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Chief handicapper Greg Carpenter has defended his weighting of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, in which heavily backed internationals Dunaden and Americain lumbered home unplaced.

Carpenter has come under some pressure from trainers and owners after imposing hefty weights on the French winners of the Cup in the past two years.

But Carpenter said he had been consistent throughout.

Defending champion Dunaden was asked to lump 59kg, including a 1kg penalty after winning last month’s Caulfield Cup while 2010 champion Americain had 58kg.

Dunaden finished 14th and Americain was 11th.

Cup winner Green Moon and runner-up Fiorente ran with 53.5kg while third-placed Jakkalberry had 55.5kg.

“I think I was probably reasonably consistent throughout the seven weeks since the weights were released,” Carpenter said.

“Dunaden simply wasn’t able to win the race but I think we would have to look at the replay a number of times because it did appear that Dunaden got a long way back and they did go quite steadily through the middle stages and sprint home.

“The fact that he didn’t win the race is probably more a reflection of how the race was run rather than the weight that he had to carry,” he said.

“But it does re-emphasise how difficult the task is for higher-weighted horses in a race like the Melbourne Cup, which has got such depth of quality.”

No overseas-trained horse has managed to win the Melbourne Cup with more than the 56kg carried by Japanese stayer Delta Blues in 2006.

 
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