Racing Victoria’s chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter admits that he will struggle to find a top weight for this year’s Melbourne Cup as he assesses the one hundred and forty-eight entries in the lead up to the release of the weights on September 16.
Carpenter said that there is no standout top weight for the 2014 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 compared to other years.
“At the moment it’s difficult to go through the entries and find a natural top weight, but that doesn’t necessarily detract from the overall strength and depth of the field,” Carpenter told The Couirer-Mail.
“It’s going to be a very complex process to construct the weights for this year’s Melbourne Cup.”
“There isn’t a defending champion, no Mukhadram in the Melbourne Cup and because I can’t give the top weight less than 58kg, you will probably see a different set of weights to what we did (with the Caulfield Cup).
In recent years Carpenter had the luxury of working with previous Melbourne Cup winners in the like of Americain and Dunaden but this year that class of horse is not available with last year’s winner Fiorente being retired to stud.
“This year with the retirement of Fiorente and with no dominant Group 1 European stayer like Yeats or Septimus, it’s going to be an intriguing two weeks work trying to construct the handicap,” Carpenter said.
International trained stayers make up thirty-one of the one hundred and forty-eight entries including the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate, owned by her Majesty The Queen and the Ed Dunlop trained English stayer Red Cadeaux who will be making his fourth visit to Melbourne.
In the early Melbourne Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au the Gai Waterhouse trained The Offer heads the betting at $13 ahead of the two Japanese gallopers, Bande at $15 and Admire Rakti at $17.
On the next line of betting at $21 is the Marco Botti trained Dandino, La Amistad from the Team Hawkes stable, star Kiwi mare Silent Achiever and French galloper Terrubi.