Favourite draws perfectly for Melbourne Cup

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The final field and barrier draw for the 2023 Melbourne Cup has been confirmed, with 24 runners set to do battle over the 3200m at on November 7.

Before the barrier draw, the Willie Mullins-trained Vauban was the race favourite with online bookmakers at +260, closely followed by Gold Trip (+350) and 2023 Cup winner Without A (+600).

Shortly after the draw was completed, bookmakers were quick to reel in the favourite to his current quote of +220, due to the son of Galiway receiving barrier three, which has held three winners of Melbourne Cup.

The last runner to win the Melbourne Cup from barrier three was , who was piloted by Damien Oliver, who will be riding in the last Melbourne Cup of his illustrious career.

Reigning champion Gold Trip (+360) jumped out of barrier 14 in the 2022 Melbourne Cup but will now have to contend with an inside draw (2), which will be the first time in Australia that the & David Eustace-trained galloper has drawn a barrier inside of five.

James McDonald will take the ride on Gold Trip after Mark Zahra chose to stay with Without A Fight after his Caulfield Cup victory, but it remains to be seen if Zahra made the correct decision after his charge drew barrier 16.

Without A Fight will be seeking to become the first horse to complete the Caufield Cup/Melbourne Cup double since Ethereal in 2001, as well as the first runner to win from barrier 16 since 1998.

More Felons (+3300) will have to overcome starting from the Birdcage, after the -trained import drew barrier 24 at his second start for his new trainer.

Joining him on the outside will be (23), Sheraz (22), Lastotchka (21) and Okita Soushi (20), who will all have to overcome outside barriers to win.

Although a gate outside of 20 looks horrible, the wide gates may not be that, as barrier 21 has produced four winners, which is the fourth-most of any barrier.

Since the barrier draw, the winner has seen his price pushed out from +1700 to +2500, as has from the Waller stable, who has also seen a drift in price from +700 to +1100.

The 2023 Melbourne Cup will jump at its traditional 3pm AEDT time slot and is scheduled to be run as race seven at Flemington on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

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