Defending champion Green Moon might not be the only star chasing a repeat Emirates Melbourne Cup success when the $6.2 million race is run at Flemington on 5 November. French hero Dunaden, the 2011 Cup champion, remains a chance of making a surprise return trip to Melbourne after featuring amongst 135 entries for the race, reports Racing Victoria.

The Mikel Delzangles-trained entire was expected to campaign exclusively in Europe this year, but his nomination opens the door for third consecutive Spring Racing Carnival assault.

Racing Victoria (RV) International Recruitment Officer, Leigh Jordon, said that chances of Dunaden attempting to become the sixth dual winner of the Cup had increased significantly over the past 24 hours.

“Dunaden is a very popular horse in Australia having won a Melbourne Cup in 2011 and Caulfield Cup last year, so it would be a major fillip for the Spring Racing Carnival if we could attract him down under again,” Jordon said.

“I had originally been advised that Dunaden would not be coming, but he is now a 50/50 chance of contesting another Emirates Melbourne Cup with his nomination being received.

“He is scheduled to contest the Prix Foy at Longchamp in France on Sunday week, 15 September and we expect a decision will be made after that whether he contests the Melbourne Cup or the Arc de Triomphe in his homeland.”

Dunaden is one of 28 internationally-trained entries for this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup – five more than were entered in 2012.

Delzangles’ French compatriot Alain de Royer-Dupre, who won the 2010 Melbourne Cup with Americain, will return with the Aga Khan-owned Verema, one of four other French nominees.

Dermot Weld is the only other trainer from Europe to have won the Melbourne Cup and the Irish maestro has two chances to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first win in the race with Vintage Crop, having entered Pale Mimosa and Voleuse De Coeurs.

Fellow Irish training legend Aidan O’Brien has Ernest Hemingway, Foundry and Leading Light entered, while 2012 Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond (Johnny Murtagh) and Simenon (Willie Mullins) round out a strong Irish contingent.

Godolphin’s head trainer Saeed bin Suroor has four entries – Ahzeemah, Colour Vision, Royal Empire and Songcraft – as the global racing giants strives to win its first Melbourne Cup.

The Michael Owen-owned Brown Panther, Marco Botti’s American St Leger winner Dandino, the Luca Cumani-prepared Mount Athos and Ed Dunlop-trained pair Red Cadeaux – runner-up to Dunaden in 2011 – and Joshua Tree are also among 14 entries from the UK.

In Australia waiting for the overseas entrants is a strong contingent of locally-trained runners, headed by Lloyd Williams’ private trainer Robert Hickmott, who has 12 potential starters in the 24-horse field.

Green Moon, who is striving to become only the fifth back-to-back winner of the race first run in 1861, heads a Macedon Lodge charge that includes glamour pair Sea Moon and Masked Marvel and Mourayan, who is striving to complete the Sydney Cup-Melbourne Cup double.

Hickmott is one of eight trainers to have previously celebrated Melbourne Cup success among the entries, including 1994 winner David Hayes, who has 11 nominations, headed by Jet Away.

Star four-year-old Super Cool is one of three entries for Mark Kavanagh (2009 winner), Mike Moroney (2000) also has three nominations, while Bart Cummings’ hopes of a 13th victory – which would this year be shared by grandson and co-trainer James Cummings – rests with Precedence.

Ballarat horseman Darren Weir also has a sole entry, but it is the galloper most consider the horse to beat 63 days out from the great race with French import Puissance de Lune the TAB favourite for the race.

Fiorente heads a 10-strong list of entries from Gai Waterhouse, her great Sydney rival Chris Waller has eight, including star mare Royal Descent, while highly-credentialled imports Kesampour and Manighar are among six nominations from Melbourne’s premier trainer Peter Moody.

The full set of nominations for the Emirates Melbourne Cup can be viewed here