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Field trip activities and lesson plans.
Field Trip Activities
Check out our Scavenger Hunts for student-centered learning activities to do anywhere in the museum!
Grades 2-12 | Museum Scavenger Hunt
Grades K-5 | Dinosaur Hall Scavenger Hunt
Grades 2-12 | Art of Science Scavenger Hunt
Museum Lesson Plans and Exhibition Guides
These free, printable field trip lesson plans will help your students connect classroom curriculum with their on-site museum experiences. View the exhibit halls below to find grade-appropriate lesson plans and download your copy!
Age of Mammals
Kindergarten | What is a Mammal? Identify mammal characteristics and sort them from other mammals!
Grade 2 | Mystery Mammal Observe an ancient mammal and form hypotheses about it for further investigation!
Grade 3 | Let's Investigate! Observe an ancient mammal and form hypotheses based on what you see.
Grade 4 | Investigating Adaptations Explore what adaptations are and how they reflect an animal's environment. Showcase new knowledge with a narrative presentation.
Grade 5 | Once Upon A Time… Let ancient mammal melodrama inspire a narrative script to perform with the class!
Grade 6 | Moving and Shaking Examine the effects of plate tectonics on the evolution of mammals. Watch the video associated with this lesson plan!
Grade 7 | Super Selection Examine natural selection and conduct a research project to explore what selection pressures might have influenced the evolution of a particular species represented in this exhibit.
Grade 8 | Postulating Pressures Research a mammal's natural history to try and reveal the selection pressures that drove its evolution, then share findings with a research project.
Grades 9 - 12 | Global Processes Review evolution by natural selection, then conduct a research project about a specimen in our halls to discover its evolutionary history. Watch the video associated with this lesson plan!
Becoming Los Angeles
Grades K - 5 | History Social-Science Standards Connections in Becoming Los Angeles
Grades 2 - 5 | Found History Get your students' creativity flowing by using exhibit text to create their own unique poetry.
Grade 3 | Continued Traditions Explore traditions of the Gabrielino-Tongva people and how those traditions live on today. Become a museum archaeologist to examine artifacts and write, draw, and record your findings.
Grade 4 | Coming to California Discover how 49ers traveled to California during the Gold Rush by examining museum objects and historical photographs. Investigate one migrant's journey to California in search of riches.
Grades 6 - 12 | Found History Creative writing and critical thinking come together in this L.A. history-inspired, found poetry exercise.
Grades K - 5 | Bird Hall Teachable Moments Quick activities to guide student exploration in the Bird Hall.
Kindergarten Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
Grades K - 12 | Dinosaur Hall 101 This PowerPoint walks you through the overarching stories in the Dinosaur Hall to make the most of your visit.
Pre K - K | Paleontological Practice Explore dinosaurs using a KWL approach and make guided observations using a scavenger hunt for the Dinosaur Hall.
Grade 1 | Adaptation Sensation Compare adaptations of modern-day animals with fossil specimens to determine how ancient animals used to survive.
Grade 2 | Decoding Dinos Compare and contrast dinosaurs with other animals to decode their lost legacy and formulate hypotheses about how they used to live.
Grade 3 | The Past Through the Present Discover how even life millions of years ago varied depending on the environment it lived in.
Grade 4 | The Dino Diner Use math and science to deliver excellent customer service to some paleo patrons!
Grade 5 | What Killed the Dinosaurs? Consider multiple hypotheses and present evidence for the demise of the dinosaurs with this research-based writing exercise.
Grades 6 - 8 | Dinosaurs and Definitions Through a research project, examine vocabulary using context to infer the meaning of new words.
Grade 6 | Mesozoic Measurements Convert the measurements taken in the Dinosaur Hall to create a graph comparing three species of dinosaurs.
Grade 7 | Modern Detectives for an Ancient World Use observations to form hypotheses and then revise it based on new evidence and research.
Grade 7 | Shaping Dinosaurs Use dinosaurs as a topic to understand tessellations and how to calculate area and perimeter.
Grade 8 | Sizing 'em Up Or rather... down. Draw a dinosaur specimen to scale after measuring its length, width and estimating its height.
Grades 9 - 12 | Amazing Adaptation Use a Tree Map to connect observations, inferences, and conclusions about an observed specimen in the Dinosaur Hall, then consider how natural selection played a role in that specimen's evolution.
