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Miami Bound escapes Melbourne Cup penalty as race for entry continues

In a Twitter post on Monday afternoon, he showed footage of Russian Camelot, clearly on good terms with himself, having a roll and added: “Russian Camelot and Miami Bound have pulled up well and are bouncing this morning following their outstanding performances on Cox Plate Day. All systems go to @FlemingtonVRC Melbourne Cup!!! “.

Earlier, he had told The Age that the dual group 1 winner Russian Camelot had “pulled up super, he is going really well” after his exertions in the Plate.

O’Brien is optimistic that the extra 1200m of the Melbourne Cup will see the son of Camelot to good advantage and said he was really pleased with his performance behind Sir Dragonet, considering he had drawn the widest alley and that his tactical strategy had been compromised as a result.

“We had to work much harder from that barrier and when you hit the front that far from home it’s hard to get there. If you swoop the barriers with the winner [who came from barrier six, right in the middle of the 14-strong field] then you might swoop the result,” he said.

“He’s only gone beyond 2400m once and he won well in the South Australian Derby. We will see.”

Miami Bound and Jamie Kah won the Moonee Valley Gold Cup earlier this month.

Miami Bound and Jamie Kah won the Moonee Valley Gold Cup earlier this month. Credit:Getty Images

Vow And Declare will take his chance to defend his crown despite having failed to impress last time in the Caulfield Cup when he was well beaten behind Verry Elleegant and Anthony Van Dyck.

Michael Rodd, who won the Cup on Efficient for Williams in 2007, will take the ride.

Miami Bound’s lack of a penalty means she will carry the feather burden of 51 kilograms next week.

Racing Victoria executive general manager of racing, Greg Carpenter said: “Miami Bound was a strong winner of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, however she was well weighted under the set weights and penalties conditions of the group 2 race and she will face superior opposition at Flemington on Cup day.


“At 5.5kg under weight-for-age benchmark in the Melbourne Cup, modern history says she already faces a significant challenge to win the race with 51kg.

“The last VRC Oaks winner to win the Melbourne Cup as a four-year-old was Light Fingers way back in 1965, whilst Kingston Rule was the last horse to the complete the Moonee Valley-Melbourne Cup double 30 years ago in 1990.”

Forty-five horses, including pre-post favourite Tiger Moth, remain in the race for a berth in the 24-strong Cup field after third declarations were taken on Monday.

While O’Brien has a number of leading candidates so have Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, who have not only Sir Dragonet but Persan and Sydney Cup winner Etah James still in the field.


Mirage Dancer, the recent winner of the group 1 Metropolitan (2400m), was amongst the more notable withdrawals at the third acceptances stage. In addition, the connections of Mugatoo (fourth in the Cox Plate), Master Of Wine (eighth) and Buckhurst (10th) have also decided against pressing on to the Melbourne Cup.

Final acceptances for the Melbourne Cup will close at 4.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday.

The Lexus Hotham Stakes (2500m), which will be run on Victoria Derby Day on Saturday, is the final chance for horses to force their way into the Melbourne Cup field, with the winner guaranteed a start three days later.

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