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Local hope Surprise Baby cops cups penalty

Childs told RSN Radio that he would have to think seriously about shedding the extra weight he would need to to ride the $9.50 Melbourne Cup favourite.

“I would have to work hard for it but I believe I could get down to the weight,” Childs said Monday morning.

“I have not completely made up my mind yet, I will talk to my manager and a few people and work it out. It’s a bit difficult, I rode 55 on Saturday and that’s what I usually ride in town all year round.

“But to get a good ride in the Melbourne Cup you can’t really be knocking it back.”

Carpenter explained his thinking behind the weight penalty.


“Consideration was given to the dominant nature of Surprise Baby’s victory and his emerging staying talent, balanced against the fact that his win was over Supernova and Wolfe, who are both on the minimum weight in the Cups,” he said.

A 1kg penalty for success in the Bart Cummings has successful historical parallells, as Carpenter pointed out.

“Almandin was penalised 1kg for his Bart Cummings victory before winning the Melbourne Cup with 52kg at his next start in 2016.

“Last year Avilius was penalised 1.5kg for his win in The Bart Cummings, but that reflected the fact he had also won the group 3 Kingston Town Stakes after weights had been released.

“Taking all these matters into account it was determined that 1kg was the appropriate penalty for Surprise Baby in both cups.”

With their minor placings in The Bart Cummings, Supernova, trained by Team Hawkes, and Wolfe, from the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable, both satisfied the qualifying clause for the Melbourne Cup and moved to 60th and 63rd respectively in the order of entry.

The pair also satisfied the qualifying clauses for the Caulfield Cup where they moved to 61st and 63rd for the world’s richest 2400-metre handicap.

The horse who won the Turnbull Stakes with a “back from the dead” performance, Kings Will Dream, secured a ballot exemption in the Caulfield Cup for his win in Saturday’s group 1 contest. He could not be penalised for the Caulfield race, for which he started favourite and finished sixth last year, because the $500,000 Turnbulll was a set weight and penalty race.

His win also lifts him to 40th in order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, although he is expected to have his grand final in the Cox Plate, the race in which he was seriously injured last year.

A trio of runners from Saturday’s group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) in Sydney have also moved up the pecking order for the Melbourne Cup as a result of prizemoney earned.

The group 1 winner Come Play With Me is not entered for either cup, but Archie Alexander’s runner-up Gallic Chieftan moves to 46th, one position behind third placegetter Sir Charles Road (Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott), while fifth placed Big Duke (Kris Lees) is 32nd and, all things being equal with the normal rate of attrition, could expect to gain a start.

As a result of his narrow second in the Turnbull Chris Waller’s strongly fancied Finche moves up to 21st in order of entry for the Caulfield Cup, which puts him within touching distance of a start in that contest.

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