11/02/2013 2:45PM

Australia: Fiorente favored in Melbourne Cup


Fiorente’s experience will make him the favorite to win Tuesday’s $5,658,000 Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in Australia, a race in which he was second by a length in 2012.

A two-mile handicap run on turf, the Melbourne Cup has drawn a maximum field of 24, including eight runners trained in the Northern Hemisphere.

While Northern Hemisphere-trained runners have had a more prominent role in the race in recent years, Fiorente is the 7-1 favorite to win for the home country. A 5-year-old Irish-bred by Monsun, Fiorente won a Group 2 race over a mile in September and was third in the Group 1 Cox Plate over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Oct. 26.

Fiorente, breaks from post  5, a favorable position, and is trained by Gai Waterhouse, who is seeking her first win in the Melbourne Cup. Damien Oliver rides Fiorente, who will carry 122 pounds.

The topweight, at 128 pounds, is Dunaden, who won the 2011 Melbourne Cup by a nose over Red Cadeaux, another runner in this year’s race. Dunaden, trained in France by Mikel Delzangles, was 14th in the 2012 Melbourne Cup. Dunaden was eighth of nine in the Group  2 Prix Foy at Longchamp in France on Sept. 15 in his last race.

There will be support for Dandino, Hawkspur, and Voleuse de Coeurs.

Dandino won the American St. Leger at Arlington Park in August and was second in the Caulfield Cup over 1 1/2 miles in Australia on Oct. 19.

Hawkspur won the Queensland Derby in June at the end of the Australian 2012-13 season. Since returning to racing in August, Hawkspur has one win in five starts, a Group 2 in September. He was seventh in the Caulfield Cup.

Voleuse de Coeurs won the Group 1 Irish St. Leger at The Curragh on Sept. 15. The Melbourne Cup will be his first start outside of Ireland.

Post time for the Melbourne Cup is 11 p.m. Eastern on Monday in the United States.