The Mike Moroney trained Vengeur Masque has crept up the order of entry for the 2017 Melbourne Cup after receiving a 0.5kg penalty for winning the Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on Wednesday.
The penalty has moved Vengeur Masque’s weight up to 50.5kg and is now thirty-seventh in the order of entry for the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7.
Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter gave the same penalty to last year’s Geelong Cup winner Qewy before he went on to run fourth to Almandin in the 2016 Melbourne Cup.
“The winners of the Geelong Cup have an excellent record in the Emirates Melbourne Cup. Since 2000 there have been 12 winners go on to compete in the Melbourne Cup with seven of those achieving a top four finish,” Carpenter said.
“With the 0.5kg penalty Vengeur Masque has improved his position from 45 to 37 in the elimination order for the Melbourne Cup.”
Vengeur Masque might still be struggling to make the final twenty-four runners of the Melbourne Cup and Moroney is considering running the European import in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on November 4.
The winner of the Lexus Stakes is exempt from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup.
“I probably would run him in the Lexus. He is stronger, I wouldn’t have last year but this year certainly,” Moroney said.
“He is a real two miler, he has just finally come of age.”
“He is a similar sort of horse as Brew (2000 Melbourne Cup winner). When they get strong they can keep up a strong gallop and he is finally starting to get there.”
Vengeur Masque is now marked at $81 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Melbourne Cup, in from $301, after his tough win in the Geelong Cup that saw him score a narrow victory over the $3 favourite Gallic Chieftain.
The Robert Hickmott trained Almandin heads the market order at $6 to win back to back Melbourne Cups just ahead of the English stayer Marmelo at $7 and the Aidan O’Brien trained Caulfield Cup third placegetter Johannes Vermeer at $10.
Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Almandin, $7 Marmelo, $10 Johannes Vermeer, $11 Red Cardinal, Wall Of Fire, $15 Thomas Hobson, Rekindling, $17 Max Dynamite, Big Duke, $21 Tiberian, $26 Amelie’s Star, Boom Time, Gailo Chop, Single Gaze, $34 Humidor, Nakeeta, Abbey Marie, Harlem, Jon Snow, $41 US Army Ranger, Ventura Storm, Wicklow Brave, Bondi Beach, $51 or better the rest.