Change to minimum top-weights at final acceptances for Caulfield and Melbourne Cups

Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced it will implement an important change to this year’s BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) with weights not to be raised at final acceptance time.

Racing Australia amended Australian Rule of Racing (AR) 103 (2) at its 14 September 2017 Board meeting to give Principal Racing Authorities (PRAs) flexibility as to whether they raise weights for Group 1 handicap races, if the highest weighted horse has less than 57kg at final acceptance time.

The amendment to AR 103 (2) has been welcomed by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) and Victoria Racing Club (VRC), who have requested that it be applied to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups respectively with immediate effect.

RV will implement the amendment for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups only, with all other Group 1 handicap races, including the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, to remain the same.

RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said the change to AR 103 (2) will provide greater certainty to connections in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups where weights are released more than a month before the races are conducted.

“The amendment to the rule has been implemented by Racing Victoria at the request of the Melbourne Racing Club and Victoria Racing Club and provides certainty for connections around what weight they will actually carry in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups,” Carpenter said.

“Under the previous arrangements, the weights to be carried for these two races could significantly change in the week leading to the race and in the case of the Melbourne Cup final acceptances are taken less than 72 hours prior to the race being run.

“An increase in weights for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups could be viewed as detrimental to those horses higher in the weights, given it has the potential to impact a horse’s performance more significantly in races over extended distances.

“Last year’s Melbourne Cup, where the weights were raised 1kg at final acceptances, is a case in point. It could be argued that the performance of the default topweights, Big Orange and Our Ivanhowe, was impacted more over 3200m than those lower in the weights such as the winner Almandin who had his weight lifted from 51kg to 52kg.”

The top weighted horses in the 2017 Caulfield Cup are Hartnell (58kg), Almandin (56.5kg), Admire Deus (56kg), Humidor (56kg); while the top weighted entries in the 2017 Melbourne Cup are Order of St George (58kg), Hartnell (57.5kg), Almandin (56.5kg), Admire Deus (56kg) and Humidor (56kg).

ENDS.

Media Contact: Daniel Mills – Racing Victoria Media and Corporate Affairs Executive 
M: 0400 392 006 P: (03) 9258 4354  E: d.mills@racingvictoria.net.au