Despite being the defending Melbourne Cup champion Racing Victoria has insisted Americain won’t be unduly handicapped when he returns to Melbourne this spring.
The French import will run in a campaign including both the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup with weights for the 2400m race due out tomorrow.
Chief handicapper for Racing Victoria Greg Carpenter wouldn’t say exactly how much Americain would be given but he did admit he’ll be the top weight.
Just how much he gets remains the question but anything in the 60kg plus category appears to have being dismissed.
In a period where Australian racing is trying to attract the best overseas gallopers and give every horse a winning chance it looks like 58.5kg is around the mark Americain will carry.
“The nature of the race has changed and how I handicap them has changed,” Carpenter said.
“These races are Group 1 handicap races and we want the best stayers in the world to compete in them.
“Our very best horses and those from overseas, like Yeats, Septimus and Vinnie Roe, are encouraged to run and they have to give weight to lesser-performed horses.
“In the last 30-40 years only two horses have been able to carry more than 57kg and win the Melbourne Cup and only Northerly carried 58kg to win the Caulfield Cup.
“No matter how good a horse is, to carry big weights against quality opposition with less weight, it does take an exceptional performance to still win the race.”
This year is the first time Caulfield Cup weights have been released before Melbourne Cup weights with nominations for the first Tuesday in November still open until Thursday.
As always there is a strong European contingent on track for the Cup’s circuit however there will be no Japanese presence in 2011.
English star Drunken Sailor is still expected to make the journey though despite being beaten by over 10 lengths as favourite at Goodwood over the weekend.