2022 Melbourne Cup first acceptances released

Joseph O'Brien Melbourne Cup
Joseph O’Brien will have two chances in the 2022 Melbourne Cup. (Photo: John Grossick)

First acceptances were taken on Tuesday afternoon for the 2022 Melbourne Cup, and 97 horses remain in contention to make the final field of 24.

Originally, there were 186 horses nominated for the race, but almost half of that number have not paid up for the first round of acceptances.

Joseph O’Brien and his father, Aidan O’Brien, did have 15 nominations between them, but only three remain, with Joseph – a two-time Melbourne Cup winner – accepting with two gallopers, Point King and Temple Of Artemis, while Aidan will rest his chances on the shoulders of Waterville.

Unlike years gone by, only one previous winner of the Melbourne Cup remains in contention, with 2019 victor Vow And Declare back for another shot at the race that stops the nation.

Edward Cummings will be looking to join his legendary grandfather as a winner of the great race when he saddles up star mare Duais, who was recently overtaken at the top of the market by talented European youngster Deauville Legend.

Trainer James Ferguson has confirmed that the early favourite will make his way to Australia, joining the likes of Earl Of Tyrone, Eldar Eldarov, Loft, Rodrigo Diaz and Without A Fight among the international contingent this year.

Ciaron Maher & David Eustace have 11 horses in contention, while last year’s winning trainer, Chris Waller, has accepted with nine horses.

Retired trainer Luca Cumani came close to winning the Melbourne Cup a few times in the early 2000s, and his son Matt Cumani will be trying to win the first for the family this year.

Cumani has accepted with two runners, San Huberto and Team Captain, with both horses set to line up this Saturday at Flemington.

Weights for the Melbourne Cup will be released next Tuesday, September 13, with last year’s third placegetter, Spanish Mission, likely to carry top weight.

Deauville Legend is currently the $10 all-in favourite following his classy win in the Grand Voltiguer Stakes at York last month.

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