Gem and Mineral Hall
Gem and Mineral Hall Vocabulary Sheet
Pre K | A Rocky Rainbow Explore the colorful world of gems and minerals!
Pre K | Math Rocks! Introduce measuring and graphing in a hands-on way using our specimens.
Pre K | Natural Opposites Rocks are a great place to discover naturally occurring opposites.
Grades K - 5 | Gem & Mineral Hall Teachable Moments Quick activities to guide student exploration in the Gem and Mineral Hall.
Kindergarten | Describing and Deciding Practice using new adjectives in a Gem and Mineral Hall scavenger hunt!
Kindergarten | Exploring Size Use our natural world to reinforce the concept of "big" and "small."
Kindergarten | Guided Discovery Consider the components of land. What do we know? What would we like to know?
Grade 1 | Let's Talk Rock Use scientific vocabulary to practice making observations
Grade 1 | Categorizing Collections Sort rocks and minerals into different groups by their attributes.
Grade 2 | An Adjective Habit Use scientific vocabulary to record and communicate observations.
Grade 2 | In Your Estimation Compare estimates with actual measurements of Museum specimens.
Grade 3 | Investigating Minerals Inspire inquiry and investigation with a mineral's unique structure and beauty.
Grade 4 | A Miner's Life for Me! Consider the daily trials of a miner during the California Gold Rush.
Grade 4 | California's Geologic Regions Through mineral investigation, discover California's four unique geologic regions.
Grade 4 | Properties of Minerals Examine mineral properties as a tool for identification.
Grade 4 | The Rock Cycle Compare and contrast the three major types of rocks in this probe into the rock cycle.
Grade 5 | Life of a Gemstone Articulate a mineral's life story from formation to excavation.
Grade 6 | Natural Beauty In this interdisciplinary lesson set, practice geometric reasoning and artistic expression while gaining appreciation for the natural beauty of rocks and minerals.
Grade 7 | How Old is the Earth? Introduce Earth's history through vocabulary building, observation and discussion.
Grade 7 | Lighting Up the Gem & Mineral Hall Discover the properties of light by examining their interaction with gems and minerals.
Grade 8 | Building Blocks of Minerals Explore the fundamentals of chemistry and engage in inquiry through examining a mineral's composition and structure.
Grade 8 | You Can't Fool Me! Examine the chemical and physical properties of matter by revealing their application to real life situations.
Grade 9-12 | Chemistry See chemistry in action in this adaptable lesson set that examines mineral composition and formation.
Grade 9-12 | Earth Science Classify minerals by observable characteristics and relate mineral properties to the environments in which they form.
Grades K - 5 | Mammal Halls Teachable Moments Quick activities to guide student exploration in the Mammal Halls.
Pre-K | Leaf Sorting Practice categorization by comparing, contrasting, and drawing the native plants in our Nature Gardens!
Grades K – 12 | Squirrel Observations Observe, collect, and analyze data on a popular animal that's easy to find in a schoolyard!
Kindergarten | How We Survive Investigate the four basic needs--air, water, food, and shelter--of living organisms with observations in our Nature Gardens!
Kindergarten | Living and Non-Living Determine what makes something living or non-living with a journaling or photo-taking activity in our gardens that turns into a collage back in the classroom.
Kindergarten | Move It, Move It! Mimic animal movements and apply what you observe about motion in our Gardens to drawing and describing.
Grade 1 | Plant Parts Discover the parts of a plant by growing them in the classroom, then comparing your observations to the plants in our Nature Gardens!
Grades 2 – 12 | Sounds of Nature Practice listening and observing nature to understand more about the biodiversity of our city.
Grade 2 – 3 | Marvelous Metamorphosis Introduce students to complete metamorphosis while looking for ladybug eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults in the Nature Gardens!
Grade 7 | Insects and Biodiversity Explore L.A.'s biodiversity through bugs and introduce classification.
Grades 9 – 12 | Ecology and Energy Flow Explore how energy moves between organisms in our Nature Gardens!
Grades 9 – 12 | P lant Parenthood Observe how artificial selection and natural selection play out in our Nature Gardens!
Grades K – 12 | My Wild L.A. Tell your story about L.A. nature and use it to develop a narrative work and inspire a research project!
- Grades 6-12
- School Leaders
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8 Field Trip and School Permission Forms to Make Your Life Easier
Because who has time to reinvent the wheel?
