Following the release of the Perth Cup 2013 nominations, RWWA racing manger and chief handicapper David Hunter has indicated that local Group 1 champions Mr Moet and Playing God would top the weights for the New Year’s Day classic.
Running at Ascot Racecourse on January 1, 2013, the $500,000 Group 2 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) attracted 32 early entries this week.
One of the most notable of the hopefuls is recent Railway Stakes winner Mr Moet who won the $1 million feature as a $20 outsider before their good second to Luckygray in the Kingston Town Classic last Saturday.
Hunter said that when Perth Cup weights were announced on December 24 that it would be Mr Moet along with former dual Kingston Town Classic winner Playing God, sixth in the race this year, who would be allocated the biggest imposts.
“At this stage, Mr Moet and Playing God are in line to be the cup top weights on 59kg,” he said.
“I will be reluctant to exceed 59kg when allocating the topweight.”
The Adam Durrant-trained Mr Moet carried just 53.5kg to victory in the Railway Stakes but went up to 59kg under the weight-for-age conditions of the Kingston Town.
How they handle the 59kg under handicap conditions however will be key to their chances.
The Perth Cup weights have been delayed this time until just a week before the big day making sure the form of the $225,000 Group 2 C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) on December 22 were taken into account, a positive according to Hunter.
“Framing of cup weights will not be finalised until Cox Stakes form is taken into account,” he said.
“It means we can avoid imposing late penalties.
“Late entries can be lodged until December 24.”
Early favourite for the 2012 CB Cox Stakes in the pre-nomination markets is Mr Moet.
While Hunter is confident which horses will head the Perth Cup weights, he said the task of handicapping the four Eastern state entries would be harder.
The interstate raiders nominated for the feature this year were the highly-credentialed Peter Moody-trained Macedonian, John Thompson’s Shamardashing, Tony McEvoy’s Ballarat Cup runner-up Pelicano and former European Doctor Fremantle.
Having won multiple Group races in England when prepared by Sir Michael Stout, the now Sam Pritchard-Gordon trained Sadler’s Wells eight-year-old also boasts a Group 1 minor placing in New Zealand last year under the training of Lauren Brennan.
“Doctor Fremantle is a former British stayer,” Hunter said. “He won the Chester Vase and Arc Trial and ran fourth in an English Derby.
“He’s run fourth in last month’s Kyneton and Ballarat cups. I’ll closely watch his run over 2000m at Flemington on Saturday.
“We’ll (also) see last-start Ballarat Cup runner-up Pelicano in Sunday’s Werribee Cup.”
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