Dunaden, who denied Red Cadeaux by a nose in the 2011 running of the Emirates Melbourne Cup, will carry top weight of 58.5kg in this year’s renewal at Flemington on Tuesday, November 5.
The seven-year-old entire gave Sheikh Fahad Al Thani his first major international success in the colours of Pearl Bloodstock and on last year’s trip to Australia added the Caulfield Cup to his tally of Group 1 wins.
Last year’s winner, the former British-trained Green Moon, who was bred by the Goldsmith family, has been allotted 57.5kg.
European raiders feature prominently on the list, with Red Cadeaux heading back for a third attempt at the race on 56.5kg, the same amount given to Sea Moon, formerly trained in Newmarket for Juddmonte by Sir Michael Stoute but now in the stable of last year’s winning trainer, Robert Hickmott.
Michael Owen’s homebred Brown Panther was forced to miss Sunday’s Irish St Leger with a temperature but trainer Tom Dascombe still hopes to send the Goodwood Cup winner to Australia, where he will carry 55kg if he lines up for the Melbourne Cup. Also on 55kg are a pair who started life in training and Europe – Foreteller and Fiorente – both of whom are recent Group winners in Australia, with Fiorente having won Saturday’s Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley.
With just 24 horses allowed for the final line-up, a significant number of those places could go to overseas raiders, with Joshua Tree (Ed Dunlop), Mount Athos (Luca Cumani), Simenon (Willie Mullins), Forgotten Voice (Nicky Henderson), Sun Central (William Haggas) and Verema (Alain de Royer Dupre) also among the entries.
A British-trained horse is yet to win the Melbourne Cup, which has twice gone to Dermot Weld with Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2002), while French trainers Alain de Royer Dupre and Mikel Delzangles have also been successful with Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) respectively.