Top 20 Melbourne Cup 2021 Runners

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Weight: 52.5kg / Age: 7 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Phillip Stokes
Amade, formerly trained in France, sprang to prominence when winning a Grade 2 at Belmont in the States in 2019. Since moving to Australia, the bay has run a fine fourth in the Neds Easter Cup at Caulfield and is now a winner at Flemington. His victory in a 2600-metre handicap has earned him quotes for the Melbourne Cup. Having seen that race out well, he is now on course for the big one on November 2. He’s also a 3200-metre winner in England on the all-weather tracks at Chelmsford and Kempton.
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Weight: 53kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Dawn Patrol was trained in Ireland initially, first by Aidan O’Brien and then by son and dual Cup winner Joseph. Since moving to Australia, his early prep hasn’t gone as well as hoped. Finishing 11th of thirteen in the Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley at 6/1, more was expected. That said, this is a young Galileo gelding with plenty of improvement to come. He’s a Group 3 winner in Ireland, furthermore over 3200 metres. He will stay for sure, with the final question now regarding his class for this race.
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Weight: 54kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
If you’re looking for a lightly-raced type with undoubted progression to come, Explosive Jack could be the one. Trained by the crack pair of Maher and Eustace, Explosive Jack is already hardened at Group 1 level having won the Australian and South Australian Derby. This 3200-metre distance looks ideal now, which makes his prep over 1600 look either strange or very clever. Taking in the Makybe Diva Stakes will have sharpened him up for the Spring Carnival, and despite being a 50/1 shot his 5-length defeat doesn’t read too badly at all.
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Weight: 53.5kg / Age: 5 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Anthony & Sam Freedman
This son of Galileo has sprung to prominence in the Cup market following his recent Herbert Power Stakes win at Caulfield. He has also beaten Master Of Reality when trained in Ireland, so all looks set for a big run. That being said, the question for punters is whether or not his form has flattened out. In theory, he has further progression to come, but he has been saddled with a 1kg penalty for his latest win. A decent barrier may well make all the difference to this colt, however.
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Weight: 55.5kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Peter Moody
Peter Moody is yet to land this race, but he has the early favourite in the shape of Incentivise. Now maturing nicely, the Tattersall’s Cup winner at Eagle Farm hit the headlines back in June. That 12-length win was spectacular on the eye, and now the gelding has followed it up. His position in the market has only solidified now after a Group 1 win in the Makybe Diva. That was some performance of a distance short of his ideal too. Should he go well in his lead-up race, Incentivise could be one of the shortest-priced favourites we’ve seen for this race in some time.
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Weight: 53kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
This entire son of Pierro is another contender for Maher & Eustace. Winner of the Bart Cummings last year, Persan has proven himself at Flemington and is a reliable stayer. Fifth in last year’s Melbourne Cup, the trick for punters is to figure out whether they believe he has improved. He was given a wide barrier last time, though that may not have mattered too much. He went into 2020 running in top form, so we need to see something similar from him in October.
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Weight: 52.5kg / Age: 5 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Robert Hickmott
Another horse bought out of Joseph O’Brien’s yard. Pondus is one that O’Brien himself would undoubtedly have looked to bring to this race. His Group race record in England and Ireland doesn’t really set the pulse racing to be honest. However, he was a good second in a strong handicap at the Curragh in June over 2800 metres. Should Hickmott get the best out of him in Australian conditions, then he remains dangerous off this weight.
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Weight: 52kg / Age: 6 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Bjorn Baker
Bjorn Baker wouldn’t be the first name on many punters’ lips when looking for top-class trainers to rely on in the Melbourne Cup, but he has a contender here, alright. Running around Randwick she’s been excellent. Second in the Tancred Stakes to Sir Dragonet, she was also fourth in the Sydney Cup. She followed that staying performance up with a close third in the Winx Stakes, too, to show off her adaptability. The one doubt is that, while being sent off the favourite, her biggest defeat before September was over 3200 metres in the Sydney Cup. She has to tackle that distance again here – though the defeat was only 3½ lengths.
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Weight: 57.5kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
A Cox Plate and Tancred Stakes winner, Sir Dragonet was a close third to Incentivise last time off level weights. What we shouldn’t forget either is his time in Europe with Aidan O’Brien. There he went off favourite for the Derby at Epsom where he was a close fifth. There is an argument that, despite his wins, he hasn’t found his best form in Australia. He is capable of more; there’s no doubt about that. His close form with Incentivise while now carrying half a kilo less makes him a strong contender.
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Weight: 50kg / Age: 3 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Although now with Waterhouse & Bott, essentially all of the prep for the Carnival has been done by Aidan O’Brien. A young horse by Camelot, Sir Lucan has plenty going for him in terms of class and staying ability. Only eight runs into his career as of September, Sir Lucan has been aimed at the Great Voltigeur and the St Leger in England. He won neither but ran well in both. Now, he has the chance to shine in conditions that are potentially more suited to his style. Any rainfall would also be very much in his favour.
