Melbourne Cup attracts 28 overseas entries
Jeff Turnbull
18:42 AEST Tue Sep 3 2013

Twenty years since Irishman Dermot Weld won the Melbourne Cup with Vintage Crop, Australia's greatest race has become dominated by international horses.

And in 2013 it will be no different.

Of the 135 horses entered for this year's $6.2 million race, 28 are internationally-trained while another 40 are imports who are now locally trained.

The first four horses in the English St Leger, the first three in the Irish St Leger and the US St Leger 2013 winner Dandino are all making the journey down under.

Last year's Melbourne Cup winner, the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon, will be gunning for back-to-back wins while there is a chance that 2011 winner, French champion Dunaden, will run.

Williams has 12 entries altogether.

Racing Victoria international recruitment officer Leigh Jordon said Dunaden's prospects of coming rose from zero to fifty per cent after his nomination was received.

Jordan says Dunaden is due to run in Prix Foy at Longchamp on Sunday week and he's hoping for a strong showing so connections will be tempted to have another tilt at the Cup.

Weld has entered Pale Mimosa and Voleuse de Coeurs while fellow Irish trainer Aiden O'Brien has Ernest Hemingway, Foundry and Leading Light.

In the two decades since Vintage Crop's win, the Melbourne Cup has been won by four more international raiders - Media Puzzle (2002), Delta Blues (2006), Americain (2010) and Dunaden.

Cups king Bart Cummings, with 12 Melbourne Cup winners behind him, has limited his chances of a 13th with just one entry - the veteran Precedence - who he now trains with his grandson James. Precedence has finished eighth, 11th and ninth, in his previous three Cups.

Racing Victoria's general manager of racing Greg Carpenter said the winners of this year's Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Auckland cups had also nominated.

"It's not just about the internationals," Carpenter said.

"We have enormous strength of quality amongst the locally-trained horses and to have all those staying race winners on the Australian calendar heading towards this Melbourne Cup underlines the undoubted strength of the nominations."

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