The order of entry for the Melbourne Cup is invariably the most discussed issue heading into the $6.2 million event.
Even as late as a fortnight before the race that stops a nation, over 50 horses can be on the ballot vying to make the final 24 runner field.
Simply being a quality horse is not good enough to ensure entry into the cup, as a number of key criteria need to be addressed before a runner can be eligible to run in the world’s richest staying race.
There are also four races that gain a galloper direct entry into the Melbourne Cup.
Order Of Entry 2018
|Melbourne Cup ballot exempt horses as of 2 November, 2018 : 2|
|1||BEST SOULTION (IRE) (Saeed bin Suroor)||5||57.5||EXEMPT||20/10/2018||1st G1 2400m||Caulfield Cup|
|2||AVILIUS (GB) (James Cummings)||5||54.5 (inc 1.5 pen)||EXEMPT||06/10/2018||1st G3 2500m||Bart Cummings|
|Passed 2018 Melbourne Cup first ballot clause as of 2 November, 2018 : 41|
|3||ACE HIGH (David Payne)||4||55.0||$1,290,000||4/11/2017||1st G1 2500m||VRC Derby|
|4||THECLIFFSOFMOHOR (IRE) (Aidan O’Brien)||5||56.5||$991,303||20/10/2018||3rd G1 2400m||Caulfield Cup|
|5||MAGIC CIRCLE (IRE) (Ian Williams)||7||56.0||$68,751||24/05/2018||1st G3 3240m||Henry II Stakes UK|
|6||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) (Chris Waller)||10||55.5||$2,136,375||14/04/2018||1st G1 3200m||Sydney Cup|
|7||TOSEN BASIL (JPN) (Darren Weir)||7||54.0||$850,087||10/12/2017||3rd G1 2400m||Hong Kong Case HK|
|8||MUNTAHAA (IRE) (John Gosden)||6||55.5||$597,428||25/08/2018||1st Ebor 2800m||Ebor Handicap UK|
|9||CHESTNUT COAT (JPN) (Yoshito Yahagi)||5||55.5||$481,356||24/03/2018||2nd G2 2500m||Nikkei Sho JPN|
|10||SOUND CHECK (GRE) (Michael Moroney)||6||55.5||$198,960||12/08/2018||2nd G1 2400m||Grosser Preis von Berlin GER|
|11||ROSTROPOVICH (IRE) (Aidan O’Brien)||4||51.0||$671,328||30/06/2018||2nd G1 2400m||Irish Derby IRE|
|12||MARMELO (GB) (Hughie Morrison)||6||55.0||$459,796||14/07/2018||1st G2 2800m||Prix de Maurice de Nieuil FR|
|13||CROSS COUNTER (GB) (Charlie Appleby)||4||51.0||$210,625||4/08/2018||1st G3 2414m||Gordon Stakes UK|
|14||YOUNGSTAR (Chris Waller)||4||51.5||$497,361||26/05/2018||1st G1 2200m||Queensland Oaks|
|15||YUCATAN (IRE) (Aidan O’Brien)||5||54.5 (inc 2.5kg pen)||$249,724||14/10/2018||1st G2 2400m||Herbert Power Stakes|
|16||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE) (Michael Moroney)||7||54.0||$430,500||11/11/2017||1st G3 2600m||Queen Elizabeth Stakes|
|17||VENTURA STORM (IRE) (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig)||6||54.0||$367,400||27/10/2018||1st G2 2500m||Moonee Valley Gold Cup|
|18||RED CARDINAL (IRE) (Darren Weir)||7||54.0||$364,171||14/05/2017||1st G2 3200m||Oleander-Rennen GER|
|19||AUVRAY (FR) (Richard Freedman)||8||54.0||$245,550||23/09/2017||1st G3 2400m||Colin Stephens Quality|
|20||RED VERDON (USA) (Ed Dunlop)||6||54.0||$225,096||23/06/2018||2nd G2 2400m||Hardwicke Stakes UK|
|21||FINCHE (GB) (Andre Fabre)||5||54.0||$113,007||5/08/2018||1st G3 2500m||Prix du Reux FR|
|22||RUNAWAY (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott)||4||50.5 (inc 1.5kg pen)||$394,300||24/10/2018||1st G3 2400m||Geelong Cup|
|23||ZACADA (NZ) (Baker and Forsman)||6||53.0||$506,933||14/04/2018||2nd G1 3200m||Sydney Cup|
|24||SIR CHARLES ROAD (O’Sullivan and Scott)||5||53.0||$487,354||7/04/2018||1st G2 2600m||ATC Chairmans Hcp|
|25||NAKEETA (GB) (Iain Jardine)||8||53.0||$479,363||28/10/2017||5th G1 3200m||Melbourne Cup|
|26||SOLE IMPACT (JPN) (Hirofumi Toda)||7||53.0||$391,760||17/02/2018||3rd G3 3400m||Diamond Stakes JPN|
|27||MISS ADMIRATION (JPN) (Mick Price)||4||50.0||$182,000||22/09/2018||1st G3 2400m||Colin Stephens Quality|
