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Cup berths go on the line in Hotham Stakes

At least three Melbourne Cup entries, including two from the same stable, can clinch a start in Australia’s greatest race via the Hotham Stakes.

Stablemates Mankayan and King’s Charisma will leapfrog their way into the Melbourne Cup field if either win the Hotham at Flemington on Saturday.

The Michael Moroney-trained Emissary can also secure a start with the Hotham offering the last ballot-free passage into the $8 million race on Tuesday.

Six of the nine Hotham runners remain in Melbourne Cup contention.

Knights Order and Fun Fact are assured of a start while Great House sits just inside the final 24 but could be bumped out, depending on the Hotham result.

A decision on Great House contesting the Hotham, for which the Chris Waller-trained stayer is an early favourite, will be made on race morning.

Mankayan and King’s Charisma will be trying to bolster the Melbourne Cup representation of co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

They have Explosive Jack, Grand Promenade and Persan safely in the field while Floating Artist’s chances of getting a start are improving each day.

Of the stable’s Hotham pair, Mankayan is the most favoured but King’s Charisma has been the best supported.

“Mankayan is a horse who we probably haven’t worked out yet but a race like the Hotham is within his compass, for sure,” Eustace said.

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