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Japanese stayer Admire Rakti received a 0.5kg weight penalty for the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) after winning the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) a fortnight ago.
The penalty means the superstar stayer will carry 58.5kg in the $6.2 million feature race, a weight not carried by a Melbourne Cup winner since Think Big in 1975.
Despite initial claims by owner Riichi Kondo that Admire Rakti would be removed from the 2014 Melbourne Cup field if the horse received a weight penalty for the ‘race that stops the nation’, connections have come out saying they believe he is well weighted for the big race.
Travelling foreman for trainer Tomoyuki Umeda, Go Shogemi said they had expected Admire Rakti to receive a bigger weight penalty for the Melbourne Cup after winning the Caulfield Cup at a topweight of 58kg.
“We expected more and think the weight is fair,” Shogemi told Racing Network from Werribee International Quarantine Centre on Thursday.
Punters certainly haven’t been shied away from Admire Rakti because of the penalty; he continues to pay $4.80 favouritism in the Melbourne Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The horse’s connections are ready to win another Australian black type race despite the disadvantage of carrying at least 1.5kg more than his rivals. Many believed he couldn’t win the 2014 Caulfield Cup with a topweight of 58kg but he worked into the race after sitting wide at the beginning then flashing late to grab the leader on the line for a great win.
Shogemi said they were able to give the champion stayer a quiet week after his Caulfield Cup win and since then has been doing everything right.
“We are very happy with the horse, very happy with the weight,” he said.
Admire Rakti will do his final piece of work at Werribee Friday morning before travelling to Flemington for the 2014 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
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