Melbourne Cup & Caulfield Cup weights released

Spanish Mission news
Spanish Mission (USA) ridden by Craig Williams on the way to the barriers prior to the running of the 2021 Melbourne Cup. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Having finished third in the 2021 Melbourne Cup, the Peter Moody-trained Spanish Mission has been announced as the topweight for both the 2022 Melbourne Cup and 2022 Caulfield Cup with 58kg.

With fellow Melbourne Cup placegetters Verry Elleegant and Incentivise both missing this year’s Victorian Spring Racing Carnival, Spanish Mission was an obvious topweight choice for Racing Victoria’s handicappers ahead of the two big features in Melbourne.

Spanish Mission managed to lug 57kg last year when finishing third, and despite having not won a race in Australia since arriving from Andrew Balding’s stable last spring, he is clearly the superior stayer in both Cups.

The Northern Hemisphere six-year-old has been placed in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m), Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and, most recently, when starting his spring campaign in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 3.

Having been allotted 57kg in the 2021 Melbourne Cup, Gold Trip will need to carry 57.5kg on the first Tuesday in November – if connections opt to go that way. It is expected that he will be likely aimed towards a start in the Cox Plate.

Following a breakthrough last 12 months, Australia’s two best staying mares, Duais and Montefilia, are next in the weights having been assigned 55.5kg – the same weight as this year’s Sydney Cup winner, Knight’s Order from the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott stable. They are joined by foreign-bred geldings Loft, Numerian and Without A Fight.

Pre-post Melbourne Cup favourite Deauville Legend has been handicapped with 55kg, equal with fellow Northern Hemisphere three-year-old Eldar Eldarov, who won Sunday’s Group 1 St Leger (2921m) at Doncaster.

Having won the Melbourne Cup in 2019, the Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare has been assigned 54kg, although he is yet to pass the first ballot clause for this year’s race.

In order to force his way into the field, the former Cup champion will need to finish in the first eight in the Caulfield Cup (which he’s passed the ballot for) or top three in a Stakes race beyond 2300m. It is anticipated his next start will be in the $750,000 Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 1.

Having only nominated for the Caulfield Cup, last-start Feehan Stakes winner Mr Brightside has been allotted 56.5kg for the race, despite not yet racing above 1630m in his short but already successful career.

In total, 96 horses have been assigned a weight for the Melbourne Cup, whilst 80 horses have been allotted their weights ahead of a tilt at Caulfield Cup glory.

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