Racing Victoria (RV), in conjunction with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), today released nominations for the 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup, whilst celebrating the 20th anniversary of international participation in the world’s most famous staying race. It was in 1993 that Dermot Weld’s Irish raider Vintage Crop broke new ground when becoming the first internationally-trained starter and winner of Australia’s most famous horse race.

Over the past 20 years, there have been 101 internationally-trained starters with Media Puzzle (Dermot Weld, Ireland, 2002), Delta Blues (Katsuhiko Sumii, Japan, 2006), Americain (Alain de Royer Dupre, France, 2010) and Dunaden (Mikel Delzangles, France, 2011) the other visitors to have triumphed on the first Tuesday in November.

The Mikel Delzangles-trained Dunaden is one of 28 internationally-trained nominees for this year’s $6.2 million race – up from 23 in 2012 – with past winners Weld and de Royer Dupre both entering horses once again.

Dunaden and defending champion, locally trained import Green Moon, headline a total of 135 nominations for the 3200-metre showdown at Flemington on Tuesday, 5 November.

Only five horses have won the Cup more than once in its 152-year history: Makybe Diva (2003, 04, 05), Think Big (1974, 75), Rain Lover (1968, 69), Peter Pan (1932, 34) and inaugural winner Archer (1861, 62).

In releasing nominations, RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, declared the quality of nominations was testament to the prestige of the Emirates Melbourne Cup and the scene was set for a brilliant edition of ‘the race that stops a nation’.

“The Emirates Melbourne Cup is the world’s premier staying race and the quality of the local and international entries for this year’s race is outstanding,” Carpenter said.

“To have the past two winners in Green Moon and Dunaden, together with representatives from most of Europe’s premier stables, amongst the nominations is testimony to the stature of the Melbourne Cup on the world stage.

“For the first time in the Cup’s history, internationals account for more than 20% of the total entries and the number of Northern Hemisphere-bred entrants has risen above 50% which best illustrates the internationalisation of the race over the past two decades.

“Whilst the quality of the international nominees is impressive, we’re equally pleased with the depth of talent amongst the locally-trained entrants which includes three of the first four home in last year’s Melbourne Cup – Green Moon, Fiorente and Kelinni.”

VRC Chairman, Michael Burn, said, “We are delighted to see such strong entries for the 2013 Emirates Melbourne Cup, and in particular the high quality of the 28 internationals.

“This November marks 20 years since Vintage Crop won the Cup for Irish trainer Dermot Weld, blazing a trail for international contestants and triggering the evolution of this great race from a national icon to an international event.

“In the two decades since, the Cup has been won by four further international raiders – Media Puzzle (2002), Delta Blues (2006), Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) – an incredibly demanding training feat that pays tribute to the determination of the world’s best horsemen to win this race.

“We look forward to welcoming the world on the first Tuesday in November this year and watching together as the greatest staying horses do battle in the 153rd running of the Emirates Melbourne Cup.”

Hall Of Fame Legend Bart Cummings, now training in partnership with grandson James, has just one entry in his pursuit of a 13th Cup. The Cummings’ have entered veteran Precedence who has contested the past three Melbourne Cups finishing eighth, 11th and ninth.

Weights for the Emirates Melbourne Cup will be released on Tuesday, 17 September, with first acceptances to be taken at 12 noon (AET) on Tuesday, 8 October. 

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