Russian Camelot has boomed into Melbourne Cup favouritism and all eyes have turned to the weight the 3 year old star will carry on the first Tuesday in November.
The Danny O’Brien trained galloper was an emphatic winner in last Saturday’s South Australian Derby beating home Dalasan and Victoria Derby winner Warning with ease.
While we are 6 months out from the big day, many are convinced by Saturday’s victory and the money has come. The derby winner has come into $11 on Sportsbet as of Monday.
The win made all the more impressive by the fact he was caught out the back, three wide with no cover for a large portion of the run, add that to the failure of 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare two weeks ago and the hopes of another local winner have fallen on the shoulders of the lightly raced 3 year-old.
Trainer Danny O’Brien suggested on Sunday that Russian Camelot won’t race competitively until the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in mid-September but will be kept busy in aim to return in good order for the spring.
The weights for the springs biggest race are traditionally released the week of the Makybe Diva stakes meaning chief handicapper Greg Carpenter will have no further evidence to base his judgment on.
As reported by Racing.com, with Russian Camelot being a Northern Hemisphere three-year-old, the best guide is looking at the weights carried by his nine peers in the Melbourne Cup since 2007.
Bondi Beach has carried the most, with 52.5kg on his back in 2015 with a 3 kilo benchmark, while the lowest weight belonged to Mahler (2007) and Alessandro Volta (2008) who carried just 50.5kg with a 5 kilo benchmark each.
That fact must then be balanced by the fact that four of the above runners (Bondi Beach, Tres Blue, Rostropovich and Mahler) finished second in G1 level in Derbies or the St Leger at Doncaster. Races that are usually considered quite stronger then the SA Derby.
Russian Camelot has only faced older horses once, an easy win in a benchmark 64 race over the mile at Pakenham.
Despite all the buzz around Russian Camelot he isn’t yet close to the class of many of the above horses and that may play into his favour come November.
Given his record, and the previous weights held by his type in the past a weight around 52.5kg or 53kg seems most likely.
The 53 kilos would be one kilo more then that carried by Vow and Declare in the 2019 Melbourne Cup.