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Irish Champ Yeats Again Heads Melb Cup Weights
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien's dual Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup-winning 7YO stayer Yeats heads the weights for the Gr1 Melbourne Cup (released yesterday) for the 2nd year running. Yeats (who finished 7th last year with 59kg) is unbeaten in 3 starts this year (including a last-start victory, for the 2nd consecutive year, in the Ascot Gold Cup) & has again been allotted 59kg to share top billing with Hong Kong star Viva Pataca. Last year's Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues has been allotted 58.5kg (up 2.5kg), while stable-mate Pop Rock has 56.5kg. Last year's Gr1 Caulfield Cup winner Tawqeet also has 56.5kg, while Irish trainer Dermot Weld's recent stable acquisition Bellamy Cay has been given 55kg & David Hayes' 5-time Gr1-winner Miss Finland has 53kg. Last season's Gr1 Victoria Derby winner Efficient & Gr1 AJC Derby winner Fiumicino have both been given 54kg, while reigning Adelaide & Sydney Cups champion Gallic will carry 55kg. And the Bart Cummings-trained Queensland Derby winner Empire's Choice will carry 52.5kg. Canadian Gr1 winner Sky Conqueror (who won the Northern Dancer Stakes in July) has been allotted 57.5kg, while another American-trained entrant Marsh Side (who ran 2nd behind Sky Conqueror in the Northern Dancer Stakes) has been given 53kg. Former American galloper Tacit Agreement (now trained at Flemington by Danny O'Brien) will carry 53kg, while Laverock is the highest weighted of Godolphin's entrants with 56kg.