The stage is set for the 153rd running of the world's richest handicap, the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3,200m).
Once again, Australia's race that stops a nation is filled with international interest, with nine overseas-trained runners in the field, including the likes of 2011 winner Dunaden.
Australian racing's first lady, Gai Waterhouse, leads the local charge with race favourite Fiorente, while she will also saddle up French import Tres Blue.
Meanwhile, last year's winner Green Moon and Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner are among the runners owned by Lloyd Williams that will make up a quarter of the field.
Here's our look at the 24 horses assembled for the running of this year's Cup at 3pm (AEDT), on Tuesday, or Monday, 12 midnight ET in the US:
||DUNADEN ||8yo stallion||Starts: 41: 10-11-8||$7,663,406|
|T: Mikel Delzangles||Form: 43228||Barrier: 1||Weight: 58.5kg|
|J: Jamie Spencer||Track: 2: 1-0-0||Distance: 2: 1-0-0||Odds: $26|
2011 winner is back for a third tilt at the Cup, and this year has been
racing well against the best weight-for-age performers in Europe.
it appeared other contenders for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe would
have Dunaden's measure, Mikel Delzangles didn't hesitate in turning his
sights on Melbourne.
He has again settled into life at the
Werribee training centre like the old pro he is, and Delzangles says he
is over the odds for a horse of his quality.
Dunaden will have the
honour of being Cup topweight a second time, and while his class cannot
be doubted, only two eight-year-olds have won the Cup and none since
Catalogue in 1938.
||GREEN MOON||7yo stallion||Starts: 25: 7-3-0||$5,061,346|
|T: Robert Hickmott||Form: 44599||Barrier: 10||Weight: 57.5kg|
|J: Brett Prebble||Track: 7: 3-1-0||Distance: 1: 1-0-0||Odds: $26|
Last year's champion returns to defend his title and become only the sixth horse to win multiple Melbourne Cups.
Moon ran soundly in both the Memsie Stakes and Underwood Stakes this
spring, but his preparation hit a snag when he missed the Caulfield
Stakes due to an elevated temperature.
At his only other run this campaign, Green Moon settled well back before finishing a distant ninth in the Cox Plate.
has not had an ideal preparation for the Cup and will be sent to post
with three kilograms more than what he carried to victory 12 months ago.
||RED CADEAUX||8yo gelding||Starts: 40: 7-10-6||$5,137,875 |
|T: Ed Dunlop||Form: 89624||Barrier: 23||Weight: 56.5kg|
|J: Gerald Mosse||Track: 2: 0-1-0||Distance: 5: 0-2-1||Odds: $41|
This globetrotting galloper is back for a third shot at the Cup, having fallen only millimetres short behind Dunaden in 2011.
his eighth last year, Red Cadeaux has raced in six countries, winning
the Hong Kong Vase and running a bold second in the Dubai World Cup.
Dunlop maintains his horse is going as well as ever and is a much
better chance than what the betting would indicate, despite his wide
Red Cadeaux has the services of French jockey Gerald Mosse, who partnered Americain to victory in 2010.
||SEA MOON||6yo stallion||Starts: 14: 6-3-1||$1,182,202|
|T: Robert Hickmott||Form: 80021||Barrier: 7||Weight: 56.5kg|
|J: Steven Arnold||Track: 2: 0-1-0||Distance: 0: 0-0-0||Odds: $15|
of the best-credentialed horses brought to Australia in recent times,
Sea Moon has mixed it with the best in Europe and has a Royal Ascot win
on his CV.
His career in Australia got off to a rocky beginning,
with a botched start ruining his first run, before he failed to figure
against It's A Dundeel and Atlantic Jewel over 1,800 metres.
where he was at, the stable stepped Sea Moon up to the Flemington 2,500
metres in The Bart Cummings, where despite a 60kg impost he finished
over his rivals only to lose the race on protest.
But he made amends a week later with victory in the Herbert Power Stakes under 59.5kg, cementing his place in the Cup field.
||BROWN PANTHER||6yo stallion||Starts: 17: 7-3-1||$486,315 |
|T: Tom Dascombe||Form: 38115||Barrier: 6||Weight: 55kg|
|J: Richard Kingscote||Track: 0: 0-0-0||Distance: 1: 1-0-0||Odds: $19|
Brown Panther has been building a strong record over staying trips in Europe and has tasted defeat only once this season.
was declared a Melbourne Cup contender following a dominant win in the
Goodwood Cup over 3,200 metres, and then kept his engine ticking over
with a fifth placing over an unsuitable shorter trip in late September.
Panther's preparation on the track since arriving in Australia has gone
smoothly, however one of his handlers was sent home after breaching
Former English football star, and keen racing
man, Michael Owen bred and part-owns Brown Panther and has made the trip
to Melbourne to see his horse run.
||FIORENTE||6yo stallion||Starts: 15: 3-4-2||$1,571,611|
|T: Gai Waterhouse||Form: 36143||Barrier: 5||Weight: 55kg|
|J: Damien Oliver||Track: 2: 0-1-0||Distance: 1: 0-1-0||Odds: $7|
Last year's runner-up is looking to go one better and give racing's first lady Gai Waterhouse her first win in the Cup.
had only one autumn run with the Cup in mind, and this campaign he has
flashed home to win the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley,
before an unlucky fourth in the Turnbull Stakes prompted a jockey
He then produced an amazing effort to race wide and make a sustained run before fighting on for third in the Cox Plate.
ideal barrier draw has helped him secure favouritism for the Cup and he
should be given every chance with two-time winner Damien Oliver aboard.
||FORETELLER||7yo gelding||Starts: 36: 10-4-1||$1,469,771|
|T: Chris Waller||Form: 81024||Barrier: 15||Weight: 55kg|
|J: Craig Newitt||Track: 3: 1-0-0||Distance: 0: 0-0-0||Odds: $26|
Foreteller did his early racing in France and made his debut for champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller in April 2011.
has risen through the ranks to be a consistent performer at Group One
level, claiming wins in the Ranvet Stakes and Makybe Diva Stakes.
comes into the Cup after beating all bar Atlantic Jewel in the
Caulfield Stakes, before recording great closing sectionals to finish
fourth in the Cox Plate.
While doing much of his racing around
1,600 to 2,000 metres, Waller feels Foreteller has been settling well in
his races and deserves a chance in the Cup despite question marks over
him at 3,200 metres.
||DANDINO||7yo stallion||Starts: 26: 8-9-1||$1,345,644|
|T: Marco Botti||Form: 72212||Barrier: 4||Weight: 54.5kg|
|J: Ryan Moore||Track: 0: 0-0-0||Distance: 0: 0-0-0||Odds: $9|
well-travelled Australian-owned, English-trained galloper has produced a
big impression since stepping off the plane following a second placing
at Royal Ascot and a win in the American St Leger (2,700m).
then backed up his strong trackwork with a slashing second to Fawkner
in the Caulfield Cup over his preferred 2,400-metre trip.
connections acknowledge he is not as effective over 3,200 metres, but
from barrier four they are hoping for a soft run that will allow him to
be strong at the finish.
Leading UK jockey Ryan Moore returns to
Australia to take the ride, determined to redeem himself following a
much-criticised performance aboard Mount Athos last year.