Hunting Horn and Master of Wine escape Lexus Melbourne Cup penalty
Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, has today announced that he has determined not to issue a penalty to either Hunting Horn or Master of Wine in the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Carpenter chose not to penalise the Aidan O'Brien-trained stayer Hunting Horn for his win in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Saturday, 26 October.
The win came on Hunting Horn’s debut in Australia and marked the son of Camelot’s first victory since the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes (2000m) at Royal Ascot in July 2018.
Carpenter said: “Hunting Horn was favourably weighted under the set weight and penalty conditions of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and he was able to beat Mr Quickie by a length and a quarter at level weights, with Downdraft a further neck away in third place.
“Hunting Horn has 55kg in the Melbourne Cup, and he will already meet Mr Quickie on 2.5kg worse weight terms and Downdraft on 2kg worse weight terms from Saturday’s contest, and all other runners from Saturday between two and 3.5kg worse. Given those circumstances, it is not appropriate to issue a further weight penalty for the Melbourne Cup.”
As a result of the $311,000 he collected on Saturday, Hunting Horn has moved from 20th to 16th place in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry ahead of the third acceptances.
The last horse to win the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the same year was Kingston Rule, in 1990. Prince of Penzance ran second in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup before he won the Melbourne Cup in 2015.
Carpenter also decided not to penalise Master of Wine after the lightly-raced import won the Listed Tattersalls Cup (2400m) at Randwick.
Carpenter said: “Master of Wine is an emerging talent who was able to beat veteran stayers Maurus and Master of Arts in the Tattersalls Cup.
“He won the race on the limit weight and, given the overall strength of the opposition he defeated in the Listed event, no weight penalty for the Melbourne Cup has been issued so he will carry 50kg in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“The last winner of the Tattersalls Cup to contest the Melbourne Cup was Maluckyday in 2010. Like Master of Wine, he was also trained by Team Hawkes and did not receive a penalty after winning the race on the limit weight.
“Maluckyday then won the Hotham Handicap to secure a place in the Melbourne Cup field, subsequently finishing second behind Americain in the 150th edition of the famous race.”
Following his win, Master of Wine has now passed the ballot and moves to 53rd place in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry.
Third acceptances for the Melbourne Cup close at 10am (AEDT) today (Monday, 28 October), after which the latest Order of Entry will be released.