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Weight: 52kg / Age: 6 / Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy / Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Another springer in the market has been Maher & Eustace’s Grand Promenade. A quick glance at his form would tell you most contenders here have his measure, but a closer look reveals something a little different. His four defeats out of 5 since last September all came over distances of 1600-2000 metres. Over 2800 in the Andrew Ramsden, however, he ran a blinder to finish second to Realm Of Flowers while last time over 2400 metres he earned a 1kg penalty for this race by landing the Bart Cummings in good style. The 3200-metre trip could be right up his street.
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Weight: 57kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Andrew Balding
A fascinating contender for a trainer who just gets better and better in England in the shape of Andrew Balding. Spanish Mission most recently chased home Europe’s best stayer by miles – Stradivarius ay York. He’s consistent and high class. Third in the Gold Cup at Ascot, he can stay all day. However, he’s also shown his penchant for going well round tighter bends having won at Chester, while he rarely lets anyone down. He has a big weight but has all the class in the world and is a massive danger.
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Weight: 58kg / Age: 8 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
O’Brien has won this race twice now, and he’s happy enough to bring back last year’s champion off top weight. He may be carrying more weight now, but his form simply demands it. Last year, he came into this race on the back of a 2¼-length third in the Irish St Leger. This season, he chased home Ebor winner Sonnyboyliston by less than a length in the same race. His form is outstanding, he’s a true Group 1 horse, and there’s little doubt he can handle what the handicapper has dropped on him. The only shame is that Sonnyboyliston will now also not be here to compete.
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Weight: 54.5kg / Age: 6 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Ismael Mohammed
Based at Newmarket in England, Away He Goes is a lively outsider for the Melbourne Cup. This year he has finished third to Subjectivist, the subsequent runaway winner of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, while he has also chased home Trueshan, which represents top-class staying form. His racing weight doesn’t look like a problem either, while he remains on an upward curve. The only doubt is that, despite his largely progressive form, his win rate isn’t great. Away He Goes’ last success was in September 2020 in a handicap at Doncaster.
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Weight: 54kg / Age: 6 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Third going into the final 200 metres in last year’s Melbourne Cup, The Chosen One eventually finished fourth. He has the form to back up his reputation then, the question being, will he see it out better this time. The fact he arguably tired out has to be taken into consideration. However, he has run second and sixth in two Sydney Cups. In finishing third in the Feehan Stakes over 1600 metres he has been sharpened up now, while a repeat of his third in last year’s Caulfield Cup would keep him as a major contender once again.
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Weight: 52.5kg / Age: 7 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
A consistent performer, albeit usually in defeat, Master Of Wine remains on target for his first crack at the Melbourne Cup. After recently having three consecutive tenth-placed finishes, he returned to form last time out over a more suitable trip, which cannot be ignored. At a huge price, Master Of Wine got to within a length-and-a-half of Grand Promenade in the Bart Cummings, giving away weight. He now has a 1kg weight turnaround with Maher & Eustace’s runner which could make all the difference. If the Bart Cummings form is strong, he stands a big chance.
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Weight: 57kg / Age: 6 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Chris Waller
One of the most popular horses in training, Chris Waller’s mare had an amazing time of things last year and needs to recapture that form. Her close form with Addeybb makes her a star and her wins in the Winx Stakes, Turnbull Stakes and Caulfield Cup. She went on to run seventh in the Cup last season but could be even sharper this time. Second in this year’s Winx, she needs more of a trip. Another good run in the Caulfield Cup would put her spot-on for the big one.
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Weight: 53.5kg / Age: 6 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Chris Waller
Another horse bringing Bart Cummings form into the race is Selino. In finishing fourth in that event, Chris Waller’s gelding proved his well-being and on British form you’d have to take serious notice of him. When trained in England by James Fanshawe, he had close form with Cup second-favourite Spanish Mission. Twice beaten three lengths by him off level weights, he now carries fully 3.5kg less than his old rival which could prove absolutely crucial on the day. Last April, he won the Sydney Cup over 3200 metres too which does not damage his cause in this race.
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Weight: 51kg / Age: 5 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Symon Wilde
Symon Wilde’s mare is getting there, slowly but ever so surely. Her last defeat over 3200 metres, when going off a strong favourite in the Adelaide Cup, may simply have been the result of her tackling the trip too early. Recent signs are certainly more encouraging. Drawn ten barriers wide of winner Grand Promenade, she ran superbly in the Bart Cummings to finish runner-up. Her 1¼-length defeat that day came while in receipt of 1kg, so while the weights are similar a better barrier draw may be all it takes for a horse clearly getting better as time goes on.
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Weight: 52kg / Age: 4 / Jockey: TBC / Trainer: Danny O’Brien
Danny O’Brien knows how to win this race having landed it in 2019 with Vow And Declare. He has another strong candidate here, too, one bringing into the race some top-class form. Placed in the Australian Derby among other top events, his form was already encouraging. Going into the Turnbull Stakes in early October however, he was thought of as an outsider. As if to show his upward trajectory, he ran a storming race at Flemington to finish a half-length second to Cup favourite Incentivise. That was a terrific battle, with the pair pulling clear, showing him to be up for the fight.
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Which Horses Are Running in the Melbourne Cup 2021?

