Twilight Payment remains in the running for the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup (Image: Racing Photos)”
The 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup dream remains in reach for 124 horses and connections after first declarations for the $8 million race were taken today, which is 30 greater than the first declarations for last year’s running.
Among the list of contenders is current TAB favourite Incentivise, who makes his Victorian debut for Peter Moody in the $1 million Group 1 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington this Saturday, as well as second favourite Sir Lucan for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Other notable horses to progress to the next phase of the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup journey include 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare, three-time Derby winner Explosive Jack and Denis Pagan’s Victoria Derby winner Johnny Get Angry.
Six of the leading overseas contenders still in the running for the world’s richest handicap are Spanish Mission, Master of Reality, Away He Goes, Sonnyboyliston, Rodrigo Diaz and last year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment.
Other first acceptances who have recently arrived from overseas include Cormorant, Dawn Patrol, Military Mission and Surefire while Gold Trip and Sir Lucan will be on one-way tickets from the UK to their new Australian stables.
A number of international horses will prepare to board the first shipment to Melbourne when they enter pre-export quarantine on Thursday 9 September.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said the Lexus Melbourne Cup 2021 picture will become even clearer this Saturday at Flemington.
“The PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday will give us a good look at how Incentivise, Explosive Jack and Johnny Get Angry are tracking towards their grand final on the first Tuesday in November,” Mr Jordon said.
“We’ve already seen key Lexus Melbourne Cup hopes such as Verry Elleegant and Realm of Flowers show they are in for a big spring and we look forward to following their road to the Cup.
“The international interest remains strong and the Irish St Leger on Sunday 12 September will be an important race to watch with Lexus Melbourne Cup hopefuls such as Sonnyboyliston, Master of Reality and Twilight Payment expected to run.”
The Lexus Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday 2 November as part of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival which begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 30 October and also features Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 4 November and Mackinnon Stakes Day on Saturday 6 November.
All the action from the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival can be seen free to air on Network 10.
Weights for the Lexus Melbourne Cup are set to be announced on Monday 13 September.
Second declarations for the Lexus Melbourne Cup must be submitted by noon on Tuesday 28 September.
The full list of first acceptances for the Lexus Melbourne Cup can be found here.