LAST year’s third finisher Spanish Mission has been allocated top-weight of 58kgs for the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
“He looked the top-weight for forever and a day so there’s no great shock there,” said trainer Peter Moody who took over from Andrew Balding after a change in ownership after last year’s Cup.
“He ran third last year with 57.0 and the [quality of] noms looks a lot lower this year.”
Second in the weights is the French-bred Gold Trip on 57.5 followed by the locally bred Regal Power with 56kgs.
The Marcel Weiss-trained Loft and the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Without A Fight are the highest-weighted internationals with 55.5, while the nominal favourite, James Fergerson’s Great Voltigeur Stakes winner Deauville Legend, has 55kgs.
Just 10 international horses remain amongst the 97 acceptors still in the A$8 million Melbourne Cup.
Conversely, no internationally trained horses are left in the A$5 million Caulfield Cup on October 15th, though 39 of the remaining 80 horses are northern hemisphere-bred.
Other international trainers to have Melbourne Cup runners are Roger Varian with St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov, (55.0) (unlikely to run), Ian Williams with Alfred Boucher (53), Paddy Twomey with Earl Of Tyrone (53), David Simcock with Rodrigo Diaz (50.5), Joseph O’Brien with Point King and Temple Of Artemis (both on 50) and Aidan O’Brien with Waterville (50).
This year’s Melbourne Cup also highlights the 18th and final set of weights delivered by Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter who will hand over the role to his second-in-charge David Hegan before he takes up a role in Hong Kong.
Carpenter highlighted the difficulties in setting this year’s Cup weights.
“When you haven’t got those elite European stayers or those defending champions, it does make it a bit more complicated.
“As a consequence, most of the horses on the limit weight have generally been given a kilo more than they would have expected in any other year. Any other horses that would normally be off the minimum, have all gone up a kilo as well to meet that scale.
“Because of that requirement, some trainers will see their weight and think, ‘gee that’s more than I thought I was going to get’.”