Moon handed midfield draw in Melbourne Cup

Purple Moon will start from stall 15 as he chases a landmark success in Tuesday’s Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Purple Moon will start from stall 15 as he chases a landmark success in Tuesday’s Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Although Irish trainer Dermot Weld has won the Australian feature twice, a British-based handler has yet to taste glory in ’the race that stops a nation’.

Purple Moon, winner of the Ebor, will bid to buck that trend when he represents trainer Luca Cumani in the two-mile event.

The four-year-old is the 4-1 joint-favourite for the race with Stan James along with local runner Master O’Reilly, who has been drawn in 17.

Aidan O’Brien’s Mahler will start from stall six while the Amanda Perrett-trained Tungsten Strike should be able to take up his usual prominent role after drawing stall two.

The well-fancied Zipping will have to overcome an unfavourable position in 22 while impressive Mackinnon Stakes winner Sirmione also drew poorly in 21.

Sirmione will be bidding to give trainer Bart Cummings a 12th win in the Cup and emulate the handler’s Rogan Josh who completed the Mackinnon-Cup double in 1999.

Tuesday’s contest will see an extra slice of history being made as two female jockeys take part for the first time.

Top New Zealand rider Lisa Cropp will partner SAAB Quality winner Sculptor, while South Australia’s leading lady rider Clare Lindop will ride Dolphin Jo.

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