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Emissary receives Lexus Melbourne Cup penalty

20 October 2022

Racing Victoria Head of Handicapping, David Hegan, has today issued Emissary a 0.5kg penalty in the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup to be run at Flemington on Tuesday, 1 November.

The handicapping penalty has been handed to the Mike Moroney-trained import following his victory in yesterday’s Group 3 bet365 Geelong Cup (2400m).

As a result, Emissary rises from 51kg to 51.5kg in the Melbourne Cup which has seen him make a small progression in the Order of Entry moving from 30th to 29th.

The 0.5kg penalty is the same afforded to recent Geelong Cup winners Vengeur Masque (2017) and Qewy (2016), while last year’s winner Tralee Rose did not receive a penalty.

The two other horses currently weighted on 51.5kg in the Melbourne Cup are Tralee Rose, Smokin’ Romans and Lunar Flare, the latter after receiving a 0.5kg penalty following her win in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) earlier this month.

Hegan said: “While yesterday’s Geelong Cup was a highly competitive contest, on ratings it wasn’t as strong as recent editions so that was an important consideration for the panel when assessing whether Emissary should be penalised or not.

“Given the style of his win and strength shown over the concluding stages we have elected to hand Emissary a 0.5kg penalty in the Lexus Melbourne Cup, which is the same afforded to Lunar Flare after her win in The Bart Cummings earlier in the month.” - David Hegan - RV Head of Handicapping

Hegan noted that the highest rated runner in yesterday’s Geelong Cup was 99, whereas the past two editions have had seven horses rated 101 or higher and the 2019 edition, in which the winner Prince of Arran was penalised 1kg, had 10 horses rated 103 or higher.

The other horse to make progression in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry courtesy of the Geelong Cup was third placed Makram whose prizemoney boost has seen him rise from 36th to 33rd.

David Simcock’s UK entrant Rodrigo Diaz remains in 31st position after his fourth placing in the Geelong Cup, while runner-up Surefire was withdrawn at third acceptance stage.

There are two more ballot exemption races to come for the Melbourne Cup, being the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley this Saturday, 22 October; and the Group 3 Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on 29 October.

Fourth acceptances for the Melbourne Cup will be taken at 10am (AEDT) next Monday, 24 October.

Click here to view the updated Melbourne Cup Order of Entry as at 20 October 2022.

Main Image: Emissary (GB) ridden by Blake Shinn wins the 2022 Group 3 bet365 Geelong Cup. (Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

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