Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter allocated Amralah a two kilogram 2015 Melbourne Cup penalty for his win in the Herbert Power Stakes and the imported stayer is now into 27th position in the order of entry for ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Amralah had not passed the first ballot clause for the 2015 Melbourne Cup when he went to the races on Saturday for the Herbert Power Stakes following his luckless seventh in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and he looked in trouble when he missed the start, but the Lloyd Williams-owned galloper was able to take advantage of an outstanding ride from jockey Hugh Bowman to record a dominant three lengths victory.
Williams revealed yesterday that Amralah would skip the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday and have his next race start in either the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day or the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and his chances of earning a place in the field for the $6 million race receive a significant boost when Carpenter opted to give him a two kilogram penalty this afternoon.
“Since the weights were released for the Melbourne Cup Amralah has won the Listed Tokyo City Cup (1800m) in Adelaide and was enormously impressive winning the Group 3 Herbert Power Stakes on Saturday after knuckling at the start and circling the field mid-race to score by three lengths,” Carpenter said in a statement
“I was most impressed by the strength of his win in the Herbert Power and have elected to penalise him 2kg in the Melbourne Cup, which is the same penalty afforded to last year’s Herbert Power winner Big Memory and the 2005 winner Leica Falcon.”
Amralah now sits in 27th position in the Melbourne Cup order of entry and he only requires four more horses to be withdrawn from contention to be assured of a place in the field.
Protectionist stormed home late to finish fifth in the 2014 edition of the Herbert Power Stakes before he went on to win the Melbourne Cup, but no horse has been able to complete the Herbert Power Stakes/Melbourne Cup double since Bart Cummings-trained Rogan Josh in 1999.
Amralah is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $21 with Ladbrokes and he is on the 11th line of betting behind Fame Game ($8), Preferment ($11), Hokko Brave ($15), Max Dynamite ($15), Mongolian Khan ($15), Snow Sky ($15), Bondi Beach ($17), Dandino ($17), Our Ivanhowe ($17) and Who Shot Thebarman ($17).
You score the best odds for all the major races during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every race at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day.