Racing Australia has tidied up what Greg Carpenter described an 'anomaly', which will result in the dominant age group in the past two Melbourne Cups being asked to carry more weight this spring.
Following Cross Counter's win last year, the second in a row for Northern Hemisphere three-year-old's following that of Rekindling in 2017, Racing Victoria's General Manager of Racing announced it would review the way that age group is assessed.
Through that process it was discovered that Northern Hemisphere three-year-old's had been better assessed than they would be in Europe, which Racing Australia has addressed by altering the Australian weight-for-age scale.
"The Australian weight-for-age scale and the table of allowances for Northern Hemisphere three-year-old's actually had them more favourably treated than their own weight-for-age scale in Europe," Carpenter told RSN927's Racing Pulse.
"For example, a 3200-metre race on the first Tuesday of November we were giving them a 4kg allowance against the older horses, which is the equivalent of 8 (pound) 10 (ounces), and they were getting only actually seven pound in the English scale.
"So, what we've done is amended the benchmark weight for Northern Hemisphere three-year-old's in the Melbourne Cup from 55.5 (kg) to 56.5. So instead of getting 4kg off the older horses, they will now get three."
Cross Counter (GB) and Kerrin McEvoy winning the 2018, Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington, picture Quentinjlang.com
Cross Counter won last year's Melbourne Cup under 51kg but would carry 52kg under the new rules. Rekindling, who won with 51.5kg, would be allotted 52.5kg.
The benchmark weight has also been adjusted for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate, with Northern Hemisphere three-year-old's 0.5kg worse off under the revised formula.
Adelaide won the 2014 Cox Plate as a Northern Hemisphere three-year-old under 56kg, but any horse of that age group contesting this year's 2040-metre race at The Valley will have 56.5kg.
"In this review, it's not about trying to set up a set of circumstances where the Northern Hemisphere three-year-old's won't be able to win the race, but it was an anomaly that they were getting a larger allowance under the Australian weight-for-age scale than if they were if they were running on the same day over the same distance in Europe," Carpenter said.
Recent Northern Hemisphere 3YOs in the Melbourne Cup:
CROSS COUNTER 51kg (WON in 2018)
ROSTROPOVICH 51kg (5th in 2018)
REKINDLING 51.5kg (WON in 2017)
BONDI BEACH 52.5kg (16th in 2015)
TRES BLEU 51kg (22nd in 2013)
ALESSANDRO VOLTA 50.5kg (20th in 2008)
MAHLER 50.5kg (3rd in 2007)