Even though Prince Of Penzance is unlikely to make the final field for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington, a slight leg problem could see him miss out on a chance to win a $100,000 bonus on the last day of Cup week next Saturday.
Prince Of Penzance is currently number twenty-nine in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and would need at least five horses to fall by the wayside to gain a place in the final twenty-four horse field that will be declared late on Saturday afternoon.
The five year old was found to be mildly lame in an off fore leg when inspected by Racing Victoria veterinarians on Thursday afternoon.
Trainer Darren Weir had intended to accept with the Pentire gelding for the Melbourne Cup hoping for a miracle, but even so an acceptor who doesn’t make the final field but comes out and wins the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on November 8 will receive a $100,000 bonus.
But chief steward Terry Bailey informed Weir that Prince Of Penzance’s final Melbourne Cup acceptance wouldn’t be accepted if he failed to pass another veterinary check on Saturday thus cancelling his eligibility for the Queen Elizabeth bonus.
Prince Of Penzance gave himself a very slim chance of making the Melbourne Cup field when he received a 2kgs penalty for winning the Group 2 $250,000 Racing.com Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 but still found himself out of the top twenty-four.
Racing Victoria General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter was impressed with the Moonee Valley Gold Cup win, thus issuing the 2kgs penalty.
“Prince of Penzance showed he is a most promising stayer when strong at the end of 2500m winning the Moonee Valley Cup, doing so with 56kg under the set weight and penalty conditions of the Group 2 race,” Carpenter said.
Immediately after the Moonee Valley Gold Cup win which saw Michelle Payne bring Prince Of Penzance from the tail of the field just before the home turn, Weir was only focusing on the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but then said if he sneaks into the Melbourne Cup field he would go around.
In all-in pre-post Melbourne Cup betting, Prince Of Penzance is marked as an $81 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti heads the market order at $4.80 ahead of Lucia Valentina at $7, German stayer Protectionist at $7.50, Cox Plate runner up Fawkner at $8 and Irish galloper Mutual Regard at $10.