Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager - Racing & Participant Wellbeing, Greg Carpenter, on Monday announced that he has issued a 1.5kg weight penalty in the $5 million Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) and $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) to the James Cummings-trained Avilius (GB).
Avilius has also become the first horse to earn an exemption for this year’s Melbourne Cup after his win in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday, when the five-year-old gelding maintained his unbeaten record in Australia when narrowly defeating Jaameh carrying the topweight of 58.5kg.
Avilius was originally allocated 53kg in both Cups, and has since won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (where he was not eligible for a penalty) and now The Bart Cummings.
The European import has now been assigned 54.5kg for both races, and sits in first position in the Melbourne Cup order of entry. He also moves from 39th position to 20th spot in the Caulfield Cup order of entry.
Carpenter said: “Avilius is unbeaten in his four runs in Australia and has now won the Kingston Town and Bart Cummings Stakes since the original handicaps were released, and the 1.5kg penalty acknowledges the progression of his form since he was allocated 53kg.
“His hard-fought win over Jaameh on Saturday was impressive given he carried topweight of 58.5kg, conceding 4.5kg to the placed horses.”
Connections of Avilius will be hoping he follows the same path as Almandin, who won The Bart Cummings in 2016 before going on to win the Melbourne Cup that same year.
Carpenter added that Jaameh had also passed the ballot for both Cups and as a result moves to 61st position in the Caulfield Cup and 91st spot in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.
Click here to view the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Order of Entry.
Click here to view the Lexus Melbourne Cup Order of Entry.
Avilius (GB) and Glyn Schofield (outside) winning the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2600m), picture Quentinjlang.com