The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Earlier today Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter released the 2014 Melbourne Cup weights with the heaviest weighted mare for the Flemington feature being Silent Achiever with 56.5kg.
In his 10th year allocating the weights for the world’s richest handicap, Carpenter handicapped 148 horses for this season’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) which runs on Tuesday November 4.
On the 58kg minimum top weight is Japanese raider Admire Rakti who arrives in Melbourne this Saturday along with fellow Japan-trained Bande who received 56.5kg, the duo paying $17 and $15 respectively in the latest Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
That’s the same weight Carpenter allocated Roger James’s Kiwi mare Silent Achiever, the four-time Group 1 winner looking to become the first Melbourne Cup winning mare since the mighty Makybe Diva nine years ago.
Makybe Diva remains the only horse in history to win three editions of the ‘race that stops a nation’ when Glen Boss guided her to a hat-trick of victories from 2003 – 2005.
She is also the only mare to carry more than Silent Achiever’s 2014 Melbourne Cup weight of 56.5kg to victory in the race when carting 58kg for her third in 2005.
Before Makybe Diva the other most recent Melbourne Cup winning mare was a Kiwi with trainer Sheila Laxon bringing Ethereal across the Tasman from New Zealand to Australia for her win in 2011.
The form then is there for Silent Achiever, also prepared in New Zealand, with the six-year-old daughter of O’Reilly last seen running a first-up fourth to Dissident in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
She runs again this weekend at Caulfield in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) where she’ll be looking to become the fourth straight New Zealand-trained horse to win the race.
She’s being kept safe in Melbourne Cup betting at $17, an equal price with the aforementioned Admire Rakti and reigning Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner (57kg) who was sixth in last year’s Melbourne Cup behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente.
The other notable southern hemisphere-trained mares in Melbourne Cup contention this year then are all four-year-olds, the age Ethereal was for her victory 13 years earlier.
2014 Melbourne Cup 4YO Mares
- Kirramosa (53kg) – John Sargent’s Sydney-based Alamosa mare won the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) – Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) double five days apart at Flemington last November as a three-year-old. This time in she’s had two runs in Sydney finishing sixth in both firstly to Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and then to Cluster in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) last Saturday carrying 53.5kg. Pays $51 to win
- Lucia Valentina (53kg) – Kris Lees’ Savabeel mare looks very well weighted here after a brilliant first-up win over Tiger Tees in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) with 56kg on September 6. During the autumn she won the Group 1 Storm Queen Stakes (2000m) and then finished third in the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) so will continue to improve but the ground in Melbourne could be too firm for her liking this spring. Pays $26 to win
- La Amistad (51.5kg) – Big market drifter for Team Hawkes following a disappointing run over the weekend by the three-quarter of Makybe Diva. The former Melbourne Cup futures favourite was seventh in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) racing very flat with seemingly few excuses. Pays $26 to win
After Her Majesty The Queen ruled her Doncaster Cup winning mare Estimate out of Melbourne Cup contention with a career at stud beckoning, the major international mare still officially in the mix then is the Dermot K Weld-trained Pale Mimosa with 55kg.
Weld is a dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer having prepared the first international champ with Vintage Crop in 1993 as well as Media Puzzle in 2002.
Earlier this week it looked as though Weld would not be returning down under this spring with Pale Mimosa after the Singspeil six-year-old finished well down the field beaten 10.5 lengths by last year’s Melbourne Cup eighth placed Brown Panther in the Group 1 Iris St Leger (2800m) on Sunday night.
That disappointing effort at The Curragh however followed a half length victory over Estimate in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m) at York on August 22 where she thrived over the extra distance.
Weld’s official report to Racing Victoria’s international recruitment officer Leigh Jordon then was that the mare hasn’t been officially ruled in or out as yet and she pays $34 in Melbourne Cup markets.
This year marks the 21st year of international participation in the Melbourne Cup.
In that time there have been 110 international runners in the race but only five mares.
The best performing of those then was Profound Beauty who ran fifth in 2008 to Bart Cummings’ 12th Melbourne Cup winner Viewed before finishing down the track when 17th in 2010 to the French-trained Americain.
To get behind your early Melbourne Cup favourites now the weights have been allocated head to Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll always find the right price!
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