French stayer Dunaden will have to defy recent history to win the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) after being allocated the top weight of 58.5kg by Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter.
Dunaden won the Melbourne Cup in 2011, carrying 54.5g, and is aiming to join Peter Pan as the only horses to have the won Melbourne Cup in non-consecutive years after he finished 14th in the 2012 edition of the race.
Carpenter revealed that Dunaden will carry half a kilo less than he did last year but said that recent history is still against Dunaden as no horse has carried 58.5kg to victory since Think Big won his second Melbourne Cup in 1975.
“Dunaden has been allotted the top weight for the second year running, however I have reduced his weight by 0.5kg to 58.5kg in recognition of the fact he was beaten almost 10 lengths by Green Moon in last year’s race when favourite,” Carpenter told Racing Victoria.
“Whilst Dunaden enjoys a weight reduction, history still presents a significant challenge as no original top weight has won the Cup since Comic Court in 1950 – in fact 20 of them have tried and not one of them has placed so he will rightly claim a place in history if triumphant.”
Last year’s winner Green Moon will also face a tough challenge after being allocated 57.5kg while stablemate Sea Moon and 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux will carry 56.5kg.
Three-year-old Triple Crown winner It’s A Dundeel is another Melbourne Cup contender that will enter the history books if he wins the race after being allocated 56kg – the same weight the great Might And Power carried to victory to win the Melbourne Cup in 1997.
The last four-year-old to carry 56kg in the Melbourne Cup was equine superstar So You Think who finished third behind Americain in the 2010 edition of the race.
Fiorente, who recorded his first race win in Australia with a fast-finishing effort in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday, will have to carry 55kg when he attempts to become the first horse since Empire Rose to win the Melbourne Cup after finishing second the year before.
The Monsun gelding is now on the second line of 2013 Melbourne Cup betting markets behind Puissance De Lune who was allocated 54.kg by Carpenter.
Carpenter admitted that it was a real challenge to determine the appropriate weight for Puissance De Lune and eventually settled on the weight that has been carried to victory in the last three editions of the race.
Other notable handicaps include Makybe Diva Stakes winner Foreteller (55kg), Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool (54.5kg), European raider Mount Athos (54kg) and the in-form Hawkspur (53.5kg).