Caulfield Cup winner Mer De Glace has been given a 1kg penalty for the Melbourne Cup.
The Hishasi Shimizu-trained Damian Lane-ridden Mer De Glace became the second Japanese horse to win the Group One Caulfield Cup on Saturday, joining Admire Rakti (2014).
The penalty for Mer De Glace for the $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 5 takes him from 55kg to 56kg and he is exempt from the ballot.
“Mer De Glace was enormously impressive in winning a very competitive renewal of the Caulfield Cup,” Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter said.
“The first six placegetters officially finished within two lengths of each of other and there was a litany of hard luck stories from the beaten runners.
“The 1kg penalty is the same given to Caulfield Cup winners Boom Time (2017), Mongolian Khan (2015), Dunaden (2012) and Viewed (2009) over the last decade.
“Mer De Glace faces a new challenge in the Melbourne Cup over 3200 metres at Flemington in 15 days and a new wave of challengers given 17 of the top 24 horses in the current Melbourne Cup order of entry did not compete in the Caulfield Cup.”
The most recent horse to win the Caulfield-Melbourne Cups double was New Zealand mare Ethereal 18 years ago while Viewed, in 2008, is the most recent Melbourne Cup winner to have competed in the Caulfield Cup in the same year.
Caulfield Cup runner-up Vow And Declare has leapt six places in order of entry, courtesy of the $700,000 prize money he earned in the race coupled with the withdrawal of English stayer Gold Mount because of injury.
The Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare is now 30th in the ballot for the 24-horse Melbourne Cup.
“You’d expect with normal attrition that he gets in,” O’Brien said after Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
“We hope he does. It would be a real shame if an Australian horse like him doesn’t get a run.”
Last year’s Melbourne Cup third placegetter Prince Of Arran is still 38th and is entered for Wednesday’s Geelong Cup in which victory would make him eligible for a weight penalty.