Bookmakers have been quick to react to the record-breaking win of The United States in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, but he still faces a battle to get into the Melbourne Cup.
The TAB slashed his price from $101 to $31 on Saturday after the Lloyd Williams-owned six-year-old took more than a second off the track record, running the 2500m in 2min34.43s.
Ridden by Hugh Bowman and sent out favourite, The United States ($3.60) overhauled last year’s winner Prince Of Penzance ($6) to win by a half length.
The win moves him to No.48 on the Cup order of entry and Williams’ son and co-owner Nick pitched up to chief handicapper Greg Carpenter who will announce a penalty on Monday which will push him further up.
“When you see a win like that, smashing the track record, I’m sure that Greg Carpenter will look at that race and probably give him the three kilos he needs to get into the race,” Williams said.
For his part, Carpenter said he would have plenty to think about on Sunday.
“Prince Of Penzance got two kilograms last year,” Carpenter said.
“The United States has run a track record and was very impressive so we’ll work through it on Sunday and I’ll announce it on Monday.
“There’s a lot to consider.”
Williams praised Bowman’s ride but stewards took a slightly different view of his efforts to get The United States home.
The leading jockey was fined $2000 for using the whip nine times before the 100m, four more than allowed.
It was his second fine for whip use during the Melbourne spring with Bowman handing over $750 after his winning ride on Preferment in the Turnbull Stakes.
That aside, Bowman was thrilled to ride another winner for Williams and the Macedon Lodge team.
“It’s a privilege to ride these horses,” he said.
“They always come turned out in magnificent order. This horse is know exception, it was beautifully placed and he hasn’t let anyone down.”
Williams said if The United States did not look like getting into the Melbourne Cup a hard decision would have to be made.
“If he needs to win the Lexus to get in, that’s a huge ask,” he said.
The winner of next Saturday’s Lexus at Flemington gains automatic entry to the Cup which is an option Gai Waterhouse will consider for Saturday’s third placegetter Bohemian Lily.