Each year 24 horses square up in the Melbourne Cup which is now regarded as one of the most prestigious racing events in the world.

See below for the final field of 24 runners in the 2019 Melbourne Cup. There are 13 Australasian-trained runners and one New Zealand trained horse while the rest are international raiders. The horses range from 4 to 7 in age and only two are mares. Six runners have won previously over the 3200m distance. Three trainers have the surname O’Brien and they have 8 runners between them.

1. Cross Counter (GB)

Last years winner has returned to defend his title and has raced in Dubai, England and Ireland since winning the 2018 Melbourne Cup at his only Australian start. We know he can run the distance but he will carry 6.5 kg more than he did last time. He has carried big weights at his last two races where he finished 3rd in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup and 4th i the Group 1 Irish St Leger. He is not without a chance.. [Bet Now]

2. Mer De Glace (JPN)

This Japanese stayer won the Caulfield Cup at his first Australian start to give him his 6th consecutive win and his 8th career win. He came from well back in the field and won by a length. He is untried at the distance but looks as if he is up to it. He got a 1 kg penalty for the Caulfield Cup which means he will carry more weight than all but one of the past 12 Cup winners. If he wins it will give jockey Damien Lane wins in the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the same year. [Bet Now]

3. Master Of Reality (IRE)

One of four runners for Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien, he is also one of four sons of Frankel in the race this year. He has won over distances from 2400 to 2800m and has been placed in the Ascot Gold Cup over 4014m. He is one of 3 runners owned by the Melbourne Cup winning Lloyd Williams family who knows what it takes to win the Cup and the trainer won in 2017 with Rekindling. He should perform very well. [Bet Now]

4. Mirage Dancer (GB)

At his Australian debut this son of Frankel was slowly away and closed hard for 3rd in the Caulfield Cup. He has a career record of 4 wins and 9 places from 17 starts and is very good at the 2400m distance. He is untried at the two miles but is certainly not the worst. [Bet Now]

5. Southern France (IRE)

In September he finished 3rd in the Group 1 Irish St Leger which is a traditional path for international horses coming to the Melbourne spring carnival. He is one of 4 runners sired by Galileo and is having his Australian debut here. He has won up to 2800m but has raced over 3600m in Britain. [Bet Now]

6. Hunting Horn (IRE)

This well-travelled horse began his career in Ireland and has raced in the United Kingdom, France, The United States, Qatar, Dubai and Australia. He is one of three runners trained by Aidan O’Brien and is one of 3 runners sired by Camelot. He was ridden perfectly by Ryan Moore to win the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup over 2500m by a good margin, which gives him a chance here. Not the roughest. [Bet Now]

7. Latrobe (IRE)

Last year this horse was brought to Australia after 2nd in the 2018 Irish St Leger and ran 2nd in the Mackinnon. He has the winning trainer/owner combination of J O’Brien and the Lloyd Williams family. This year he only ran 6th in the Irish St Leger, so is not one of the major chances but should finish in the first half of the field. [Bet Now]

8. Mustajeer (GB)

This British import won the Ebor Handicap at York, which is Europe’s richest handicap flat race, before coming here and running 1.8 lengths 6th in the Caulfield Cup. The seven-year-old is racing in the best form of his career and on the basis of his only Australian run he is expected to be one of the first over the line. [Bet Now]

9. Rostropovich (IRE)

Previously trained by Aidan O’Brien, this son of Frankel is one of 3 Cup runners for the Hayes and Dabernig team. In 2018 he finished 5th in the Cox Plate at this first Australian start then put in a solid performance for 5th in the 2018 Melbourne Cup. This campaign hos form has not been as good with 7th in the Makybe Diva, 9th in the Turnbull Stakes and 16th in the Caulfield Cup. He will get the distance but may not get there quickly enough. [Bet Now]

10. Twilight Payment (IRE)

Another Williams and Joseph O’Brien combination, he is one of only six runners this year who have won over the distance. He is sired by Teofilo who also sired last years winner Cross Counter. He won two consecutive races earlier in the year before 6 lengths 7th in the Irish St Leger. He is an experienced six-year-old and despite the long odds on offer about him he is not without a chance. [Bet Now]

11. Finche (GB)

Last year this son of Frankel came 4th in the Melbourne Cup after 3rd in the Geelong Cup. This year he won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes over 2000m, was 2nd in the Turnbull over 2000m then 1.6 lengths 5th in the Caulfield Cup. He has the same weight he carried last year. He is one of 2 runners for Chris Waller and rates as a genuine winning chance. [Bet Now]