While some schools may be lucky enough to have transitioned to electronic permission slips, many are still relying on the same photocopies that they’ve had for years. Thankfully, we’ve got some spiffy new school permission forms templates to help you retire your old forms without too much heavy lifting.
1. Class Party or Project
When you’re planning a class party or project, this template is a great start. You can use it as is to address any concerns about allergies or adjust it to collect other information, like supply donations or even available volunteers.
Edit (doc) | Print (pdf)
2. School Dances
There comes a time in each student’s life when they’re presented with the opportunity to get down and funky with a group of their peers. At that time, it falls on many an adult to help students manage responsibilities and expectations. This permission slip helps do just that with student, guest, and guardian signatures, and much more.
Edit (doc) | Print (pdf)
3. Movies and Other Media
With all of the digital learning resources available nowadays, you may think permission slips for these tools are no longer necessary. As mindful as you may be in making your selections, you still might want to solicit specific approval for certain content. This quick and easy form is the way to do it.
Edit (doc) | Print (pdf)
Speaking of potentially sensitive content, sex ed likely requires permission, no matter what it’s called, what grade it’s for, or what class it’ll be in. In addition to documenting approval, this form provides information parents and guardians are sure to find useful before their student participates in any discussions.
5. Extracurricular Transportation
Kids today have an amazing number of options available when it comes to extracurricular activities—and just as many when it comes to getting to and from them. Coaches, leaders, and other staff will love having this form at the ready to get transportation permissions on file in record time.
6. Field Trip Lite
This is a great field trip permission slip without all the fuss. Just enter the facts and send it on its way.
7. Field Trip Plus
For those who sleep a little more easily at night when they have a bit of legalese covering their backsides, the additions in this two-pager may be the better choice. Plus, the added room in the layout gives you plenty of space to load up on trip details, if that’s more your style.
8. Overnight Field Trip
Fair warning: This one has a lot of fine print! But what else would you expect to counter the increasing liability that comes with an overnight field trip?
What school permission forms templates should we add to this list? Let us know in the comments and we’ll create more templates!
Plus, the best field trip ideas for every age and interest (virtual options too), you might also like.
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Melbourne Cup 2023 field, horses, form guide and betting
Irish galloper Vauban is poised to run favourite in today's great race, but there's been continued strong support for his stablemate Absurde .
Last year's winner Gold Trip and Caulfield Cup hero Without A Fight will fly the flag for the Australian-trained runners.
Meanwhile, retiring jockey Damien Oliver will ride in the Cup one last time after his mount Alenquer was passed fit this morning after being under a fitness cloud.
Explore our interactive form guide to all the horses set to line up in the 163rd Melbourne Cup.
You can also download and print our sweep .
$7.50: 1. Gold Trip
7yo stallion (France) | Barrier 2 | 58.5kg
Jockey: James McDonald | Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Gold Trip is aiming to become only the fourth horse to win back-to-back Melbourne Cups, and there are plenty of punters who believe he can do it.
His form mirrors what it was a year ago — placing in the Caulfield Cup (2,400m) and a strong-finishing effort in the Cox Plate (2,040m) have him primed for another forward showing on Tuesday.
The seven-year-old does have to carry a kilogram more than last year, and no horse has lumped 58.5kg to victory since Think Big won his second Cup 48 years ago.
Gold Trip won't like the track too dry, so any rain will enhance his chances under champion jockey James McDonald , who picked up the ride after Mark Zahra opted for Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight .
$34: 2. Alenquer
6yo gelding (France) | Barrier 9 | 56.5kg
Jockey: Damien Oliver | Trainer: Michael Moroney
This former European galloper hasn't figured in the finish at any of his five starts Down Under, but to be fair he should've finished closer than his last-start ninth, beaten 3.4 lengths, behind Cleveland in the Moonee Valley Cup (2,500m).
The Cup will be his first attempt at the 3,200 metres, but trainer Mike Moroney knows how to win the great race having triumphed with Brew in 2000.
Alenquer was under a fitness cloud after presenting with a stone bruise on Sunday, but he's been passed fit to start.
The horse will attract more attention than your typical Cup outsider because of the man who'll be in the saddle — hall of fame jockey Damien Oliver .
The legendary hoop is out to claim a fourth Cup at his 32nd and final ride in the great race , and will carry a good deal of sentimental money from punters on Tuesday.
