Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager, has today announced that Godolphin’s Stella Artois Caulfield Cup-winning hero Best Solution has escaped a weight penalty for the $7.3 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Best Solution will remain on his original weight of 57.5kg in the Flemington feature as he attempts to become the 12th horse to complete the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double in the same year.
Watch Best Solution fend off Homesman in the Caulfield Cup
Carpenter said: “The battle between Best Solution and Homesman in the closing stages of the Caulfield Cup produced an epic renewal of one of the world’s great handicap races and the closest finish to the race for more than a decade with the official margin just a half head.
“Over the last 40 years, 63 horses have contested the Melbourne Cup carrying 57kg or more, with only Makybe Diva (58kg) able to win.
“Given the depth of quality in this year’s race and the fact that every additional 0.5kg of weight represents approximately one length over 3200m, I have elected not to increase Best Solution’s allocated weight of 57.5kg.
“Of the last 10 Caulfield Cup winners to contest the Melbourne Cup 17 days later, only three have been able to finish in the top 10, with Fawkner in 2013 producing the best result when sixth to Fiorente.
“Best Solution came to Australia with a strongly established performance profile having won his last three runs in some of Europe’s premier 2400m Group races.
“He was all out in the finish on Saturday holding off Homesman and he now faces an enormous challenge in the Melbourne Cup, going to a track and distance he has not encountered before in one of the strongest renewals of the Melbourne Cup in its 158-year history.”
Homesman, in finishing second to Best Solution, passed the first ballot clause and has moved to 29th in the order of entry.
He was in 31st position however New Zealand Derby winner Vin De Dance and the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Jon Snow have now been officially withdrawn.
The last horse to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup in the same year was Ethereal in 2001.
Best Solution is a general 12-1 chance to complete the double, whilst Homesman is a best-priced 33-1 with Bet365 to win the Flemington feature.
Recent Caulfield Cup winners to carry 57kg or more in the Melbourne Cup were:
2014 Admire Rakti 0.5kg penalty to 58.5kg Ran last (22nd) 2012 Dunaden 1.0kg penalty to 59.0kg Ran 14th 2009 Viewed 1.0kg penalty to 58.0kg Ran 7th