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Derby Day to shape final Melbourne Cup field

October 28, 2011

http://www.justhorseracing.com.au/news/australian-racing/derby-day-to-shape-final-melbourne-cup-field/130945

Derby Day may be the best day’s racing across the country throughout the year, but it also promises to be intriguing for its numerous subplots in relation to the race that stops the nation.

The Melbourne Cup field is finally known tomorrow night, but as in the past Derby Day will shape the likely field.

Already, we have had Linton and Sahara Sun confirmed as non-runners since third acceptances on Monday.

This means that Tullamore and The Verminator are currently in the top 24.

The Lexus Stakes tomorrow will see the winner receive a ballot exemption, catapulting themselves into the race, while it may spell the end of Melbourne Cup aspirations for certain horses currently in the top 24.

The Mackinnon Stakes will also play its part, with the likes of Glass Harmonium, Mourayan, Midas Touch and The Verminator set to push on to the race on Tuesday.

In the past, horses who didn’t look like getting a start have managed to somehow sneak their way into the field due to a large attrition rate on Derby Day.

Last year, Holberg was ranked 31st in the order of entry after the declaration stage on Monday.

However, Derby Day saw Metal Bender, Faint Perfume, Dariana, Jessicabeel, Mourayan, Herculian Prince and Alcopop fall away.

Even the win of Maluckyday was not enough to keep the 31st ranked galloper out of the field.

If that situation was repeated this year, horses like Bauer, Shewan and Ironstein would make it into the field.

In 2009, number 28 was the cutoff point, with Basaltico the last horse to make the field.

Controversially, Caulfield Cup placegetter Vigor was number 29.

That scenario would see Saptapadi the last horse to qualify, while Bauer would just miss out on a run.

Slot number 28 was also the cutoff point in 2008.

It remains to be seen which horses will accept at 5pm tomorrow night, but be prepared for a few surprises during Derby Day tomorrow.

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