|28||A PRINCE OF ARRAN (GB) (Charlie Fellows)||6||53.0||$155,662||14/10/2018||3rd G2 2400m||Herbert Power Stakes|
|29||LIBRAN (IRE) (Chris Waller)||8||53.0||$54,000||28/10/2017||2nd G2 2500m||Moonee Valley Gold Cup|
|30||TRAP FOR FOOLS (Jarrod McLean)||5||53.0||$90,000||27/10/2018||2nd G2 2500m||Moonee Valley Gold Cup|
|31||PRIZE MONEY (GB) (Saeed bin Suroor)||6||52.5||$625,389||4/03/2017||1st G2 2400m||Dubai City of Gold UAE|
|32||GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR) (Darren Weir)||5||52.5||$405,125||25/10/2017||2nd G3 2400m||Geelong Cup|
|33||LORD FANDANGO (GER) (Archie Alexander)||6||52.5||$405,125||14/10/2017||1st G2 2400m||Herbert Power Stakes|
|34||MEGABLAST (NZ) (Darren Weir)||6||52.5||$162,986||30/06/2018||1st LR 2400m||Caloundra Cup|
|35||DAL HARRAILD (GB) (Maher and Eustace)||6||52.5||$119,263||14/07/2018||2nd G3 2780m||Silver Cup UK|
|36||WALL OF FIRE (IRE) (Maher and Eustace)||6||52.5||$94,131||14/10/2017||2nd G2 2400m||Herbert Power Handicap|
|37||PATRICK ERIN (Chris Waller)||7||52 (inc 2kg pen)||$435,500||29/09/2018||2nd G1 2400m||Metropolitan Handicap|
|38||RISING RED (NZ) (Busuttin and Young)||5||51.0||$167,695||4/03/2017||2nd G1 2400m||New Zealand Derby NZ|
|39||NORTHWEST PASSAGE (Waterhouse and Bott)||5||50.5||$154,000||24/10/2018||2nd G3 2400m||Geelong Cup|
|40||BRIMHAM ROCKS (Chris Waller)||5||50.5||$213,000||29/09/2018||2nd G1 2400m||Metropolitan Handicap|
|41||YOGI (NZ) (Darren Weir)||6||50.0||$123,315||6/10/2018||3rd G3 2500m||Bart Cummings|
|42||JAAMEH (GER) (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig)||6||50.0||$54,000||1/06/2018||2nd G2 2500m||Bart Cummings|
|43||MIDTERM (GB) (Liam Howley)||6||50.0||$36,834||20/05/2017||2nd G3 2400m||Ascot Park Stakes UK|
How to qualify a horse for the Melbourne Cup
Eligibility for prospective Melbourne Cup horses is determined by performances in past races. To be in the mix for a final spot in the 2017 Melbourne Cup for example, a horse must have passed the following criteria:
- Since 1 February, 2016 inclusive, won or was placed 2nd or 3rd in an internationally recognised Group or Graded flat race run over 2300 metres or further; OR won or was placed 2nd or 3rd in the Queensland Derby, Queensland Oaks or Brisbane Cup; OR
- Since 1 February, 2016 inclusive, was placed 4th or 5th in an internationally recognised Group 1 or Grade 1 flat race run over 2300 metres or further in which horses older than 3 years old could run; OR
- Since 1 February, 2016 inclusive, won an internationally recognised Listed flat race run over 2300 metres or further; OR
- Since 1 February, 2016 inclusive, won or was placed 2nd or 3rd in the York Ebor (UK) or Champions & Chater Cup (HK); OR
- Since 1 February, 2016 inclusive, won the Northumberland Plate (UK), Cesarewitch (UK), or Queen Mother Memorial Cup (HK); OR
- Was placed 6th, 7th or 8th in the 2017 Caulfield Cup; OR
- Was placed 2nd or 3rd in the 2017 Cox Plate; OR
- Was placed 2nd or 3rd in the 2017 VRC Stakes; OR
- Won the 2017 Turnbull Stakes; OR
- Won or was placed 2nd or 3rd in the 2015 Melbourne Cup; OR
- Won the 2015 Caulfield Cup
How to gain automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup
There are four races prior to the Cup that will ensure a horse is exempt from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup final field and will have a guaranteed place in the event if connections elect to take that route.
The Bart Cummings – October 6, 2018
A group three event held on Turnbull Stakes day at Flemington, the Bart Cummings is the first opportunity for a horse to lock away a spot in the race that stops a nation.
