Best Solution has escaped a weight penalty for his bid to claim the coveted Cups double in Melbourne.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Best Solution carried top weight of 57.5kg to a narrow but memorable win in Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter has decided not to give the international visitor a penalty for the $7.3 million Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Best Solution will be striving to become the 12th horse to claim the Caulfield-Melbourne Cups double in the same year, and first since Ethereal in 2001.
“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,” Carpenter said.
“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.
“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.”
Of the past 10 Caulfield Cup winners to run in the Melbourne Cup, only three have finished in the top 10, the best being Fawkner’s sixth in 2013.
Best Solution is on the second line of betting at $9 for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.
Impressive Herbert Power Stakes winner Yucatan Ire, who won the Herbert Power when he raced as Yucatan, heads the Melbourne Cup market at $6.
Homesman has moved to 29th in the Melbourne Cup ballot with his second at Caulfield.
Another part of the Melbourne Cup puzzle will take shape on Wednesday in the Geelong Cup (2400m).
The field includes English stayer Withhold who is prominent in the Melbourne Cup market at $15.
The Roger Charlton-trained Withhold has been installed the $3.80 favourite for the Geelong Cup and sits 33rd in the latest Melbourne Cup ballot order.