Defending titleholder Cross Counter is one of 64 horses left in the Melbourne Cup entries.
Three horses who had been in the top 50 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry, including imported stayer Torcedor and Group One winner Trap For Fools, have been withdrawn at the latest declaration stage for the $8 million handicap.
Second acceptances for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 5 closed on Tuesday with 64 horses remaining in contention including the first seven across the line in last year’s race won by Cross Counter.
Cross Counter, who arrived in Melbourne last weekend in preparation for his attempt at back-to-back Cup wins, is one of 19 internationally trained horses still in the entries with nine of those in the top 24 in ballot order.
The Chris Waller-trained import Finche, fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup and favourite for Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup, currently sits 24th with a field limit of 24.
Trap For Fools, Torcedor and Scarlet Dream were in the top 50 in the previous ballot but have been withdrawn.
Finche and Surprise Baby, who won The Bart Cummings to earn a Cup ballot exemption, are the current favourites at $9.
The next round of acceptances is due on October 28.