The Melbourne Cup 2021 will be run over 3200 metres at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia. This year the race will be held on Tuesday 2nd November at 3 pm local time. There should be a full field of 24 runners and the barrier draw will be announced closer to the day of the race. The odds below can help you decide which favourite to win you want to bet on for the Melbourne Cup when race day comes later in the year.

Horse Jockey
Amade TBD
Dawn Patrol TBD
Explosive Jack TBD
Incentivise TBD
Persan TBD
Pondus TBD
Realm Of Flowers TBD
She’s Ideel TBD
Sir Dragonet TBD
Sir Lucan TBD
Spanish Mission TBD
The Chosen One TBD
Twilight Payment TBD
Verry Elleegant TBD


Amade 34 51 41 200
Dawn Patrol 34 26 26 44
Explosive Jack 17 15 12 17
Incentivise 5 5 5.5 8.4
Persan 34 34 34 42
Pondus 26 34 31 50
She’s Ideel 26 51 61 75
Sir Dragonet 26 34 34 55
Sir Lucan 34 51 61 110
Spanish Mission 7.5 6 6.5 7.4
Twilight Payment 13 11 11 19
Verry Elleegant 21 17 17 25
See all horses

Odds are subject to change. Last updated 15th October 2021

Melbourne Cup 2021 Favourites to win

Although we won’t know which horses will be the favourites to win this year’s Melbourne Cup until the full lineup is released closer to race day, there are two horses that really stand out among the array of potential Melbourne Cup horses: Surprise Baby and Russian Camelot. If these two runners participate in the Melbourne Cup 2021, they’ll both have an outstanding chance to win the race.

Beginning with Paul Preusker’s charge, here’s a closer look at three of the top shouts among the potential Melbourne Cup runners for the 2021 race:

Dawn Patrol

  • Age: 4
  • Jockey: TBC
  • Weight: 53 kg
  • Trainer: Robert Hickmott

It’s still early days for Dawn Patrol in Australia. Formerly trained in Ireland, he’s made a slow enough start to his new life but presumably will only get better. At least, that’s the hope of Robert Hickmott.

When sent into the Feehan Stakes he was expected to run well. However his 11th-place finish was not ideal. The positives are his young age, his stellar breeding and that fact he is a Group 3 winner. He stays the full Melbourne Cup distance, and a good prep run should see him right.

Twilight Payment

  • Age: 8
  • Jockey: TBC
  • Weight: 58 kg
  • Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

Last year’s winner needs no introduction. He’ll have to carry a burdensome weight, but his form this season show’s he can manage that.

Before winning the race last season, he ran third in the Irish St Leger. He was beaten just over two lengths. This time around, he was beaten less than a length by Sonnyboyliston in the same race and is in the form of his life.

He is rated higher in Europe now than when he came for the Carnival twelve months ago. Despite top weight then, he has a massive chance. Joseph O’Brien has already won this race twice – he could yet add a third.

Melbourne Cup 2021 Runners

It is always useful to know the favourites to win when it comes to horse racing, but Melbourne Cup history has also taught us that they usually do not fare rather well in the race. In the past ten years, only one favourite has managed to win – Fiorente in 2013, and only one horse has managed to take three wins in a row – Makybe Diva in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

On the other hand, there is Prince of Penzance, who was an outsider and definitely not one of the Melbourne Cup favourites to win. He started the race at 100/1 in 2015, managed to win and become known as one of the legendary Melbourne Cup horses, as well as a legend in horse racing history.

Melbourne Cup 2020 Confirme Horses: The Race Results

The stakes were high and there were a lot of incredibly talented horses fighting to win this spot in racing history, but only one horse could be crowned the winner of the 2020 Melbourne Cup, one of the most infamous horse races in the world.

