It’s called ‘the race that stops a nation’ and this year shapes up as a vintage Lexus Melbourne Cup. Gold Trip is aiming to go back-to-back, Vow And Declare is shooting for his second victory, Without A Fight is looking to do the rare Cups double, and they will all come up against highly credentialed raiders such as Willie Mullins’ Vauban, Joseph O’Brien’s Valiant King and Japanese raider Breakup.

Here is a comprehensive look at every runner ahead of the first Tuesday in November (Monday, 11 p.m. Eastern) – watch and wager on

Gold Trip (FR) – 58.5kg

Barrier – 2
Timeform rating – 126
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner who carried top weight of 57.5kg to win by two lengths. He’s had a very similar preparation, running in the Turnbull, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate and is going even better than last year, seemingly thriving on racing. Would’ve perhaps enjoyed a softer track and the last horse to win the Cup with 58.5kg Think Big in 1975, albeit only 23 have attempted the feat in 48 years. Loses regular jockey Mark Zahra but gets the best possible replacement in James McDonald who will need to look for the right gaps from barrier two.

Read the entire story at the Victoria Racing Club HERE.