Melbourne Cup field finalised

The final 24 horses are in place to tackle tomorrow’s Melbourne Cup after the last few spots were confirmed on an action-packed Derby Day afternoon at Flemington on Saturday.

The big winner out of the late reshuffle of the Cup field was the Irish-trained Thomas Hobson, with the proven distance stayer slotting in late at No. 24 in order following the forced withdrawal of Jon Snow, who was ruled unfit to start by the Victoria Racing Club Committee acting on veterinary advice. Hong Kong star Joao Moreira is booked to ride Thomas Hobson for Willie Mullins, who will also start Wicklow Brave and Max Dynamite. For the connections of Vengeur Masque, it was once again a matter of so-close yet so-far.

Last year the horse was stranded outside the Cup field at 25th in order and that was the position he finished in again on Saturday night after running so bravely in the Lexus Stakes to finish a narrow second to Cismontane. Cismontane was ridden to victory by Stephen Baster but as he is booked to partner Wicklow Brave in Tuesday’s Cup, trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott moved swiftly to book Beau Mertens for the ride in the $6.2 million race. The all-important barrier draw for the Melbourne Cup was to take place at Flemington on Saturday night at 7pm.

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