Moonee Valley Cup winner Prince Of Penzance has this morning been penalised two kilograms for the 2014 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday week rising to 52.5kg for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The Darren Weir-trained Pentire gelding scored an upset win on Cox Plate Day over the weekend when beating home Le Roi (2nd) and French raider Au Revoir in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
That win saw Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter penalise the five-year-old 2kg, the horse previously on 50kg in the Melbourne Cup weights.
“Prince of Penzance showed he is a most promising stayer when strong at the end of 2500m winning the Moonee Valley Cup, doing so with 56kg under the set weight and penalty conditions of the Group 2 race,” Carpenter said this morning.
“The 2kg penalty issued to Prince of Penzance is at the top end historically with only Ideal Centreman (1988) and Triumphal March (1982) having previously received 2kg from the Moonee Valley Cup, however it is similar to penalties have been issued this year to Big Memory (2kg to 52.5kg), Caravan Rolls On (1.5kg to 52.5kg) and Gris Caro (1.5kg to 52kg) after feature wins.”
The Tony McEvoy-trained Big Memory won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before a Caulfield Cup 10th, Caravan Rolls On won the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) last week while Gris Caro was the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes winner before his Turnbull Stakes 12th to Lucia Valentina at the start of the month.
Even after the notable penalty Prince Of Penzance is in serious danger of missing a start in the capacity 24 starter Melbourne Cup field.
Racing Victoria this morning took 40 Melbourne Cup second acceptances ahead of the final declarations revealing the official Melbourne Cup field on Saturday afternoon.
In the updated Melbourne Cup order of entry then Prince Of Penzance still sits outside that top 24 in 30th spot.
There were five horses withdrawn from the top 24 with second declarations today including the Roger James-trained Kiwi mare Silent Achiever despite the $3 million earner having run an excellent third in the Cox Plate over the weekend.
The last race offering a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner is this Saturday’s $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) for which Prince Of Penzance has not been nominated.
The latest Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Japan’s Caulfield Cup winning visitor Admire Rakti, one of 12 internationals still in the mix, as the $4.80 top fancy.
Prince Of Penzance meanwhile is well down the markets at $67 to score an upset Melbourne Cup result should he make the final field.
If he is balloted out of this year’s Melbourne Cup then Weir has indicated the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) back at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Emirates Stakes Day running on November 8, would be the readjusted target.
He would also then be eligible for a $100,000 bonus in the race as a Cup ballot.
See below for the latest top 24 Melbourne Cup betting chances, the all-in prices courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au where you could win $3 million for just a $3 wager on their Mega Pick promos this spring!