For the second year in a row, Steel Prince has won himself a start in the Melbourne Cup.
Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter elected to penalise Steel Prince a kilogram for his win in Wednesday’s Geelong Cup, which has taken his weight to 53.5kg.
This has catapulted the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained galloper to number 25 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry, virtually assuring him of a start in the race.
Last year Steel Prince won the Andrew Ramsden Stakes to guarantee himself a run in the Melbourne Cup in which he finished ninth.
Carpenter explained that the Geelong Cup was an extremely strong one this year.
“There were four European stayers, all Group or Listed race winners, making their Australian debut and this year’s Group Two Adelaide Cup winner King of Leogrance also contesting the race,” Carpenter said.
“When we took into account the outstanding quality of yesterday’s field, we felt that one kilogram was the appropriate penalty for Steel Prince, which takes him to 53.5kg and 25th in the order of entry.
“While the margin of victory was narrow, Steel Prince won with some authority in the end.
“He carried 0.5kg less than King of Leogrance yesterday and now moves to the same weight as him in the Melbourne Cup.
“Geelong Cup winners in the last decade have an outstanding record in the Melbourne Cup with Americain and Dunaden both going on to win the Flemington feature with 54.5kg after being penalised for the Geelong win.”
Prince Of Arran won the Geelong Cup 12 months ago and also received a one kilogram penalty.
He was third past the post in the Melbourne Cup but was promoted to second on protest.