Caulfield Cup winner Jameka has been penalised 1.5kg for her dominant win last Saturday and will have to carry a record breaking weight for a four year old mare if she is to win the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 1.
The Ciaron Maher trained Jameka ran away from the rest of the field to record a three lengths win over English raider Scottish in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, announced the penalty today which takes Jameka’s Melbourne Cup weight up to 53.5kg.
Jameka was the winner of last year’s Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington and today’s 1.5kg Melbourne Cup penalty is on top of the 0.5kg penalty she received for winning the Group 3 $150,000 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17 three runs back.
The last horse to win the Caulfield – Melbourne Cup double in the same year was the Kiwi mare Ethereal who carried 52kg to victory in the Melbourne Cup after receiving a 2kg penalty for her Caulfield Cup win.
“Jameka was a brilliant winner of the Caulfield Cup on Saturday, and has been penalised 1.5kg for this year’s Melbourne Cup, taking her handicap to 53.5kg,” Carpenter said.
“A penalty of 1.5kg represents around three lengths over 3200m, which is the same margin she defeated Godolphin stayer Scottish by on Saturday.
“Jameka will create a new chapter in racing’s history books if she can win the Melbourne Cup with 53.5kg, with the current weight-carrying record by a four-year-old mare set by Bart Cummings’ first Melbourne Cup winner, Light Fingers, who won the Cup in 1965 with 52.5kg”
The topweight for the Melbourne Cup has to carry at least 57kg so if Preferment is a final acceptor with 56.5kg, the weights would have to be raised 0.5kg meaning that Jameka would have to carry 54kg.
“As it stands, Preferment is the highest weighted horse in the Cup with 56.5kg, followed by star UK stayer Big Orange on 56kg, which will require all weights to be raised by at least 0.5kg. If this eventuates Jameka will have to carry at least 54kg,” Carpenter said.
“While she was clearly the dominant stayer at Caulfield on Saturday, Jameka will face a new challenge in the Melbourne Cup when she lines up against a second wave of International rivals including Big Orange, Irish St Leger winner Wicklow Brave, Ebor Handicap winner Heartbreak City and classy Japanese stayer Curren Mirotic.
“There is also the prospect of Hartnell running in the Melbourne Cup off a mark of 55kg, after he takes on super mare Winx in the Cox Plate this Saturday, which would certainly make for a vintage running of the Emirates Melbourne Cup.”
The latest Melbourne Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au has Hartnell on top at $5 ahead of Jameka at $6.50 with the Robert Hickmott trained Almandin and Irish stayer Bondi Beach sharing the next line of betting at $10.
Early Melbourne Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Hartnell, $6.50 Jameka, $10 Bondi Beach, Almandin, $11 Heartbreak City, $15 Big Orange, $16 Exospheric, $18 Wicklow Brave, $19 Almoonqith, $21 Curren Mirotic, Gallante, Zanteca, $26 Beautiful Romance, Scottish, $31 Grey Lion, Our Ivanhowe, $41 Real Love, Oceanographer, Excess Knowledge, Secret Number, Who Shot Thebarman, $51 or more the rest.
Second declarations for the 2016 Melbourne Cup will be taken at 10am (AEDT) on Monday, 24 October 2016.