x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Godolphin face Willing Foe dilemma after Melbourne Cup weight listing

Willing Foe could miss out on the Melbourne Cup after being allocated 52.5kg following his third place funish at the Prix Gladiateur at the weekend.

Willing Foe was supplemented yesterday for the Group 3 Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp in France on Sunday.
Willing Foe was supplemented yesterday for the Group 3 Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp in France on Sunday.

Godolphin face a difficult decision about whether to ship Willing Foe to Australia after the weights for the Melbourne Cup were published today.

Willing Foe finished only third in the Group 3 Prix Gladiateur at Longchamp on Sunday and as a result has been allocated 52.5kg in the $AUS6.2m (Dh23.7m) feature, run on November 6.

Although eight horses ran with 52.5kg or less in the last year's contest Racing Victoria's General Manager Greg Carpenter suggested that Willing Foe could miss out on the 3,200m race because he had not achieved a handicap rating high enough to get in.

"Willing Foe emerged as a Melbourne Cup contender when winning the prestigious Ebor Handicap at York last month, where he defeated subsequent Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond," Carpenter said. "However, with 52.5kg he will be vulnerable in the ballot".

Saeed Bin Suroor trains all four of Godolphin's entries and Colour Vision, the Ascot Gold Cup winner, heads the quartet on 55kgs. Cavalryman, who has not run since finishing fourth in the Yorkshire Cup, is on 54kgs, while Lost In The Moment, who was third, is on 53kgs - the same weight he carried when sixth in the Melbourne Cup last season.

Last year's winner Dunaden, owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's Pearl Bloodstock, has been allocated 58kgs alongside 2010 victor Americain. Only five horses have won the Melbourne Cup twice, and since 1972 when the race started using metric weights only two have prevailed carrying 58kgs or more from 36 runners.

As an illustration of the quality of this year's field, Efficient, the 2007 winner, bids to become the first nine-year-old from the southern hemisphere to even be placed off 55kgs, while Red Cadeaux, runner-up last year by a nose for trainer Ed Dunlop, also is in line to contest the 'race that stops a nation," off 55.5kgs.

Luca Cumani's trio of Mount Athos, Quest For Peace and Ibicenco have been allotted 54kgs, 53.5kgs and 51.5kgs respectively.

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