2015 was the first time the Bart Cummings was listed as a ballot-exempted race, which has increased the profile of the event ten-fold. In 2016 eventual Melbourne Cup winner Alamndin gained entry into the race via the Bart Cummings.
The 2018 Bart Cummings was won by Godolphin staying prospect Avilius
The Bart Cummings-Melbourne Cup double attempts
|Year||Winner||Price||Melbourne Cup Finish|
|2016||Almandin||$3||1st of 24|
|2015||Let’s Make adeal||$8||Did not run|
|2014||Who Shot The Barman||$1.85||3rd of 22|
|2013||Araldo||$4.60||Did not run|
The Caulfield Cup – October 20, 2018
The first of Melbourne’s big-three races of the spring, the Group One Caulfield Cup, which is typically run just shy of three weeks in advance of the Melbourne Cup, has routinely been a launching pad for an assault on the main event of Australian racing.
Doing the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup is a rarity in racing given only 11 horses in history have completed it. The last horse to complete the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup double was Ethereal in 2001.
The 2018 Caulfield Cup was won by Godolphin import Best Solution
The Cox Plate – October 27, 2018
The Group One Cox Plate, which is run every year at Moonee Valley, has become the ultimate tune-up race for horses looking to run in the Melbourne Cup.
In the history of the race just six horses have completed the Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup double, the last of which was the immortal Makybe Diva back in 2005.
Recent history suggests that the Cox Plate has become more of a stand-alone race. No horse since So You Think in 2010 has won the Cox Plate and gone on to compete in the Melbourne Cup of that year.
The Lexus Stakes – November 3, 2018
Last chance saloon for those owners and trainers wanting to ensure their horse takes its place in the Melbourne Cup.
Ran on the Saturday prior to the main event at Flemington, the short turnaround is unavoidable for those horses which look unlikely to make their way into the final 24. 11 horses in the history of the race have completed the Lexus Stakes/Melbourne Cup double, the last of which was Shocking in 2009.
Previous Melbourne Cup final fields & order of entry
No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Odds 1 Hartnell James Cummings Damian Lane 12 57.5kg $26 2 Almandin Robert Hickmott Frankie Dettori 14 56.5kg $7 3 Humidor Darren Weir Blake Shinn 13 56kg $9.50 4 Tiberian Alain Couetil Oliver Peslier 23 55.5kg $31 5 Marmelo Hughie Morrison Hugh Bowman 16 55kg $9 6 Red Cardinal Andreas Wohler Kerrin McEvoy 24 55kg $15 7 Johannes Vermeer Aiden O’Brien Ben Melham 3 54.5kg $10 8 Bondi Beach Robert Hickmott Michael Walker 1 54kg $61 9 Max Dynamite William Mullins Zac Purton 2 54kg $15 10 Ventura Storm David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Glen Boss 6 54kg $31 11 Who Shot Thebarman Chris Waller Tommy Berry 20 54kg SCR 12 Wicklow Brave William Mullins Stephen Baster 8 54kg $51 13 Big Duke Darren Weir Brenton Avdulla 5 53.5kg $19 14 US Army Ranger Joseph O’Brien Jamie Spencer 22 53.5kg $61 15 Boom Time David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Cory Parish 9 53kg $26 16 Gallante Robert Hickmott Michael Dee 18 53kg $101 17 Libran Chris Waller Dwayne Dunn 7 53kg $41 18 Nakeeta Iain Jardine Glyn Schofield 19 53kg $31 19 Single Gaze Nick Olive Kathy O’Hara 11 53kg $41 20 Wall Of Fire Hugo Palmer Craig Williams 15 53kg $13 21 Thomas Hobson William Mullins Joao Moreira 21 52kg $14 22 Rekindling Joseph O’Brien Corey Brown 4 51.5kg $16 23 Amelie’s Star Darren Weir Dean Yendall 10 51kg $23 24 Cismontane Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Beau Mertens 17 50kg $41
Order of entry
