Nakeeta and Order Of St George feature among Melbourne Cup nominations

Tue 29 Aug 2017

By Racinguk.com staff

Ebor hero Nakeeta and 2016 Ascot Gold Cup winner Order Of St George feature among a total of 140 horses nominated for the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 7.

The Iain Jardine-trained Nakeeta was a head winner of the York feature last Saturday and would be facing a huge step up if tackling the Group One contest over two miles.

Connections will not make any decision until at least a week after the weights for the race are announced on September 12.

"We'll probably wait until after the weights have been announced and make a decision a week or fortnight after that," said the Dumfries handler. "Nakeeta has come out of the Ebor OK. He's fresh and happy, so all's good."

Order Of St George, who narrowly lost out to Big Orange in the Gold Cup this year, bounced back to winning form in the Irish St Leger Trial earlier this month and he is one of three possibles for Aidan O'Brien along with US Army Ranger and Johannes Vermeer.

Joseph O'Brien's Rekindling is also entered while Mullins' previous Cup runners Wicklow Brave and Max Dynamite have the option along with Thomas Hobson.

Roger Varian's Barsanti, the William Haggas-trained Dal Harraild and Hughie Morrison's pair of Marmelo and Sweet Selection also feature in a strong British contingent with Sir Mark Prescott's St Michel another eyecatching contender.

Godolphin trainers Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor have a clutch of entries between them, including Ebor third Natural Scenery for the latter handler, with Hugo Palmer eyeing the race for Wall Of Fire.

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_Red Verdon could try and go one better than Red Cadeaux in the Melbourne Cup _

Ed Dunlop, who finished second three times with Red Cadeaux, has another possible this year in Red Verdon while last year's winner Almandin is on course to defend his title for Robert Hickmott.

The likes of Red Verdon, Marmelo, Rekindling and Johannes Vermeer are also entered in the BMW Caulfield Cup, in which Mullins has Riven Light too.

A total of 142 horses have been entered for the October 21 contest and Racing Victoria's Greg Carpenter is thrilled with the initial entries for both races.

He said: "We're delighted with the nominations for this year's Caulfield and Melbourne Cups with international representation once again very strong. To have entries from seven international jurisdictions for our two premier handicaps is a great advertisement for the Spring Racing Carnival and Victorian racing.

"I am very encouraged by the number of international trainers with entries who have not travelled to Melbourne before and we look forward to welcoming them here and showcasing what the Spring Racing Carnival has to offer."

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