The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Recent history goes against the top three weighted stayers in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup 2015 field with Snow Sky (58kg), Criterion (57.5kg) and Fame Game (57kg) looking to break the hoodoo of heavily-weighted runners in Flemington’s famous Race 7.
Due to jump at 3:00pm (AEST) tomorrow afternoon, the 24-starter $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) field features just three runners allocated above 56kg by Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.
Magnificent mare Makybe Diva (2005) carted a hefty 58kg to victory to complete her hat-trick of Melbourne Cup victories a decade ago and is the sole Melbourne Cup winner to carry 57kg or more to victory since Gold And Black back in 1977.
Sixty-four Melbourne Cup runners have started with 57kg or more on their back in the past 40 years but just three have won in that time with: Think Big (1975) for his second, the aforementioned Gold And Black (1977) and of course the great Makybe Diva (2005) who remains the only horse in history to win three editions of the two mile classic.
Since Delta Blues (2006) became the first Japanese-trained Melbourne Cup winner nine years ago, seven horses have carted between 54.5kg and 56.5kg to victory.
That is a weight range horses carrying the Melbourne Cup saddlecloth numbers 4 – 11 are allocated for the 2015 edition with: Our Ivanhowe (56kg), Big Orange (55.5kg), Hartnell (55.5kg), Hokko Brave (55.5kg), Max Dynamite (55kg), triple runner-up Red Cadeaux (55kg), stablemate Trip To Paris (55kg) and third in the Melbourne Cup trifecta from 12 months ago Who Shot Thebarman (54.5kg).
Above them on the weight scale are just three runners led by Sir Michael Stoute’s British raider, one of 11 internationals in the Melbourne Cup field on Tuesday, Snow Sky (58kg).
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Ryan Moore, aboard the Andreas Wohler-trained Protectionist who carried 56.5kg to victory, has the ride on the Nayef stallion who debuted down under with a fifth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
Winner of the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) – Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) double earlier in the year, Snow Sky beat home this year’s Melbourne Cup favourite Fame Game ($4) home by one in the Caulfield Cup with the same 58kg on his back.
Japan’s Fame Game jumps from barrier 12 on Tuesday, while Snow Sky has work to do from gate 16 that last produced a Melbourne Cup winner with Jezabeel (1998).
Yoshitada Munakata’s Heart’s Cry stallion failed to get a clear Caulfield Cup run on the back of his second to Gold Ship in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) back home, and is set to relish the step back up to two miles this weekend.
He has the same weight (57kg) and jockey (Zac Purton) as the Caulfield Cup run and is looking to salute for the punters in the Melbourne Cup for just the third time in the past 11 years.
While Fame Game leads Melbourne Cup betting through Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering unlimited entries into their ‘The Melbourne Cup Prize Draw’ each time you place a unique Melbourne Cup bet, Snow Sky is a $41 outsider.
Sandwiched between those two in both the weights and Melbourne Cup odds paying $14 and carrying 57.5kg is the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained local Criteiron.
Michael Walker’s mount is drawn ideally in gate four, looking to become the first champion from that gate since Kensei (1987), and drops from the 59kg he carried to a brave second behind runaway winner Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last time out.
He is yet to race over two miles and has finished top three just once from four Flemington runs to date, but the son of Sebring comes out of a race that has produced two of the past three Melbourne Cup winners.
If you think one of the top weights can salute despite the kilos in the Melbourne Cup 2015 then head to Ladbrokes.com.au and back them now at the right price and go in the draw to win a 2015 Ford Ranger worth over $57,000!
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