Ciaron Maher’s Spring Cups-bound Mr O’Ceirin has been penalised half a kilo for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups for their weekend win in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
The Postponed six-year-old looks in their best position yet to make the field for the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 and, or, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November after their Caulfield win on Saturday.
They were second in the race last spring but then bummed out next-up when 13th in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and subsequently sent out to the paddock.
This year Mr O’Ceirin, winner of the Grafton Cup in July, ran a nice first-up second to Ibicenco in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) in August before their tidy one length Naturalism victory over the Peter Moody-trained import Kesampour.
Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager of Racing Greg Carpenter today announced the galloper would receive a half kilo penalty in the cups for their effort bringing them up to 53kg for the Caulfield Cup 2013.
Mr O’Ceirin also earned a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption thanks to their victory and now sits equal 3th in the Caulfield Cup order of entry.
As for the ‘race that stops a nation’ the horse has been bumped up from 48th to 45th in the Melbourne Cup ballot now allocated 52.5kg with the penalty.
The weight penalty was in keeping with that given to 2009 Naturalism Stakes champ Red Lord and also to Duro Valley back in 2007 who would go onto carry 51kg to finish runner-up behind Master O’Reilly in that year’s Caulfield Cup.
“Mr O’Ceirin is a progressive stayer having won the Grafton Cup in July and won a strong renewal of the Naturalism on Saturday,” he told Racing Victoria.
“In determining the size of the penalty, the fact the Naturalism was slowly run in the early and middle stages and Mr O’Ceirin was assisted by a tactical front running ride mitigated against a penalty of any more than 0.5kg.”
In the latest Caulfield Cup odds they have firmed into $26 while in Melbourne Cup betting they are only slightly longer paying $31 in markets led by Fiorente ($7) and Puissance De Lune ($7.50).
As for Saturday’s Naturalism Stakes runner-up Kesampour, the King’s Best stallion has moved up to 38th in the Caulfield Cup ballot.
They will likely look to secure a run by winning the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) back at Caulfield on October 12.
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