Cup weight is over for our Zac
CAULFIELD Cup-winning jockey Zac Purton must have had momentary heart flutters when owner Riichi Kondo said he might miss the Melbourne Cup with Japanese stayer Admire Rakti.
Kondo San made the threat to scratch if the horse was penalised excessively for Saturday's win but when the Victoria Racing Club added just 0.5kg, he confirmed the stallion would be given his chance in the $6.2 million race at Flemington on November 4.
The decision by VRC chief handicapper Greg Carpenter means Admire Rakti will carry top weight of 58.5kg and if he manages to win Australia's biggest race, will carry the biggest weight since the Bart Cummings-trained Think Big won in 1975.
History is against him for another reason, with no Northern Hemisphere galloper being able to win the Cup with a weight above 56kg.
The impost hasn't been daunting for punters, however.
A crush of money has already pushed the handsome stallion into $4 favourite in pre-post markets and he could start at the shortest price in decades if that support continues.
Since Zac's big victory at Caulfield on Saturday, even those with only a fleeting interest in horse racing have become among his greatest fans.
The kid from Red Rock had already won the Group One George Main Stakes and Doncaster Mile this year on Sacred Falls and he and the horse will be out to claim more Spring Carnival booty this Saturday in the WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Purton will ride at Happy Valley in Hong Kong tonight before jetting into Melbourne where he will ride on Friday night and on Saturday.
If he wins the world's greatest weight-for-age race on Sacred Falls, the cheers from home turf will deafen.