Darren Weir’s reigning Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance is the top-rated acceptor for the Cranbourne Cup 2016 this Sunday in Victoria.
The galloper is now officially accepted for both the $400,000 Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday as well as the $300,000 Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on Sunday.
The Herbert Power Stakes field features just seven runners with Weir’s Pentire seven-year-old to carry the 60kg top weight if he runs in the Caulfield Guineas Day race over the mile and a half.
Should he be saved for a shorter run in the Cranbourne Cup field, Prince Of Penzance will face 11 rivals and jockey John Allen is on standby for the ride on the same kilos.
In the early Cranbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au Prince Of Penzance pays $5 for the win despite the weight allocation and his wide barrier 12 of 12 draw.
The Cranbourne Cup betting markets are currently led by equal 60kg top weight The Cleaner ($4.50) drawn in barrier three with Steven Arnold retaining the ride.
Arnold has been aboard the veteran nine-year-old for all three runs this time in, including most recently his sixth to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 24.
Now prepared by Peter Gelagotis, former Tasmanian The Cleaner was under four lengths off the winner in the Underwood as a $21 outsider and the extra metres and drop in class work in his favour this weekend.
Also at $5 for the Cranbourne Cup win is the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained import Tom Melbourne.
A lightly-raced Dylan Thomas six-year-old Tom Melbourne has had 11 starts to date for five wins.
His latest victory was back in March in the Albury Cup (2000m) run in the wet, which he blitzed by 3.5 lengths as the odds-on favourite.
He has run sixth in his two latest Melbourne runs this campaign firstly behind Jameka in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield and then behind Real Love in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on September 30.
From five runs over the Cranbourne Cup distance he has enjoyed two wins and drops from 55kg last start to Sunday’s 54kg minimum.
Rounding out the single-figure hopes in the Cranbourne Cup markets are Bring Something ($7) and Plot The Course ($8) drawn in barriers four and nine respectively.
Twelve months ago the Ken Keys-trained Bring Something ran last (10th) to Digitalism in the Cranbourne Cup and has raced just once since.
The now six-year-old son of Sebring returned from a lengthy spell on September 24 at Caulfield and caught the eye as a $91 roughie finishing only 2.4 lengths away third to Royal Rapture over 1700m.
This weekend the Weir-trained Royal Rapture steps up in class at Caulfield for a Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) run, while Bring Something goes second-up into the Cranbourne Cup dropping from 57kg to 54.5kg with Craig Williams to ride.
Plot The Course has Michael Walker riding on Sunday, the Michael Trotter-trained five-year-old the best of the local Cranbourne horses out to win his home cup on the back of a second over 1500m at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
Other notable hopes include former SA Derby winner Escado ($10), the John O’Shea-trained JRA Cup third placegetter Tarquin ($11) and the rails-drawn Sly Romance ($17) coming off a Moonee Valley win over the mile.
See below for the full Cranbourne Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au.