Three horses penalised for Cups after feature race wins

Racing Victoria’s Chief Handicapper, Greg Carpenter, has today announced weight penalties for three BMW Caulfield Cup and Emirates Melbourne Cup entrants following victories across the globe over the past week.

The Mark Kavanagh-trained December Draw has had his weight lifted to 52kg in both Cups following his victory in the Group 3 D'Urban Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

This equates to a penalty of 2kg in the Caulfield Cup, for which he is now exempt for the ballot courtesy of Saturday's victory, and 1.5kg in the Melbourne Cup, for which he is yet to pass the first ballot clause without a peak performance at 2300 metres of further.

New Zealand star Lion Tamer was the other horse at Caulfield on Saturday to secure a ballot exemption in the Caulfield Cup following his victory in the Group 1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m), however he cannot be penalised as the race was conducted under weight-for-age conditions.

“Since the release of Caulfield Cup weights on 31 August, December Draw has won two races impressive fashion. In the first he comfortably defeated subsequent Newcastle Cup winner Green Moon and he was again dominant on Saturday in the Naturalism Stakes,” Carpenter said.

“As a result of the penalties he now meets At First Sight, who finished second in the Naturalism, and last year's Caulfield Cup runner-up Harris Tweed, who was unplaced in Saturday's race, 1.5kg worse in both Cups.”

At First Sight's placing in the Naturalism Stakes saw the Robert Hickmott-trained imported stayer pass the ballot for the Caulfield Cup and he has now moved to equal 33rd in the Order of Entry.

His stablemate Green Moon has today been penalised 0.5kg, lifting his weight to 50.5kg in both Cups, after his fighting win in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) last Thursday.

“This is the first time since 1998 that we have penalised the winner of the Newcastle Cup which emphasises the merit of Green Moon's victory. It was a courageous performance and followed his second placing to Caulfield Cup favourite December Draw at his previous start at Flemington,” Carpenter said.

The win has seen Green Moon pass the ballot for both Cups, however he will need to win a ballot exemption race to secure a start in the BMW Caulfield Cup as he sits at equal 55th in the Order of Entry.

The other horse penalised is international entrant Fox Hunt who registered an important victory in the Group 3 German St Leger (2800m) at Dortmund (Germany) earlier this morning.

A stablemate of Irish St Leger winner and fellow Melbourne Cup entrant Jukebox Jury, Fox Hunt has been penalised 0.5kg for the win taking his weight in the Cup to 53.5kg alongside horses such as Precedence, Linton, Red Cadeaux and Lucas Cranach.

Importantly for his trainer Mark Johnston, Fox Hunt has now passed the ballot for ‘the race that stops a nation' thus enhancing the likelihood of a trip to Melbourne alongside Jukebox Jury.

“It was a well deserved Group 3 win for Fox Hunt who had no luck at his previous two starts when finishing sixth as topweight in the Ebor Handicap behind Moyenne Corniche and fourth in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup when beaten only a half-length by Opinion Poll,” Carpenter said.

Second declarations for the Caulfield Cup and Tatts Cox Plate close at 12 noon (AET) tomorrow.

Click to view the Spring Orders of Entry.