Chris Waller’s in-form six-year-old Who Shot Thebarman has been handed a 1.5kg penalty going into the 2014 Caulfield Cup for his win in last weekend’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington.
Sydney’s premier trainer Waller enjoyed a stellar weekend of racing in Sydney running the quinella in both the Epsom Handicap and The Metropolitan.
Over in Melbourne however his flying stayer Who Shot Thebarman was also in the winner’s stall beating home Marksmanship by two and a half lengths with a solid effort in The Bart Cummings.
That was the imported Yamanin Vital gelding’s second straight win at the track by that margin following a good effort over 2000m carrying 60kg 21 days earlier.
Waller has the Auckland Cup winner heading towards both the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 4 this season down under.
His price to win the Caulfield Cup Saturday week firmed into $13 post-The Bart Cummings win.
Originally allocated 51.5kg in the Caulfield Cup weights, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager and Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter increased that to 53kg with the penalty.
Carpenter also penalised Who Shot Thebarman half a kilogram for the 2014 Melbourne Cup at Flemington raising his allocated weight from 54.5kg to 55kg.
While it looks like the former New Zealander will get into the Caulfield Cup with a much lighter weight than that for the ‘race that stops a nation’, Carpenter on Monday pointed out that Caulfield Cup weights were set to increase by two kilos and that would equalize the horse in both Spring Cups.
“With the penalties issued today, Who Shot Thebarman now has 3kg less than the likely top weight Admire Rakti in both races, with 53kg in the Caulfield Cup and 55kg in the Melbourne Cup,” Carpenter said.
“He is a lightly raced stayer who now has built an imposing record at 2400m and beyond having won four of his five runs in that distance range including three at Group level.”
Carpenter handed the same 0.5kg Melbourne Cup penalty to the past two Bart Cummings winners Araldo (2013) and Tanby (2012).
Other penalties handed out yesterday were for the Waller-trained duo of Junoob and He’s Your Man.
Both went up 1.5kg for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup following their Group 1 wins over the weekend.
Veteran seven-year-old Junoob got the job done over stable mate Opinion in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) while earlier in the day Waller’s French import He’s Your Man took out the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) over the fellow Waller-trained Royal Descent in a photo finish.
Junoob will now carry 53.5kg in the Caulfield Cup and 55.5kg in the Melbourne Cup while He’s Your Man goes up to 52.5kg for October 18 and 54.5kg for the first Tuesday of November.
“Junoob’s Metropolitan win was an impressive staying performance and comes off the back of a weight-for-age win in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) since the release of weights,” Carpenter said.
“With the penalties received today he now has 2kg more than Opinion in both Cups having carried 2kg more when narrowly defeating his stable mate on Saturday.”
Previous The Metropolitan winners Newport (2008), County Tyrone (2004) and Victory Smile (2002) all received the same 1.5kg penalty as Junoob, while the last year’s winner Seveille (2013) only copped a one kilo penalty.
The last Caulfield Cup nominee to take out the Epsom Handicap meanwhile was Fat Al (2012) and he received the same 1.5kg penalty as this year’s Epsom champ.
2014 Caulfield Cup third declarations close at midday today along with 2014 Melbourne Cup first acceptances so stay tuned.
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