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Robert Hickmott’s impressive Herbert Power Stakes winner from the weekend Amralah received a two kilogram weight penalty from Racing Victoria’s chief handicap Greg Carpenter for the Melbourne Cup 2015 next month at Flemington Racecourse.
The Teofilo six-year-old posted his sixth career win when thriving on a short back-up from a Turnbull Stakes seventh on October 4 carrying 55kg to fly home by three lengths in last Saturday’s Group 2
Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) with 58.5kg on his back at Caulfield Racecourse.
He beat home Excess Knowledge by the big margin, but connections opted not to put him on another short turnaround and run him in the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at the same track and distance this weekend.
Instead the focus is on getting him to Flemington on Tuesday November 3 for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles.
Originally allocated 51.5kg in the Melbourne Cup weights for this year’s edition of the ‘race that stops a nation, the Lloyd Williams-owned import is now handicapped at 53.5kg and sits 27th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry.
“Since the weights were released for the Melbourne Cup Amralah has won the Listed Tokyo City Cup (1800m) in Adelaide and was enormously impressive winning the Group 3 Herbert Power Stakes on Saturday after knuckling at the start and circling the field mid-race to score by three lengths,” Carpenter told Racing Victoria.
“I was most impressed by the strength of his win in the Herbert Power and have elected to penalise him 2kg in the Melbourne Cup which is the same penalty afforded to last year’s Herbert Power winner Big Memory and the 2005 winner Leica Falcon.”
No Melbourne Cup winner has carried exactly 53.5kg to victory since Empire Rose (1988).
The Herbert Power Stakes produced last year’s Melbourne Cup champion, the then German-trained Protectionist running a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 before his big win at Flemington, but the double hasn’t been achieved since Rogan Josh (1999).
The other most recent and notable Herbert Power Stakes graduate to claim Melbourne Cup glory was Shocking who crossed second to Alcopop in 2009 before a second in the Coongy Handicap, win in The Lexus Stakes and then his Melbourne Cup victory over Crime Scene as a 9/1 shot six years ago.
Also moving up the Melbourne Cup ballot is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Herbert Power runner-up Excess Knowledge, the Monsun stallion up from 63 to 45 after passing the first ballot clause for the world’s richest handicap with the run.
Melbourne Cup betting is led by Japan’s Fame Game ($7) who runs in the Caulfield Cup field this weekend in the lead-up.
Amralah is now a $17 chance in the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Caulfield Cup on Saturday, while Excess Knowledge is a $67 roughie to hand Waterhouse her second win after the success of Fiorente (2013).
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