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After Caravan Rolls On won the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) Wednesday afternoon, connections were hopeful the seven-year-old horse would receive a weight penalty for the 2014 Melbourne Cup, and help him move closer to a start.
This morning he received a 1.5kg weight penalty for his Geelong Cup victory from Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter. The penalty is advantageous but not enough to guarantee Caravan Rolls On a start in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Caravan Rolls On’s weight has now been lifted to 52.5kg which movers the imported stayer to 36th on the order of entry, up from 45th.
“Caravan Rolls On was an impressive winner of the Geelong Cup and has a terrific record at 2400m and beyond with a Listed win in the Sandown Cup (3200m) and yesterday’s Group win,” Greg Carpenter told TVN.
“He has been penalised 1.5kg to 52.5kg for the win, however he remains 7kg below the benchmark and thus he will need to secure a ballot exemption via the Lexus Stakes or rely upon a heavy attrition rate among final acceptances to secure a Melbourne Cup start.
“The quantum of penalty given to Caravan Rolls On, who was handicapped off a low weight in the Melbourne Cup, is commensurate with those given to Gris Caro (1.5kg) and Big Memory (2kg) earlier this Spring Racing Carnival.”
Trainer Danny O’Brien is confident the horse will only improve on his run in the Geelong Cup if given the opportunity to step up to two miles, up to three to four lengths.
He will now need to decide if a Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) start just three days before the 2014 Melbourne Cup is worth a run or sit back and hope for a large number of final acceptances to defect.
Caravan Rolls On was a $26 hopeful in the 2014 Melbourne Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au following his Geelong Cup win but has since drifted out to $34.
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