Current Melbourne Cup favourite Order Of St George has been allocated equal top-weight for the 2016 Caulfield Cup disappointing his Australian-based part-owner Lloyd Williams.
A four-time Melbourne Cup winning owner, Williams has not confirmed a trip down under for the Spring Cups for the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish stayer Order Of St George.
He admitted the heavy handicap for the first leg of the Spring Cups double for Order Of St George put things in doubt however with the horse likely to receive the same weight for the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) run on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington.
Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter gave the O’Brien-trained duo of Order Of St George and last year’s Cox Plate placegetter Highland Reel the 58kg highest weights for the $3 million Group 2 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Wednesday.
Order Of St George is a five-year-old Galileo stallion who has wining form in last year’s Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) as well as this season’s Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4000m) in mid-June.
The proven long distance performer was last seen posting a Group 3 win at The Curragh in this season’s Irish St Leger Trial on August 20.
Despite the gun form, Williams is unconvinced the horse was deserving of the heavy impost by Carpenter and referenced the poor record of top weights saluting in the Melbourne Cup in recent history.
“I don’t think [Ascot] Gold Cup and Irish St Leger form is worth 58 kilograms,” Williams told Racing Victoria after the Caulfield Cup weights were released.
“History says to me – and I have been around the Melbourne Cup for 50 years – that most horses struggle with that weight. Some can run a place but very rarely do they win.
“The only horse in the last 30 years to win with a weight like that [58kg] was Makybe Diva and she was capable of winning three in a row and was a champion.”
While Williams is uncertain of how Order Of St George would stack up in the Melbourne Cup with 58kg, two Caulfield Cup winners have carried that weight to victory since Northerly (58kg in 2002) with French raider Duanden (2012) and Japan’s Admire Rakti (2014).
Order Of St George is being kept safe in futures Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $13 as the early favourite for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
He is much further down the all-in Caulfield Cup odds at a current quote of $31 in markets led by the Mick Price-trained Tarzino ($15).
Williams said a decision on whether to bring Order Of St George to Victoria would be made by early October.
“I think by about Turnbull Stakes Day [October 2] you know whether you are going to be a chance or not so we’ll just see,” he said.
To check out the full Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup futures betting prices on your early selections head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!