Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager - Racing, Greg Carpenter, has today announced that he has issued a weight penalty to Surprise Baby in the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Carpenter has penalised the country Victorian stayer 1kg in both Cups after his win in the $500,000 Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The victory by the Paul Preusker-trained five-year-old secured Surprise Baby a guaranteed start in the Melbourne Cup five months after narrowly failing to land a ballot exemption when second in The Andrew Ramsden (2500m) at Flemington.
Surprise Baby, a five-time winner from 10 starts, rises from 52.5kg to 53.5kg in the Melbourne Cup, while the 1kg penalty takes his weight from 53kg to 54kg in the Caulfield Cup where the horse has moved from 41st to 29th in the Order of Entry.
Carpenter said: “In determining the penalty, consideration was given to the dominant nature of Surprise Baby’s victory and his emerging staying talent, balanced against the fact that his win was over Supernova and Wolfe, who are both on the minimum weight in the Cups.
“Almandin was penalised 1kg for his Bart Cummings victory before winning the Melbourne Cup with 52kg at his next start in 2016.
“Last year Avilius was penalised 1.5kg for his win in The Bart Cummings, but that reflected the fact he had also won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes after weights had been released.
“Taking all these matters into account it was determined that 1kg was the appropriate penalty for Surprise Baby in both Cups, with his new weight in the Caulfield Cup 54kg and in the Melbourne Cup 53.5kg.”
With their minor placings in The Bart Cummings, Supernova (Team Hawkes) and Wolfe (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) both satisfied the qualifying clause for the Melbourne Cup and moved to 60th and 63rd respectively in the Order of Entry.
The pair did likewise in the Caulfield Cup where they moved to 61st and 63rd in the Order of Entry for the world’s richest 2400-metre handicap.
Comeback hero Kings Will Dream secured a ballot exemption in the Caulfield Cup for his win in Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) for which he was unable to be penalised due to the set weight and penalty conditions of the $500,000 race.
The first prize cheque of $302,000 has seen the Chris Waller-trained six-year-old move to 40th in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry.
A trio of runners from Saturday’s Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) in Sydney have also moved up the pecking order for the Melbourne Cup as a result of prizemoney earned.
With Metropolitan winner Come Play With Me not entered for either Cup, runner-up Gallic Chieftan (Archie Alexander) moves to 46th, one position behind third placegetter Sir Charles Road (Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott), while fifth placed Big Duke (Kris Lees) is within striking distance of a start in 32nd.
Rating changes have seen two horses move up the Caulfield Cup Order of Entry with Turnbull Stakes runner-up Finche (Chris Waller) rising to 21st and Gallic Chieftan to 42nd.
Second acceptances for the Caulfield Cup close at 12 noon (AEDT) tomorrow, Tuesday, 8 October, while the deadline for the Melbourne Cup second acceptances is 12 noon (AEDT) on Tuesday, 15 October.
Tomorrow will also see third acceptances taken at 12 noon (AEDT) for the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), to be run at The Valley on 26 October, and first acceptances for the $1 million Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m), run at the same track the evening prior.
Click here to view the updated Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Order of Entry.
Click here to view the updated Lexus Melbourne Cup Order of Entry.