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Rivals Slam "Lenient" Penalty For Viewed
However rival owners & trainers "have slammed Caulfield Cup winner Viewed's 1kg penalty for the Melbourne Cup, the most lenient in 20 years," reported The Herald-Sun. The "consensus was that master trainer Bart Cummings's wish for no more than 1kg was a gift from Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter & was unfair on beaten Caulfield Cup runners". The 1kg penalty is "the lightest for a Caulfield Cup winner since Cole Diesel in 1989" (who subsequently finished 16th in the Melbourne Cup). Among the comments were:
- Lloyd Williams (owner of Melbourne Cup equal-favourite Efficient): "Good heavens. I think it's very unfair on the other Caulfield Cup runners. That will create some controversy." Williams added his racing manager Jim Bowler (a former chief handicapper) would have given Viewed 2kg or 2.5kg & declared: "To win by 2-lengths & get a kilo seriously disadvantages those Caulfield Cup runners."
- Five-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Lee Freedman (who has Speed Gifted in the race): "I've got no thoughts on it . . . what I'd say is 'un-authorable'."
- Danny O'Brien (who saddled Caulfield Cup 3rd-placed Vigor & 6th-placed Master O'Reilly): "By any measurement he should have been given 2kg. In a handicap the beaten runners are given the chance to finish closer next time. I think he (Carpenter) has got a little carried away. But it's done, and he won't change his mind."
- Jake Stephens (trainer of boom stayer Alcopop) noted his horse had received a 1.5kg Cup penalty for winning the Herbert Power Stakes, yet Viewed received a lesser penalty for winning the Caulfield Cup & summed up: "It's a bit disappointing. I thought 1.5kg would be fair."