The all-important barrier draw has been declared for the 2016 Melbourne Cup (3200m) with 24 hopefuls ready to embark on a gruelling staying test.
No horse has ever won the iconic race from barrier 18, and in 2016, Japanese stayer Curren Mirotic will have to overcome a 155 year hoodoo to claim a second win for Japan.
Race favourite Hartnell has drawn in barrier 12 and will be looking to prove his staying ability having failed in the Sydney Cup (3200m) as favourite.
The John O’Shea-trained son of Authorized has been one of the most dominant performers of the spring and beat all but Winx in the Cox Plate (2040m).
Another Godolphin-owned galloper, Oceanographer, stormed into Cup calculations with a fast-finishing win in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day and has drawn barrier 11.
Barrier 11 has been the most successful in recent times with four winners in the past 30 years.
Barriers 5, 10 and 21 have all produced three winners each in that period, while horses drawn in gates 6, 12, 15, 19, 23 and 24 have been unsuccessful in that time.
Caulfield Cup winner Jameka has drawn well in gate 3 and is aiming for her second Group 1 win at Flemington having claimed the Crown Oaks (2500m) on a Heavy track last spring.
Ethereal (2001) and Let’s Elope (1991) were the last four-year-old mares to win the Melbourne Cup.
A host of internationals are high in the betting order and have met with mixed results, and while Big Orange and Bondi Beach fared well in barriers 7 and 5, Wicklow Brave and Heartbreak City drew wide in gates 24 and 23.