$8: 3. Without A Fight
7yo gelding (Ireland) | Barrier 16 | 56.5kg
Jockey: Mark Zahra | Trainers: Anthony & Sam Freedman
This will be Without A Fight's second attempt at the Cup after finishing a well-beaten 13th last year when he found the wet conditions not to his liking.
Formerly trained in England, the seven-year-old has only raced four times since then, winning three, starting with impressive back-to-back successes in Brisbane during the winter.
A fortnight ago Without A Fight got his preferred dry ground in the Caulfield Cup (2,400m) where he powered through the line to score and defeat several rivals he'll face again on Tuesday.
Jockey Mark Zahra elected to keep the ride despite having the option to stick with Gold Trip on whom he won the Cup a year ago.
$18: 4. Breakup
6yo stallion (Japan) | Barrier 18 | 55kg
Jockey: Kohei Matsuyama | Trainer: Tatsuya Yoshioka
Breakup may be a level or two below the elite stayers in his native Japan, but gallopers with similar profiles in the past have been more than competitive when venturing Down Under.
Punters showed him plenty of respect at his Australian debut in the Caulfield Cup (2,400m) a fortnight ago, when he fought on fairly for eighth, beaten 5.7 lengths, behind Without A Fight .
The stable reports that Breakup has taken benefit from that run and the prospect of a dry track on Tuesday poses no disadvantage.
They're hoping a true test of stamina over the Cup's 3,200 metres will be to his benefit and help reverse the result against some of his rivals from Caulfield.
$4.40: 5. Vauban
6yo gelding (France) | Barrier 3 | 55kg
Jockey: Ryan Moore | Trainer: Willie Mullins
The Irish-trained Vauban showed class as a hurdler after taking to jumps races in late 2021, but his return to the flat in June saw him emerge as a leading Melbourne Cup contender.
A dominant 7.5-length victory at Royal Ascot over stablemate Absurde , albeit in a time slower than standard, put the six-year-old atop the betting markets, but he backed it up by defeating one-time Cup aspirant Valiant King in the Ballyroan Stakes (2,414m) in Dublin.
Vauban has settled well in Melbourne and an impressive track gallop at Flemington last Tuesday has only strengthened the confidence of his supporters.
Tuesday brings a sense of unfinished business for his trainer, legendary horseman Willie Mullins , whose Max Dynamite placed twice in the Cup (2nd 2015, 3rd 2017) sporting the same silks as Vauban .
$11: 6. Soulcombe
5yo gelding (Great Britain) | Barrier 4 | 53.5kg
Jockey: Joao Moreira | Trainer: Chris Waller
Soulcombe created a big impression at his first Australian start a year ago, running away with the Queens Cup (2,600m) during the Flemington carnival.
And while things didn't go right during his autumn campaign, the former English galloper showed his true potential with a fast-finishing win when resuming in the Heatherlie Handicap (1,700m) at Caulfield in September.
Poor barrier manners, however, have since cruelled his chances, most recently when he was well fancied in the Caulfield Cup (2,400m) but missed the start badly and finished seventh behind Without A Fight .
Connections have turned to the "Magic Man" Joao Moreira in the hope of getting Soulcombe to jump with the field and giving him every chance to be in the finish.
$10: 7. Absurde
6yo gelding (France) | Barrier 8 | 53kg
Jockey: Zac Purton | Trainer: Willie Mullins
Absurde started his career in France but for the past year has been with champion Irish horseman Willie Mullins .
In true Mullins style, the horse has mixed his starts between jumps and flat races, including a second to stablemate and Cup rival Vauban at Royal Ascot in June, although he was trounced by 7.5 lengths.
Two starts later Absurde booked his ticket for the Cup with a narrow victory in the win-and-you're-in Ebor Handicap (2,816m) in England where he finished ahead of another Cup rival, More Felons .
Champion Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton is booked for the ride and is hoping to improve on his third placing for Mullins aboard Max Dynamite in the 2017 Cup.
$31: 8. Right You Are
7yo gelding (Australia) | Barrier 15 | 53kg
Jockey: John Allen | Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Right You Are was one of the last horses standing after racing near the brutal pace set in the Caulfield Cup (2,400m), battling on well in the circumstances to finish fifth behind Without A Fight .
It was a race he'd been set for after winning the Mornington Cup earlier in the year at his first attempt over 2,400 metres.
