Caravan Rolls On climbed his way up the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup after receiving a 1.5kgs penalty for his win in the Group 3 $300,000 Sportingbet Powerd By William Hill Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong last Wednesday.
The Danny O’Brien trained stayer is now weighted on 52.5kgs and moved from forty-fifth to thirty-sixth in the order of entry but still has a long way to go to gain a spot in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
The final twenty-four horse Melbourne Cup field will be decided at the conclusion of racing at Flemington on Derby Day, the Saturday before the Cup, with the last few positions usually determined by the day’s results with the winner of the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) being exempt from the Melbourne Cup ballot.
Racing Victoria’s General Manager of Racing, Greg Carpenter was impressed with Caravan Rolls On’s Geelong Cup win and his record at 2400m and 3200m also influenced his decision on issuing the penalty.
“Caravan Rolls On was an impressive winner of the Geelong Cup and has a terrific record at 2400m and beyond with a Listed win in the Sandown Cup (3200m) and yesterday’s Group win,” Carpenter told Racing.com.
“He has been penalised 1.5kg to 52.5kg for the win, however he remains 7kg below the benchmark and thus he will need to secure a ballot exemption via the Lexus Stakes or rely upon a heavy attrition rate among final acceptances to secure a Melbourne Cup start.
“The quantum of penalty given to Caravan Rolls On, who was handicapped off a low weight in the Melbourne Cup, is commensurate with those given to Gris Caro (1.5kg) and Big Memory (2kg) earlier this Spring Racing Carnival.”
O’Brien took over the training of Caravan Rolls On from English trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam who campaigned the stayer during the Melbourne Spring Carnival last year for a third over 2800m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day before winning the in the Listed $150,000 Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200m) at Caulfield.
O’Brien has taken the seven year old along slowly and the Geelong Cup win was only his third start for the Flemington trainer.
“There is a hell of a lot of improvement to come and hopefully he gets into the Melbourne Cup,” O’Brien said
“He is a genuine two miler.”
In the latest Melbourne Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au, Caravan Rolls On is at the healthy double figure odds of $34.
Japanese stayer Admire Rakti was promoted to the top of the betting at $4.80, even after he received a half a kilo penalty for winning the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
German galloper Protectionist is the second pick at $6 just ahead of Caulfield Cup third placegetter Lucia Valentina at $7 and Caulfield Stakes winner Fawkner at $13.