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Efficient & Maldivian Head Melb Cup Weights
The 2007 Gr1 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient & 2008 Gr1 Cox Plate winner Maldivian have been allocated this year's top impost of 58kg in the official weights released yesterday by Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter. Since Vintage Crop became the 1st internationally-trained Melbourne Cup winner in 1993, the only other Australian-trained horse to top the weights was former champion Northerly (given 60kg in 2004). Efficient was allocated 58kg in 2008 (but missed last year's renewal with injury); Peter Pan is the only horse to win 2 Cups (1932 & 1934) having missed the interceding renewal through injury. Next in the weights is last year's winner Viewed on 57kg (an increase of 4kg over his winning weight of 53kg); Viewed seeks to join Archer (1861-62), Rain Lover (1968-69), Think Big (1974-75) & Makybe Diva (2003-04-05) as the only horses to win the race in successive years. Think Big received a 5.5kg penalty after his 1974 win (which included a 1.5kg weight-for-age component) & Makybe Diva had her weight increased by 4.5kg after her initial success in 2003. Carpenter commented: "The 4kg increase given to Viewed is the same penalty applied to previous winners such as Media Puzzle, Kingston Rule, Black Knight & Gold And Black in the modern era. It is slightly less than the penalty given to Makybe Diva after her initial success & a similar penalty to that issued to Think Big when taking into account the weight-for-age component." Godolphin has the highest-weighted international entries, with Eastern Anthem (winner of the Gr1 Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night in March) & Schiaparelli (winner of this year's Goodwood Cup & Prix Kergolay in Europe) both allocated 57kg. Another Godolphin entry Kirklees is next in the weights with 56kg. Irish trainer Dermot Weld (the only European to win the Melbourne Cup with Vintage Crop in 1993 & Media Puzzle in 2002) has staying mare Profound Beauty on 53.5kg (a 2kg increase over the weight she carried to 5th placing in last year's race) & Carpenter explained: "The 2kg increase for Profound Beauty reflects the progression she has demonstrated in Ireland this year, being undefeated in her 3 starts. It is the same weight Empire Rose carried to victory in 1988 & the only mare to win the Melbourne Cup with more is Makybe Diva" (55.5kg in 2004 & 58kg in 2005).