Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, has today announced that he has issued a weight penalty to Orderofthegarter (IRE) in the $5 million Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Danny O’Brien-trained seven-year-old became eligible for a penalty in both races following his win in Saturday’s Group 3 Catanach's Jewellers MRC Foundation Cup (the Naturalism Stakes) over 2000m at Caulfield.
Carpenter has penalised Orderofthegarter 1kg in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups taking him to 51kg in both races.
The Naturalism Stakes is a ballot exempt race for the Caulfield Cup and as such Orderofthegarter now joins Mornington Cup winner Aktau as the two horses guaranteed a start in the race. He is yet to pass the ballot for the Melbourne Cup but can do so by finishing in the top eight of the Caulfield Cup.
Carpenter said: “It was encouraging to see Orderofthegarter record his third career win in the Naturalism Stakes and his first since winning a Listed race for 3yos in April 2017.
“The merit of the victory on Saturday warranted a 1kg penalty for both Cups as he seeks to emulate Jameka who won the Caulfield Cup after winning the Naturalism Stakes in 2016”.
In announcing today’s penalty, Carpenter also confirmed that Friday’s Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) winner Mugatoo has escaped a penalty in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“While Mugatoo continued his impressive winning form taking the Newcastle feature with topweight, given he already has 53.5kg in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups we elected not to re-handicap him for either race.”
The penalty issued to Orderofthegarter is the same afforded to 2018 winner Night’s Watch and 0.5kg more than Jameka received when rising from 51.5kg to 52kg in 2016.
Three of the last six winners – Brimham Rocks (2019), Magnapal (2015) and Gris Caro (2014) were not penalised for their Naturalism wins.
Please note that first declarations for the Caulfield Cup (and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate) close at 12 noon tomorrow with an updated order of entry released for the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup tomorrow afternoon.