Unbeaten Avilius handed 1.5kg Cup penalty
RULING favourite Avilius has been penalised 1.5kg for the $7.5 million Melbourne Cup after his narrow victory in The Bart Cummings.
Racing Victoria's Greg Carpenter said the lightly-raced import's progress since Cup weights were first issued meant Avilius deserved to be re-handicapped from 53kg to 54.5kg.
"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," Carpenter said.
"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."
Avilius became the first horse to earn an exemption for this year's Melbourne Cup after fending off Jaameh's desperate challenge while carrying topweight of 58.5kg.
Trained by James Cummings, Avilius was promoted to $10 Cup favouritism with Ladbrokes.
Since weights were released, Avilius has won twice at Group 3 level - the Kingston Town Stakes and The Bart Cummings.
The Godolphin stayer is first in the Melbourne Cup order of entry and jumps from No. 39 to 20th in the Caulfield Cup order of entry.
Cummings is yet to decide where Avilius heads next but there is growing speculation he might tackle Winx in the Cox Plate at The Valley on October 27.
The last horse to win The Bart Cummings and Melbourne Cup in the same season is Almandin in 2016.
Carpenter said Jaamed had also passed the ballot for both cups, moving to No 61 for the Caulfield Cup and 91st for the Melbourne Cup.
Second declarations for the Caulfield Cup are taken on Tuesday.