The 2015 Melbourne Cup weights have been released and last year’s winner Protectionist and English stayer Snow Sky have both been allocated the top weight of 58 kilograms.
Protectionist and Snow Sky were both allocated the top weight of 58 kilograms when the Caulfield Cup weights were released a fortnight ago and Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter opted to give the talented duo the same weight for the Melbourne Cup.
Snow Sky is now all but certain to head into the Melbourne Cup without a lead-up run in Australia, while Protectionist will contest the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday, the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 before he defends his Melbourne Cup title at Flemington on November 3.
Lindsay Park have indicated that Criterion could press on to the Melbourne Cup if he performs well in both the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and he has been allocated the third top weight of 57.5 kilograms.
Criterion has not raced at 2400 metres or beyond since he was a three-year-old, but he finished a gallant fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and he took out the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) the following autumn.
Japanese stayer Fame Game is currently a dominant favourite in 2015 Melbourne Cup betting markets and he is set to retain that position after he was allocated a Melbourne Cup weight of 57 kilograms.
Fame Game has not been seen at the races since he was narrowly denied by Gold Ship in the Group 1 The Tenno Sho (3200m) at Kyoto in May of 2015, but he is set to contest both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Rounding out the top five 2015 Melbourne Cup weights is imported stayer Our Ivanhowe, who took out both the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Baden (2413m) and the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Bayern (2414m) in Europe last year.
Our Ivanhowe is set to return to the races in the Naturalism Stakes this weekend after he impressed onlookers with his performance in a jump out on Friday.
Princess Of Wales’s Stakes winner Big Orange, Godolphin-owned Hartnell, triple Group 1 winner Happy Trails, OTI-owned Gailo Chop and Japanese stayer Hokko Brave have both been allocated 55.5 kilograms, while Lonsdale Cup winner Max Dynamite, three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris and Doomben Cup winner Pornichet will all carry 55 kilograms.
Other key Melbourne Cup weights include Order Of St George (54 kilograms), Kingfisher (53 kilograms), Rising Romance (53 kilograms), Bondi Beach (52.5 kilograms), Magicool (52 kilograms), Gust Of Wind (51 kilograms), Set Square (51 kilograms), The United States (50 kilograms) and Thunder Lady (50 kilograms).