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2015 Melbourne Cup runners - Snow Sky heads 24 contenders for Flemington

  • Snow Sky carries top weight in the 2015 Melbourne Cup 
  • 11 internationals are among the 24-strong line-up
Snow Sky

Snow Sky heads the 24 runners for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and will be one of 11 international contenders bidding for glory in the race that stops a nation on Tuesday.

Sir Michael Stoute's Snow Sky will carry top weight in the $6.2 million Flemington showpiece with jockey Ryan Moore bidding to make it back-to-back Melbourne Cup wins having partnered Protectionist to victory in 2014.

The visiting team is incredibly strong, with the top two in the betting coming from the international contingent in the shape of Fame Game and Trip To Paris.

Japanese galloper Fame Game is a clear favourite and continues to be crunched in the betting markets since finishing an unlucky sixth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on his Australian debut.

The Ed Dunlop-trained Trip To Paris was runner-up in the Caulfield Cup behind Mongolian Khan, who misses the Melbourne Cup following a bout of colic, and looks set to start as the second favourite on Tuesday.

Trip To Paris will be joined in the line-up by stablemate Red Cadeaux, contesting the race for the fifth time. The popular globetrotter has finished runner-up in the Melbourne Cup three times, including 12 months ago behind Protectionist, and is back for another crack.

Aidan O'Brien also saddles two of the internationals with Kingfisher and Bondi Beach his runners, although the latter has has come up with the dreaded barrier 18 - the gate from which no horse has won the race in 154 years.

The international team also includes Willie Mullins' Max Dynamite, Saeed Bin Suroor's Godolphin star Sky Hunter, the Roger Charlton-trained Quest For More and Michael Bell's Big Orange.

Hokko Brave will be a second Japanese runner as he bids to give the country their first win in the 3200m handicap since Delta Blues scored from compatriot Pop Rock in 2006.

The home team is headed by a trio of Chris Waller gallopers, the pick of them being third favourite Preferment. Last year's placegetter Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal join him to give the champion trainer a leading chance of winning a first Melbourne Cup.

Gai Waterhouse, who won the 2013 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente, will be double handed after The Offer was joined in the race by Lexus Stakes winner Excess Knowledge.

The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trainer partnership will also have two leading hopes in Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) runner-up Criterion and Geelong Cup winner Almoonqith, who will be looking to emulate Media Puzzle, Americain and Dunaden as recent horses to do the double.

The remaining home representives will be Our Ivanhowe, a well-fancied roughie for Lee & Anthony Freedman, Hartnell, who will carry the colours of Godolphin for John O'Shea, Darren Weir's Prince of Penzance, the Jamie Edwards-trained Sertorius, John Sargent's Gust Of Wind and The United States, who got into the race when Robert Hickmott-trained stablemate Amralah was withdrawn on Saturday.

2015 Melbourne Cup Runners:

1. SNOW SKY (GB) Sir Michael Stoute - Ryan Moore (16) 58kg
2. CRITERION (NZ) David Hayes & Tom Dabernig - Michael Walker (4) 57.5kg
3. FAME GAME (JPN) Yoshitada Munakata - Zac Purton (12) 57kg
4. OUR IVANHOWE (GER) Lee & Anthony Freedman - Ben Melham (22) 56kg
5. BIG ORANGE (GB) Michael Bell - Jamie Spencer (23) 55.5kg
6. HARTNELL (GB) John O'Shea - James McDonald (17) 55.5kg
7. HOKKO BRAVE (JPN) Yasutoshi Matsunaga - Craig Williams (20) 55.5kg
8. MAX DYNAMITE (FR) William Mullins - Frankie Dettori (2) 55kg
9. RED CADEAUX (GB) Ed Dunlop - Gerald Mosse (8) 55kg
10. TRIP TO PARIS (IRE) Ed Dunlop - Tommy Berry (14) 55kg
11. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ) Chris Waller - Blake Shinn (6) 54.5kg
12. SKY HUNTER (GB) Saeed Bin Suroor - William Buick (7) 54kg
13. THE OFFER (IRE) Gai Waterhouse - Damien Oliver (13) 54kg
14. GRAND MARSHAL (GB) Chris Waller - Jim Cassidy (15) 53.5kg
15. PREFERMENT (NZ) Chris Waller - Hugh Bowman (11) 53.5kg
16. QUEST FOR MORE (IRE) Roger Charlton - Damian Lane (21)53.5kg
17. ALMOONQITH (USA) David Hayes & Tom Dabernig - Dwayne Dunn (10) 53kg
18. KINGFISHER (IRE) Aidan O'Brien - Colm O'Donoghue (9) 53kg
19. PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ) Darren Weir - Ms Michelle Payne (1) 53kg
20. BONDI BEACH (IRE) Aidan O'Brien - Brett Prebble (18) 52.5kg
21. SERTORIUS Jamie Edwards - Craig Newitt (5) 52.5kg
22. THE UNITED STATES (IRE) Robert Hickmott - Joao Moreira (3) 52.5kg
23. EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB) Gai Waterhouse - Kerrin McEvoy (24) 51kg
24. GUST OF WIND (NZ) John Sargent - Chad Schofield (19) 51kg

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