Horse Trainer Jockey Position
Twilight Payment (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Jye McNeil 1st
Tiger Moth Aidan O’Brien Kerrin McEvoy 2nd
Prince Arran (GB) Charlie Fellows Jamie Kah 3rd
The Chosen One (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Daniel Stackhouse 4th
Persan Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Michael Dee 5th
Sir Dragonet (IRE) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Glen Boss 6th
Veerry Ellegant (NZ) Chris Waller Mark Zahra 7th
Russian Camelot (IRE) Danny O’Brien Damien Oliver 8th
Finche (GB) Chris Waller Hames McDonald 9th
Ashrun (FR) Andreas Wohler Declan Bates 10th
Oceanex (NZ) Mick Price & Michael Kent Dean Yendall 11th
Warning Anthony & Sam Freedman Luke Currie 12th
Surprise Baby (NZ) Paul Preusker Craig Williams 13th
Miami Bound (NZ) Danny O’Brien Daniel Moor 14th
Master of Reality (IRE) Joseph O’Brien Ben Melham 15th
Steel Prince (IRE) Anthony & Sam Freedman William Pike 16th
Etah James (NZ) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Billy Egan 17th
Vow and Declare Danny O’Brien Jamie Mott 18th
Mustajeer (GB) Kris Lees Michael Rodd 19th
Stratum Albion (GB) Willie Mullins Jordan Childs 20th
Dashing Willoughby (GB) Andrew Balding Michael Walker 21st
Avilius (GB) James Cummings John Allen 22nd
Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Hugh Bowman 23rd
King of Leogrance (FR) (Scratched) Danny O’Brien Damien Lane 24th

Melbourne Cup Past Winners

Melbourne Cup Year Winner
2020 Melbourne Cup Twilight Payment
2019 Melbourne Cup Vow And Declare
2018 Melbourne Cup Cross Counter
2017 Melbourne Cup Rekindling
2016 Melbourne Cup Almandin
2015 Melbourne Cup Prince of Penzance
2014 Melbourne Cup Protectionist
2013 Melbourne Cup Fiorente
2012 Melbourne Cup Green Moon
2011 Melbourne Cup Dunaden
2010 Melbourne Cup Americain

Melbourne Cup Last Horse

While the winner of the Melbourne Cup is always the punters’ focus, the last horse over the line is also of interest for some people – spectators and bettors alike. While no one in the horse racing world aims to come last, it’s interesting to see who finished at the rear of the pack.

Melbourne Cup Year Last Horse
2020 Melbourne Cup Avilius
2019 Melbourne Cup Rostropovich
2018 Melbourne Cup Red Cardinal
2017 Melbourne Cup Gallante
2016 Melbourne Cup Rose of Virginia
2015 Melbourne Cup Snow Sky
2014 Melbourne Cup Admire Rakti
2013 Melbourne Cup Verema
2012 Melbourne Cup Ethiopia
2011 Melbourne Cup Modun
2010 Melbourne Cup Zavite

Melbourne Cup International Horses

With the Melbourne Cup being such an integral competition to the horse racing world, it is no surprise that horses from all over the world are brought across to Victoria, Australia in order to guarantee that the calibre of the competition is as high as possible.

The international lineup at this pinnacle of horse racing seems to get stronger every year and that will surely be the case this year. However, before then, below you’ll find the international horses who participated in the 2020 Melbourne Cup.

Horse Country
Anthony Van Dyck IRE
Master of Reality IRE
Sir Dragonet IRE
Twilight Payment IRE
Stratum Albion GB
Dashing Willoughby GB
Prince of Arran GB
Ashrun FR
Tiger Moth IRE


How does a horse qualify for the Melbourne Cup?

There are two main things taken into consideration for a horse to qualify for the Melbourne Cup. These are:

  • If the horse has won a ballot-free race in the lead up to the event
  • The weight of the handicap assigned to the horse

How many horses have died in the Melbourne Cup?

Seven horses have died at Melbourne Cup races, with the most recent death occurring last year when Anthony Van Dyck, unfortunately, had to be euthanized after an injury.

Are any horses scratched from the Melbourne Cup?

Yes, sometimes horses are scratched from the Melbourne Cup, for example, King of Leogrance was scratched from the race last year.

Which horse won the Melbourne Cup 2020?

Twilight Payment won the 2020 Melbourne Cup

Which horse won the Melbourne Cup 2019?

Rostropovish won the race in 2019.

Learn more about the Melbourne Cup race

For more information about the Melbourne Cup you can read the following pages:

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