Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, has today announced that he has issued weight penalties to Grand Promenade and Montefilia in the $5 million Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup (2400m) and $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
After his win in Saturday’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington, Grand Promenade has been penalised 1kg in both Cups lifting him to 52kg in each.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained stayer is exempt from the ballot in the Melbourne Cup courtesy of his weekend triumph, whilst he has moved to 39th in the Caulfield Cup order of entry with the weight penalty.
The 1kg penalty is the same handed to the previous two winners of The Bart Cummings, Surprise Baby (2020) and Persan (2021), who both went on to finish fifth in the Melbourne Cup after bypassing the Caulfield Cup.
Despite being beaten in The Bart Cummings, minor placegetters Tralee Rose (second) and Master of Wine (third) both enhanced their chances of a Melbourne Cup start. The runner-up’s purse of $135,000 has seen Tralee Rose move from 37th to 31st in the order of entry, while Master of Wine passed the ballot clause and has moved from 57th to 40th.
Montefilia, who captured the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday, has also been penalised 1kg rising to 52kg in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. The David Payne-trained four-year-old mare is guaranteed a start in both races, moving to ninth in the Caulfield Cup order of entry and 10th in the Melbourne Cup.
Since 2000, seven Metropolitan winners have contested the Caulfield Cup with Railings (2005) and Tawqeet (2006) completing the double in successive years. Prior to that duo’s success, Hayai was the last horse to win both races in 1983.
Nine Metropolitan winners have run in the Melbourne Cup since 2000 with Glencadam Gold the best placed finisher when sixth in the 2012 Cup. The last horse to complete The Metropolitan-Melbourne Cup double was Macdougall in 1959, while Natski was the last Metropolitan winner to place in the Cup when second in 1988.
Outside of Montefilia, The Metropolitan also saw Harpo Marx (third) and Zeyrek (fourth) pass the first ballot clause in the Melbourne Cup moving to 51st and 57th respectively in the order of entry for the 2 November feature at Flemington.
Carpenter further explained that Incentivise could not be re-handicapped for either Cup following his brave victory in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday given the conditions of the race.
The victory did secure the Peter Moody-trained five-year-old a ballot exemption in the Caulfield Cup, to be run on Saturday, 16 October, where he will carry 55.5kg. He joins Nonconformist (MRC Foundation Cup) and Mount Popa (Mornington Cup) as those with ballot exemptions for the world’s richest 2400m handicap.
There are three more ballot exemption races remaining for the Caulfield Cup, being the Group 1 Neds Might And Power (2000m) and Group 2 Neds Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield this Saturday, 9 October; and the Group 3 Neds Coongy Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield on 13 October.
There are also three more ballot exemption races to come for the Melbourne Cup, being the Caulfield Cup; the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on 23 October; and the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on 30 October.
Third acceptances for the Caulfield Cup, along with the Cox Plate, will be taken at 12 noon tomorrow – Tuesday, 5 October – with an updated order of entry to be released tomorrow afternoon.
To view the updated order of entry for the Lexus Melbourne Cup - click here.