BIG ORANGE: Trainer Michael Bell. Jockey Jamie Spencer. $14
“He is arguably the best specialist two miler in Europe and hence he’s got topweight over here, but we’re looking forward to the race” – Michael Bell.
OUR IVANHOWE: Lee and Anthony Freeedman. Dwayne Dunn. $41
“We need a little bit of rain and if he gets that I think he climbs up the ladder and becomes a live chance” – Dwayne Dunn.
CURREN MIROTIC: Osamu Hirata. Tommy Berry. $31
“I think that barrier (18) suits me quite well. I don’t want to have to be too aggressive on him early but I will push forward” – Tommy Berry.
BONDI BEACH: Aidan O’Brien. Ryan Moore. $10
“Aidan is pretty happy with the horse at Werribee. He was an immature three-year-old last year. It was my idea to bring him out last year and probably it was the wrong idea” part-owner Lloyd Williams.
EXOSPHERIC: Lee and Anthony Freedman. Damien Oliver. $19
“He’s unproven at the trip but he has a paralysing finish if he has the right run” – Lee Freedman.
HARTNELL: John O’Shea. James Mc Donald. $5.50
“He’s the right horse to run really well in a Melbourne Cup. His form has been fantastic so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in the finish. I know I’ll be able to give my horse the best possible ride and if he’s good enough he’ll deliver. If he’s not, he’s not” – James McDonald.
WHO SHOT THEBARMAN: Chris Waller. Hugh Bowman. $35
“He has run a place in the Melbourne Cup before so he’s proven at the trip and the track conditions are going to suit himl” – Hugh Bowman.
WICKLOW BRAVE: Willie Mullins. Frankie Dettori. $15
“I’m going to let Frankie decide tactics. He’s been around in the Melbourne Cup often enough and he’s riding out of his skin this year and he’s due a Melbourne Cup at some stage. I hope it’s on this fella” – Willie Mullins.
ALMOONQITH: David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Michael Walker $21
“The team has got his fitness better, better and better and he’s ready to run two miles” – Michael Walker.
GALLANTE: Robert Hickmott. Blake Shinn. $51
“He’s won over the distance in a Sydney Cup. Team Williams have won four Melbourne Cups before so they know how to get a horse ready for the day” – Blake Shinn.
GRAND MARSHAL: Chris Waller. Ben Melham. $41
“He got flattened in the race last year so hopefully we’ll keep him out of trouble. He’s a horse that has to find his feet early but he’s drawn an ideal barrier so he’ll do no work early and we’ll let him run to the line” – Ben Melham.
JAMEKA: Ciaron Maher. Nick Hall. $7.50
“She’s a big strong horse. It’s a handicap and it’s (the weight) going to have some effect on her, but how much, who knows. Good horses do extraordinary things and she seems to be one of those” – Ciaron Maher
HEARTBREAK CITY: Tony Martin. Joao Moreira. $16
“Four or five months ago we were up to our neck in mud in Tipperary trying to win a maiden hurdle which we duly won, beat Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, and we’re going to come along tomorrow and beat his father” – part-owner Aidan Shiels.
SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD: John Thompson. Blake Spriggs. $81
“He’s ready to prove a point and for mine if he runs the trip he’s going to be somewhere around the money” – Blake Spriggs.
EXCESS KNOWLEDGE: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Vlad Duric. $81
“He ran a really good race last year and from that day right up until now he’s been prepared for this Melbourne Cup this year. It’s an open race, a difficult race but he’s in good order going into it,” – Adrian Bott.
BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE: Saeed bin Suroor. Damian Lane. $71
“If she gets the right run from barrier one she should be there or thereabouts” – John Ferguson, chief executive Godolphin.
ALMANDIN: Robert Hickmott. Kerrin McEvoy. $11
“There was just something about him. He’s had the right feel and we know (owner) Lloyd Williams and (trainer) Robert (Hickmott) can get a horse going well towards the big one, so I was happy to lock him away after he was quite dominant winning The Bart Cummings,” – Kerrin McEvoy.
ASSIGN: Robert Hickmott. Katelyn Mallyon. $71
“He’s an excellent chance. He’s had a faultless preparation” – Katelyn Mallyon.
GREY LION: Matt Cumani. Glen Boss. $31
“He’s shown a lot of character and heart since he’s been out here and I can’t fault how he’s come on since Geelong” – Matt Cumani.
OCEANOGRAPHER: Charlie Appleby. Chad Schofield. $8.50
“Unfortunately we won’t know how he handles the back-up until the gates open but all the signs are good at this stage. When horses are on an upward curve you don’t know where they can end up” – Charlie Appleby.
SECRET NUMBER: Saeed bin Suroor. Stephen Baster. $31
“He’s got a big long stride on him. They tell me he’s a lot more relaxed this year and has settled in a lot better. A year on hopefully he’s more mature. He looks a very nice ride” – Stephen Baster.
PENTATHLON: John Wheeler. Mark Du Plessis. $101
“From (barrier) four he should be able to put the horse to sleep and come into the race late. I just hope he can do it” – John Wheeler.
QEWY: Charlie Appleby. Craig Williams. $23
“It’s top of the bucket list. If I win it will be the greatest race on earth and if I’m not successful then it will be just another handicap and it will be on next year” – Craig Williams.
ROSE OF VIRGINIA: Lee and Shannon Hope. Ben Thompson. $126
“It’s pretty overwhelming really. There’s a lot of charm that goes with the race, but to see it first hand, it’s just unreal. Hopefully this is just the first of many but I’ll well and truly have the head down to be here this day every year” – Ben Thompson.