CIARON Maher is the sole south-west trainer to have runners entered for the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup.
Maher, who has stables at Caulfield and Winslow, entered his stayers Sahara Sun, Mr O’Ceirin and Moudre in the group 1 race that stops the nation.
Racing Victoria had received 135 nominations, of which 28 were international runners, when entries closed at noon yesterday.
Defending champion Green Moon and 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden are among the final nominations.
Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune, which is trained at Darren Weir’s Warrrnambool satellite stable, is the only runner that the Ballarat horseman has entered.
Champion trainer Bart Cummings, who now trains in partnership with his grandson James, has only one entry, the veteran galloper Precedence, as he tries to win his 13th Melbourne Cup. Precedence has run in the past three Melbourne Cups, running eighth, 11th and ninth.
Maher kicked off Mr O’Ceirin’s spring campaign with a second placing in the Heatherlie Handicap over 1700 metres at Caulfield last Saturday. He hopes to run Moudre in the $350,000 group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on Saturday, while Sahara Sun is due to run in two weeks.
Weights for the Melbourne Cup will be released on September 17 and the first acceptances close on October 8.