Precedence is still no certainty to earn a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field despite being penalised 1kg for his impressive victory in the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter was under pressure to allocate Precedence a penalty of one and a half kilograms to guarantee that legendary trainer Bart Cummings would have a starter in the Melbourne Cup but opted to raise the eight-year-olds weight to 53kg and bring him up to 29th in the order of entry.
“The penalty takes Precedence back to the same weight he carried when running ninth to Green Moon in last year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup,” Carpenter said.
“Since then he has won the Group 3 Premiers Cup during the Brisbane Winter Carnival and was simply too good for his rivals in the Group 2 Drake International Cup at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
“The penalty is the same given to Vatuvei for winning the 2012 renewal at Moonee Valley and does not guarantee the horse a start in the race.”
2013 Melbourne Cup second acceptances were taken at 10am this morning and 47 horses remain the hunt to contest the $6 million Group 1 event.
Carpenter said that Precedence had moved up the order of entry significantly but will still need to win either the ballot-exempt Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) or Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) to be assured of earning a start in the 2013 Melbourne Cup field.
“Precedence was 45th in the Order of Entry prior to Saturday’s victory,” Carpenter said.
“As a result of the withdrawals at the second acceptance stage and the 1kg penalty issued today, the horse has moved to 29th in the Order of Entry.
“With the top 24 at final acceptance time allotted a start, Precedence must win the Mackinnon or Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Saturday or rely on attrition to get into the final field.”
Precedence has been included in the nominations for the Mackinnon Stakes and Lexus Stakes but is still a chance to earn a Melbourne Cup start even if he doesn’t win the Group 1 event.
Foreteller, Mr Moet and Moriarty are all ahead of Precedence in the Melbourne Cup order of entry and are unlikely to contest the race but he will still need at least three more withdrawals of horses above him to be assured of a start.
Precedence will be making his fourth straight start in the Melbourne Cup field if he is able to work his way into the field for the 2013 edition of the race.