The Chris Waller-trained Brimham Rocks (GB) will attempt to spoil the party for his 10 rivals in the $200,000 Group 3 Hotham Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Brimham Rocks in the only one of the 11 acceptors in Saturday’s race not vying for a spot in the $8 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington next Tuesday.
The Andreas Wohler-trained Ashrun (FR) heads the field and will carry topweight of 61kg in Saturday’s race.
He is the only international contender attempting a last ditched effort and force a start in the Melbourne Cup with the winner of the Hotham Stakes exempt from the ballot for Tuesday’s race.
The Peter Moody-trained Platinum Invador (NZ) sits highest of the 10 horses in Saturday’s race, currently 28th in the Order of Entry into the Cup with Ashrun 29th.
Others chasing a Melbourne Cup start are: Hush Writer (JPN) (30th), Sound (GER) (33rd), Azzuro (FR) (34th), Carif (36th), Schabau (GER) (40th) and Attorney (FR)(41st).
Admire Robson (JPN) and Future Score (IRE) are yet to pass the ballot, but will leapfrog into the Melbourne Cup if successful on Saturday.
The Melbourne Cup field has a safety limit of 24 and the final field will be announced with the barrier draw at the conclusion of racing on Saturday.
Brimham Rocks attempted to win his way into the 2018 Melbourne Cup, but finished second to UK stayer Prince Of Arran who went on to run third in the Cup behind Cross Counter.
Ashrun holds down favouritism for the Hotham Stakes at $3.90 with TAB from Schabau at $4.20 and Admiral Robson at $6.50.
In latest Melbourne Cup betting Sir Dragonet (IRE) and Tiger Moth (IRE) are the $7 equal favourites while the highest rated Hotham Stakes contender is Ashrun at $34.
Watch below footage of Ashrun (top) and Tiger Moth (bottom) at Werribee.