He'd previously established a good record over 1,600 to 2,000 metres, leaving some questions to be answered over his ability to run the Cup's 3,200 metres — but the same can be said for a number of his rivals on Tuesday.
Right You Are is one of five runners for co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace who won the Cup last year with Gold Trip .
$26: 9. Vow And Declare
8yo gelding (Australia) | Barrier 19 | 53kg
Jockey: Billy Egan | Trainer: Danny O'Brien
Vow And Declare , lining up for his fourth Cup, is a credit to trainer Danny O'Brien, who's maintained the 2019 champion's zest for racing despite him suffering a near career-ending injury two years ago.
The veteran galloper has shown this spring that he's far from a spent force, running second to cult hero Alligator Blood over 2,000 metres and then second to former Cup rival Cleveland in the Moonee Valley Cup (2,500m) just over a week ago.
However the weight of history is working against Vow And Declare , as only three eight-year-olds have claimed the Cup — Twilight Payment in 2020 is the sole winner in the past 85 years.
And there have been just five multiple winners of the Cup — the great Peter Pan (1932, 1934) was the only horse to triumph in non-consecutive years.
Scratched: 10. Cleveland
6yo stallion (Ireland) | Barrier 23 | 52kg
Jockey: Michael Dee | Trainer: Kris Lees
*UPDATE – THIS HORSE HAS BEEN SCRATCHED
Inevitably there's a sense of timing with a Lloyd Williams -owned runner heading into the first Tuesday in November — this year in the shape of former Irish-trained galloper Cleveland .
The horse showed glimpses of his potential in six Australian starts before everything came together as he powered to the line to claim the Moonee Valley Cup (2,500m) and defeat Cup rivals including Vow And Declare and Future History .
Cleveland is one of two runners (along with Serpentine ) for Williams, who holds the record with seven Cup wins to date (1981, 1985, 2007, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2020).
Trainer and owner have chosen to hand the reins to Michael Dee , who's been in a rich vein of form in the past year.
$26: 11. Ashrun
8yo gelding (France) | Barrier 11 | 51.5kg
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy | Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Regardless of his performance on Tuesday, it will be an amazing feat to see Ashrun line up for his second tilt at the Cup.
The now-eight-year-old has improved at each run this spring after spending almost three years on the sidelines following his 10th in the 2020 edition for German trainer Andreas Wohler.
Ashrun's third and final tune-up for this year's race was a second in the Geelong Cup (2,400m) where he finished just ahead of Cup rivals More Felons and Magical Lagoon in a blanket finish.
Co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have elected to put three-time Cup winner Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, whose most recent success came aboard Cross Counter in 2018.
$71: 12. Daqiansweet Junior
6yo gelding (New Zealand) | Barrier 12 | 51.5kg
Jockey: Daniel Stackhouse | Trainer: Phillip Stokes
Daqiansweet (pronounced dish-arn-sweet ) Junior contested the Cup last year and ran a respectable sixth at long odds behind Gold Trip .
While he's not figured in the placings since, it's perhaps only fair to judge him on his most recent run — fourth behind Cup rival Military Mission in the Herbert Power Stakes (2,400m) — which was actually over a suitable distance.
The six-year-old is an out-and-out stayer as evidenced by his win in last year's Adelaide Cup over 3,200 metres and third placing in the Sydney Cup over the same trip.
Trainer Phillip Stokes says his sole focus this campaign has been to get Daqiansweet Junior to peak on Tuesday and believes he can perform just as well as a year ago.
$71: 13. Okita Soushi
6yo stallion (Ireland) | Barrier 20 | 51.5kg
Jockey: Dylan Gibbons | Trainer: Joseph O'Brien
This six-year-old races in Ireland under part-Japanese ownership for trainer Joseph O'Brien who won two Melbourne Cups before he turned 30.
Okita Soushi has a consistent overall record, with recent highlights a win in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (2,414m) at Royal Ascot and a third in the Irish St Leger Trial (2,816m).
He was a drifter in the betting at his Australian bow in the Caulfield Cup (2,400m), when he struggled to make ground from the back to finish 12th, beaten 10 lengths, by Without A Fight .
While a fair amount of improvement is needed for Okita Soushi to turn the tables, you do have to respect the stable, which has handed a first Cup ride to star Sydney apprentice Dylan Gibbons .
