The Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) lost none of its headline acts when first acceptances were taken at noon on Tuesday for Australia’s most famous race. A total of 72 horses remain in contention for the $6.2 million Cup – up from 67 first acceptors in 2012 – with TAB favourites Fiorente, Puissance de Lune and Hawkspur featuring prominently within.

Past winners Dunaden (2011) and Green Moon (2012) are also among the first acceptors for the 5 November feature as both horses continue their challenge of becoming just the sixth multiple winner of the Cup.

French hero Dunaden is one of 12 internationally-trained runners still being primed for the Cup, in addition to Irish St Leger winner Voleuse de Coeurs and French Prix Deauville winner Tres Blue who will join Australian trainers later this month.

The internationally-trained contingent includes 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux, Luca Cumani’s Mount Athos, the Aga Khan’s star mare Verema, the Michael Owen-raced Brown Panther, Godolphin’s Royal Empire and leading BMW Caulfield Cup hope Dandino.

Click to view Melbourne Cup first acceptors

Owner Lloyd Williams’ stable is the most represented with eight horses, including defending champion Green Moon and Saturday’s Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) winner Seville, among the 72 acceptors.

Premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller has six first acceptors, whilst David Hayes and Gai Waterhouse have five apiece, with the latter boasting TAB favourite Fiorente and French import Tres Blue among her powerful contingent.

In other news, New Zealand trainer Murray Baker paid up for stable star Its A Dundeel despite the five-time Group 1 winner’s omission from this weekend’s Caulfield Stakes (2000m) due to injury.

Likewise 2011 VRC Derby winner Sangster is a first acceptor despite connections withdrawing him from Saturday week’s Caulfield Cup after he pulled up sore following the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

Of the 10 highest rated withdrawals from the original entries, nine of them were international horses who had already been ruled out from travelling down under with Waller’s import Bayrir the other.

Recent English St Leger winner Leading Light, 2012 Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond, Godolphin’s Lonsdale Cup winner Ahzeemah and Red Cadeaux’s stablemate Joshua Tree were the withdrawals from the top 24 ranked horses.

The dream of a 13th Melbourne Cup remains alive for legendary trainer Bart Cummings, who trains in partnership with grandson James, with the stable paying up for sole entrant Precedence who was a closing second in Sunday's $100,000 Benalla Cup (2046m).

Second acceptances for the Melbourne Cup will be taken on Monday, 28 October.

Click to view updated Melbourne Cup Order Of Entry.