Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s in-form stayer Just Fine moved a step closer to a Melbourne Cup start after on Monday receiving a 0.5kg penalty for his tough victory in the Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick last Saturday.
Just Fine’s weight went from 52.5kg to 53kg and he moved to number 30 in the Melbourne Cup Order of Entry after he took his Australian record to three starts for three wins with his course record-breaking win over 2400 metres.
With that victory he also passed the first ballot clause for the $8.4 million Melbourne Cup.
Racing Victoria’s Head of Handicapping David Hegan said that Just Fine was an advancing stayer who is improving with every run and deserves a slight weight adjustment which is commensurate with his past two triumphs.
“Not only did Just Fine break the track record, the first two pulled well clear in the closing stages and there was a considerable margin back to Kalapour in third place,” Hegan said.
“The half-kilo penalty balances the fact that Just Fine carried the minimum weight of 50kg in the Group 1 Metropolitan and he already had 52.5kg in the Melbourne Cup. So, he was expected to run a big race and duly did so in extending his unbeaten run in Australia.
“When measuring his performance through the horses that finished between third and fifth who are all heading towards the Melbourne Cup, and also factoring in his updated domestic rating with an overall profile as a Group 1 winner over 2400m, a slight adjustment to his weight was required.”
Just Fine is $6.50 second favourite for the Melbourne Cup with Sportsbet.
Hegan also pointed out that the third placegetter in the Metropolitan, Kalapour, climbed from 84th to 71st in the Melbourne Cup ballot order after he collected $71,500 in prizemoney.
First acceptances for the Melbourne Cup will be taken at noon on Tuesday.