$101: 14. Sheraz
7yo gelding (France) | Barrier 22 | 51.5kg
Jockey: Beau Mertens | Trainer: Chris Waller
Chris Waller has always held a good opinion of Sheraz , one of four runners to go round in the Cup for the champion trainer.
But it's been more than 860 days since the seven-year-old's last victory; his best result since arriving in Australia in 2021 was runner-up in last year's Sydney Cup (3,200m).
He worked home fairly at his most recent start when 10th in the Moonee Valley Cup (2,500m) behind Cup rivals Vow And Declare (2nd) and Future History (3rd).
The wider expanses of Flemington will be more to Sheraz's liking on Tuesday, but he might need some rain to bring out his best.
$23: 15. Lastotchka
5yo mare (France) | Barrier 21 | 51kg
Jockey: Craig Williams | Trainers: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr
Lastotchka will have her first Australian start on Tuesday after being bought in France by connections who've already tasted Cup success with imports such as Protectionist (2014) and Gold Trip (2022).
The five-year-old has done most of her racing on soft ground, so questions could be raised if the track is dry on Tuesday.
There's no question, however, over her ability to run the distance — her last start was a victory in the Prix Gladiateur over 3,100 metres in Paris.
Keep in mind though that of the 43 mares to run in the Cup since 2005, only High Emocean (2022) and Verry Elleegant (2021) have finished top three.
Craig Williams will be in the saddle as he aims for a second Cup to go with his 2019 triumph on Vow And Declare .
$101: 16. Magical Lagoon
5yo mare (Ireland) | Barrier 7 | 51kg
Jockey: Mark Du Plessis | Trainer: Chris Waller
This winner of the 2022 Irish Oaks (2,414m) was a well-credentialed addition to Chris Waller's stable early this year and her pedigree suggests she'll be suited by Tuesday's stamina test.
Indeed her best run since coming Down Under came last start when stepping up to 2,400 metres in the Geelong Cup, albeit a close sixth behind fellow Cup rivals Ashrun (2nd) and More Felons (5th).
Keep in mind that mares don't boast a great Cup strike rate — 43 have run since 2005 and only High Emocean (2022) and Verry Elleegant (2021) have finished top three.
Perhaps worryingly for Magical Lagoon's connections, only two winners have jumped from barrier 7 — the most recent was Makybe Diva in 2004.
$19: 17. Military Mission
6yo gelding (Ireland) | Barrier 5 | 51kg
Jockey: Rachel King | Trainers: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Win, lose or draw on Tuesday, Military Mission has had a successful spring campaign but the Cup looms as his toughest test yet.
Victory in the Newcastle Cup (2,300m) in September preceded a fourth in the Metropolitan (2,400m), and last start he was strongest to the line to claim the Herbert Power (2,400m) at Caulfield with Daqiansweet Junior in fourth.
Military Mission is the first of two runners this year for racing's first lady Gai Waterhouse and co-trainer Adrian Bott . Waterhouse's lone Cup success came a decade ago with Fiorente.
He's also the one for those punters who like to have a flutter on the greys, but be mind mindful that only six have won the Cup in 162 runnings, the most recent being Efficient in 2007.
$34: 18. Serpentine
7yo gelding (Ireland) | Barrier 1 | 51kg
Jockey: Jye McNeil | Trainers: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Serpentine , the 2020 English Derby winner, is lining up for his second Melbourne Cup following a distanced 20th last year.
He's racing in better form this time round and last start fought on bravely for third behind Future History in the Bart Cummings (2,500m) after racing wide early.
Punters, however, rate Serpentine as one of the outsiders for owner Lloyd Williams , who holds the record with seven Cup wins (1981, 1985, 2007, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2020).
Jye McNeil has been booked for the ride; he claimed the Cup for Williams with an all-the-way win aboard Twilight Payment at an eerily COVID-emptied Flemington in 2020.
$81: 19. Virtuous Circle
4yo stallion (New Zealand) | Barrier 6 | 51kg
Jockey: Craig Newitt | Trainer: Liam Howley
Virtuous Circle showed potential during his three-year-old season, with the highlight being a second in the Australian Derby (2,400m) in the autumn.
Now four, he's not finding open company any easier and the jury remains out on his chances based on his performances this spring.