Order Silks Horse/Trainer Age Weight $ Since Date Details Race Exempt from Ballot as at 30 October 2017 : 2 1 BOOM TIME (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig) 6 53.0 (inc 1.0kg pen) Exempt 21/10/2017 1st G1 2400m Caulfield Cup 2 AMELIE’S STAR (Darren Weir) 6 51.0 Exempt 7/10/2017 1st G3 2500m Bart Cummings Passed 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup first ballot clause as at 30 October 2017 : Total 32 3 HARTNELL (GB) (James Cummings) 7 57.5 $450,000 1/11/2016 3rd G1 3200m Emirates Melbourne Cup 4 ALMANDIN (GER) (Robert Hickmott) 8 56.5 $4,132,000 1/11/2016 1st G1 3200m Emirates Melbourne Cup 5 JON SNOW (NZ) (Baker and Forsman) 4 54.5 $1,390,865 1/04/2017 1st G1 2400m ATC Derby 6 HUMIDOR (NZ) (Darren Weir) 5 56.0 $385,000 25/03/2017 2nd G1 2400m Tancred Stakes 7 TIBERIAN (FR) (Alain Couetil) 6 55.5 $386,846 27/08/2017 1st G2 2500m Grand Prix de Deauville FR 8 REKINDLING (GB) (Joseph O’Brien) 4 51.5 $121,027 2/07/2017 1st G2 2800m Curragh Cup IRE 9 RED CARDINAL (IRE) (Andreas Wohler) 6 55.0 $422,102 14/05/2017 1st G2 3200m Oleander-Rennen GER 10 MARMELO (FR) (Hughie Morrison) 5 55.0 $315,041 20/08/2017 1st G2 3000m Prix de Kergolay FR 11 SINGLE GAZE (Nick Olive) 5 53.0 $485,000 21/10/2017 2nd G1 2400m Caulfield Cup 12 JOHANNES VERMEER (IRE) (Aidan O’Brien) 5 54.5 $242,503 21/10/2017 3rd G1 2400m Caulfield Cup 13 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) (Chris Waller) 9 54.0 $1,288,375 28/10/2017 1st G2 2500m Moonee Valley Cup 14 MAX DYNAMITE (FR) (Willie Mullins) 8 54.0 $914,187 26/05/2016 3rd G3 3280m Henry II Stakes UK 15 VENTURA STORM (IRE) (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig) 5 54.0 $551,874 16/10/2016 1st G1 2400m Gran Premio del Jockey Club ITY 16 WICKLOW BRAVE (GB) (Willie Mullins) 9 54.0 $497,788 11/09/2016 1st G1 2800m Irish St Leger IRE 17 BONDI BEACH (IRE) (Robert Hickmott) 6 54.0 $120,722 15/05/2016 1st G3 2800m Vintage Crop Stakes IRE 18 US ARMY RANGER (IRE) (Joseph O’Brien) 5 53.5 $816,116 4/06/2016 2nd G1 2400m Epsom Derby UK 19 BIG DUKE (IRE) (Darren Weir) 6 53.5 $757,250 1/04/2017 1st G2 2600m Chairman’s Hcp 20 GALLANTE (IRE) (Robert Hickmott) 7 53.0 $1,354,500 9/04/2016 1st G1 3200m Sydney Cup 21 LIBRAN (IRE) (Chris Waller) 7 53.0 $702,000 28/10/2017 2nd G2 3200m Moonee Valey Cup 22 QEWY (IRE) (Charlie Appleby) 8 53.0 $535,500 19/10/2016 1st G3 2400m Geelong Cup 23 NAKEETA (GB) (Iain Jardine) 7 53.0 $304,363 26/08/2017 1st Ebor Hcp Ebor Handicap UK 24 WALL OF FIRE (IRE) (Hugo Palmer) 5 53.0 $94,131 14/10/2017 2nd G2 2400m Herbert Power Handicap 25 ABBEY MARIE (Michael Kent) 5 51.5 $75,000 21/10/2017 6th Caulfield Cup Caulfield Cup 26 THOMAS HOBSON (GB) (Willie Mullins) 8 52.0 $36,885 15/09/2017 2nd G2 3600m Doncaster Cup UK 27 HARLEM (GB) (Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig) 6 51.5 (inc 0.5kg pen) $119,314 5/06/2016 3rd G2 2400m Prix de Chantilly FR 28 ALOFT (IRE) (Robert Hickmott) 6 51.5 $57,000 1/04/2017 2nd G2 2600m Chairman’s Hcp 29 FOUNDRY (IRE) (Robert Hickmott) 8 51.0 (inc 1.0kg pen) $435,500 30/09/2017 1st G1 2400m Metropolitan Handicap 30 VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE) (Michael Moroney) 6 50.0 $54,000 5/11/2016 2nd G3 2400m Queen Elizabeth Stakes 31 LIZZIE L’AMOUR (Baker and Forsman) 5 51.5 $58,636 10/12/2016 1st G3 2400m Waikato Cup NZ 32 COOL CHAP (Lee & Anthony Freedman) 5 50.0 $161,200 14/05/2016 3rd G1 2500m South Australian Derby 33 CISMONTANE (NZ) (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) 5 50.0 $27,000 28/10/2017 3rd G2 2500m Moonee Valley Cup 35 KELLSTORM (IRE) (Darren Weir) 5 50.0 $27,000 7/10/2017 3rd G3 2500m Bart Cummings Not Passed 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup first ballot clause as at 30 October 2017 : Total 2 ALWARD (IRE) (Chris Waller) 5 50.0 Not passed ballot GUARDINI (FR) (Darren Weir) 7 53.0 Not passed ballot TOTAL : 36