Melbourne Cup Announces It Will Have 148 Entries Representing Seven Different Countries
The numbers for this year's A$6.2M ($5.8M) Melbourne Cup that were unfurled on Tuesday -- "148 total entries, with 31 stemming from overseas -- paint an intriguing picture," according to Adam Pengilly of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. In all, "horses trained in seven different countries are among first nominations." Naturally, "most attention will be narrowed on the Queen, who figures to end a 17-year Melbourne Cup absence if the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Estimate heads south." But for "all the frenzy a royal appearance would generate, it's unlocking old frontiers which must really please Melbourne Cup officials." Japanese-trained Admire Rakti and Bande are "confirmed visitors, no doubt rehashing memories of Delta Blues and Pop Rock running the quinella" in '06. Racing Victoria Exec GM of Racing Greg Carpenter said, "We have entries from seven countries and are excited to welcome Japanese participation for the first time since 2010, along with renewed interest from German trainers." The Melbourne Cup glow was "launched on the same day as the Sydney spring carnival, which was officially christened during a lavish function at Randwick" (SMH, 9/2). Pengilly reported in a separate piece Racing NSW Chair John Messara has "hailed the new series for provincial-based horses as filling a missing link in The Championships." Less than a fortnight after a A$1M series for country-based horses was added to next year's The Championships program, a "similar model for horses stemming from provincial regions was announced on Tuesday" (SMH, 9/2).