The New Zealand-bred stallion was luckless when 10th in the Bart Cummings (2,500m) behind Future History , but he appeared to have every chance when eighth behind the likes of Cup rivals Ashrun (2nd), More Felons (5th) and Magical Lagoon (6th) in the Geelong Cup (2,400m).
But Virtuous Circle retains the faith of his trainer Liam Howley , formerly the private trainer of record-holding owner Lloyd Williams and part of the team that prepared Almandin to Cup success in 2016.
$26: 20. More Felons
5yo gelding (Ireland) | Barrier 24 | 50.5kg
Jockey: Jamie Kah | Trainer: Chris Waller
Chris Waller has taken over the training of this English import (formerly known as Scriptwriter), who's showed how well he's settled in Australia with a fast-closing fifth in the Geelong Cup (2,400m) almost a fortnight ago.
That race has proven to be a handy guide for the Melbourne Cup over the years — Media Puzzle (2002), Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) did the double, while On A Jeune (2005), Bauer (2008), Prince Of Arran (2019) and Emissary (2022) all placed in the Cup after winning at Geelong.
A look at More Felons' formlines shows he was soundly beaten by Cup favourite Vauban over 2,816 metres in England in June, and was no match for Absurde in the time-honoured Ebor Handicap (2,816m) in August.
He does, however, get weight relief from those rivals on Tuesday and is one that could be on an upwards trajectory for Waller, who tasted Cup success with Verry Elleegant in 2021.
$19: 21. Future History
6yo gelding (Great Britain) | Barrier 13 | 50kg
Jockey: Hollie Doyle | Trainers: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Future History punched his golden ticket for the Cup through the win-and-you're-in Bart Cummings (2,500m) at Flemington a month ago.
He has since backed up his good form with a close-up third behind former Cup rival Cleveland as well as Vow And Declare in the Moonee Valley Cup (2,500m) after being forced to make an early wide run.
The former French-trained gelding is one of five runners for co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace , who are looking for back-to-back Cups after their success with Gold Trip last year.
Future History has the notable engagement of record-breaking English jockey Hollie Doyle who'll be the first international female jockey to ride in the Cup.
$81: 22. Interpretation
6yo gelding (Ireland) | Barrier 17 | 50kg
Jockey: Teo Nugent | Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
Interpretation found the occasion of last year's Cup all too much for him as a stallion and failed to finish behind Gold Trip .
Now gelded, the former Irish galloper has been building into his preparation and had little go his way when ninth behind Cup rival Future History in the Bart Cummings (2,500m).
He made amends by breaking through for his first Australian win (his first triumph in more than 800 days) in last Wednesday's Bendigo Cup (2,400m).
That result was enough for Interpretation get into the Cup field and be runner number five for co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace .
$61: 23. Kalapour
7yo gelding (Ireland) | Barrier 14 | 50kg
Jockey: Zac Lloyd | Trainer: Kris Lees
A superb front-running ride by retiring legend Damien Oliver guided Kalapour to victory in the Archer Stakes (2,500m) on Derby Day and guaranteed him a spot in the Cup.
The win for Kalapour came on the back of consecutive third placings in Sydney — in the Metropolitan (2,400m) and the St Leger (2,600m).
But Saturday's result doesn't seem to have impressed the punters, who still rate the former Irish galloper as one of the long-shots of the field.
Kalapour is now the only runner in the Cup for Newcastle-based trainer Kris Lees following the scratching of the Lloyd Williams-owned Cleveland .
$81: 24. True Marvel
8yo gelding (France) | Barrier 10 | 50kg
Jockey: Ben Thompson | Trainer: Matthew Smith
True Marvel is set to line up as the veteran of the field, taking to the track for start number 54.
He doesn't win out of turn but running over longer distances is his forte; he's won over 3,800 metres as well as running second at 150-1 in this year's Sydney Cup (3,200m) and third in the Brisbane Cup (3,200m).
Still, True Marvel is expected to run as one of the outsiders on Tuesday after his recent 10th behind former Cup rival Cleveland in the Moonee Valley Cup (2,500m).
He is one of three eight-year-olds to contest this year's race — just three have won the Cup, with Twilight Payment (2020) the only one in the past 85 years.
Odds correct at 12.00pm AEDT Tuesday.
- Reporting: Daniel Franklin
- Illustration: Tim Madden
- Development: Colin Gourlay and Andrew Kesper
- Horse Racing