November 1. The horse broke a winning drought of 811 days with his narrow success in the race the team won with subsequent Melbourne Cup third placed mare High Emocean last spring. Had luck making the field but no luck with the barriers drawn gate 17.

23. KALAPOUR (14) – Finished 20th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses - Kalapour

Kalapour. Photo: Steve Hart.

  • Breeding: by WAR COMMAND (USA)  from KALADENA (IRE)
  • Age/Gender: 7yo Bay Gelding
  • Trainer: Kris Lees
  • Jockey: Zac Lloyd
  • Weight: 50kg
  • Barrier: 14
  • Owners: Mr L Petagna, Gurners Bloodstock Co, Mr J G S Singh, Mr W W Guest, Mr M F Clemenger, Mr T J Watson, Mr D V Redgrove, Mrs S A Redgrove, Mr T P Johns, Mr I M Clifton, Mr P Filipovic, Mrs J Guest, Mrs J Cross, Mrs N Malone, Mrs S Grayson, MJM Racing, Tah Boys
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $41 – BET NOW

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees is likely to have two runners in the Lexus Melbourne Cup field following the Derby Day ballot exemption win by Kalapour in the Lexus Archer Stakes. The tough horse came off some good runs in the Sydney spring staying races including a Group 1 The Metrop third and third also in the St. Leger. He lead from barrier to box to win the Archer with Damien Oliver in the saddle. Likely to back-up and chase the double last completed by Shocking (2009). Young Zac Lloyd has picked up the 11th our ride on 50kg after his earlier ride, Valiant King, was withdrawn. Drawn out in gate 14.

24. TRUE MARVEL (10) – Finished 8th

2023 Melbourne Cup Horses
  • Breeding: by MASKED MARVEL (GB)  from ANECDOTIQUE (FR)
  • Age/Gender: 8yo Brown Gelding
  • Trainer: Matthew Smith
  • Jockey: Ben Thompson
  • Weight: 50kg
  • Barrier: 10
  • Owners: Mr C J Dunn, Mr P G Davis, Mr N Susay, Mr R S Wallace, Team Honkers, Mr S Kendall, Darby Racing Anecdotique, Mr J D Ellen, Mr S Long, Mr B ICELY, Mr C R Fisher, Ms V N Fisher
  • Current Melbourne Cup 2023 Odds*: $151 – BET NOW

One of the veterans in the field is Matthew Smith’s Masked Marvel eight-year-old who will start at triple-figures with Ben Thompson riding. A dour stayer with winning form up to 3800m he also has a strong two-mile record (6:1-2-1) but doesn’t look up to this grade. Did run a solid Group 2 Brisbane Cup third over the distance in the winter, but recent form has been poor including a 10th in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Can improve up in distance but not enough to challenge this calibre of rivals. Nice barrier in gate 10.

*All-in 2023 Melbourne Cup odds subject to change.