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The 2023 Melbourne Cup will be run and won on Tuesday, but there’s plenty of drama already preceding the 163rd running of the great race at Flemington.
A field of 23 local and international horses will race over 3200m for a whopping $8 million in prizemoney, with one horse — Cleveland — scratched from the race on Monday.
Follow all the exciting build-up below, and the live action from the undercard with the main race to be run at 3pm AEDT.
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CHEAT SHEET: Why every horse can and can’t win
MELBOURNE CUP FORM GUIDE: Trevor Marshallsea’s verdict on every runner and predicted first four
TWO-TIME WINNER’S GUIDE: Legend Jim Cassidy runs eyes over every horse and gives tips
LATE BOOST FOR LEGEND’S FAREWELL
Cleveland, a $51 chance, was scratched from the race on vet’s advice on Monday and there had been mounting speculation New Zealand-trained hope Alenquer would also be forced to withdraw — robbing retiring legend Damien Oliver of his final ride.
Alenquer presented with a stone bruise after trackwork on Sunday and had a hoof pad applied by veterinarians. His status remained under a heavy cloud however there was a late boost as the horse passed a vet examination on Tuesday morning at 3.30am.
Racing Victoria said the “gelding had improved significantly overnight and as a result was passed suitable to race”.
However Racing Victoria announced the $51 chance be checked as a precuaution when he arrives on course.