Racing Victoria General Manager of Racing and Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter confirmed today that Puissance De Lune will face no ballot pressure to qualify for the 2013 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
With the number of highly rated international horses set to come to Australia for ‘the race that stops a nation’ a horse like Puissance De Lune who has not recorded a Group 1 victory might struggle to make the field but Carpenter told RSN that the Melbourne Cup favourite will be weighted to qualify for the race due to the dominance of his victories in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) and Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is going to be weighted to get into the race so he isn’t going to have any ballot pressure,” Carpenter said on Racing Ahead.
“He did just win a Group 3 last spring but he won it in ridiculously easy fashion by an extended margin.
“He has come out in a Group 2 mile race like the Blamey and even though he shared victory in that we all know that he was the unlucky runner in the race and probably should have won it decisively.”
Puissance De Lune will begin his spring campaign in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday with the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) set to be his major target in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup.
Carpenter said connections have deliberately skipped the Caulfield Cup (2400m) so that they could avoid a weight penalty for the Melbourne Cup and added on Twitter this afternoon that the five-year-old will not receive an automatic weight penalty if he is victorious on Saturday.
His WTR (World Thoroughbred Rankings) Rating is 115 achieved in QE and Blamey,” Carpenter posted.
“A win this Sat doesn’t mean automatic rise.
“Would depend on margin given opposition.”
The nominations for the 2013 Melbourne Cup will be declared on Tuesday September 3 with the official weights released two weeks later.