Melbourne Cup Carnival winners Prompt Return and Antelucan are late entries for next year’s Group 1 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).

The two-year-olds head a list of 532 juveniles still on course for the $1 million race as first declarations closed on Wednesday. The list is up 26 more entrants than last year.

Prompt Return recorded an impressive Group 2 Maribyrnong Plate win at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, while Antelucan won the Group 2 Emirates Airline Stakes (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day.

Leading Melbourne trainer Mick Price has nominated 45 horses for the February 28 event, while Godolphin and David Hayes have 35 and 34 respectively.

Fastnet Rock has 27 progeny nominated, while Exceed And Excel and Not A Single Doubt have 26.

The Blue Diamond series commences with Previews (1000m) for each sex on Australia Day, followed by Preludes (1100m) on February 14 and culminating with the Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes.

For the first year, the fillies’ division of the Previews and Preludes will carry Group 3 and Group 2 status respectively.

Second declarations close on January 6. (racing victoria)