Melbourne Spring Carnival 1st Acceptances
- 109 horses have accepted for the Caulfield Cup
- 79 horses have accepted for the Cox Plate
- 124 horses have accepted for the Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Spring Carnival 1st Acceptances were announced on September 7. (Getty)
Spring has finally hit with first acceptances coming through for Melbourne's three major races across the Melbourne Spring Carnival, the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
All three of last year's major winners have been accepted for their respective races, while the interantional contingent is stronger for the Melbourne Cup than it is for the other two majors.
Racing Victoria released a statement on Tuesday outlining they key acceptors for the race, along with touching on the international contingent that are set to arrive in Australia.
"Of the 109 horses that have accepted for the Caulfield Cup, only the Team Hawkes-trained Mount Popa is currently guaranteed a start in the $5 million showpiece courtesy of his win in the Listed Neds Mornington Cup (2400m) earlier this year," Racing Victoria stated.
"The lightly raced import is one of the leading fancies according to bookmakers, along with Incentivise, Verry Elleegant, Queensland Oaks winner Duais and three-time Derby winner Explosive Jack whom all feature among the first acceptances.
"Two internationally trained horses, Rodrigo Diaz (trained by David Simcock), who is part-owned by the Australian Bloodstock syndicate, and Ascot Gold Cup placegetter Spanish Mission (Andrew Balding), feature amongst the first acceptors, although their participation will be subject to suitable travel arrangements.
"As well as dominant local hopes Zaaki and Verry Elleegant, this year’s Cox Plate field could also feature a newcomer to the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable in the form of Gold Trip, who is set to arrive in Australia at month’s end.
"The notable withdrawals today were Alligator Blood and the Group 1-winning mares Avantage and Mystic Journey.
"Defending champion Twilight Payment is one of six internationally trained horses that feature among the 124 first acceptors for the Melbourne Cup, in addition to high profile imports Gold Trip (Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace) and Sir Lucan (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) who are yet to join their new Australian stables.
"The other internationals among the first acceptances are Twilight Payment’s stablemate and two-time Melbourne Cup starter Master of Reality, Rodrigo Diaz (David Simcock), Spanish Mission (Andrew Balding), Away He Goes (Ismail Mohammed) and Sonnyboyliston (Johnny Murtagh)."
The Caulfield Cup will be held on October 16, while the Cox Plate will be held October 23 and the Melbourne Cup on November 2.
Click here for the full list of acceptances for the 2021 Caulfield Cup