Field confirmed for 2021 Melbourne Cup

31 October 2021

The guesswork over who will make the final 24 has been completed and the 2021 Melbourne Cup field is now confirmed for Tuesday’s running of the iconic 3200m race, along with key jockey engagements for Kiwi hopes.

Both Final Field fixed odds and tote betting is now available and customers are recommended to place their bets early. Betting through tab.co.nz and other digital channels has been strong throughout the spring and is expected to continue through Melbourne Cup Week, with TAB retail outlets closed in many parts of New Zealand due to heightened Alert Level restrictions.

New customers (aged 18 and older) can sign up for an account through the TAB’s digital channels and if they deposit $20, they will receive $40 in bonus bets (terms and conditions apply). More information is available at tab.co.nz.

There is plenty of Kiwi interest in this year’s edition of the great race. Gun Kiwi jockey James McDonald is reunited with Verry Elleegant and will jump from barrier 19, Damien Thornton will pair up with Ocean Billy (barrier 13), while Damian Lane will continue his association with the Cambridge-trained The Chosen One (barrier 5).

One of the major talking points will be how the warm favourite Incentivise will handle his first attempt over the longer distance of 3200m. Remarkably, he was a maiden until winning at the Sunshine Coast in early April, before winning his next nine races in a row, including the Caulfield Cup on October 16 by 3-½ lengths.

Others with support in the market are the international runner Spanish Mission and last year’s winner Twilight Payment, while Verry Elleegant could make one punter’s day after they placed a $1000 2-leg multi bet in late August on Incentivise to win the Caulfield Cup ($7) into Verry Elleegant to win the Melbourne Cup ($26) to return $182,000.

Yesterday’s barrier draw placed Sir Lucan in unlucky barrier 18. In the 160 previous editions of the Melbourne Cup, no horse has ever won from that barrier, but the 4-year-old does have the advantage of three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss on his back.

Saddlecloths 4 and 12 have been carried by the winning horse on the most occasions (11 each). The most popular weight to be carried by the winner has been 53kg (9 times). Three horses - Johnny Get Angry, Knights Order and Persan - will carry that weight this year.

The A$8 million (NZ$8.4 million) Melbourne Cup jumps at 5pm on Tuesday, and will be shown live on TVNZ 1 as well as Trackside 1 and 2.

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