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Just Horse Racing has been canvassing all the available news, as well as speaking to trainers, to try and get a guide on where horses will run in the lead up to the Emirates Melbourne Cup two weeks from today.

Just Horse Racing writer Andrew Hawkins goes through the current order of entry to determine where each horse is likely to go before the Melbourne Cup.

The top 40 in the ballot order are as follows:

1. Sans Frontieres – out of the Melbourne Cup
2. Descarado – the Caulfield Cup winner is likely to go straight to the Melbourne Cup without another run, although if he runs it will be in the Mackinnon
3. Shocking – before the Caulfield Cup, trainer Mark Kavanagh said that the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day was likely, while nothing has been said since this looks a probable target before the Melbourne Cup
4. Shoot Out – runs in this Saturday’s Cox Plate, a decision will then be made on the Melbourne Cup
5. Metal Bender – didn’t handle the track on Saturday, will head to the Mackinnon Stakes where he needs to run well to guarantee a start in the Melbourne Cup
6. Campanologist – Godolphin import, he has settled in well, he doesn’t come out of quarantine until Cup morning and so won’t run before
7. Zipping – he’s 9, but he’s in career best form and a Melbourne Cup tilt is likely if he runs a bold race in the Cox Plate on Saturday
8. Monaco Consul – the Caulfield Cup placegetter has raced well with spaced-out runs before, and that’s the plan this time – the stable has confirmed that he’ll go straight into the Melbourne Cup
9. Profound Beauty – Dermot Weld’s mare also doesn’t come out of quarantine until Cup morning and so will go straight to the race
10. Mr Medici – Hong Kong’s Cup hope pulled up with a couple of superficial cuts after the Caulfield Cup, he’ll head straight to the Melbourne Cup
11. Faint Perfume – she had no hope after a scrimmage at the first turn in the Caulfield Cup, Bart hasn’t confirmed any plans for her but the Mackinnon may be on the agenda
12. Illustrious Blue – Goodwood Cup winner who has been bought by Australian connections, still trained by his British trainer William Knight, will go straight into the Melbourne Cup
13. Tokai Trick – pretty much the same as Mr Medici, pulled up with superficial cuts, will head straight to the Melbourne Cup
14. Dariana – spat the dummy on a wet track in the Caulfield Cup, finished twenty five lengths last, Bart is also yet to determine plans for her but they may include a run on Derby Day
15. Zabrasive – he’s out of the spring with a ligament strain
16. Once Were Wild – her spring plans will be a lot clearer after the Geelong Cup (2400m) tomorrow
17. Zavite – good run in the Caulfield Cup, likely to head straight to the Melbourne Cup
18. Harris Tweed – Caulfield Cup placegetter is likely to head straight to the Melbourne Cup
19. Master O’Reilly – suffered a colic attack which ruled him out of the Caulfield Cup, runs in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on Saturday, would have to run well there to push on to the Melbourne Cup
20. C’est La Guerre – the intention before Saturday was to stick to 2000m before the Melbourne Cup, he is nominated for the MV Cup this weekend but I’d say that he’s more likely to run in the Mackinnon or Lexus on the way to the Melbourne Cup – I try to avoid second guessing Lloyd though
21. Manighar – Luca Cumani trained galloper who will go straight to the Melbourne Cup
22. Buccellati – completely out of form, may head to the Melbourne Cup but surely a prime candidate for balloting? Especially this year when there’s a lot of talent on the fringe.
23. Jessicabeel – had a slight temperature which ruled her out of the Caulfield Cup, will run in the MV Cup, then the Lexus Stakes then the Melbourne Cup – she’ll be a busy girl
24. Americain – runs at Geelong tomorrow in the Geelong Cup as his leadup to the Melbourne Cup
25. Doctor Fremantle – ran last in the Herbert Power Stakes, all the indications are that he is now out of the spring
26. Bauer – also trained by Luca Cumani, he’s only run twice in two years! Goes straight to the Melbourne Cup.
27. Vigor- more than likely out of the spring
28. Red Ruler – connections said that he failed to handle the heavy track on Saturday, likely to head to the Melbourne Cup, possibly with another run on Derby Day

At the moment, that is the cutoff. However, with attrition and lower ranked horses qualifying, this is likely to change in the next few days.

29. Mourayan – didn’t handle the soft track at Caulfield, likely to try and wait for attrition to make the final field
30. Herculian Prince – likely to run in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on the way to the Melbourne Cup
31. Alcopop – another who struggled on Saturday, he’ll run in the Mackinnon before the Melbourne Cup
32. Linton – lightly raced grey for Lloyd Williams, it has been said that he’ll need to win the Lexus for Lloyd to run him in the Melbourne Cup – but if he’s in the field, I don’t think Lloyd will resist the opportunity to run him
33. Holberg – said to be Godolphin’s best hope this year (confirmed by the booking of Frankie Dettori to ride), he’ll need a bit of luck to make the field with him not coming out of quarantine until the morning of Melbourne Cup day
34. Drunken Sailor – runs at Geelong tomorrow, needs to win the Geelong Cup to guarantee himself a spot but could still get in without winning
35. Eastern Aria – really impressive mare who has settled in very well for Godolphin, still a bit of a query if she’ll make the field but she’s going straight to the race
36. No Wine No Song – runs in the Geelong Cup tomorrow, if he wins that and Jessicabeel doesn’t run top 3 in the MV Cup, then he gains ballot free exemption as part of the Australian Stayers Challenge, likely to then run in the Lexus before the Melbourne Cup
37. Capecover – has disappointed this campaign, gets one final chance to impress in the MV Cup on Saturday, may back up in the Lexus but definitely not in form
38. Valdemoro – poor run in the Caulfield Cup, connections may try to press on to the Melbourne Cup but she probably won’t get a run without getting a penalty
39. Precedence – Bart’s going to try to qualify him through the MV Cup, he qualified Kingston Rule through the race in 1990 so it is definitely possible
40. Above Average – also running in the MV Cup, has some chance, if he wins then goes to the Melbourne Cup

There are 38 more horses entered, some of the more notable ones are as follows:

46. Exceptionally – this mare has been well backed for the Geelong Cup tomorrow, if she wins she will rocket up the order of entry and will be very close to gaining a start
50. Maluckyday – improving Zabeel gelding who has been dominant this preparation, winning the City Tatt’s Cup (2400m) at Randwick last weekend very easily, will try to qualify through the Lexus
53. Mr Charlie – equal third favourite for the Geelong Cup, he needs to win and get a hefty penalty to confirm his spot in the Melbourne Cup
54. Rundle – a Lloyd Williams stayer who has been slightly disappointing this preparation, looks like they are resigned to him missing a start
55. Sea Galleon – SA Derby placegetter who ran a great race behind I’m Imposing last Wednesday, goes to Moonee Valley to try and qualify
56. So You Think – all he needs to do is place in the Cox Plate and he’s guaranteed a run, very likely to happen, the more pressing question is whether he’ll run in the Melbourne Cup
57. Triple Honour – unlikely to qualify now and unlikely to run
58. Moudre – boom horse who is favourite for the Geelong Cup, if he wins and gets a 1kg penalty, he’ll still probably need to win the Lexus to qualify
59. Pompeyano – Godolphin’s fourth horse in Australia, he’s being aimed at lesser races and won’t run in the Melbourne Cup

The likely field will become a lot clearer after third declarations are taken next Monday.

Written by Andrew Hawkins

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