Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant has been given a 0.5kg penalty for the 2020 Melbourne Cup.
The Chris Waller-trained mare earned a ballot exemption in the Melbourne Cup after her triumphant win in the Caulfield Cup.
The penalty for Verry Elleegant for the $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3 takes her from 55kg to 55.5kg.
“Saturday’s Caulfield Cup was an outstanding edition of the 2400m handicap” Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter said.
“It was fought out by two world class horses with Verry Elleegant strong on the line and safely holding Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck.”
“Verry Elleegant carried the second highest weight for a winning mare in Caulfield Cup history behind Tranquil Star’s 56kg in 1942 and her hard-fought victory was her sixth Group 1 race to underline her elite standing.”
“When we took into account her performance on Saturday, the relative weight to those placed behind her and her overall record, we felt that 0.5kg was the appropriate penalty which equates to a length over 3200m. She will now carry 55.5kg in the Melbourne Cup.”
“Only one mare has carried more weight to victory in the Melbourne Cup which was Makybe Diva when she carried 58kg to her third win in 2005. She carried 55.5kg when winning her second Melbourne Cup – the task that has now been set for Verry Elleegant.”
“The Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double is a significant challenge and one that has become more difficult in recent times with the growing international presence and the different paths taken by horses to the first Tuesday in November.”
“Despite the outstanding performances by Verry Elleegant and runner-up Anthony Van Dyck in the Caulfield Cup, the top three in the Melbourne Cup market did not run on Saturday in Tiger Moth, Russian Camelot and Surprise Baby, neither did experienced horses like Master of Reality and Twilight Payment.”
“A further 800m and a new wave of competitors await Verry Elleegant at Flemington and history says that with 55.5kg she faces a challenge to become just the 12th horse in 143 years of the Caulfield Cup to race on and win the Melbourne Cup.”
The most recent horse to win the Caulfield-Melbourne Cups double was New Zealand mare Ethereal 19 years ago.