Sport Racing Ibicenco wins Geelong Cup but not assured of Melbourne Cup start

Ibicenco wins Geelong Cup but not assured of Melbourne Cup start

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Ibicenco remains at the handicapper’s mercy as to whether he gains a start in the Melbourne Cup despite his slogging wet-track win in Wednesday’s Geelong Cup.

The former European galloper took the length of the straight to overhaul Verdant in the $300,000 feature and become eligible for a penalty for the Cup at Flemington.

The Cup at Geelong has proved a good guide heading to the first Tuesday in November, but there’s no guarantee of that this year.

Ibicenco, like many of his Geelong rivals, sits well down the ballot order for the Melbourne Cup and needs extra weight to work his way into the field.

He was 42nd in ballot order before Wednesday and looks in need of at least 1.5kg to give him a chance of contesting the Cup.

Trainer Peter Moody wasted little time after the race to put his case to Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.

“I think the horse certainly goes better on top of the ground, so it was encouraging to see him tough it out in those conditions,” Moody said.

“He’s a genuine two-miler this horse, so let’s hope Mr Carpenter was impressed enough with a horse under unsuitable conditions to get him into the Cup now.

“This has been a terrific Melbourne Cup guide over the past decade or so and let’s hope it continues.

“He’d go straight into the race … he’s won two stakes races this time round and that should be sufficient to get him into the race I’m sure.”

Carpenter is expected tomorrow to announce what penalty, if any, he will give to Ibicenco, who shortened to $51 from $71 for the Cup after the win.

Media Puzzle set the ball rolling for the Geelong-Melbourne Cup formline, completing the double in 2002, and was followed in later years by Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011).

Six runners on Wednesday were still entered for the Cup, including English-trained galloper Forgotten Voice, who missed a run in the Caulfield Cup and was well-backed at Geelong.

His connections inspected the heavy 9 track before deciding to run, however he did not land a blow and struggled into fifth, beaten more than five lengths.

“As I went down the (track’s) hill his energy levels went low, and my confidence went even lower,” jockey Brett Prebble said.

No Derby gamble for Guru

Earlier, trainer Leon Macdonald said there would be no Victoria Derby start for Gamblin’ Guru despite the horse’s all-the-way win in the Geelong Classic (2,200m).

With blinkers on, Gamblin’ Guru ($3) was rated well in front by Steven Arnold and held off a late challenge from favourite Tupac Amaru ($2.70). They finished eight lengths clear of Throw The King ($12) in third.

Gamblin’ Guru was not among Derby first acceptances and Macdonald said he doubted his owners would pay the $82,500 late entry fee.

“I’ll talk to the owners, but I’d say he would probably go to the paddock,” he said.

“I don’t think we really need him to run a mile-and-a-half at this stage of his life.”