Racing fans on twitter are fuming after a European stayer received a hefty weight penalty which would secure the horse a run in the Melbourne Cup.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Tiger Moth received a 2.5kg weight penalty for the 2020 Melbourne Cup after the horse won Saturday’s Group 3 Kilternan Stakes over 2400m at Leopardstown (Ireland).
The weight penalty sees Tiger Moth move to 12th in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry where he is now guaranteed a start.
“When releasing the weights, I identified Tiger Moth as one of the more difficult horses to assess given he had only run three times. He was beaten in a 1400m maiden on debut, then won a maiden over 2000m and was beaten a head in the Group 1 Irish Derby by stablemate Santiago.” Carpenter said
“His dominant win in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes now supports his Irish Derby performance and the form from the Derby has been enhanced with the winner Santiago finishing third to Stradivarius in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup and then over the weekend he was fourth, beaten 1.5 lengths, in the Group 1 English St Leger.
“The 2.5kg penalty takes Tiger Moth to 1kg below fellow Northern Hemisphere three-year-olds Santiago and Russian Camelot who both have 53.5kg in the Melbourne Cup.”
Despite the explanation from handicapper Greg Carpenter twitter was up in arms suggesting the weight penalty was simply because Carpenter wanted the horse to gain a start in the race.
The decision comes after years of annoyance from local participants that overseas horses gain an unfair advantage in gaining a start in Australia’s most iconic race which now rarely has any locally bred horses in it.
Tiger Moth is also entered for the $5.15 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on 17 October, but under the conditions of that race he cannot be penalised for Saturday’s win and thus remains on 50kg and at 64th in the Caulfield Cup Order of Entry.
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