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Linton Penalised 1kg For Melb Cup
Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter issued a 1kg penalty to 4YO gelding Linton (Galileo-Our Heather, by Centaine) Linton for the Gr1 Melbourne Cup (3200m at Flemington on November 2) following his victory in the weekend's Gr2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield. Linton (trained by Robert Hickmott for owner Lloyd Williams) now has 52kg in the Melbourne Cup & has moved from 56th to 31st in the elimination order (having now passed the 1st ballot clause). The win also delivered an exemption for Linton into this Saturday's Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), connections announced he will not run & instead will continue a preparation towards the 150th anniversary Melbourne Cup. Lightly-raced Linton now has 3 wins (also including February's Gr2 Alister Clark Stakes over 1600m at Moonee Valley) & 3 placings (including September's Gr3 JRA Cup over 2040m at Moonee Valley & March's Gr1 Crown Australian Guineas over 1600m at Flemington) from 7 starts & Carpenter commented: "Linton was having his 1st run beyond 2040m on Saturday & defeated a class field including Cedarberg & Precedence, who both came into the race off feature race victories. The race developed into a genuine staying test & Linton was able to prevail in a driving finish. The 1kg penalty acknowledges the impressive nature of his victory, but is tempered by the relativity in Cup weights between Linton & Precedence, who he will now meet on 2kg worse weight terms in the Melbourne Cup." With the 1kg penalty, Linton now also meets Cedarberg (2nd) 0.5kg worse in the Melbourne Cup. The last horse to win the Herbert Power Stakes-Melbourne Cup in the same year was Rogan Josh in 1999; others to have completed the double in the same year are Arwon (1978), Van Der Hum (1976), Gala Supreme (1973), Sirius (1944) & Poseidon (1906).