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Second acceptances have closed for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate

Numbers have been cut after second declarations for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate closed on Tuesday.

The Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 16 has 72 horses still in contention while there 40 remaining to chase honours for Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 23.

Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant remains in contention for this year’s race along with the Cox Plate and joining her in both races is last year’s Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet.

Also among second acceptors in both races is the Peter Moody-trained Incentivise who captured the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington at his first start for his new trainer.

Another among the headline acceptors for the 2021 Cox Plate is Zaaki who will make his Victorian debut in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on Saturday.

Only three of the top 40 ranked horses following last week’s release of weights did not feature among the 72 second acceptors for the 2021 Caulfield Cup.

They were Mo’Unga, who features among the Cox Plate acceptors, Spirit Ridge and Inspirational Girl who suffered a setback and is out of the spring.

The Grahame Begg-trained Nonconformist joined Mount Popa as a ballot exempt runner among the acceptance list with hisw in in the Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.

Racing Victoria Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, elected not to penalise Nonconformist in the Caulfield Cup where he will carry 51.5kg.

With an updated Order of Entry also released on Tuesday, Montefilia currently has the final place in the starting line-up of 18.

The Cox Plate looms as the much-anticipated showdown between star gallopers Verry Elleegant and Zaaki who along with Sir Dragonet, Incentivise, Mo’unga, Homesman, Probabeel, Callsign Mav and Sierra Sue are among 19 Group 1 winners among the 40 acceptors.

A total of 12 southern hemisphere three-year-olds have the opportunity to claim the crown of Australia’s weight-for-age star off the older horses and include Anamoe , Artorious, Captivant, Giannis, Lightsaber and the sole remaining filly Mac ‘N’ Cheese.

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