Gris Caro will carry just 52kg in next month’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), which means he has avoided a penalty for winning Saturday’s Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
The five-year-old fought hard for the win at Caulfield, beating Entirely Platinum across the line by just a shoulder, while favourite Bonfire finished in third. The win earned Gris Caro a ballot-free entry into the Caulfield Cup on October 18th, which he was lucky to avoid a penalty for due to winning the Naturalism on the limit weight.
Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Gris Caro at $26, while Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) favourite The Offer is $15, and Admire Rakti is $17.
Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager of Racing, Greg Carpenter, explained his decision to not attach a penalty despite the strength of the win to Racing.com: “It was a competitive renewal of the Naturalism Stakes again this year but with Gris Caro winning on the limit weight it was difficult to get him any higher in the handicap for the Caulfield Cup.
“He beat Entirely Platinum by a short head with 2.5kg less in Saturday’s Naturalism Stakes and has 1.5kg less in the Caulfield Cup, representing a 1kg turnaround for Saturday’s narrow margin.”
Gris Caro has been given 50kg to carry, but with the likelihood of weights for the 2014 Caulfield Cup being raised 2kg, he will carry 52kg – the minimum for the race.
But the lack of penalty means that if trainer Jake Stephens wants to progress to the 2014 Melbourne Cup, Gris Caro will have to carry 1.5kg more than his original 50.5kg.
“The increase to 52kg means that Gris Caro has 6kg less than topweight Admire Rakti and 1.5kg less than Entirely Platinum in the Emirates Melbourne Cup which is the same scenario that confronts him in the Caulfield Cup given the different weight structure between the two races,” Carpenter said.
Other horses who’ve recently moved up the Caulfield Cup ballot include Foreteller ($41), who became exempt from the ballot after winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on Saturday, Crackerjack King ($51), who moves up from 90th to 44th after finishing third behind Foreteller, and Quayside ($101), who satisfied the first ballot clause after winning Saturday’s Listed Tokyo City Cup (1800m).
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