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Horses, barrier draw, how it works, and who will make the final field of 24 runners

Horses, barrier draw, how it works, and who will make the final field of 24 runners

UPDATE: One of the favourites for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup has been scratched after failing a pre-race examination.

Loft, the second favourite for the race at $6.50, won’t run, leaving star jockey James McDonald without a ride. McDonald rode Verry Elleegant to victory in last year’s race.

“Loft has today failed its Melbourne Cup pre-race physical examination,” a statement from Racing Victoria stewards said.

“The stable has subsequently advised that the horse has a tendon injury in its left front and will be withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup.”

Loft’s scratching comes 24 hours after Damien Oliver’s ride, Durston, was withdrawn.

READ MORE: Melbourne Cup 2022 weather forecast

Loft’s part-owner Ozzie Kheir has told Racenet he has no problem with vets scratching his horse.

“I don’t want to be a sook,” Kheir said.

“I am just disappointed for the trainer and the fellow owners – and for racing – as we were very confident he would be hard to beat.

“But there has been swelling around his tendon.

“There is no blue with the process.”

Meanwhile, the Ben and JD Hayes-trained Makram has also had its nomination withdrawn due to medical reasons. It was not inspected on Friday after it was deemed unsuitable to contest the Melbourne Cup by RV Veterinary Services.

Reports received from the members of the international imaging panel who reviewed Makram’s CT scan results indicate that the horse is at heightened risk of injury.


Connections must nominate their horse for the Melbourne Cup, which – for this year’s race – could have been lodged any time before August 2, when they were closed.

This year a total of 186 horses were nominated for the 2022 Cup.

As soon as that list is completed, the handicappers will assess and assign each nominee a weight, based on their handicap rating and past performances at the time.

They will draw up an “order of entry” which ranks every horse from first to last based on how likely they are to make the final field. Generally the horses at the top of the list will be assigned the heaviest weights.

From the time it is created, the order of entry will then change when connections withdraw their horse from contention, or when a nominated horse moves up the list based on weight penalties or performance in exemption events (explained below).

When the Melbourne Cup barrier draw happens at about 5.30pm on the Saturday before the race, the top 24 ranked horses on the order of entry will form the Cup field, and each will be assigned a barrier.

See the full up-to-date 2022 order of entry below.


The Melbourne Cup has five ballot-exemption races, which means the winner of each of those races can earn an automatic spot in the Cup, if connections choose to accept it.

The five exemption races are; The Andrew Ramsden Stakes (May 14, won by Point Nepean), The Bart Cummings (October 1, won by Lunar Flare), Caulfield Cup (October 15, won by Durston), Cox Plate (October 22), and Lexus Stakes, formerly known as The Hotham (October 29).

Anamoe completes Cox Plate redemption

Lunar Flare and Point Nepean have risen to the top of the Melbourne Cup order of entry following their wins.

The Geelong Cup is not an exemption race for the Melbourne Cup, but the winner of that can be assigned a weight penalty that does push it up the order of entry. The 2022 Geelong Cup was won by Emissary, which was ranked 30th in the order of entry prior to the win.

The 2010 and 2011 Melbourne Cup winners both came from winning the Geelong Cup.


(Correct as of 5.15pm Friday, October 28)

1 LUNAR FLARE (mare, 7yo, Grahame Begg, 51.5kg + 0.5kg penalty)

2 POINT NEPEAN (IRE) (horse, 5yo, Robert Hickmott, 51kg)

3 DEAUVILLE LEGEND (IRE) (gelding, 4yo, James Ferguson, 55kg)

4 GOLD TRIP (FRA) (horse, 6yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 57.5kg)

5 DUAIS (mare, 5yo, Edward Cummings, 55.5kg)

6 MONTEFILIA (mare, 5yo, David Payne, 55.5kg)

7 HOO YA MAL (GB) (horse, 4yo, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, 53.5kg)

8 KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE) (gelding, 8yo, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, 55.5kg)

9 WITHOUT A FIGHT (IRE) (gelding, 6yo, Simon and Ed Crisford, 55.5kg)

10 NUMERIAN (IRE) (gelding, 7yo, Annabel Neasham, 55.5kg)

11 CAMORRA (IRE) (gelding, 6yo, Ben and JD Hayes, 55kg)

12 ALEGRON (gelding, 4yo, James Cummings, 53kg)

13 STOCKMAN (NZ) (gelding, 6yo, Joseph Pride, 54kg)

14 YOUNG WERTHER (NZ) (gelding, 5yo, Danny O’Brien, 54kg)

15 VOW AND DECLARE (gelding, 7yo, Danny O’Brien, 54kg)

16 GRAND PROMENADE (GB) (gelding, 7yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 53kg)

17 TRALEE ROSE (NZ) (mare, 6yo, Symon Wilde, 51.5kg)

18 DAQIANSWEET JUNIOR (NZ) (gelding, 5yo, Phillip Stokes, 53kg)

19 ARAPAHO (FRA) (gelding, 6yo, Bjorn Baker, 52.5kg)

20 CRYSTAL PEGASUS (GB) (gelding, 6yo, Chris Waller, 52kg)

21 SMOKIN’ ROMANS (NZ) (gelding, 6yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 51.5kg + 1.5kg penalty)

22 EMISSARY (GB) (gelding, 6yo, Michael Moroney, 51kg + 0.5kg penalty)

23 REALM OF FLOWERS (mare, 6yo, Anthony and Sam Freedman, 50kg)

24 HIGH EMOCEAN (NZ) (mare, 6yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 50kg)

25 INTERPRETATION (IRE) (horse, 5yo, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, 50kg)

26 KING OF THE CASTLE (IRE) (gelding, 5yo, Robert Hickmott, 50kg)

27 SERPENTINE (IRE) (gelding, 6yo, Robert Hickmott, 53.5kg)

28 CHAPADA (gelding, 7yo, Michael Moroney, 52.5kg)

29 SAN HUBERTO (IRE) (horse, 7yo, Matt Cumani, 51.5kg)

30 SCHABAU (GER) (gelding, 8yo, Robert Hickmott, 50kg)

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