12. Prince Of Arran (GB)

One of 6 horses in the field to have won over the Cup distance, this well-travelled gelding is having his 2nd Australian campaign. Last year he ran 3rd in the Herbert Power Stakes, then was impressive winning the Lexus Stakes before a solid 3rd in the 2018 Melbourne Cup. This year he was a close 2nd in the Herbert Power before holding on to win the Geelong Cup as favourite. He will carry a kilo more than he did last year but has to be respected. [Bet Now]

13. Raymond Tusk (IRE)

Last start he finished 2 lengths 4th in the Ebor Handicap at York and his owners had received so many offers from Australians looking for a Melbourne Cup horse that they decided to brig him here themselves. He hasn’t raced since the Ebor on 24 August but he is definitely fit and ready to go. One of two High Chaparral runners and one of the more interesting runners. [Bet Now]

14. Downdraft (IRE)

He secured his place in the field with a win in the Group 3 Hotham Handicap over 2500m on Saturday, and is one of only two horses in the field on a three-day back-up. His win was very impressive and a big improvement on his first Australian start where he finished 3rd to Hunting Horn in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. I like him and will be backing him each way. [Bet Now]

15. Magic Wand (IRE)

One of only two mares in the field, this Aidan O’Brien trained daughter of Galileo has raced in Ireland, England, France and the USA. She has only won two races but has placed 9 times in top level company. At her Australian debut she finished 3.9 lengths 4th in the Cox Plate, but is untested a t the 3200m. She has drawn the outside barrier and always runs well. [Bet Now]

16. Neufbosc (FR)

This smart looking grey gelding showed great early promise in France.but has shown very little in his five Australian starts and hasn’t won since May 2018. He is one of 3 runners for the Hayes and Dabernig team and is the outsider of the field. [Bet Now]

17. Sound (GER)

his German stayer was brought to Australia last year where he finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup then 18th in the Melbourne Cup. His last win was in Germany over 3200m but he hasn’t shown enough in his Australian starts to suggest he will be competitive here. He finished 4 lengths 10th in the Caulfield Cup last start and he won’t be going around with any of my money on him. [Bet Now]

18. Surprise Baby (NZ)

This son of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking was bought for $5000 as a yearling. He won the Group 2 Adelaide Cup over 3200m at his 6th start and at his latest start he won the Group 3 Bart Cummings over 2520m. He has a nice light weight and has to be counted as a genuine chance. Include him in your multiples. [Bet Now]

19. Constantinople (IRE)

This four-year-old European horse sired by Galileo has a similar form history to recent Melbourne Cup winners Rekindling and Cross Counter. He was previously trained by Aidan O’Brien and is now part-owned by David Hayes. He finished 2nd in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur at York before coming here, which is the same race last years winner Counter Current finished second in. He has had one run here for 4th in the Caulfield Cup where he ran on strongly looking for more ground. He is one of the main chances. [Bet Now]

20. Il Paradiso (USA)

The most lightly raced horse in the field, this Galileo horse trained by Aidan O’Brien has only had 8 starts. He placed at his first 3 stats and broke his maiden over 2400m at Leopardstown. Two starts later he won by 12 lengths over 3200m at Curragh. He has not won at Stakes/Group level but was beaten just over a length by Europe’s benchmark stayer Stradivarius in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup over 3250m. This will be his first start in Australia and he is clearly a superior staying beast. One for the multiples. [Bet Now]

21. Steel Prince (IRE)

Last campaign this six-year-old won five races in a row, culminating in the Listed Andrew Ramsden.over 2800m. He has had 3 starts this campaign with the latest 4.5 lengths 7th in the Geelong Cup. He is very tenacious but may be a little outclassed in this field.and is not one of my picks. [Bet Now]

22. The Chosen One (NZ)

This four-year-old Savabeel horse began his career in New Zealand and came here in April for the 2019 Australian Derby where he was an unlucky 4th then bounced back for a good win in the Frank Packer Plate two weeks later. He won the Herbert Power then settled last in the Caulfield Cup before improving for 3.9 lengths 9th and then finished 5th in the Hotham on Saturday, making him one of only two horses on a three day back-up. He hasn’t won beyond 2400m. [Bet Now]

23. Vow And Declare

During the winter he ran 4th in the Queensland Derby then won the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup over 3000m by over 3 lengths. He has two runs this campaign for a closing 4th in the Turnbull and 2nd in the Caulfield Cup. He looks a leading contender and if he won he would be the first Australian bred winner in a decade. A fighting chance. [Bet Now]

24. Youngstar

Last year this daughter of High Chaparral was the only mare in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and acquitted herself well by running 6th. This year her lead-up form is not as good as it was last year but her latest start was a 3rd in the AC St Leger Stakes over 2600m. We know she has run the distance before so she is not without a hope. [Bet Now]

Jo Jackson

Previous Melbourne Cup Horses