Racing News

Vauban allotted 55 kilograms for Melbourne Cup

Ante-post Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) favourite Vauban (Galiway) has been allocated a weight of 55 kilograms for this year’s Flemington showpiece.

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old is the current 4-1 favourite for the Flemington showpiece on November 7, having produced a wide-margin victory in the Copper Horse Handicap (1m 6f) at Royal Ascot before winning the Ballyroan Stakes (Gr 3, 1m 4f) at Naas on his most recent start.

He sits 16th in the weights after they were released yesterday as he bids to provide Mullins with a first win in the historic race. A maximum field of 24 can take part in the Melbourne Cup.

“He is one of the most unusual horses you will ever get to handicap in a Melbourne Cup,” Racing Victoria head of handicapping David Hegan said. 

“He’s only had the two flat runs in two years since winning a Listed Three-Year-Old race in France and that’s been supplemented by eight hurdle starts and three of those have been at Grade 1 level. 

“As a benchmark figure, 115 is recognised as a minimum for Group 1 level and he rocketed up to 114 as a handicapper. But he has then gone to the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at 2400 metres, coming back 400 metres, and won that in hand and franked his rating at 114. 

“We note that he is a quality hurdle performer, but we can’t factor that into the weights, and it’s not factored into his international rating.” 

Vauban’s Mullins-trained stablemate Absurde (Fastnet Rock), guaranteed a run following his victory in the ‘win and you’re in’ Ebor Handicap (1m 6f) at York last month and therefore exempt from the ballot, has been allocated a weight of 53 kilograms. 

The King and Queen’s St Leger Stakes third Desert Hero (Sea The Stars), whose trainer William Haggas revealed could be headed for the Melbourne Cup on Monday, has been given a weight of 51.5 kilograms, while the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained West Wind Blows (Teofilo) has been allocated 54 kilograms.

Broome (Australia), trained by Aidan O’Brien and last seen finishing third in last Thursday’s Doncaster Cup (Gr 2, 2m 2f), would race off joint-second top weight of 56.5 kilograms alongside Alenquer (Adlerflug) – a Group 1 winner in Europe when trained by Haggas but now with Michael Moroney. The O’Brien-trained Tower Of London (Galileo) was allocated 50.5 kilograms.

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