Saturday 3 December 2016

Former Oxx pupil Alandi tops Melbourne weights

Published 02/09/2010 | 05:00

Melbourne Cup top weight Alandi, with Mick Kinane up, on the way to winning the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan last year
Melbourne Cup top weight Alandi, with Mick Kinane up, on the way to winning the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan last year

Ex-Irish runner Alandi has been allotted top weight for the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 2.

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Formerly trained by John Oxx, last year's Irish St Leger and Prix du Cadran winner is now with Robert Hickmott and has been handed 9st 2lb for the two-mile contest.

Stablemate and 2007 race winner Efficient has been handed the same weight, with Godolphin's pair of Cavalryman and Mastery the highest rated British contenders on 9st 1lb.

Dermot Weld's Ascot Gold Cup hero Rite Of Passage has 9st, the same weight as last year's winner Shocking, which is 11/1 favourite despite having to carry a stone more this time.

Weld's other possible, Profound Beauty, has 8st 7lb.

Luca Cumani, who has twice gone close to winning the prize, has Manighar (8st7lb) and Bauer, runner-up in the Cup two years ago and having his first run since at Salisbury today, on 8st 6lb.

Cumani's Drunken Sailor, a winner at Goodwood last Saturday, has been given an attractive weight of 8st 5lb.

Long gone are the days when the Melbourne handicapper may have been intimidated by some of the big names coming over from Europe.

Greg Carpenter, weighting his sixth Melbourne Cup, said: "The record shows that 66 European horses have come to run in the Cup and only two [Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle] have won, so I think we have got the level of the European stayers."

Carpenter is not obliged to have a maximum top weight to work off and in giving the top weights 9st 1lb he ensured that the last two Cup races he has handicapped have seen the lowest ceilings in 20 years. There is no provision for the weights to go up as they do in this part of the world.

Irish Independent

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