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 2021 Melbourne Cup. There are less international raiders than in previous years  The horses range from 4 to 9 in age and four are mares. Six runners have won previously over the 3200m distance or longer. Three trainers have more than one runner. Ciaron Maher & David Eustace  and Chris Waller have four runners each and Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott have two runners.

Two of the field are sired by Galileo (Delphi & Great House), two by Tavistock (Johnny Get Angry & Tralee Rose and two by So You Think (Knights Order & Carif).  Four runners were in last year’s Melbourne Cup. There are three four-year-olds, seven five-year-olds, ten six-year-olds , three seven-year-olds and one nine-year-old.

Melbourne Cup Runner by Runner

1. Twilight Payment

Last years winner trained by the Cox Plate winning trainer Joseph O’Brien.  He likes to find the front and really run them along.  Was second in the Group 1 Irish St Leger at his last start.

2. Incentivise

The new super star in Australian racing.  Has won his last eight starts – and most wins have come by big margins.  This prep he has won two Flemington Group 1’s over the mile and mile and quarter, then was dominant winning the Caulfield Cup last start by 3.5 lengths.  Seemingly the further they went the stronger he got.  At just his fourth run of the campaign he may have even more left in the tank which is frightening for his opposition.  Has to carry 57kg now due to the 1.5kg penalty he received after winning the Caulfield Cup but he is clearly the one to beat.

3. Spanish Mission

International raider with strong credentials.  Won the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup in may, then was third in the Ascot Gold Cup.  Last start he was a close second to Stravivarious

4. Verry Elleegant

Ran a good seventh in this race last year.  Raced below her best here in the Turnbull on October 2, then put in an improved showing when third in the Cox Plate last start.

5. Explosive Jack

Won the Australian DerbySouth Australian Derby & Tasmanian Derby earlier in the year.  Thought his runs in the Makybe Diva and Turnbull were very good, then put in a poor one in the Caulfield Cup.  Has been set for this.  Could be worth another chance.

6. The Chosen One

Trained by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in New Zealand.  Ran a terrific fourth in this race last year.  Was second in the Herbert Power with a real eye catcher from the back two starts ago, then beaten a long way in the Caulfield Cup where maybe he didn’t handle the back up.

7. Delphi

Ex European galloper now with the team Freedman.  Jumped second favourite in the Caulfield Cup after a dominant win in a high rating Herbert Power the week before but didnt appear to handle the back up when dropping out to run thirteenth.  Capable of bouncing back here.  Top four chance.

8. Ocean Billy

Ex Kiwi now with Chris Waller.  He was beaten nine lengths in the Caulfield Cup as a $101-1 shot.  Doubt he can feature here.

9. Selino

Won the Group 1 Sydney Cup over this distance earlier in the year.  Was a good fourth in the Bart Cummings at a big price, then finished towards the bac in the Caulfield Cup.

10. Johnny Get Angry

Four year old gelding trained by the legendary AFL coach Denis Pagan.  His only win came in last years Victoria Derby.  He has been beaten a long way in his last two starts and doesn’t appear to be going well enough to be running into the money here.

11. Knights Order

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott saddle up this seven year old son of So You Think.  He lead all the way to win the Brisbane Cup by a big space over this trip in June.  Been safely in all three runs this prep.  Needs to improve a long way if he is going to be competitive here.

12. Persan

Was fifth in this race last year.  Sat outside lead in the Caulfield Cup and kept finding to finish third.  In the mix for trifecta’s and first four’s.

13. Carif

Has been struggling against weaker opposition.  Unlikely to be a factor here.

14. Master Of Wine

Was a good third here two starts ago in the Bart Cummings.  That’s his only recent good run of note.

15. Pondus

One of the Lloyd Williams owned runners.  Ran good seconds in the Bendigo Cup and Queen Elizabeth last spring.  Returned to Australia with a fifth in the Bart Cummings, then was fourth in the Moonee Valley Cup where the race wasn’t run to suit.

16. Grand Promenade

One of the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace runners.  Won his way into this race with a strong victory in The Bart Cummings here over 2500m last start.  Genuine top four contender.

17. Miami Bound

Five year old mare trained by Danny O’Brien on the track.  She likes to drift back and try to swoop home in her races.  Was fourteenth in this race last year.  Prefers soft ground.  Will stay the journey.

18. Port Guillaume

Hit the line okay in the Naturalism in September.  Has been plain in his other three Australian runs.  Looking elsewhere.

19. She’s Ideel

Finished fourth in the Sydney Cup over this distance in April.  Won the Kingston Town at Randwick three back.  Ran on fairly well in the Caulfield Cup when seventh.  Another who probably needs wet ground to be a factor.

20. Future Score

Has six wins and four placings from twenty-two starts.  He had a long spell after last spring and is struggling to find form.  Would be a major upset if he is to win.

21. Tralee Rose

Impressive last start winner of the Geelong Cup.  Was a good second prior in the Bart Cummings behind Grand Promenade.  Has been targeted at this all along.  Top 4 chance.

22. Floating Artist

Has had a terrific campaign winning three times and arguably should of won at least once more.  We made him a black booker after an unlucky run last start in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.  Looks a genuine top three contender in this.

23. Great House

On a three-day back-up after getting his Melbourne Cup ticket by winning the Hotham Handicap on Saturday.

24. Sir Lucan

English galloper now under the care of Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.  Was beaten less than two lengths in the Group 2 Voltigeur at York in August, then was eight in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster.  Consider for multiples.

See our Melbourne Cup tips

Previous Melbourne Cup Horses