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Royal Diamond undecided on Melbourne Cup entry

Updated: Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 13:03 | Comments

Royal Diamond (red and white cap) wins in the Curragh last year
Royal Diamond (red and white cap) wins in the Curragh last year

Connections of Royal Diamond have yet to decide whether to send last year's Irish St Leger winner to Australia for the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Trainer Johnny Murtagh will discuss with owner Andrew Tinkler where to run the seven-year-old next after he finished fifth in Sunday's renewal of the stayers' Classic at the Curragh.

Royal Diamond, who was given 54.5kg (8st 8lb) in the race that stops a nation on November 5, had beaten Irish Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs in his previous race.

"He's come out of the race OK, he's a little bit tired," said Murtagh.

"I don't think he probably ran up to form. The winner had probably improved a good bit and the ease in the ground would have helped her.

"It's tough making the running into a headwind. He got a bit flat-footed then he stayed on in the end.

"I haven't spoken to Andrew yet. The weight is the weight, there's nothing you can do about that. That's what he's rated at."

Dunaden and Green Moon, winners of the last two Melbourne Cups, head the weights for this year's renewal at Flemington Park.

The Mikel Delzangles-trained Dunaden has been alloted 58.5kg (9st 3lb) by the handicapper following his 2011 success while Robert Hickmott's Green Moon, who struck gold 12 months ago, has been given 57.5kg (9st 1lb) as he tries for back-to-back wins.

Ed Dunlop's Red Cadeaux lost out to Dunaden in a tight finish and has 56.5kg (8st 13lb) this time around, 3lb more than last year while Delzangles' runner has been eased 1lb.

"Dunaden has been allotted the top weight for the second year running, however I have reduced his weight by 0.5kg to 58.5kg in recognition of the fact he was beaten almost 10 lengths by Green Moon in last year's race when favourite," said Greg Carpenter, general manager of Racing Victoria.

"Whilst Dunaden enjoys a weight reduction, history still presents a significant challenge as no original top weight has won the Cup since Comic Court in 1950. In fact 20 of them have tried and not one of them has placed so he will rightly claim a place in history if triumphant," he told www.springracingcarnival.com.au.

Tom Dascombe's Brown Panther had to miss an intended prep run in the Irish St Leger last weekend as he was not 100% but he remains in the mix and has been given 55kg (8st 9lb).

Voleuse De Coeurs has 54kg (8st 7lb) but connections have indicated she is likely to head to France in the autumn rather than Australia but her trainer Dermot Weld still has Pale Mimosa in the mix on 50kg (7st 12lb).

That weight has also been allotted to John Hammond's Hammerfest, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Foundry, Andre Fabre's Only A Pleasure, Opinion from Michael Stoute's yard, the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Caravan Rolls On and Ed Walker's Ruscello.

O'Brien has more prominent candidates in St Leger hero Leading Light on 52.5kg (8st 4lb) and Ernest Hemingway 53.5kg (8st 6lb) while the Willie Mullins-trained Simenon is also on 53.5kg.

Leading Light winnins the St Leger

Marco Botti's Dandino and the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Ahzeemah, who finished second in the Irish Leger, have both been given 54.5kg.

Godolphin also have Royal Empire on 54kg , Colour Vision on 52.5kg and Songcraft on 52kg (8st 3lb).

Mount Athos finished fifth last year for Luca Cumani and has 54kg again this time while Dunlop's Joshua Tree is on 55kg (8st 9lb).

David Lanigan has two contenders in Main Sequence on 53kg (8st 5lb) and Biographer on 50.5kg (7st 13lb) with Alain de Royer-Dupre's Verema also on 53kg.

Nicky Henderson's Forgotten Voice has 52.5kg with William Haggas' Sun Central on 51.5kg rounding out the European interest.

Gai Waterhouse has plenty of contenders headed by last year's second Fiorente (55kg), winner of the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, while the Darren Weir-trained Puissance De Lune (54.5kg) is also prominent in the betting.

Hickmott's Sea Moon (56.5kg) is a familiar name having been formerly trained by Stoute while ex-John Gosden pair of Masked Marvel (54kg) and Thought Worthy (52.5kg) also feature.

Hawkspur (53.5kg), It's A Dundeel (56kg) and Jet Away (53kg) also take high order in the ante-post market.

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