Vauban Assigned 55kg For Melbourne Cup

Vauban | Megan Ridgwell

The weights for the 133 horses still in the running for the Nov. 7 G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup were released on Tuesday and early 4-1 favourite Vauban (Fr) (Galiway {GB}) was assigned 55kg, 3.5kg below highweight and 2022 Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip (Fr) (Outstrip {GB}).

The Willie Mullins-trained 5-year-old former hurdler, who won the G3 Ballyroan S. at Naas last month after taking the Listed Copper Horse H. at Royal Ascot in his first flat attempt in June, sits sixteenth on the weights list. Vauban's stablemate and Ballyroan runner-up Absurde (Fr) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) was handed a 53kg impost after capturing the Ebor H. at York on Aug. 26.

Gold Trip, who could become just the sixth horse to win consecutive Melbourne Cups, also seeks to become the first horse to successfully tote the top weight of 58.5kg since Think Big in 1975

“The announcement of the weights for the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup is always a pivotal date for connections who are plotting a path towards the first Tuesday in November which is only 49 days away,” VRC Executive General Manager of Racing Leigh Jordon said. “Gold Trip was impressive in winning the Lexus Melbourne Cup last year carrying 57.5kg and he will be required to be at his best again to go back-to-back carrying 58.5kg.

“Win and you're in races become important targets for horses hoping to secure their spot, the next chance for horses to gain ballot exemption is through the Group 3 Lexus Bart Cummings on TAB Turnbull Stakes Day at Flemington [Oct. 7].”

Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla's Desert Hero (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who is trained by William Haggas, will carry 51.5kg and is 20th in the order of entry for this year's Cup.

Just Fine (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who was formerly owned by King Charles III and is now in the care of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Gai Waterhouse AO, was assigned 52.5kg after his two-length win in the Kingstown Town S. in his Australian debut last week and will need to pass the ballot to gain a start.

Trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace hold sixteen other nominations in this year's race, including last year's third-place runner High Emocean (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}), who was assigned 50kg. Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Chris Waller holds 14 nominations in this year's Cup headlined by Soulcombe (GB) (Frankel {GB}) (53.5kg) and Francesco Guardi (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) (54kg).

The full list of weight allocations for the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup can be viewed here and the order of entry for the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup can be viewed here.

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