Melbourne Cup nominations: Ed Cummings leads the charge for spring majors

The Cummings name will once again be the one to beat in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Master trainer Bart Cummings won 12 Melbourne Cups and seven Caulfield Cups but his grandson Edward will have one of the early favourites for this year’s races with three-time Group 1 winner Duais.

Cummings has entered Duais for both races.

TAB has the classy mare as a $15 equal favourite along with the Peter Moody-trained Spanish Mission and internationals Loft and Hoo Ya Mal.

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Hoo Ya Mal joined the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable after his second in the English Derby while Australian interests bought into Loft after the German stayer’s Group 2 win in the US.

Defending champions Incentivise and Verry Elleegant will be missing but trainers have completed more than 350 nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Caulfield Cup nominations remained steady on last year’s numbers with 169 horses entered for the October 22 event while the Victoria Racing Club received 186 entries, up 12 on last year.

International numbers have jumped back to pre-Covid levels with 43 overseas entries for the Melbourne Cup and 32 Caulfield Cup entries trained outside Australasia.

Cox Plate entries dropped 18 on last year’s levels with 12 international entries.

Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien completed the most crucial international entry by nominating last year’s Cox Plate winner State Of Rest, setting up a likely rematch with Godolphin four-year-old Anamoe.

State Of Rest defeated Anamoe on the track before keeping the race after a controversial protest, which many punters believe should have been upheld.

Godolphin head trainer James Cummings confirmed the Cox Plate would be Anamoe’s biggest spring target.

Another Godolphin star, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Real World is considered a strong chance to tackle the Cox Plate as is Zaaki, who was a race-morning scratching when favourite for last year’s race.

“State Of Rest has since cemented his reputation as an elite athlete by taking his tally of Group 1 wins to four this year, while Anamoe and Zaaki both hold strong claims to be the best middle-distance horse in Australia,” Racing Victoria’s international scout Paul Bloodworth said.

Blue Diamond Stakes winner Daumier is one of 324 entries for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, which will offer $3m in prizemoney for the first time in 2022.

FULL LIST: All 186 horses nominated for the Melbourne Cup

FULL LIST: Quality nominations for the Caulfield Cup

FULL LIST: All 135 Cox Plate nominations revealed

Originally published as Ed Cummings leads the charge in quest for Caulfield and Melbourne Cups

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