Numbers whittled down for Caulfield Cup

A total of 45 horses remain in contention for the Caulfield Cup following the latest round of declarations.

Second acceptances were taken on Tuesday for the $5 million handicap over 2400m on October 19 with places for a start still up for grabs.

The field limit for the race is 18, with four emergencies, which will be finalised after racing at Caulfield on October 16.

Japanese stayer Mer De Glace (13th) and the Richard Hannon-trained Raymond Tusk (18th) are the only two internationally trained gallopers within the safety limit at present while Gold Mount, trained by Ian Williams and the Ed Dunlop-trained Red Verdon sit 19th and 20th respectively.

Horses in quarantine at Werribee in the care of Australian trainers and safely in the field are Mirage Dancer (Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young – 7th), Mustajeer (Kris Lees – 10th) and Constantinople (Lindsay Park – 13th).

Kings Will Dream, Brimham Rocks and Self Sense, who have all secured starts courtesy of victories in ballot free races, remain in contention at the head of the entry order while $8 favourite, the Chris Waller-trained Finche, sits 17th.

Of the 18 nominations in Saturday’s Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), 12 remain in the Caulfield Cup and sit outside the top 22.

Those needing victory to gain a ballot exemption are Glory Days, True Self, Prince Of Arran, The Chosen One, Raheen House, Ventura Storm, Steel Prince, Haky, Sully, Super Titus, Hang Man and Wall Of Fire.

The Group Three Coongy Stakes (2000m) on Wednesday week offers a last bid to sneak into the final field of 18.

A notable omission from Caulfield Cup second declarations was Surprise Baby who will focus solely on the Melbourne Cup after his win in Saturday’s Bart Cummings at Flemington.

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